Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Brookfield Now Interested In City Of Milwaukee Water

Add the City of Brookfield to the municipalities interested in obtaining Lake Michigan water through the City of Milwaukee.

With some of the water ticketed for land outside of the Great Lakes basin, in Brookfield's southeastern corner.

Already on that out-of-the-basin list: The City of New Berlin, which has an application pending, and the City of Waukesha, which has consultants studying how to craft a formal application after two back-door applications to Gov. Jim Doyle went nowhere in 2006.

But with the legal structure for such applications stuck in the GOP-controlled State Assembly, all these applications are on hold.

Brookfield says it does need Lake Michigan water now.

Waukesha is pursuing new wells in the Town of Waukesha through land condemnation.

New Berlin says it needs the water now, though it could already have solved its water supply issues by purchasing radium-contamination removal filters that Brookfield has in operation.

There is talk that the State Assembly may approve the Compact following negotiations underway in Madison that would require Gov. Jim Doyle's approval, and also the State Senate's, since the Compact was already approved there with bi-partisan support.

Up to now, GOP leaders in the Assembly have turned a deaf ear to the pleas of New Berlin and Waukesha's Mayors who favor the Compact.

These Assembly Republicans have instead lined up with the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Metropolitan Builders Association, who, like State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), would rather throw the entire Compact approval process among the eight Great Lakes states into chaos than approve the Senate bill.

These business and political leaders want negotiations among the states re-opened to weaken diversion procedures, but those negotiations ended after four years in 2005, and the 27 months have been taken up with serious debates in the Great Lakes states, state-by-state, that have produced widespread agreement that the Compact, as written, is sound state and Great Lakes regional policy.

And: The State Senate bill affirms what four of the other states have already approved; adding Brookfield to the growing list of Waukesha County communities that need a workable Compact in place to meet their local water supply needs makes it more likely that, in the end, the Assembly will approve the Compact without major, deal-killing changes.


Anonymous said...

The SE corner of Brookfield is in the Lake Michigan basin. Brookfield straddles the sub-continental divide.

James Rowen said...

Some land in the SE corner in inside the basin, and some is outside (west of) the basin.