Monday, January 11, 2010

Milwaukee to Study Water Supply Costs Facing Waukesha

I am hearing that the City of Milwaukee - - having decided not to study the value of water it could sell to communities like Waukesha - - has decided at least at the committee level to study what it thinks it will cost a city like Waukesha to purchase water from the potential sellers Waukesha has said it might select as the ultimate supplier - - Milwaukee (preferred), and also Oak Creek and Racine.

Here is a link to the council file on the matter.

Both Racine and Oak Creek present Waukesha with problems not faced by Milwaukee, namely infrastructure, capacity, piping distance and water quality.

Which means the Racine and Oak Creek options, while perhaps real on paper, or in a bargaining ploy, are in fact not true or likely options.

I suppose the thinking behind the study is to be able to professionally second-guess Waukesha should it claim that Racine and Oak Creek are offering bargain-basement supply costs to Waukesha, necessitating a low-ball purchase agreement with Milwaukee.

It's not a bad idea, and helps establish a politically-acceptable deal with Waukesha fromf Milwaukee officiais, but fails to answer what value the water will add to Waukesha's tax base, employment rolls and overall growth.

And, no doubt, Waukesha is free to challenge the study's outcome.


Anonymous said...

Are any of these officals talking about setting prices for water as a commodity to encourage efficient use of it?

Mr.J said...

I don't have any problem with the idea of charging Waukesha high prices for water from Lake Michigan. The outlying communities are populated with people who abandoned the city, seeking lower taxes, prepared to go without the many services we enjoy in the city. Now that there is a water problem, they again expect to get some cheap solution. Well, those of us who have stayed with the city, paid the taxes they scoff at each year, now have some leverage and it makes them uncomfortable. The attitude of entitlement Waukesha County brings to any conversation about taxes or resources only cements my position; since Waukesha County believes free-market economy should dictate their choice of where to live, they can allow that same free-market to dictate the price, whther they like it or not. The ploy to get competition from Kenosha or Oak Creek is ridiculous. The Lake Michigan communities should join together to regulate the resources, not participate in some silly pretext that the water that shores us all can be parcelled by one city over another.