Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Waukesha Seeking $87 Million In Federal Funds, Earmarks, For Water Programs

The City of Waukesha has requested through the Wisconsin congressional delegation a total of $87 million, from three federal programs, to fund current and future water program needs, including ongoing radium treatment and potential new water sources from Lake Michigan and Western Waukesha wells, according to documents provided upon request by the Waukesha Water Utility.

With estimates of the Lake Michigan diversion and return flow efforts in the $50-$60 million range, the federal funding - - if obtained - - could conceivably pay for much or all of the work.

The applications continue a process Waukesha has followed in recent years that has included hiring lobbyists in Wisconsin and Washington, DC, and which has led to $2.65 million in grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the documents indicate.

Receiving funds at the level sought in the current proposals to Congress - - all carry a 2/10/09 date - - would dwarf the total received in the last few years, the documents indicate.

The 2009 requests of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation - - and Waukesha Water Utility general manager Daniel Duchniak said by email this morning there has been no response back yet - - seek the following:

$2 million from the US Department of Interior. That document is here.

$10 million from the EPA. That figure, along with a fact sheet and related materials, is in this document.

$75 million from a US Army Corps of Engineers program that would fund $100 million in activities in a service territory comprised of Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties. The remaining 25% would be a local match.

The document - - here - - does not indicate whether any other municipality in the two counties is part of the application.

[Updated graph] Duchniak said in follow-up emails Wednesday afternoon that "the $100 Million request is for Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties, not for the City of Waukesha," and that both Milwaukee County and the City of Milwaukee are aware of the funding request.

The document acknowledges that an approach to the Corps of Engineers for the two-county service area and funding is a strategic departure for Waukesha.

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