The town of Shelby and city of La Crosse recently announced an agreement in principle to a boundary agreement.

The proposed agreement has been negotiated over the past couple of years and it is an exciting document that brings the two municipalities together in planning developments and sharing in the revenues generated by these developments, and setting the stage for more working together.

There are some areas of the agreement that do not please some. However, few agreements are accepted by all.

While many of the meetings during the negotiations were in closed session, as negotiations usually are, emphasis now is on communicating the elements of the agreement to the public, to allow for their input on the agreement.

Members of the Town Board have met with many groups to explain the agreement, and outlines of the agreement have been mailed to all Shelby homes and businesses. My thanks to the city representatives who worked with Shelby on this.

A goal of the agreement is to create orderly development along the Hwy 14/61 corridor. This is a growth area for the city and over time a portion of the area will be annexed to the city. The area to be annexed has been identified and no annexations may occur outside of the designated area for a period of 20 years. Annexations in the past have always been at the request of the property owner.

Shelby, as a town, does not “give” land to the city as annexed property. This agreement establishes set boundaries for the term of the agreement and puts an end to annexations out of the designated area.

The agreement calls for Shelby to pay a set amount to La Crosse for each residence in Shelby. The amount starts at $30 and increases to $34. While this is a cost to Shelby, the amount will be offset by taxes generated by the new developments in both the city and town, and also by savings from Shelby residents who will no longer pay “non-resident” rates for city services, such as park and recreational fees and fees for parking.

l am encouraged by the cooperation with the city representatives on this agreement and look forward to working on other areas where the two municipalities can be cooperative.

An example is library services. Shelby pays in excess of $140,000 to the County Library System and Shelby’s use is less than 1 percent of the total users. However, Shelby residents represent over 8 percent of the city of La Crosse Public Library system. The agreement mentions this as a future area of collaboration. The town has no plans for its own library. In addition, police and fire departments will be exploring other areas to work together.

I urge all Shelby residents to review details of the agreement and attend the informational meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Central High School Auditorium in La Crosse.

Tim Candahl is chairman of the Shelby town board.


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