Friday, April 26, 2013

Spell Cast By Waukesha City's Water Diversion Letter

Two things.

1. There will be a Town of Waukesha public meeting Monday night to sort out the on-again, off-again Town inclusion in the City's Great Lakes diversion application - - which all began when SEWRPC put the Town in line for diverted water without consulting the Town or notifying the public.

So - - another meeting, another decision, more redundancy, but a good idea.

2. And speaking of SEWRPC:

The letter is from the Waukesha City Administrator, and while we all make mistakes and I've been known to be a spell check failure myself, the letter at the bottom misspells the first or last name of the SEWRPC Executive Director, a DNR water official, the City of Waukesha water utility general manager and the City Administrator himself.

Four strikes and yer out!

Here is the full text:

CITY ADMINISTRATOR    Edmund M. Henschel
201 DELAFIELD STREET WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN 53188-3633 TELEPHONE 262/524-3701 FAX 262/524-3899
April 25, 2013
Town Chairman and Supervisors Town of Waukesha W250 S3567 Center Road Waukesha WI    53189
Dear Town Chairman and Town Supervisors:

On October 16th the City of Waukesha (“City”) submitted a formal response to your September 18, 2012 proposal concerning the Waukesha Water Service Planning Area. Subsequent to receiving the City’s October 16th letter, a meeting with then Town Chairman Van Scyoc and Town Supervisor Banske was held to discuss the City’s response. Through the discussion, we understand the concerns of the Town are related to the Town’s potential loss of revenue as a result of annexations and the desire to preserve the water and water related resources to its residents.

This letter is a follow up to our meeting with Town representatives on April 13, 2013 and supersedes and replaces any of the City’s previous letters, which are now null and void. The terms set forth in this document are only valid if the Town of Waukesha approval of the Water Supply Service Area Plan is consistent with the “Planning area” as defined by SEWRPC in their letter dated December 23, 2008; and once the City of Waukesha receives all necessary approvals for a supply of Great Lakes water.

In addition, this offer requires action by the Town Board no later than April 30, 2013. If the offer is not accepted by April 30, 2013, the City will move forward with the area previously approved by the Town Board at its January 24, 2013 meeting and reaffirmed at its February 8, 2013 meeting. If the City is not successful with its Application, the Town’s approval of the Water Supply Service Area Plan and the conditions outlined in this letter are null and void.

1.    With regard to the joint consideration of petitions for annexations from territory within the Town of Waukesha to the City of Waukesha, the City will follow Wisconsin State law. The law provides a formal process by which property owners and electors may petition the City for annexation. The City agrees that the Town of Waukesha may represent its position to the City for consideration. This position will be considered by the Common Council when a request is made.

2.    With regard to annexations, the City of Waukesha will agree to compensate the Town of Waukesha for twenty (20) years at the Town’s mil rate for the value of the property at the time the annexation is approved by the City. This would be effective once the City receives all of the necessary approvals for its Application for Great Lakes Water and begins receiving Great Lakes Water.

3.    The City of Waukesha is in agreement that neither the Town of Waukesha, nor any of the property owners of the Town of Waukesha who are in the “Water Service Planning Area”, and who are not presently “customers” of the Waukesha Water Utility, will be assessed any charge(s)/cost(s) until and unless they are “connected” to the municipal water system which will provide water from Lake Michigan by their request and upon approval by the City.

4.    The City of Waukesha is in agreement that the Town of Waukesha may review the Letter of Intent and the contract between the City of Waukesha and the Lake Michigan Water Supplier, to be provided to the Town of Waukesha, as soon as available (which has already been done).

5.    The City of Waukesha is in agreement that the Town of Waukesha will not be encumbered or bound by any economic/social, development requirements of the Lake Michigan Water Supplier.

6.    The City of Waukesha is in agreement that the Town of Waukesha will be able to choose between purchasing Great Lakes Water from the City of Waukesha either on a wholesale or retail basis or combination of both. However, individual properties that receive water service will be provided water service on a retail basis. The purchase of water by the Town or owners of individual properties will require the approval of the Common Council when a specific request for water is made.

7.    The City of Waukesha is in agreement that the City of Waukesha shall confirm, in writing, the amount of water that will be allocated to the residents of the Town of Waukesha (as it is presently constituted). The amount of water so allocated shall be reserved strictly for use by the residents of the Town of Waukesha (as it is presently constituted) with the approval of the Common Council. Water allocation will be proportionately reduced if the boundaries of the Town of Waukesha are modified.

The Town’s support of the City’s application for water will protect residents in the Water Supply Service Area from problems such as the groundwater contamination that has contaminated private wells in the Town with molybdenum near the intersection of Highways 59 and 164; spills similar to the one that occurred in the Town of Jackson; or failing septic systems resulting in groundwater contamination. Without this support, the Town would be precluded from obtaining water from the City to resolve future potential groundwater contamination issues

We appreciate the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation the Town of Waukesha has exhibited through this process. The City understands the Town’s concern about its ability to continue to provide effective services to its residents in light of lost assessed value resulting from annexations. In addition to the twenty year revenue sharing offered above, the City would also propose entering into negotiations with the Town to provide certain services to the Town on a cost effective basis. Such services may include, but are not necessarily limited to: snow plowing, fire.EMS service, inspection service and other mutually beneficial services.

Edmunc M. Henschel City Administrator

cc: Common Council Water Commission

City Attorney Steve Crandell, Community Development Director Danield Duchniak, General Manager Ken Yonker Dale Shaver Eric Ebbersberger


Anonymous said...

The proposal is sooooo ambiguous.

I hope Town residents are smart enough to realize that this agreement will not permit an exit clause from the service area should the City not get approval for a first ever diversion exception.

Accepting this agreement will mean the City of Waukesha will control the future of the Town - and the length of that future.

Anonymous said...

The City continues to annex parts of the town and desires Lake Michigan water. But do those properties have a water contamination/public health concern? Or, are they developer/owners wanting to turn a profit with City services and rural living?

Betsey said...

Have you noticed that Mayor Scrima has been left off CC list not only this letter from Henschel, but also the last 2? Intentional or more stupid mistakes?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the town, but want no part of this service area. When they run mains, they will force the residents to connect within "x" years.

The scare tactics they are using are reprehensible. Waukesha is doing this because they need the town in the service area. Without us, they can not justify their overestimated water usage projections.

Anonymous said...

@Anon April 29th

We're not overestimating at all. I wish we could get the 25 million gallons per day we originally wanted. Boy, could we have made a lot of money in developing the Town had that happened! Alas, we'll take whatever the good ol' boy network can get us. Money is money.

Anonymous said...

Smart folk those Town people are. CYA in the deal to the City whereby the City must withdraw all wells in the Town if included in the service area. Smart because when the application is rejected, the City is done on the Lathers Property too.

Anonymous said...

Chicago drains 2 billion gallons per day the Mississippi. The author of this blog wouldn't contradict the liberal stance on any subject in any government in the US. That makes for boring, predictable writing.