Summerset - Civic Life & History
Summerset grew from a housing development to an incorporated city amid an array of challenges, including infrastructure problems, lawsuits and vocal opponents to its very existence.
The city, located west of Interstate 90 between Black Hawk and Piedmont, was incorporated following a June 7, 2005, election led by developer Ron Baker. Baker first announced his intention to turn his development into an incorporated town in 2003. In the 2005 election, 132 people voted in favor of the incorporation and 75 voted against.
Eight months after the election, Meade County officials reported that they still had not received a boundary map of the city, raising concerns about the viability of Summerset long-term.
At the same time, a petition drive began calling for another election to dissolve the new city. A Summerset man also filed a lawsuit seeking the same outcome.
Those petitions and lawsuits failed, but in July 2006, the city of Summerset sued Baker for $1.75 million, alleging that he was responsible for the street’s many sinkholes and the sewer drainage problems. In June, 2007, Seventh Circuit Judge Janine Kern dismissed the lawsuit, noting that the city didn’t officially exist at the time the infrastructure was built.
The city’s infrastructure issues continued, prompting city officials to raise utility fees by 52 percent in 2011 to help fund fixes.
Today, Summerset has approximately 415 residences and continues its development as a new city.
The Summerset Homeowners Association, a group of Summerset residents, meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of January, April, July and October, at the meeting room of Summerset City Hall.
As a new city, the community has yet to develop its own library or other cultural institutions. As residents of Meade County, Summerset's citizens have full access to the Sturgis Library.