Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Milwaukee Stand On Water Conservation Exposes SEWRPC's Suburban/Sprawl Bias

Props to the Milwaukee Common Council Public Works Committee and Mayor Barrett for making it clear that they will negotiate with the City of Waukesha about a sale of diverted Lake Michigan water - - but not with the Waukesha neighboring communities that Waukesha included in its diversion application.

Neighboring communities, by the way, that did not supply Milwaukee with information it said since 2008 it would need once negotiations began, and which Waukesha chose not to organize and submit for these client communities once it decided in 2010 to apply for water on their behalf.

Neighboring communities that have not said they need diverted water.

The committee meeting today and the narrative that Waukesha has put forth - - we didn't put those smaller communities in the application; that was done by the Southeastern Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) - - is an outrageous evasion of responsibility.

True, SEWRPC drew up a proposed service territory map, but Waukesha accepted it without editing or complaint.

But take Waukesha's explanation at face value for a moment: what does that say about SEWRPC - - an agency without a single City of Milwaukee representative, without that city office it said four years ago it was about to create, and that drew up the regional freeway expansion plan over Milwaukee objections because it took city land for more lanes to move people faster to the suburbs.

I've been arguing for years that Milwaukee should get itself out of SEWRPC, stop seeing its tax dollars sent there annually through the County to support the SEWRPC annual budget that is of no value to city residents and interests, and find a way to get planning in this area on an urban agenda.

Waukesha's timeline problems with finding a new water supply are entirely its own fault. If it wants Milwaukee water, it can work with Milwaukee - - or it can pursue sources in Oak Creek or Racine.

Time for Waukesha to stop hiding behind SEWRPC and redo that application.


Steve Schmuki said...

Great post. It is unfortunate that Waukesha, the community of my roots, continues to seek a one way street when it come to Great Lakes water. Give us what we need but don't try and leverage us with any of your big city concerns. If this were between businesses and not governments I suspect the negotiating parties would have everything on the table. Why should this be different?

Steve Schmuki


Looks like the lawyers will be coming out soon and paid for by the taxpayers of Wiscosnin.

So the DNR is essentially saying Milwaukee has to open the spigot for unlimited development in Walkersha without accountability?

Didn't know that about SEWRPC!!!

Anonymous said...

James Rowen said...
"True, SEWRPC drew up a proposed service territory map, but Waukesha accepted it without editing or complaint."

Public records of the committee creating the boundaries included a former Town of Waukesha elected official acting without authorization from the Town.

James Rowen said...

The map was drafted by SEWRPC staff, without public review, hearing or comment period.

Anonymous said...

Is SEWRPC an advisory agency or do they have legal standing to tell Waukesha what its service area must be?

Ie: Does Waukesha have to provide water to that area or could they simply say no, we'll stay within our own city limits.

Duchniak keeps stating over and over that SEWRPC determines the service area for Waukesha and Waukesha has no control as to who they must provide water to.