Except as provided in par. (c)
, land upon which to hold agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions may be acquired by a board and improvements made thereon.
In counties containing less than 750,000 population, the board may annually, at the same time that other county taxes are levied, levy a tax upon the taxable property of such county.
The board may grant the use of fairgrounds acquired under par. (a) 2.
to agricultural and other societies of similar nature for agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions, and such other purposes as tend to promote the public welfare, and may receive donations of money, material or labor from any person or municipality for the improvement or purchase of such land. All improvements made on such lands by societies using them may be removed by the societies at any time within 6 months after their right to use the land terminates, unless otherwise agreed in writing between the societies and the county at the time of making the improvements.
In counties containing more than 750,000 population, land upon which to hold agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions may be acquired by a board, and improvements made thereon, by donation, purchase or condemnation, but not exceeding in value $150,000, and the board may convey or donate such lands so purchased or acquired or the use thereof to the state of Wisconsin or to agricultural and industrial societies for the purpose of holding thereon agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions, and may receive donations of money, material or labor from any person or municipality for the improvement or purchase of such land. If at any time lands or the use thereof so conveyed or donated shall be abandoned or no longer used for the purpose for which such lands or the use thereof were so conveyed or donated, the title to such land shall revert to the county; and the commissioners of public lands, in the case of conveyances or donations to the state, are authorized and directed to execute and deliver such proper deeds of conveyance as well as revest the title to such lands in such county, and when such lands or the use thereof were conveyed or donated to an agricultural and industrial society, such proper deeds or conveyance shall be executed and delivered by such society by its proper officers. However, the state may at any time within one year after title to any such lands revests, by proper conveyance in such county, remove any structures erected thereon by or for the state subsequent to the acquisition of such lands by the state.
The board may vote an amount which it considers sufficient to aid in the purchase of, or to make improvements upon the fairgrounds for any organized agricultural society, or to aid any organized agricultural society or any incorporated poultry association in any of its public exhibitions held or to be held; and any amount so voted shall be paid upon demand by the treasurer to the treasurer of such organized agricultural society, who shall keep an accurate record of the expenditure thereof by such society, and file a verified copy of such record with the clerk within one year after the receipt of such amount.
The board may provide for and conduct county fairs and exhibitions if a majority of the electors in the county so approve, in a referendum, and for such purpose may:
Acquire by deed or lease real estate and make improvements on such real estate.
Appropriate funds to properly equip, manage and control the fair or exhibition.
Adopt rules and regulations for the management and control of the property, fair or exhibition and for the appointment and salaries of persons necessary therefor.
Advocacy for women and agriculture.
The board may appropriate money to county commissions to conduct advocacy activities on behalf of women or agriculture.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 1997 a. 35
; 1999 a. 150
; 2013 a. 14
; 2017 a. 207
A county board has the power to lease a public museum to a private corporation. Hart v. Ament, 177 Wis. 2d 694
, 500 N.W.2d 312
A special county board committee to plan and coordinate the need for planning trails for snowmobiles, bicycles, hiking, motorbikes, etc., is discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 259.
Possible county liability for 4-H club activities at a county fairgrounds is discussed. 61 Atty. Gen. 218.
Section 59.07 (95) [now s. 59.56 (1)] authorizes the appropriation of county funds for promotion of the fine arts. 61 Atty. Gen. 316.
Economic and industrial development. 59.57(1)(1)
County industrial development agency. 59.57(1)(a)
Subject to par. (b)
, the board may appropriate money for and create a county industrial development agency or to any nonprofit agency organized to engage or engaging in activities described in this paragraph, appoint an executive officer and provide a staff and facilities to promote and develop the resources of the county and of its component municipalities. To this end the agency may, without limitation because of enumeration, develop data regarding the industrial needs, advantages and sites in the county, acquaint the purchaser with the products of the county by promotional activities, coordinate its work with that of the county planning commission, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and private credit development corporations, and do all things necessary to provide for the continued improvement of the industrial climate of the county.
If a county with a population of 750,000 or more appropriates money under par. (a)
to fund nonprofit agencies, the county shall have a goal of expending 20 percent of the money appropriated for this purpose to fund a nonprofit agency that is actively managed by minority group members, as defined in s. 16.287 (1) (f)
, and that principally serves minority group members.
Industrial development agencies. 59.57(2)(a)
(a) Short title.
This subsection shall be known and may be cited as the “Industrial Development Law".
