Dave Reid

Green Initiatives Stalled by City Committee

By - Jan 28th, 2009 02:18 pm
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In the name of cost savings two green efforts were stalled during today’s meeting of the Public Works Committee.

The first item to run into issues with the committee was the Central Library’s resolution that would of allowed them to apply for a $250,000 Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Stormwater Best Management Practices Partnership grant.  This grant was to be used in conjunction with $950,000 of city funds in the construction of a green roof on the Central Library.  The existing roof is in disrepair and will be in need of replacement in the near future.  Although it was presented that this green roof could potentially double the lifetime of the roof, concerns were raised over the cost of construction.  Additionally it was estimated that the green roof was would save $3,500 in energy costs per year.   Lost on the conversation regarding the increased cost was that this grant has an education component that goes above and beyond the building of a new roof.  Alderman Bob Donovan expressed his thoughts on the costs when he said “everybody likes green, well we’ve gotta have the green money”.  This file was held at the call of the chair which opens up the possibility that the City of Milwaukee could miss the deadline to request the grant.

The second resolution of importance that was held up proposed having the State of Wisconsin paint bike lanes on to West Forest Home Avenue between South 68th Street and South 45th Street after completing a road construction project.  In reference to problems experienced with recently painted lane markings Alderman Robert Bauman complained that “what we’re painting doesn’t last even in months”.  Alderman Joe Dudzik argued that if the City of Milwaukee can’t keep the roads painted properly for drivers, then the City of Milwaukee can’t add the additional burden of new markings to maintain.  This file was also held to the call of the chair.

Categories: Real Estate

3 thoughts on “Green Initiatives Stalled by City Committee”

  1. dan says:

    i’d be very interested in seeing the actual cost comparisons for redoing a roof of that size. smarmy comments aside, “green” projects like this could be good PR for milwaukee esp. while Obama is looking for green economies to invest government dollars in.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Dan I should of been a little more clear. It was mentioned during the meeting that just to rebuild a roof would run from $700 – $800k and a baseline green roof would be $950k so about $250k more. The additional money from the grant would yes be for more enhancements to the roof but also for programs and such.

  3. Nate Holton says:

    We would need to know more detail about these “programs,” what they do, how much they cost, and how valuable they are. Unless they’re incredibly valuable, you’re talking about spending an extra $250k to get a yearly cost savings of $3500. According to the CBA that was attached, you have to go out to 2036 before this thing starts bringing in a positive overall net present value. We could probably sit here and think of 50-100 things that Milwaukee could do with $250k that would be green and would yield a benefit sooner, in many cases far sooner. If they have money to spend on green projects, they need to pluck off all the low hanging fruit first. I imagine they can’t afford this sort of weak investment right now.

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