Publications FAQ 2

Are cities and villages required to have an official newspaper for publication of legal notices, ordinances, minutes, etc.?

Cities are required to designate newspapers for the publication of council proceedings and other city legal notices. Wis. Stat. sec. 985.06 Such newspapers must be published in the city, although a fourth class city in which there is no eligible paper published may designate a newspaper published in the county and having a general circulation in the city. Wis. Stat. sec. 985.06(2). A newspaper is “published” at the place from which its mailing permit is issued, except that if the place where a newspaper has its concentration of circulation has no primary post office, then it is published at the place it designates as its place of publication. Wis. Stat. sec. 985.01(5).

A village board may, but is not required to, designate a newspaper published or having general circulation in the village as its official paper or use it for specific notices. Alternatively, the village board may direct that other forms of publication, such as posting, be used, except that certain cases do require actual newspaper publication. The statutes specifically require the publication of: tax redemptions or sales, annexations, detachments, consolidations, incorporations and notices directed to specific individuals. Also, if an eligible newspaper is published in the village, village board proceedings and village ordinances imposing a forfeiture must be published in that newspaper even if the newspaper is not designated as the official newspaper. Wis. Stat. sec. 985.05(1).