It is found and declared that industries located in this state have been induced to move their operations in whole or in part to, or to expand their operations in, other states to the detriment of state, county and municipal revenue arising through the loss or reduction of income and franchise taxes, real estate and other local taxes, and thereby causing an increase in unemployment; that such conditions now exist in certain areas of the state and may well arise in other areas; that economic insecurity due to unemployment is a serious menace to the general welfare of not only the people of the affected areas but of the people of the entire state; that such unemployment results in obligations to grant public assistance and in the payment of unemployment insurance; that the absence of new economic opportunities has caused workers and their families to migrate elsewhere to find work and establish homes, which has resulted in a reduction of the tax base of counties, cities and other local governmental jurisdictions impairing their financial ability to support education and other local governmental services; that security against unemployment and the preservation and enhancement of the tax base can best be provided by the promotion, attraction, stimulation, rehabilitation and revitalization of commerce, industry and manufacturing; that there is a need to stimulate a larger flow of private investment funds from banks, investment houses, insurers and other financial institutions; that means are necessary under which counties so desiring may create instrumentalities to promote industrial development and such purpose requires and deserves support from counties as a means of preserving the tax base and preventing unemployment. It is therefore declared to be the policy of this state to promote the right to gainful employment, business opportunities and general welfare of the inhabitants thereof and to preserve and enhance the tax base in counties and municipalities by the creation of bodies, corporate and politic, which shall exist and operate for the purpose of fulfilling the aims of this subsection and such purposes are hereby declared to be public purposes for which public money may be spent and the necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is declared a matter of legislative determination.
In this subsection, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Federal agency" includes the United States, the president of the United States and any department of or corporation, agency or instrumentality that is created, designated or established by the United States.
“Industrial development agency" or “agency" means a public body corporate and politic created under this subsection, which agency shall have the characteristics and powers described in this subsection.
“Industrial development project" means any site, structure, facility, or undertaking comprising or being connected with or being a part of an industrial, manufacturing, commercial, retail, agribusiness, or service-related enterprise established or to be established by an industrial development agency.
Formation of industrial development agencies. 59.57(2)(d)1.
Any county upon a finding by the board that there is a need therefor may cause to be formed an agency. Except as provided under s. 59.82
, the agency shall be the sole agency and instrumentality of the county for the purposes stated in this subsection.
Any adjoining counties upon a finding by their boards that there is need therefor may jointly cause to be formed an agency which shall be the sole agency and instrumentality of the counties for the purposes stated in this subsection.
The board may appropriate such sums of money as are necessary or advisable for the benefit of the agency and prescribe the terms and conditions of such appropriation.
The agency shall be a separate and distinct public instrumentality and body corporate and politic exercising public powers determined to be necessary by the state for the purposes set forth in par. (b)
. The agency shall have no power at any time to pledge the credit or taxing power of the state, any county, or any municipality or political subdivision, but all of its obligations shall be considered to be obligations solely of the agency.
Organization of industrial development agencies.
All of the following apply to an agency:
Proposed articles of incorporation and proposed bylaws shall be made available for inspection by any municipality within the county for a period of at least 30 days and shall then be submitted to the board for approval.
The articles of incorporation shall be signed and acknowledged by persons designated by the board or where counties join in the formation of the agency by the boards of those counties and shall include at least 3 of the following from each county: the county executive, if there is one; the chairperson of the board; the chairperson of the board finance committee, if there is one; the county corporation counsel and the county auditor or treasurer in counties having no county auditor, and only those persons so signing and acknowledging the articles of incorporation shall for the purposes of ch. 181
be the incorporators of the agency.
The provisions of ch. 181
, except such as are inconsistent with this subsection and except as otherwise specifically provided in this subsection, shall be applicable to such agency. The articles of incorporation shall specifically state that the agency is a public instrumentality created under the industrial development law and organized in accordance with the requirements of ch. 181
and that the agency shall be subject to ch. 181
to the extent that said chapter is not inconsistent with this subsection.
The articles of incorporation shall provide for 2 classes of members who shall be designated as county members and public members and shall fix the number of each class, but the county members, at all times, shall constitute not less than a majority of the total authorized members. All members of each class shall be designated by the board and shall hold office at the pleasure of the board, except that in counties having a county executive, the members shall be designated by the county executive subject to confirmation by the board. The agency shall be subject to dissolution and its corporate authority terminated upon resolution adopted by a majority of the board, or of the boards of each county where counties join in the formation of the agency whereupon the members shall proceed immediately to dissolve the agency, wind up its affairs and distribute its remaining assets as provided in this subsection.
The articles of incorporation shall provide for 2 classes of directors, each class to consist of such number as is provided in the bylaws. The county executive, if there is one, the chairperson of the board, the chairperson of the board finance committee, if there is one, the county corporation counsel and the county auditor or treasurer in counties having no county auditor, shall be members of the board of directors by virtue of their office and as representatives of the county in which they hold the office and the board of each county shall have the right to designate such additional county directors as the bylaws authorize. The county directors shall at all times constitute not less than a majority of the total authorized number of directors. Public directors shall be appointed by the board and shall hold office at the pleasure of the board.
