Wednesday, May 19, 2010

With Some Difficulty, Waukesha Examines Some Water Options

Waukesha's Common Council, at the behest of new Mayor Jeff Scrima, had a discussion Tuesday night about a radium-removal alternative to a Lake Michigan water source option.

Some Waukesha officials are unhappy with this unfolding process, but it indicates two things:

1. Scrima wants more consideration of alternatives - - implying as he did during his campaign that he disagreed with the $164 million Lake Michigan plan, and wanted more consideration of alternatives.

2. There is a continuing struggle in Waukesha over control of the water issue, thus over the reins of power in the City.

The Lake Michigan plan has yet to be released in final form: a draft passed the Common Council on April 8th.

The Waukesha Water Utility says it is tweaking the draft plan with minor changes, and does not need to resend it to the Council for fresh consideration.

But sending the plan to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources now to begin a lengthy review process would be interpreted as a political shot at Scrima and the majority of voters who picked him over Lake Michigan option supporter Larry Nelson.

So does the Common Council and Water Utility want the plan reviewed, and sent to the other Great Lakes states, without the enthusiastic support of the city's Mayor?

Big question. Huge question.

Final observation: Milwaukee officials next week will have a hard time figuring out speaks for Waukesha when meetings are held with Scrima, and also separately with Waukesha aldermen who support the Lake Michigan option.

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