March 08. 2012 2:00AM - Last modified: March 15. 2012 12:11PM

Lakeshore mayors question Waukesha over water


The mayors of Milwaukee, Oak Creek and Racine sent a letter to Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima and Common Council President Paul Ybarra, questioning them about that city's conservation measures, rate increase requests and water service area.
"Due to the precedent setting nature of Waukesha's diversion application under the Great Lakes Compact, we feel a great responsibility to ensure that our decisions and our actions are protective of Lake Michigan and its tributary streams," the letter stated. "It is important that the City of Waukesha understand that our three communities agree that the issues identified in this letter are important to all who will participate in any future discussions and negotiations."
All three communities along Lake Michigan are considering providing treated lake water to Waukesha.
Waukesha Water Utility general manager Dan Duchniak told he will respond to their questions.
"We have been having very good discussions with Oak Creek and Racine so far," said Duchniak about negotiations. "Unfortunately, we have not had any discussions with Milwaukee. We hope those start soon."
Water utility officials hope to have completed negotiations this summer to go before the Waukesha Common Council for approval.
Ybarra said he was surprised by the letter, especially because of the ongoing negotiations with Oak Creek and Racine where residents could see their water bills reduced by 25 percent by selling water to Waukesha, depending on the outcome of the negotiations.