Monday, November 4, 2019

New Berlin legislators join city officials, residents, balking at Waukesha water facilities' siting

Another twist in the never-ending saga of Waukesha's bid for a Lake Michigan diversion: Waukesha County legislators are registering a strong protest of Waukesha's building plans inside New Berlin:
                   PSC REF#:378775
P. O. Box 7882 Madison, WI 53707-7882
page1image3259395648 page1image3259396048
November 4, 2019
PSC Commissioners Valcq, Huebsch, and Nowak North Tower, 6th Floor
Hill Farms State Office Building
4822 Madison Yards Way

Madison, WI 53705
Dear PSC Commissioners,
We write to you today in regards to a matter that has recently come to our attention about Waukesha Water Utility’s proposed construction of a Booster Pump Station and Reservoir Tanks in Minooka Park. A number of our constituents have voiced grave concerns, which we share, regarding the scope and location of this project in New Berlin.
As you know, Waukesha Water Utility is in the process of securing the ability to access water from Lake Michigan for its municipal water supply. In order to facilitate that, it proposed to run pipeline through a number of municipalities in the Milwaukee and Waukesha area, including New Berlin. The current proposal calls for the pipeline to be buried along stretches of Coffee Road over the course of the next few years. This is no small matterNew Berlin recently completed a complete resurfacing of Coffee Road, at great expense and significant inconvenience to residents. Now, Waukesha Water Utility is seeking to further burden residents with disruptions in order to accommodate this project. While we are relieved that they have pledged to restore the condition of the road to its current excellent condition after the completion of the project, it is no small matter for them to burden New Berlin residents with this project after they just suffered through the lengthy reconstruction.
However, the gravest concern that we have with this project has to do with the Booster Pump and Reservoir Facility. Waukesha Water Utility proposes to build a 16,000 square pumping facility that dwarfs existing facilities in the City. In addition, the project calls for the construction of two massive 9 million gallon water reservoir tanks, and the current plans call for the construction to take two years. We understand that Waukesha Water has made efforts to lessen the impact of the facility through design changes and landscaping, but the simple reality is that these are 30+ foot tall water storage tanks and cannot be covered up by planting a few trees. These large industrial structures and the heavy construction necessary to build them will significantly alter the small-town feel of our City.
New Berlin residents have expressed serious reservations about this project, and their concerns are well- founded. Our City is willing to accommodate the pipeline and associated disruptions necessary to assist Waukesha in its water sourcing. However, it is our position that this proposed facility does not belong in New Berlin. Rather, Waukesha should accept responsibility for siting this facility that is solely for their
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
   RECEIVED: 11/04/2019 3:07:53 PM
benefit. We encourage the Public Service Commission and Waukesha Water Utility to explore alternative locations in Waukesha or other areas that are amenable to accepting such a large facility.
We believe that this large installation will seriously impact the quality of life of New Berlin residents, particularly those in the immediate vicinity, and jeopardize the character and residential feel of the City of New Berlin. It is our hope that the Public Service Commission will take into consideration the outpouring of opposition from New Berlin residents to this project and work to relocate the facility to a more appropriate location. We are happy to engage with your leadership and have further conversations to relay our concerns.
State Representative Joe Sanfelippo 15th Assembly District
New Berlin Mayor Dave Ament New Berlin Common Council Waukesha Water Utility
State Representative Mike Kuglitsch 84th Assembly District

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