Milwaukee-Waukesha Water Negotiations Break Off
Oak Creek may have better chance at water contract, but still a long way to go before a deal is finalized.
Oak Creek may be in a better position to sell Lake Michigan water to Waukesha now that Milwaukee has apparently broken off negotiations.
According to Waukesha Patch, the conditions Milwaukee has set are "not a workable solution" for Waukesha. Milwaukee wants to negotiate a water sales deal that would include only the city of Waukesha, and not the town of Waukesha, town of Genesee and city of Pewaukee, portions of which are part of Waukesha's future service area.
The state Department of Natural Resources has already said it would not approve those conditions. Assuming talks don't resume, that leaves Racine and Oak Creek as the only two cities negotiating with Waukesha -- the way it has been for the last several months.
Oak Creek officials have said a successful bid could mean a decrease in Oak Creek residents' water bills by some 25 percent and additional revenue to the city.
However, Waukesha still has a long ways to go. The city needs approval from all Great Lakes states because it is just outside the Subcontinental Divide, where water flows naturally to Lake Michigan.
And the clock is ticking -- the city is under a June 2018 deadline to remove radium from the city’s water supplies.