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City gives B&S site green light
New property annexed into city
b&S property annexed
The City of Monroe Common Council unanimously annexed in two B&S development properties - about 115 total acres - on the city's east/northeast side.

MONROE — The city unanimously approved the annexation of nearly 115 acres of property near the new high school for future residential use. The Common Council agreed to expand to the east/northeast, allowing two large farm acreage properties into the city from the Town of Monroe for a new residential development during its May 20 meeting.

The development partnership known as B&S LLC owns 47.5 acres south of Wis. 11 along 32nd Avenue in Monroe — the property adjacent directly to the north of the new School District of Monroe high school campus — and another 69.59 acres to the northeast of the Wis. 11/59 interchange.

Less than a year ago, the school district agreed to a land swap involving the current MHS site on the south edge of town, and a larger site of more than 70 acres of B&S property on the east side along 31st Avenue. The new high school will be built in that location, and site work began in earnest earlier this week. 

“This is exciting because I know people grumble about taxes … but annexation of the kind proposed helps spread the tax burden,” said Ald. Richard Thoman. “We should hopefully see some relief (on tax bills) as building go up,” in the city.

The move to build the new school came in recent years and was voter-approved in a 2022 referendum, calling for spending $88 million in new tax dollars to get it done. That referendum was divisive at times, as was the selection process for the new school but officials eventually found consensus around the B&S swap proposal.

“All we’re doing is approving the annexation of about approx. 115 acres into the city,” said City Attorney Dan Bartholf. “That’s all we are doing tonight — we aren’t ready to put any streets in…that’s coming down at a later date.”

Ald. Tom Miller praised the deal in which the old high school site is swapped for the new one. He said it is clearing the way for not only the school, but for more development adjacent to the new site and within the urban setting the school will be leaving.

“I agree Monroe is on a growth spurt right now,” said Miller. “The city of Monroe needs to do whatever it can do to expand and get more tax dollars in here.”

In response to a question prior to the vote, City Administrator Brittney Rindy said the move to annex the B&S property does not limit its development priorities to that site only — or even in that part of the city. Rather, officials said, Monroe needs to grow in any place it can add desperately needed residential housing to accommodate a steady demand for workers from industries in town.

“That comes down to the goals and priorities and strategic plan of the city,” Rindy said, emphasizing that there are plenty of other opportunity for much needed growth elsewhere in Monroe.

The measure did require a 2/3s majority vote of the council to pass, which it did on Monday. The property will come into the city as commercially zoned and be converted to residential as development moves forward, officials said.

“It is a way for us to make a positive move forward in position and direction,” Mayor Donna Douglas said.