Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Tom Barrett’s Statement on Today’s Public Service Commission Ruling

We’re not surprised that the Public Service Commission continues to politicize a local public works improvement project.

By - Apr 23rd, 2014 03:41 pm

“We’re not surprised that the Public Service Commission continues to politicize a local public works improvement project. The PSC and State Legislature believe that private investor-owned utilities, which use publicly financed roadways for free, should be given special treatment when it comes to public improvement projects in Milwaukee.

We disagree.

Despite the PSC and Legislative actions to curtail local control of local streets and roadways, we’ve made significant progress in reducing the project’s associated utility costs. Before entering final engineering, the utilities’ original claim of $55 to $70 million in costs has been reduced to approximately $20 million. In addition, last week the City received a $3.18 million streetcar grant, approved by Federal transportation officials, the regional planning body and officials from the Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources.

In order to drive the costs down further, we expect even more cooperation from the utility companies than we have had to date.”

Recent Press Releases by Mayor Tom Barrett

As Temperatures Drop, the Milwaukee Continuum of Care Will Provide Warming Rooms for Milwaukee’s Homeless

The Continuum of Care’s emergency shelters, Guest House of Milwaukee and Salvation Army of Milwaukee, have also recently expanded overnight shelter capacity to keep more people safe out of the cold weather.

Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding the passing of Mildred Harpole

"ll of us here at the City send our thoughts and prayers to husband Reuben and Mildred’s family and friends. Milwaukee will always remember the remarkable woman she was."

Mayor Tom Barrett

Greater Milwaukee Complete Count Committee Holds Community Kick-Off to Prepare for the 2020 Census

"The more people we count means more federal money and fairer elections."

2 thoughts on “Mayor Tom Barrett’s Statement on Today’s Public Service Commission Ruling”

  1. CD says:

    If the state will not let the city have utilities pay the costs of relocation, can the city tax the utiilites for the space they are using under the streets?

  2. smh says:

    Two things to consider:

    1. Charge We Energies rent for using the public right of way they refuse to aid in. They’re being a bad tenant.

    2. Look at elevated lanes for the streetcar. Just put the tracks above the current pavement. No more utility move then and the streetcar would get its own dedicated right-of-way.

    3. I think it’s time we look at Ald. Baumann’s plan to get the city off the grid of We Energies. And any new TOD that comes from the streetcar should get massive tax incentives to be 100% energy independent.

  3. Andrew says:

    Building an elevated right of way for the streetcar solves the problem of relocating the underground utilities, but creates another problem, which is access to the system. Every stop would be required to have stairs an an elevator, if not escalators too, to provide access for the riders to and from street level. Under the ADA, Americans with Disibilites Act, elevators would be required to make the system accessible to all potential riders. Another downside to the elevated lines would be the redeced amount of natural light that gets to street level. True, an elevated system would speed up the streetcars, as they would not have to contend with the current of traffic using the roads.

    Let’s also consider for a moment that all the underground utilities in downtown Milwaukee have been buried for some time, and they will need to be renewed at some point, so is WE Energies trying to get the streetcar project to pay for renewing it’s buried power and gas distribution networks? It is my opinion that with what WE Energies charges for its product, they should cover the bills related to there own network of distribution lines, even if the lines that are buried under the streets in question are not scheduled to be upgraded in the near future.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us