Village of East Troy One, Town of East Troy Zero.

The Town of East Troy formed the Lake Beulah Management District, and the District passed an ordinance purporting to regulate the removal of groundwater from the District. Around the same time (I’m thinking not a coincidence), the Village of East Troy was constructing a well which had been in the planning stages for some years, and for which the Village had a permit issued by the DNR pursuant to Wis. Stat. 280. The Village chose to ignore the District’s attempts to enforce its ordinance and continued construction and eventual operation of its well, and the District sued. The circuit court held that Wis. Stats. 280/281 and the District ordinance were in conflict, and that the state law was preemptive of local ordinances. The District appealed, and the appellate court upheld the circuit court decision, noting that the legislature had expressly given the DNR control over regulation of groundwater and large wells such as this municipal well.

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