Friday, July 30, 2010

The Road To Sprawlville, Chapter XL: Tooling Around Near Waukesha

In this installment of our ongoing series, we look back at one item during Tuesday's Common Council meeting in Waukesha, where support for the city's application for Lake Michigan was reaffirmed.

There was discussion between Mayor Jeff Scrima and Waukesha Water Utility manager Dan Duchniak about that portion of the application that discloses Waukesha's intention to make diverted water available outside the city's current water service territory and into portions of Pewaukee, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha.

I have written about that issue several times, such as this posting.

Duchniak said the expanded service territory map was "a tool for planning," and noted that landowners in those municipalities would have to ask to be annexed, so water service provision to the much larger territory was not a given.

"I don't know if we will serve them in 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now. I don't know," he said.

Waukesha has a long history of accepting petitions for annexation.

And it's in the interest of the water utility to add customers.

That adds revenue to the utility that can be plowed back into maintenance and other operations - - a dynamic that has slowed of late, Duchniak has said.

So does anyone really think that this "tool for planning" will not be promoted by the utility, and by developers, or businesses looking to hook into Lake Michigan water?

Milwaukee, or any other potential water supplier to Waukesha, absolutely has to look at the potential boost to development and tax base gain provided by diverted water as a key factor in structuring a water sale agreement.

Call it a tool for planning, too.

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