Dave Reid

Public Works Committee Holds Water Deal

By - Jan 26th, 2008 06:16 am
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Jeffrey Mantes the Commissioner of Public Works presented the progress of the City Hall Restoration Project. He pointed out that after two and a half years the project is meeting or exceeding the EBE, RPP and apprenticeship goals laid out for the project. Additionally he indicated that the project is targeted to be substantially complete by Thanksgiving 2008.

Representatives from SEWRPC presented A Regional Broadband Telecommunications Plan which indicated SEWRPC’s belief that universal high speed broadband in necessary for continued growth within Southeast Wisconsin. SEWRPC set a goal of developing 20 megabit universal access throughout the region and discussed a wireless demonstration project that Kenosha is currently testing. The well presented need and existence of the demonstration project prompted Alderman Robert Bauman to ask the SEWRPC representatives to “march right down to the mayor’s office and set up an appointment”.

Two resolutions regarding water sales to neighboring communities pointed out what regional cooperation does and doesn’t look like. First up was resolution 071313 which would of renewed a contract between the City of Milwaukee and the Village of Menomonee Falls for the purchase of water. During the discussion of this contract renewal it was pointed out by Alderman Robert Bauman that an amendment allowing the Village of Menomonee Falls to remove a legal constraint on selling water to neighboring communities without the City of Milwaukee Water Works approval was “giving a benefit for no consideration”. Despite contract terms limiting the amount of water the Village of Menomonee Falls can acquire from the City of Milwaukee Water Works, this amendment would of been a first step in opening the door for the Village of Menomonee Falls to begin selling water to communities outside of the basin. The committee held this resolution as it appeared that this small change in the contract had the potential impact of encouraging sprawl and further decentralizing the region.

The second resolution, 071314, was a request by the Village of Elm Grove for the City of Milwaukee Water Works to explore the possibility of selling water to the Village of Elm Grove. Neil Palmer the Village of Elm Grove President suggested they would purchase water at wholesale or even at retail prices. Further he made it clear he would support the City of Milwaukee in a variety regional issue including improved mass transit within the region. This resolution was enthusiastically approved by the committee and will move on to the full Common Council for approval.

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