Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Waukesha: 'Can I Get An Earmark? Government Haters...RoJo, F. James...Anybody'?

Out Waukesha way, in the heart of Red State country, the water utility is looking for a $50 million federal handout.

Waukesha has been on the track of a bailout for its overblown water plans (current Lake Michigan diversion plan, through Oak Creek/cost estimate is, with inflation, etc. etc. at $200 million), for years. Oh, the ironies.

In fact, Waukesha has a long history of chasing after federal dollars, and has employed contractors specializing in federal funding - - so facing a big diversion piping cost has sent
Waukesha to shake the DC money tree, for years, as this 2010 report indicates

The project right now calls for $164 million, an early estimate, and Waukesha is hoping to get a piece of a $100 million, Cong. Jim Sensenbrenner(R) - supported federal package to transfer much of the cost from water rate-payers to federal taxpayers.
I haven't reviewed Waukesha's many legal, funding, public relations and technical consultant contracts for some time, but water utility records show two "Federal Funding Contracts" running between 2004-2009 with Donald F. Roecker, based in Wisconsin, for annual amounts from $32,500 to $42,500, and with Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, in Washington, DC, for between $42,500 and $64,000, on various Waukesha water matter.

Utility correspondence in 2008 cites efforts to obtain various sources of federal funding including "additional EPA earmarks" and US Army Corps of Engineering funding for long-term infrastructure needs.

More from 2010 about efforts to defray some of the diversion infrastructure costs, here:
As Daniel Duchniak, the Waukesha Water Utility manager said in a report quoted by Waukeshanow.com:
"We will be actively seeking federal grants and other financing options that would help defray the cost," Duchniak said in a separate memo distributed Tuesday to the Common Council.
Without any federal grant assistance, a Milwaukee water supply would cost residential ratepayers an estimated $142.28 each quarter of the year, up from the current quarterly water charge of $66.85, Duchniak says in the memo.

Quarterly charges for an Oak Creek water supply, with no federal grants to offset construction costs, would be an estimated $191.83. A Racine connection would cost residents $211.39 per quarter."
To the Daily Reporter, Duchniak said he hoped Waukesha might get between $25-50 million of a $100 million US Army Corps of Engineers' pot, and that along with the office of US Sen. Herb Kohl, US Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was helping write the grant application, too.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

buncha moochers looking for gubblement handouts.

Anonymous said...


It was Democrat and former Mayor, Larry Nelson who pushed the application to the DNR before leaving office.

Regardless, let's see if Ryan and Johnson say "No.". An earmark for Waukesha after the sequestration would illuminate, yes - hypocrisy.

Water Lily said...

Makes you wonder what ROI Waukesha taxpayers received for their heavy investments over 5 years with Donald F. Roecker and Barbour, Griffith & Rogers? Duchniak and frmr Mayor Nelson cranked out from taxpayers at least several trips to DC to rub elbows (and maybe share an expensive bottle of wine at a fancy DC restaurant) with the big boys and slick Washington lobbyists.

The Freeman slobbers all over Duchniak and prints his every utterance without fact-checking a single keystroke; the JS thinks it's NEWS that for one day, Duchniak had to postpone his lobbying trip (boo hoo!) without asking how much the trip would cost, who else was going along, why is it necessary to fly there in the first place--just to meet with staffers? couldn't that be done when legislators are here? or by phone?--or are previous "Federal Funding Contractors" still on the payroll and did they generate enough grants and pork to cover their retainers. Most important of all: how much grant money was given to the Water Utility and how was it spent?

Uh? said...

Boondoggle ! This is not sustainable. The maintenance is too expensive. The Feds might take it away.

James Rowen said...

Waukesha claims large grant wins over the years attributable to the consultants.

My point was to show that a DC push is nothing new, though Sensenbrenner and Johnson are fiscal conservatives opposed to earmarking, right?

Water Lily said...

I've heard the same claims by Waukesha, but they've also claimed to need 24 - 26 mgd and later lowered that to 18.5 mgd and according to the NWF report, may not be able to justify even that much.

My point is, many claims have been made, how many are true? I'd still like to see the actual numbers:
what was spent, what was returned, how were those grants accounted for and spent. Regardless of how many times they went to or who they sent to the federal well.

As with everything else that gushes out of the water utility and city, we're just expected to take their word for it--or call it koolaid and lick our lips?

That Sensenbrenner for years has been supportive of this boondoggle while unsupportive of raising taxes or spending money on just about anything is just more same old, same old from Mt Sensenbrenner. It won't be interesting or fun to watch RoJo try to spin it: even he has given up expecting himself to make any sense.