From Town to Village
Today, Pleasant Prairie is an incorporated Village, but from 1842 to 1989, Pleasant Prairie was a Town. In Wisconsin, a Town belongs to the State, and can only do what the State authorizes. But Villages and Cities are municipalities. A municipality is incorporated, which gives them more powers and responsibilities to govern themselves. This includes an authority to create tax incremental finance districts (TIFs) to fund infrastructure and other improvements.
Road to Incorporation
As a Town, Pleasant Prairie struggled to maintain its identity. The road to incorporation began in 1984, when the Town met with the City of Kenosha. They agreed on an ultimate plan for orderly development and fixed boundaries for Pleasant Prairie. In 1988, Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha implemented these plans by establishing annexation areas. Most significantly, Kenosha annexed the land north of Highway 50, from Green Bay Road to I-94. In exchange, the Town received support for incorporation and was protected from further annexations and gained the ability to buy sewer and water from Kenosha.
Kenosha annexed several locations along the Town/City border, most significantly, the land north of Highway 50, from Green Bay Road to I-94. In exchange, the Town was protected from further annexations and gained ability to buy sewer and water from Kenosha.
In 1989, a referendum (3,000 in favor, 300 against) voted to incorporate Pleasant Prairie as a Village. With the help of WisPark, the Village then developed the LakeView Corporate Park. The Corporate Park was a successful public-private partnership which created jobs and stimulated economic development.