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Water Negotiations With Milwaukee Could Begin Next Month

Leaders from Waukesha and Milwaukee agree that negotiations for Waukesha to purchase Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee "should begin without delay," letter states.

Officials from the will meet with Milwaukee's technical staff next week as Waukesha looks to open negotiations to purchase Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee.

While the meeting doesn’t jump start negotiations, it is a step forward as Waukesha leaders want to add Milwaukee to its list of potential water suppliers. Waukesha is already in the midst of negotiations with Oak Creek's and Racine's water utilities.

After Milwaukee’s technical staff reviews the information Waukesha has provided to them, the Milwaukee Common Council will have to open negotiations.

“We are hopeful that that process will start move forward next month,” said Dan Duchniak, Waukesha Water Utility general manager, during a phone interview with Patch.

Waukesha’s negotiation team met this week with Mayor Tom Barrett’s chief of staff, Pat Curley, about opening up those negotiations.

“We had a very productive meeting with Mr. Curley in which we both concluded that negotiations for a potential water sale between our communities should proceed without delay,” Duchniak wrote Barrett in a letter on Friday. “There is no guarantee that we will successfully reach a mutually beneficial agreement, but continued delay of the process could eliminate Milwaukee from any consideration given our progress with other communities. Only by negotiating can we effectively explore the benefits of an agreement and resolve questions or concerns.”

Meanwhile, Waukesha Water Utility officials hope that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will complete its two-year review of its application to obtain Lake Michigan water and forward it to other Great Lakes states for approval. Already working on a tight timetable to finish the water project by the June 2018 deadline, the water utility anticipates a decision from all the Great Lakes states by the end of the year.

The water utility would like to see negotiations completed by July with the three communities. That would allow the Common Council to make its ultimate decision by January 2013.  Construction would begin in June 2014, if all moves forward.

Sarah Wonderiling April 21, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Thank Dan Duchniak and the staff for the great job they have done even though our current mayer keeps getting in the way. Jeff, if you are reading this either work together with Dan or get the heck out of the way.
the 'sha guy April 21, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Other than your fixation with the Mayor, this has nothing to do with the guy at this point. It is in the hands of the DNR and eventually the other Great Lake states. Buying water from Milwaukee is a bad idea for Waukesha for many reasons. Look elsewhere, perhaps Oak Creek. Milwaukee is not the answer unless you want to be paying for their social and economic problems for decades to come.
Sarah Wonderiling April 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Aw Jeff, really, do you think we don't know you are the 'sha guy? Most of the members on the council cringe at your inane comments. Seriously, you need to grow a pair, get some education and go back to deliveries. ABS.....anybody but scrima.
the 'sha guy April 28, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Sorry, you are as ill-informed on this as you are on most of your stalking posts. I'm not the mayor, but I do feel sorry for him that there are citizens like yourself that he has to represent. "Grow a pair?" Really? How old are you, 13? Regardless of how poorly you may think he does, he is obviously still a step up from the last guy who wore the clown shoes and the spahgetti stained shirts.

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