Village Races and Referenda Bring Out Voters in Cross Plains

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Unlike Madison, Cross Plains had about 600 voters turn out by noon. In fact, turnout there could hit between 60 and 70 percent.
Perhaps one voter put it best ... The Village of Cross Plains is at a crossroads.
Voter Cheryl Hartung says, "the one referendum is about the business side and the other is about water quality and so we have to strike a balance."
The Village clerk expects a strong turnout to strike that balance.
Jan Klock says, "we're approaching 600 voters and what time is it? Noon?"
Among items on the ballot -- two village referenda items. Question one asks voters about adopting an ordinance. The ordinance would require any tax increment district in the village be approved by referendum. Cities uses TIF districts to attract economic development.
"I think we're at a crossroads right now, really trying to decide what Cross Plains is. Are we a bedroom community? Are we trying to promote our own business and industry here, and how do we want to proceed," Hartung says.
Some say putting every TIF district to a public vote puts Cross Plains at competitive disadvantage with other communities; others counter that it gives the public a voice in development.
Dan Buckland says, "the developers, if they're interested in coming out here, they will."
Another voter, Jerry Denruiter says, "TIF district I think should be on individual basis, not having a referendum every time you want to do something."
The second question runs through the heart of Cross Plains, and the people who live here. It asks whether the village should establish a water quality corridor to protect its drinking water and the Black Earth Creek. But, some fear the move to prevent development in that area is premature.
One voter says, "they've got a survey going out checking everything. They said it isn't going to be done until 2006. What do we want to be voting for now?"
But Buckland says, "smart growth and where growth takes place will help to protect the creek and that is really objective behind all of this."
"It's got a lot of people interested, which is good," Denruiter says.
Also at stake in the village election ... The seat for board president and three members of the board.

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