Economic and environmental problems are not limited by geographic boundaries and solutions often take regional cooperation and provide regional benefits. We are thankful for a long history of working closely with public officials in Waukesha County communities to find those solutions.
Waukesha is under a court-ordered 2023 deadline to end its current use of radium-contaminated water. Regional cooperation is key to making this happen. The Alliance has worked for well over a decade to help ensure access to a reliable and sustainable supply of drinking water for the families and businesses of the City of Waukesha. The economic importance of the county’s urban hub to the rest of the region is clear. But the environmental benefits of this project are also regional. Waukesha’s switch to borrowing Lake Michigan water will end its use of depleted groundwater supplies, which will benefit regional aquifers, streams and lakes.
Although many of the impacts of the infrastructure needed to transport water from and back to Lake Michigan will occur outside of the city, those impacts are impossible to avoid. However, Waukesha has worked diligently to lessen those impacts on the public and to provide benefits to other communities when possible.
The Alliance supports the City of Waukesha and Waukesha County in its determination that the proposed pumping station site is the best site – for the park, its users and nearby neighborhoods. The impacts of moving the pumping station to an alternative site outside of New Berlin city limits could cause even greater impacts to New Berlin residents, as the alternative would be more visible, closer to more New Berlin residents, disrupt more users of Minooka Park and unnecessarily cause removal of trees.
The water supply project is the result of years of study by regional planners and by state officials. It required support from Wisconsin officials under several administrations and unanimous bipartisan support from all 10 Great Lakes states and provinces, even though none of them benefitted and all faced local political pushback. The fact-based reviews and political cooperation that has brought the project to this point must continue in a timely fashion, for the good of our region.
We strongly urge New Berlin officials to meet with Waukesha and determine the best way to ensure approval of this pumping station moves forward, in a timely fashion, to keep this important project on track.
The Alliance has a broad and diverse membership representing everything from sole proprietorships to some of the largest employers in the region from a variety of industries. Our 1,200 member organizations represent more than 75,000 employees. The Alliance represents 59 member businesses located in the City of New Berlin and as we all know – employees and residents operate back and forth across municipal boundaries – employees who live in New Berlin may work in Waukesha, and vice versa. This effort is critical to the entire region and we support it.
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