On April 27, the Village of Prairie du Sac board passed a resolution calling for a referendum on the establishment of a proposed sanitary district that would serve residents near the closing Badger Army Ammunition Plant.
The resolution was passed in anticipation of a formal petition by the Army and the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center to the Town of Merrimac initiating the process for creating a sanitary district. The district would cover parts of three rural townships: Sumpter, Prairie du Sac and Merrimac. A public water system is proposed as part of the Army’s alternative strategy to address groundwater contamination emanating from the Badger plant.
Some the properties included in the Army’s plan are within the Village of Prairie du Sac’s Extraterritorial Zoning District within the Town of Prairie du Sac. The area is planned for development and ultimate annexation to the Village of Prairie du Sac in accordance with a 2009 Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement between the municipalities.
The Village resolution points out that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has stipulated that citizens within the proposed water district are to have the opportunity on the local-government level to participate in related discussions and decisions. All three townships and the village are to be involved in the sanitary district formation process, the WDNR said.
The resolution supports a vote by referendum to allow all property owners within the proposed sanitary district to participate in the decision on its creation. The resolution also asks that the Village of Prairie du Sac receive copies of any and all communications, petition and notices concerning the creation of the foregoing sanitary district.
The Village resolution supports a similar request by the Town of Prairie du Sac asking that the Town of Merrimac reject any petition by the U.S. Army and the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center as majority property owners, asking instead that the decision be placed on a referendum ballot allowing all affected property owners to participate in the process.