Yet Another Shot Fired In The Waukesha vs. Waukesha Water War
I've written extensively about the battle over water between the City of Waukesha and its smaller, but now fully-engaged neighboring and more rural Town of Waukesha - - some items here, or here - - but now the Town has taken it up another notch with a condemnation of water rich land that the City has also condemned, but failed to purchase.
Remember - - the City included in its proposal for a Lake Michigan water diversion some land within the Town - - but without asking the Town about it first, and is still awaiting word from the Town if it wants to be included in the water access map.
That map was drawn up by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, (SEWRPC) - - also without asking the Town if it wanted to be included.
Without a hearing, either - - just based on the City's request by letter.
Some planning process, eh?
Interesting move by the Town of Waukesha . . . .
This issue --City vs Town re Lathers -- is going to be not only a defining point of the GL Compact implementation, but also in Wisconsin a defining moment regarding the legal roles of townships and the ability of municipalities to condemn and annex township land to gain access to water resources for municiple needs.
I'd like to see the convergence of these issues force municipalities to plan for their future water needs and growth through par excellence land use planning. In the east, many municipalities are purchasing ag or open lands around their city lands which filter rain and run-off while recharging local groundwaters. These water resources can also be used for recreation and open spaces that enhance the lives of city residents.
Good insights, Betsey. Sounds like the east is acknowledging the irreplaceable value of the ag lands.
I'm proud to say we have a long history of staunchly protecting our wetlands for for their role in maintaining water purity. Perhaps we would do well to expand protection into ordinary ag lands.
Unfortunately for the city this should have raised a red flag because it's been whispered that the DNR will require Waukesha to cap it's existing wells should they get the diversion. Lather property was suppose to be a backup source if there should be a catastrophic failure in the pipeline i.e. a terrorism or major mechanical failure.
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