Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sprawl...I Mean, Development...Runs Up Public Costs

Remember when the Waukesha City Council rejected a developer's request that 300+ acres it owned at the edge of the city near the Vernon Marsh be annexed?

Sure there were concerns about the impact that a couple of hundred new residences would have on the Marsh, and its water supply - - and those fears are back as the City has moved to condemn some of the same land for new well sites - - but the big annexation fell through also because Council members knew that pushing city services to an expanding perimeter would jack up local taxes.

Which is a sure way to lose your office really fast in the heart of TABOR country.

Rising costs for expanding public services has always been the less-well-publicized downside of growth - - a lesson that Laurel Walker, the Waukesha County columnist for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says is becoming more repetitive in the wake of the county's explosive growth.

Whether it's new roads, bigger highway interchanges, or the need for more bureaucrats, the impact on taxpayers is nicely catalogued by Walker, here.

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