Monday, November 30, 2009

Milwaukee's Lake Michigan Water Sales Criteria Posted Below

Much has been written and far more will be said and referenced in the months and years to come about the conditions the City of Milwaukee has placed on selling Lake Michigan water to suburbs or more distant communities like the City of Waukesha.

Waukesha has said Milwaukee is the preferred supplier, so what lies ahead if all eight Great Lakes states approve the diversion application Waukesha has said it will release December 8th is whether Waukesha and Milwaukee can negotiate an agreement.

So I thought I would post a link to the Milwaukee Common Council resolution, attachments and related items that together in one file encompass and explain the Milwaukee sales' conditions.

Note that the file contains documentation describing a water sale agreement between the City of Cleveland and surrounding communities.

That agreement contains far better financial terms than were agreed to last year between Milwaukee and New Berlin, and it contains non-compete, no-raiding understandings that protect Cleveland from job losses to the communities buying its water.

Expect Milwaukee aldermen to use the Cleveland agreement to illuminate and underpin Milwaukee's expectations and goals.

The agreement between New Berlin and Milwaukee did not contain the no-complete/raiding understanding.

Also note that the vote to adopt the Milwaukee conditions as city policy was unanimous, and tightened earlier resolutions, so if and when Waukesha begins negotiations with Milwaukee - - and certainly those negotiations will involve the Mayor of Milwaukee, too - - the Common Council is already on record with a definitive and solid policy.

Waukesha may say the conditions are too costly, or onerous.

Milwaukee will say it is behaving like a seller in a strong position, with needs of its own to meet.

Given how long this entire process will take - - including the eight-state review - - the failure of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to write and approve administrative rules governing the application review process appears more and more irrational.

And because that failure will annoy some of the other states, leading to procedural or legal delays, the DNR could be responsible for undermining any process through which Milwaukee and Waukesha might reach a sales' agreement.

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