Sunday, April 25, 2010

Water Deal With Milwaukee Requires More Than Money From Waukesha

Of course, a meeting between Milwaukee aldermen and new Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima is needed, as the Journal Sentinel notes editorially, to sort out Scrima's campaign statements at Milwaukee's expense.

And, yes, if a water contract is negotiated, and that would mean the Great Lakes states approved Waukesha's diversion application, then Waukesha should pay a fee to Milwaukee - - as has New Berlin (paltry as it was).

But as has been noted on this blog a number of times, Milwaukee's official city policy, approved by a unanimous vote of the Common Council, requires a community buying diverted water to meet regional transit, housing, development and other goals and processes.

Here is a link to a posting with the actual Milwaukee policy.

Waukesha aldermen were aware of the policy because as they were considering their city's diversion application they made it clear they wanted none of it.

They said they feared a loss of control, independence, and sovereignty.

They did not want this entangling alliance.

If Waukesha continues down this self-defeating road, Milwaukee will balk at selling water; Waukesha can buy lower quality drinking water from more distant Racine or Oak Creek - - adding to the estimated $164 million Lake Michigan option based on Milwaukee water access, and perhaps having also to help Oak Creek and/or Racine expand their treatment and piping infrastructure.

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