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Western Wisconsin Intergovernmental Collaborative open to 99 units of government in Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties in Western Wisconsin

Type of Jurisdictions Involved



Specific Jurisdictions Involved

Local governments in St. Croix, Polk, and Pierce Counties - open to 99 entities.



St. Croix





Type of Agreement

Regional collaborative initiative


Implementation and Incubation

  • Developed from a series of forums held by the University of Wisconsin - River Falls in 2004 and 2005
  • Desire to bring local units of government together to talk about the issues facing the western Wisconsin region, which is experiencing changes brought on by population growth
  • Issues discussed at the forum included transportation, land use planning, wastewater, and stormwater pollution, leadership development, economic development, and community development
  • The collaborative, entitled the Western Wisconsin Collaborative Initiative, serves as a forum on the dicussion of issues and best practices for addressing them
  • Need for more communication and collaboration between governmental leaders throughout the region
  • WWIC officially born in 2006 as a non-profit organization
  • Membership voluntary, and open to any and all local government officials
  • Charged annual dues


Factors Involved

  • Need for regional collaboration and communication
  • Area facing numerous issues due to its location in the Minneapolist - St. Paul metropolitan area, which is experiencing population growth
  • Forums led to a desire to create a formal organization which could attempt to address the changing needs of the area
  • Desire was for organization to be advisory in nature, with no formal authority
  • Resistance to the creation of any formal regional government entity
  • Serve as voice for the region
  • Create a more unified identity




  • Sharing of information, experiences, and best practices
  • Serve as a forum for problem-solving



  • Quarterly meetings began in 2006
  • Regional transportation was a recurring topic at meetings, among others
  • Attendance at meetings was not what had hoped
  • Discussion was lively among those that did attend meetings
  • Communities reluctant to become official members
  • By 2007, WWIC had failed to grow
  • Conducted survey in 2010 which indicated that many jurisdictions in the region participated in regional collaboration inititatives already, and time and other constraints led to poor attendance, as many did not feel the group would bring sufficient enough interest


Web Site



Project Contact

Dr. Neil Kraus
Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin - River Falls






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