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Sussex-Lisbon Merger Predicted to Fail by Town Official

The Lisbon Town Supervisor says he thinks voters will shut down the consolidation idea during next month's referendum.

Lisbon Town Supervisor Dan Heier says he thinks voters will strike down the idea to combine the Village of Sussex and Lisbon during the August 14 referendum, according to the Sussex Sun.

The group of officials discussed the merger during Monday night’s Town Board Meeting in Lisbon, and even Town Chairman Matt Gehrke agreed that there would have to be an overwhelming backing from voters for the Town Board to continue backing the idea.

"There is going to have to be a strong indication of support for the board to proceed, Ryan and I might have a slight difference in how you define strong," said Gehrke.

Ryan Lippert, a town supervisor, mentioned he wouldn’t support the consolidation with Sussex even if Lisbon residents support it by a small margin votes.

This comes after more than 100 Lisbon citizens on June 27 to voice their concerns about the consolidation with Sussex, specifically regarding taxes.

Gehrke noted the current the property tax rate in Lisbon is $3.09 per $1,000 of assessed value. It would increase to about $3.50 per $1,000 if assessed value if the town consolidated with Sussex, but that would be phased in over 10 years.

"When you look at (consolidation) with Sussex, the tax base goes up, their taxes go down; my taxes go up. It doesn't compute," said town resident Dennis Manthy in June. "I've lived here for 35 years and the Town of Lisbon is the Town of Lisbon."

The next public forum is scheduled for July 31 at 6:30 p.m. the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.

However, in that’s been collecting votes since the idea of a consolidation was first introduced, it seems more Sussex Patch readers are in favor of the merger. More than 440 readers voted, and 60 percent say they like the idea of “The City of Sussex-Lisbon.”

Even still, Heir doesn’t think voters will give it the green light.

"I don't think voters in the town will approve it," said Supervisor Heier.

Lisbon residents will vote on Aug. 14, and in order for the merger to be approved, it must be backed by a majority of both the Lisbon Town Board and Sussex Village Board, then approved by both communities in a binding referendum. 

The next public forum is scheduled for July 31 at 6:30 p.m. the .

Sarah July 24, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Of course Sussex residents like it - their taxes will go down while ours in Lisbon skyrocket! No thanks. I call on my friends and neighbors: Vote it down!
Kelly July 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
People are not looking at the big picture here. Yes, taxes will go up slightly over a 10 year span, but we will gain much more by becoming a city. And yes, I live in the Town of Lisbon.
Richard Head July 24, 2012 at 07:11 PM
My feelings about this would be that if we do combine to make one community, we either become the Village of Sussex, or become a city, and call it Tempelton.
Rita Hahn July 24, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Sarah is right, Leave Sussex a village and Lisbon there town. I agree to vote it down!
Arnold Jung July 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Sarah you obviously have not been paying attention to the fiscal issues that Lisbon is currently facing. The current elected officials are cutting and slashing the town budget anywhere they can to give you the illusion of us having low taxes. The current taxes we are paying are artificially low due to the mismanagement and neglect of base services that is taking place within the towns government. The fact that we pay only $3.09 in taxes is a direct result of this mismanagement not because of fiscal responsibility. The day of reckoning is coming and our town board knows this that is why they are trying to use the village as a bail out. I would like to keep my home in Lisbon but our taxes actually are going to skyrocket if there is not a merger of some kind. I would like to stay here so bring on the merger it will save us all taxes in the long run whether you like it or not it is the right thing to do.
Sarah July 24, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Kelly it's an 11% increase just to START. They have over $20mm in debt to pay off as it is and they're looking at buying land to do development deals - Menomonee Falls Radisson anyone? No thanks! They'll make us convert to water and sewer - $7k per house. No thanks! And on and on I could go. Tell your friends and neighbors to vote with a resounding NO!
Kelly July 25, 2012 at 03:54 AM
If we don't decide to do this merger, eventually Lisbon will be ripped apart. Menominee falls will take part of us, Merton, pewaukee....everyone that surrounds us will buy us up. We CANNOT survive as a town anymore. That is the problem. I love Lisbon and i really dont like change, but like Arnold stated, we need to do this for the future.
Kelly July 25, 2012 at 03:57 AM
And I would rather be a part of Sussex than the Falls. You do make a good point with the Raddison. That is another reason to do this merger, we would still have a say in what happens, rather than the Falls buying us and destroying our community with a " raddison like" idea.
Mike B July 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Really? $3.09 to $3.50 is Skyrocketing? If taxes are $3.09 per $1000 of assessed value, and you have a $300,000 home, that should mean your current taxes are only like $927? That doesn't seem right to me. What am I missing? Anyway, if it goes up to $3.50 per $1000, that only goes up to $1050. A whopping $123 per year. Not much of a skyrocket.
Joan July 25, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I live in the Town of Lisbon, and if I am doing my math right, I am paying close to $14.00/1000. Not sure where the $3.09 is coming from.
Mike B July 25, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I'm thinking the $3.09 is just the local towns portion of the property taxes I guess. The rest must go somewhere else... SO if everything else stays the same, it'd still go up by the $0.40/1000 but there's more that goes other places.
Mike B July 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I agree. Calling it the Town of Sussex-Lisbon or whatever is just stupid. Pick one name or pick a totally different one. Maybe the city of Death Star. That's be cool to use as an address...
Mike B July 25, 2012 at 07:26 PM
The development deal died a few days ago and officially died last night. No one in Sussex wanted that either. I think there's going to be a big change during the next election...

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