The corporate income of the agency shall not inure to any private person. Upon the dissolution of the agency all net assets after payment or provision for the payment of all debts and obligations shall be paid to the county in which the agency is located or if counties have joined in the formation of the agency then to such counties in such shares as is provided in the articles of incorporation.
Operating authority of industrial development agencies.
Subject to par. (fm)
, the agency is granted all operating authority necessary or incidental to carrying out and effectuating the purposes of this subsection including, without limitation because of enumeration, the following:
To grant financial aid and assistance to any industrial development project, which may be loans, contracts of sale and purchase, leases and such other transactions as are determined by the agency.
Within the boundaries of the county or the counties joining in the formation of the agency to acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise any real or personal property or any interest therein or mortgage or other lien thereon; to hold, improve, clear and redevelop any such property; to sell, assign, lease, subdivide and make the property available for industrial use and to mortgage or otherwise encumber the property.
To borrow money and to execute notes, bonds, debentures and other forms of indebtedness; to apply for and accept advances, loans, grants and contributions and other forms of financial assistance from the federal, state or county government and from municipalities and other public bodies and from industrial and other sources; to give such security as is required by way of mortgage, lien, pledge or other encumbrance, but any obligations for the payment of money shall be issued by the agency only after approval in such manner as is determined by the board or boards where counties have joined in the formation of the agency and is prescribed in the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the agency.
To loan money for such period of time and at an interest rate that is determined by the agency and to be secured by mortgage, pledge or other lien or encumbrance on the industrial development project for which the loan was made or in other appropriate manner, which mortgage or other lien may be subordinate to a mortgage or other lien securing the obligations representing funds secured from independent sources which are used in the financing of the industrial development project and which mortgage or other lien and the indebtedness secured thereby may be sold, assigned, pledged or hypothecated.
To enter into any contracts considered necessary or helpful and in general have and exercise all such other and further authority as is required or necessary in order to effectuate the purposes of this subsection.
Limitations on authority of industrial development agencies.
No agency may take any action under par. (f) 2.
for an industrial development project that is a commercial, retail, agribusiness, or service-related enterprise.
Examination and audit.
The accounts and books of the agency, including its receipts, disbursements, contracts, mortgages, investments and other matters relating to its finances, operation and affairs shall be examined and audited annually by the county auditor or by an independent certified public accountant designated by the board or boards where counties have joined in the formation of the agency.
An industrial development agency shall not enter into any transaction which entails moving an industrial plant or facility from a municipality within the county to another location outside the municipality if the common council or the village board of the municipality where the plant or facility is then situated, within 45 days after receipt of written notice from the agency that it proposes to enter into such transaction, objects thereto by resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of its council or board and approved by its mayor or president.
The state pledges to and agrees with the United States and any other federal agency that if any federal agency constructs, loans or contributes any funds for the construction, extension, improvement or enlargement of any industrial development project, or any portion thereof, the state will not alter or limit the rights and powers of the agency in any manner which would be inconsistent with the due performance of any agreements between the agency and any such federal agency, and the agency shall continue to have and may exercise all powers granted in this subsection, so long as the powers are necessary or desirable for the carrying out of the purposes of this subsection.
This subsection shall be construed liberally to effectuate the purposes hereof and the enumeration therein of specific powers shall not operate to restrict the meaning of any general grant of power contained in this subsection or to exclude other powers comprehended in such general grant.
Subject to par. (b)
, a county board of a county in which no cities or villages are located may exercise all powers of cities under s. 66.1105
. If the board exercises the powers of a city under s. 66.1105
, it is subject to the same duties as a common council under s. 66.1105
and the county is subject to the same duties and liabilities as a city under s. 66.1105
A board acting under par. (a)
may not create a tax incremental district unless the town board of each town in which the proposed district is to be located adopts a resolution approving of the creation of the district.
The 25 percent vacant land limitation for a tax incremental district that is not a district suitable for industrial sites, as described in s. 66.1105 (4) (gm) 1.
, does not apply to a tax incremental district that is created under this subsection.
An industrial development corporation is a separate municipality or public agency for purposes of the Wisconsin retirement fund and public employees social security fund. 60 Atty. Gen. 66.
Construct, purchase, acquire, develop, improve, extend, equip, operate and maintain airports and airport facilities and buildings, including without limitation because of enumeration, terminal buildings, hangars and parking structures and lots, and including all property that is appurtenant to or necessary for such purposes.
