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Wausau Will Appeal Ruling In Boundary Dispute With New Village

City Of Wausau Is Appealing Judge's Ruling Last Week

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Brokaw Village Hall sits in the shadow of the shuttered Wausau Paper mill
Glen Moberg/WPR

The city of Wausau will appeal last week’s ruling by a Marathon County judge in a dispute over its northern boundary.

The Wausau City Council made the decision in a closed-door meeting Monday.

Marathon County Judge Jill Falstad ruled Wausau lacked standing in its attempt to overturn approval by the Wisconsin Department of Administration of a boundary agreement involving the villages of Maine and Brokaw and the Town of Texas.

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Falstad said Wausau’s claims of damages were “hypothetical and speculative.”

In a news release Wednesday, the city argued “Town of Maine officials planned incorporation during multiple unlawful meetings, designed to prevent Maine landowners from learning what was happening and its impact in preventing future annexation of their lands to Wausau.”

The owners of approximately 946 acres of land have petitioned Wausau for annexation, according to the release.

Wausau Mayor Bob Mielke said the entire region is being hurt economically because that property is not being developed.

“The biggest issue of course is economic development, and how it’s going to affect not only the city, but the Village of Maine, the other villages and towns involved, and the entire region,” Mielke said. “Wausau is not the bad guy in this situation, and I’m not saying anybody is for that matter.”

After Falstad ruled last week, Village of Maine attorney Randy Frokjer said the village’s actions should have come as no surprise to Wausau.

“We were upfront with the city about what we were doing, we explained what we were doing, and we went ahead and did exactly what we told them we would do,” Frokjer said.

He pointed to a July 9, 2015 meeting of the Wausau City Council in which council members were briefed on the plan, and then voted unanimously to support the process.

“It’s been a surprise to us that we’ve been sued on proceeding and doing what we told them in advance we’d do, and they gave us their blessing,” Frokjer said.

The Village of Maine incorporated to help its residents deal with millions of dollars of debt as it absorbs the dying paper mill community of Brokaw.

Mielke said it might be November before the appellate court makes a decision.

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