Town of Beloit Seeks Name Change

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When people think of Beloit, they usually think of the city just across the Wisconsin-Illinois border. But there’s also a town called Beloit that borders the city. While the town shares the same name and borders right on it’s city counter part, it has been independent for 175 years. That separation could become even stronger next year.

“After a couple of surveys the name ‘Riverside’ was chosen as the name for the new village,” said Town of Beloit Chairwoman Diane Greenlee. Town leaders say there are tax advantages to becoming a village.

“It would be easier as a village to apply for Tax Incremental Financing, otherwise as a town we’re limited in the scope and the longevity of financing any projects,” Greenlee added. That vision is now closer after a Rock County judge granted the incorporation petition Thursday morning.

Now the request will be reviewed for the next 180 days by the Wisconsin Incorporation Review Board. “Then they decide whether or not we meet all the criteria to become incorporated,” she said.

Greenlee says incorporating through TIFs would bring in more revenue and commercial development. City of Beloit officials have openly opposed the move saying it will ultimately hurt the region. In a statement, City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said, “There were no surprises. We expect the process to take longer than 180 days to reach conclusion. The city remains hopeful that a resolution could be reached through mediation,”.

“We’ve built a great community and people live here because they want to be here and we want to continue to grow and to thrive,” said Greenlee. If the Wisconsin Incorporation Review Board does allow the Town of Beloit to become a village, citizens will ultimately make the decision. It would then be up for a vote through a referendum in the April 2019 ballot.

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