Citizens' view: City cares more about growth than clean water

Duluth News Tribune, March 12, 2016
Author: Sandy Hamm, Steve Edlund, and Steve Schmuki

For decades Waukesha embraced the annexation of hundreds of acres outside its borders, approved subdivisions large and small, courted commercial sprawl and handed out permits for apartment buildings within its borders, knowing full well it did not have the resources or infrastructure to support the growth — and while claiming a crisis of contaminated water and plummeting groundwater levels. If the crisis was as real as some say, wouldn’t it be responsible to halt expansion until it’s resolved?

But no. The city’s land-use plan shows expansion to the south, west and north with big-box retail, commercial and industrial development along both sides of a 5-mile stretch of state highway. Subdivisions march further outward.

Those of us who have followed and studied this issue for years have done so because we are concerned about our water resources, and we certainly care that all residents of our state have access to clean, safe drinking water. We believe the alternate solutions for Waukesha are many and come at a significantly lower cost — for ratepayers and for the protection of our most precious freshwater resource.