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The original item was published from 10/31/2019 9:00:17 AM to 11/5/2019 12:27:53 PM.

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Posted on: October 31, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Important Message from the Mayor & Common Council

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On Monday, November 4, at 6:00 p.m. the Plan Commission will hold a hearing on a matter of critical importance for all who live and work in New Berlin:

Waukesha Water’s request for a Conditional Use Permit for a massive pumping station and two 8.6 million-gallon reservoirs in New Berlin are part of its plans to receive Lake Michigan water.

 Your Mayor and Common Council oppose the location of this pumping station and water reservoirs in New Berlin and have concerns about other aspects of Waukesha’s plan.  We believe their plans will:

  • Put New Berlin at financial risk
  • Harm our established quality of life
  • Destroy a historically significant district
  • Cause years of disruption to residents, businesses and our community
  • Permanently impact our community

While we support Waukesha’s efforts to finalize its new water system, it is unfair to do so on the backs of New Berlin’s residents and businesses who have nothing to gain but have a lot to lose.

 The massive facility is not compatible with New Berlin

The proposed project is enormous. It includes a 16,323 square foot, two-story pumping station (most pumping stations in New Berlin are less than 2,000 square feet) and two 8.6 million-gallon water tanks. No amount of trees will mask the blight this huge facility will have on the area. Moreover, the proposal calls for this facility to be built on historical land that is part of Minooka Park that has been unaltered for 175 years. This parcel has been part of a designated historic district since 2004.

Our roads and private wells could be negatively impacted

The proposed installation of 4.6 miles of water and sewer mains in New Berlin could result in a choppy patchwork of pavement that would significantly shorten the life of a recently rehabilitated road, damage to private wells from extensive excavation, dewatering, and road closures affecting residents, businesses and emergency services over the 2-3-year project. While we have tried to work cooperatively with Waukesha on their installation plans, they contain woefully inadequate protections for our residents and businesses whose lives and livelihoods will be impacted by the construction.  

New Berlin taxpayers will pay a price

The Milwaukee Water Works will build a portion of the facilities for Waukesha Water, which means existing customers of Milwaukee Water, including New Berlin, will likely bear a significant portion of that cost. New Berlin spent nearly $5 million to establish its own facilities, why can’t Waukesha pay for its own?  

The pumping station and reservoirs – which benefit Waukesha – should be in Waukesha.
We have been good partners to Waukesha throughout the process, including working cooperatively on plans to install the water mains throughout the City of New Berlin. But it wasn’t until this April that we became aware of the larger scope of this project and its full impact on the City of New Berlin.

A project of this magnitude cannot be undone once it has started. It will have a permanent impact on our community. That’s why we are writing to you today, so you are aware of the facts and the actions your elected officials are taking to oppose Waukesha’s plan to locate their massive pumping station and reservoirs on historic land in our city. We are also including a link to Dave Ament’s testimony and letter to the PSC (www.psc.wi.gov). You will need to click on e-services (in blue shortcut band) and enter the following docket ID number, 6240-CW-117, to access these documents and other related information.

We encourage you to attend the public hearing on November 4 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. You can also watch the meeting live-streamed to our website (www.newberlin.org) and to the city’s Cable Channel 25, visit our website for more information (www.newberlin.org/966/Waukesha-Water) or contact the Mayor’s office at (262) 797-2441 with any questions or comments. Thank you for your support. 

Sincerely, 

Dave Ament, Mayor                                                  Ken Harenda, Common Council President

Email: dament@newberlin.org                                  Email: kharenda@newberlin.org

Phone: (262) 797-2441                                             Phone: (262) 971-1048                                  

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