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Village of Deforest and Town of Windsor created a framework for settling boundary conflicts and sharing services

Type of Jurisdictions Involved



Specific Jurisdictions Involved

  • Village of DeForest
  • Town of Windsor








Type of Agreement

Cooperative Plan - 66.0307


Implementation and Incubation

After years of conflict and litigation, community leaders in DeForest and Windsor formed DAWN - DeForest and Windsor Now - to promote development/investment and building of tax base.  The two communities successfully resolved litigation over an annexation by entering into the 2004 Settlement Agreement under s. 66.0225 Wis. Stats.  In addition to resolving the annexation dispute, the 2004 settlement agreement also established future boundaries between the Village and Town and committed the communities to develop a more comprehensive cooperative boundary plan under s. 66.0307 Wis. Stats.  
After six  years of meeting and working on a cooperative plan, a final document was submitted to Wisconsin Department of Administration on July 13, 2010.  The WDOA approved the plan on Oct. 8, 2010 (approval decision here Windson Cooperative Plan - DOA Approval.pdf).  This Cooperative Plan replaces the 2004 Settlement Agreement.  The Plan will be in effect for 20 years, expiring on May 12, 2030.
The Cooperative Plan is available for viewing and download here:
Cooperative Plan - No Exhibits
Cooperative Plan - Exhibits 1 - 10
Cooperative Plan - Exhibits 11 - 18
The Cooperative Plan addresses boundaries between the two communities, including areas that will transition to the Village of DeForest, and areas that will transition to the Town of Windsor.  Past annexations have created islands of Town land surrounded by the Village, and they have created a large Village area that is completely surrounded by the Town.  These boundary irregularities have caused problems for community identity, planning, service delivery, and budgeting.  Therefore, the boundary changes that will occur because of the Cooperative Plan will improve this situation.
The Cooperative Plan also maintains a large rural area in Windsor by preventing it from being transferred to DeForest via annexation.  This will ensure a contigous block of land for future agricultural activity.  The Cooperative Plan also establishes joint planning, police protection standards, and joint services.


Factors Involved

Previous intergovernmental agreements laid the foundation for trust and cooperation.  Previous agreements included:

Years of slow economic growth, shrinking tax base, schools struggle with less funding



Benefits include:

  • Greater political stability regarding land use decisions and new development
  • Predictability of future development and land use patterns
  • Stability and predictability in land use and development should set the stage for greater private investment in area
  • Confirm and expand intergovernmental agreements around key services
  • Greater protection of water quality through a coordinated approach to stormwater management



Increased cooperation between the communities
Expedited longstanding disagreements School funding Increased tax base
Fire Protection & EMS - existing intergovernmental agreement established an area-wide fire and EMS department.  The Cooperative Plan recognizes and included this agreement but does not change it.
Police Protection - The Village has a police department of its own and the Town of Windsor contracts with the Dane County Sheriff's office for service.  The Plan does not directly affect the services provided by each community, although it does create service level standards for police protection.  This resolves a dispute stemming from the varying service levels between the communities.  A separate agreement was negotiated - the Intergovernmental Agreement on Police Protection Services (December 2009) - and incorporated into the Cooperative Plan.  As a result, minimum police protection standards are now in place.
Sewer Service & Water Service - this Plan impacts sewer and water service in three ways.  First, it recognizes and continues the "Sewer and Water Utility Neutral Policy" which is a policy developed by the 2004 Settlement Agreement in order to provide service as efficiently as possible to area residents, regardless of jurisdiction.  
Second, Windsor and DeForest have undertaken a Joint Utility Study to plan future extensions as efficiently as possible.  The communities agree that if the study concludes that existing lines should serve development in both communities, they will consider turning these lines over to the Madison Metro Sewerage District.  
Third, DeForest and Windsor agree to not object to Capitol Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) regarding each other's proposed utility extensions.
Community Center and Recreation Programs - the Intermunicipal Community Center and Senior Center Programs Agreement (1993) is incorporated into the Plan without change.
Stormwater Management - DeForest has an erosion control and stormwater management ordinance, while Windsor is regulated directly by Dane County's stormwater ordinances.  Through this Plan, the parties pledge mutual cooperation with coordinating stormwater management strategies as development occurs.  They also agree that where any inconsistency between stormwater ordinances exists, the ordinances of the negatively impacted municipality will control.
Municipal Court - The Plan does not impact or modify the pre-existing Intergovernmental Agreement on Joint Municipal Court (1996)


Web Site



Project Contact




Steve Fahlgren
Village Administrator, Village of DeForest
(608) 846-6751 ext 1103
Town of Windsor
(608) 846-3854



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