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Franklin continues to worry about future pipeline

Alderman confident a positive can be found

Oct. 17, 2012

Franklin - Mayor Tom Taylor at Tuesday's Common Council meeting formally presented his view of the city's position regarding the proposed Oak Creek-to-Waukesha water sale and how it may affect the city.

Reiterating his previous remarks on the matter, Taylor outlined the concern that the city had not been formally approached by Oak Creek, Waukesha or their respective water utilities.

"Things have not formally come to you or to me in a formal contract," Taylor told the aldermen. "The issue of whether Franklin even thinks about allowing a pipeline through the city to Waukesha is a policy decision.

"The thing that you as elected officials need to communicate to your constituents will be how this will measure in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, over the life of these agreements."

Squelching rumors

Taylor repeated his concern of whether any portion of Franklin will be disrupted if a pipeline is constructed.

"To say that there has been any agreement whatsoever to go through Puetz Road, the answer is no," he said. "The fact is that two communities have reached a deal to construct a pipeline without consulting us."

The water sale is not a sure thing, since Oak Creek is appealing to the Public Service Commission to reconsider its most recent ruling to lower a proposed water rate increase for its customers, including Franklin. Under the original proposal, Franklin would have had to pay a 41 percent increase but the PSC knocked the increase down to 23.7 percent.

At Tuesday's meeting Finance Director Cal Patterson told the council that Franklin residents paid a prorated increase of 15 percent and that a fourth-quarter bill rate increase would be higher.

Deal with benefits?

While Oak Creek is in the process of appealing the PSC latest ruling, Alderman Steve Taylor, also a member of the Milwaukee County Board, said he thought the miscommunication in the early stages of the water deal could be rectified.

"I complimented the mayor tonight because I thought he has shown a good amount of restraint under the circumstances," Steve Taylor said. "I think we have a very good relationship with Oak Creek, so I'm confident that we will work something out.

"I think we, Franklin, should get some advantage out of a pipeline," he said, "whether it's getting a water main rebuilt in the future or lowering water rates for our residents. We need to get something positive out of it."

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