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.
“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.
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.”