Finance such projects, including necessary sites, by the issuance of revenue bonds as provided in s. 66.0621
, and payable solely from the income, revenues and rentals derived from the operation of the project financed from the proceeds of the bonds. If any such project is constructed on a site owned by the county prior to the issuance of the bonds the county shall be reimbursed from the proceeds of the bonds in the amount of not less than the reasonable value of the site. The reasonable value of the site shall be determined by the board after having obtained written appraisals of value by 2 general appraisers, as defined in s. 458.01 (11)
, in the county having a reputation for skill and experience in appraising real estate values. Any bonds issued under this subsection shall not be included in arriving at the constitutional debt limitation.
Operate airport projects or lease such projects in their entirety or in part, and any project may include space designed for leasing to others if the space is incidental to the purposes of the project.
A county in this state may establish, maintain and operate a comprehensive unified local transportation system, the major portion of which is or is to be located within or the major portion of the service of which is or is to be supplied to the inhabitants of such county, and which system is or is to be used chiefly for the transportation of persons and freight.
The transit commission shall be designated “Transit Commission" preceded by the name of the establishing county.
“Commission" means the local transit commission created hereunder.
“Comprehensive unified local transportation system" means a transportation system that is comprised of motor bus lines and any other local public transportation facilities, the major portions of which are within the county.
The commission shall consist of not less than 7 members to be appointed by the board, one of whom shall be designated chairperson, except that in a county having a county executive, the executive shall make the appointments.
The first members of the commission shall be appointed for staggered 3-year terms. The term of office of each member thereafter appointed shall be 3 years.
No person holding stocks or bonds in a corporation subject to the jurisdiction of the commission, or who is in any other manner pecuniarily interested in any such corporation, shall be a member of, nor be employed by, the commission.
The commission may appoint a secretary and employ such accountants, engineers, experts, inspectors, clerks and other employees and fix their compensation, and purchase such furniture, stationery and other supplies and materials, as are reasonably necessary to enable it properly to perform its duties and exercise its powers.
The commission may adopt rules relative to the calling, holding and conduct of its meetings, the transaction of its business, the regulation and control of its agents and employees, the filing of complaints and petitions and the service of notices thereof and conduct hearings.
For the purpose of receiving, considering and acting upon any complaints or applications which may be presented to it or for the purpose of conducting investigations or hearings on its own motion the commission shall hold regular meetings at least once a week except in the months of July and August in each year and special meetings on the call of the chairperson or at the request of the board.
The commission may adopt a seal, of which judicial notice shall be taken in all courts of this state. Any process, writ, notice or other instrument which the commission may be authorized by law to issue shall be considered sufficient if signed by the secretary of the commission and authenticated by such seal. All acts, orders, decisions, rules and records of the commission, and all reports, schedules and documents filed with the commission may be proved in any court in this state by a copy thereof certified by the secretary under the seal of the commission.
The jurisdiction, powers and duties of the commission shall extend to the comprehensive unified local transportation system for which the commission is established including any portion of such system extending into adjacent or suburban territory within this state lying outside of the county not more than 30 miles from the nearest point marking the corporate limits of the county.
The initial acquisition of the properties for the establishment of, and to comprise, the comprehensive unified local transportation system shall be subject to s. 66.0803
or ch. 197
Any county may by contract under s. 66.0301
establish a joint municipal transit commission, in cooperation with any municipality, county or federally recognized Indian tribe or band.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, no joint municipal transit commission under subd. 1.
may provide service outside the corporate limits of the parties to the contract under s. 66.0301
which establish the joint municipal transit commission unless the joint municipal transit commission receives financial support for the service under a contract with a public or private organization for the service. This subdivision does not apply to service provided by a joint municipal transit commission outside the corporate limits of the parties to the contract under s. 66.0301
which establish the joint municipal transit commission if the joint municipal transit commission is providing the service on April 28, 1994, without receiving financial support from a public or private organization for the service, and elects to continue the service.
In lieu of providing transportation services, a county may contract with a private organization for the services.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, no county may contract with a private organization to provide service outside the corporate limits of the county unless the county receives financial support for the service under a contract with a public or other private organization for the service. This subdivision does not apply to service provided under subd. 1.
outside the corporate limits of a county if a private organization is providing the service on April 28, 1994, without receiving financial support from a public or private organization for the service, and the county elects to continue the service.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, no transit commission may provide service outside the corporate limits of the county which establishes the transit commission unless the transit commission receives financial support for the service under a contract with a public or private organization for the service. This paragraph does not apply to service provided by a transit commission outside the corporate limits of the county which establishes the transit commission if the transit commission is providing the service on April 28, 1994, without receiving financial support from a public or private organization for the service, and elects to continue the service.
Public transit in counties.
A board may:
Purchase and lease buses to private transit companies that operate within and outside the county.