Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Wrinkle In Waukesha's Stalled Water Diversion Plan

The City of Waukesha finally got the neighboring Town of Waukesha to agree to allow diverted Lake Michigan water into a portion of the town - - but now there is a dispute over how much diverted water the town should receive, and therefore how much the City will apply for.

Don Behm's story on the matter in the Journal Sentinel is here.

I'm also reproducing below an exchange of letters between the Town and City so you can judge for yourselves how the discussion is going and where it might be headed:

From the City to the Town:

February 12, 2013

Town Chairman and Supervisors
Town of Waukesha
W250 S3567 Center Road
Waukesha WI   53189

Dear Town Chairman and Town Supervisors:

I received an email from Chair Van Scyoc on January 31, 2013 outlining the action by the Town Board at their meeting on January 24, 2013.  This action followed a series of communications between the City and the Town that were based on the proposal by the Town of Waukesha dated September 18, 2012. In that September 18 proposal, the Town Board outlined the conditions it was seeking for agreement by the Town to be in the City of Waukesha's Water Service Area.   Subsequent to that letter, several meetings, emails and letters between the City and the Town resulted in a final offer from the City to the Town for the Town to be included in the City's water service area.

The approved motion at your January 24, 2013 meeting was as follows:

MOTION  Supervisor Banske moved to accept the conditions outlined by the City of Waukesha’s letter dated November 8, 2012 as attached and to include the demand allocated for the Town of Waukesha in the Great Lakes Application in the amount of not less than 0.55 MGD (million gallons per day); and to delineate the water service area based on the attached map, and to further direct the town attorney to prepare the necessary documentation to memorialize the Town of Waukesha limited inclusion of land within the water service area and to authorize the Town Chairperson to sign the agreement.  Further to instruct the Town Engineer to prepare a legal description of the delineated areas to be included with the submission of our inclusion, seconded by Chairman Van Scyoc, motion passed by roll call vote. 

After reviewing the motion, it was clear the Town did not accept the November 8th proposal of the City involving the terms under which the City would agree to in supplying water to the Water Service Area Plan as presented to the DNR and the Town.  Further, after discussing this matter with the DNR, the DNR believes the Town’s motion is flawed:

1)    The City’s proposal to the Town in its letter dated November 8, 2013, was predicated on the Town accepting the Water Service Area Plan as originally delineated by the City and submitted as part of its application to the DNR and all the governing bodies whose public water supply is addressed by the Plan.  The terms of the November 8th letter only apply to your decision to be “in or out” of the Water Service Area Plan.
The Town rejected the Water Service Area Plan by passing a motion which modified the Water Service Area Plan.  Therefore, contrary to your motion, the terms outlined by the City in the November 8, 2012 offer do not apply to the modified area and your actions constitute a counter offer.  

2)    The motion includes a volume of water “in the amount of not less than 0.55 MGD (millions of gallons per day)” to be allocated for the Town of Waukesha.  The volume was calculated based on population projections for full build-out of the lands within the Town of Waukesha based on the current land use plans for the Town. 
That population projection was then utilized to determine a demand allocation for the Town.
The 0.55 MGD is based on the water service plan for the Town, as delineated by SEWRPC, as originally proposed by the City being incorporated into the future Water Supply Service Area as referenced by the November 8th proposal.  Since the approved motion limits the amount of land to be included in the service area, the 0.55 MGD volume of water cited by the Town is inappropriate and excessive for the amount of land included which, most likely, will not be acceptable to the WDNR and will jeopardize the City's Application among the Great Lakes states. 
Based on these factors, the Town would need to reconsider their proposed service area with adjusted water supply volume relating to this newly proposed service area.  If the Town wishes water service supplied by the City of Waukesha, we suggest the following motion as an example:

The water service area to be supplied by the City of Waukesha shall be delineated based on the attached map.  A water supply allocation for the Town of Waukesha in the City of Waukesha Application for Great Lakes Water shall be based on the service area shown on the attached map.  The Town Board further directs the town attorney to prepare the necessary documentation to memorialize the Town of Waukesha limited inclusion of land within the water service area and directs the Town Chairperson to sign the agreement.  Further, the Town Board instructs the Town Engineer to prepare a legal description of the delineated water service areas to be included with the City of Waukesha Great Lakes Application.

The above example motion is consistent with the Town’s original intent and it should satisfy the needs of the DNR.   Alternatively, the Town could also opt to be completely “in” or “out” of the water supply and sewer service areas as offered by the City.

As you are aware, this piece of information is critical to the completion of the review of our application. Therefore, we would appreciate your immediate action on this matter.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Edmund M. Henschel
City Administrator

Cc:  Common Council
Water Commission, Daniel Duchniak, General Manager
Department of Natural Resources
Attorney de la Mora
From the Town to the City:
From: Angie E. Van Scyoc

Sent Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:25 AM


Cc: Angie E. Van Scyoc; Jamie Salentine

Subject: FW: Response to Town Motion on Water Service
Good Morning Ed -

Thank you for taking my call. We are in receipt of your letter dated February 12, 2013 which., among other things, indicates the DNR believes our motion is flawed.

You have indicated in our conversation this morning that Dan Duchniak has been in conversations with the DNR and has made that representation to you.

You also represent a number of items in your correspondence, including that the November 8th, 2012 offer from the city was predicated on the Water Service Area Plan that was presented to the DNR. You and I have discussed that this may have been an assumption on the city's part but certainly not the Town of Waukesha's and the November 8th letter does not reference this point as a stipulation.

Additionally the amount of water allocated to us is now being challenged.
The .55 MGD number was provided to us by Dan Duchniak, it is exactly half of what we were originally told would be our allocation, 1.1  million gallons. If the city is now saying the reduced amount of .55 MGD is not correct we need to have the basis on which these numbers are being determined to fully understand the reasoning, especially with such wide ranging changes, in order to intelligently discuss any new amount that is being proposed.

Lastly, you indicate that the city needs our '....immediate action on this matter.' I asked the question, what is it that you are asking us to take action on?

At this point, for me to bring this forward we need information.

One, what is the allocation and how was it determined with appropriate detail; and two, what is the City's position on the November 8th proposal which we fully accepted in our motion?

You indicated that my questions were fair and that you will get back to me. I look forward to the City's response.


Angie E. Van Scyoc
Town Chairman
Direct 414-254-1066
"Leadership with integrity"
 2010 Census 9133
W250 S3567 Center Road
Waukesha, WI  53189


Anonymous said...

Had SEWRPC held a public discussion and comment period on the originally proposed Waukesha Water Utility service area boundaries within the proposed and now included communities prior to the submission of the Great Lakes diversion exception application, this already would have been resolved.

How many more questions will be asked by the other Great Lakes states? Hundreds? What happened to the self imposed drop dead date for starting construction of the pipelines?

Reagan's Disciple said...

Looks like the City needs the Town a bit more than they are letting on.

Seems the city is just using this to get them to reopen discussions to include the whole service area. I hope our town supervisors hold firm and do not include those of us south of 59 in the service area.

Town of Waukesha resident said...

@Reagan's Disciple:

Then you'd better call or e-mail each town supervisor (can't be too hard, there's only 5) and let them know you support them in their original decision and that you don't WANT to be included in the city's water service area. And while you're at it, why not drop a few lines to the local yellow sheet, the Waukesha Freeman to stand up for the town. And oh yea, one more thing: vote in April to retain Angie Van Scyoc as Town Chair.