Neighborhood Meeting Flushes Away Water Supply Misconceptions
More than 70 people were present at neighborhood meeting about the city’s future water supply.
Waukesha Alderman Andy Reiland was happy with the turnout at his neighborhood meeting about the city’s search for a new water supply. More than 70 people were present as they learned more about radium, water quality and quantity issues and what options the city faces as it attempts to hit a June 2018 deadline to reduce radium levels.
The presentation was similar to the one in Alderman Terry Thieme’s district where residents were surprised to learn that radium wasn’t the only issue facing Waukesha.
Waukesha’s applying to divert Lake Michigan water past the Subcontinental Divide and to return it to the lake through the Great Lakes Compact. Waukesha needs approval of all Great Lakes states in order to do so.
“This is clearly the best solution,” said Reiland, who was taking into account not only the cost but the impacts of developing a long-term supply.
“We are not creating a Band-Aid,” Reiland told the audience. “We are looking for a long-term fix.”
Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak spoke about some issues where he said he hears a lot of questions. The city’s future water service area’s been somewhat controversial as the map includes areas of the Town of Genesee, City of Pewaukee and the Town of Waukesha. The Town of Genesee and City of Pewaukee have agreed to be in the service area and the city’s still waiting on the Town of Waukesha to make a decision.
While some have worried that the service area will result in mass growth in the area, Duchniak noted that only 15 percent of the land in the service area is available for development. Additionally, the city did not put the map together. That was done by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
Other misconceptions, Duchniak said, is a “non-compete clause” some fear Waukesha will have to sign if it purchases water from Milwaukee. One resident questioned a non-complete clause's role if a business from out-of-state were looking to transfer to Waukesha.
Waukesha has already signed a non-compete clause as part of the Milwaukee 7 – a group of seven counties in southeastern Wisconsin, Duchniak said.That non-compete clause deals with poaching businesses from within the region.
While businesses can approach Waukesha to move from Milwaukee, the agreement essentially states “I will not come and solicit business in your county to come to my county.”