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Supervisor seeks to block Franklin sewer expansion

July 22, 2011

Rather than spending millions of dollars beginning in 2015 to pay for a proposed sewer serving rural southwest Franklin, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District should invest the funds in flood control efforts throughout the metropolitan area, Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan Jr. said Friday.

Weishan, of West Allis, has introduced a County Board resolution opposing both the sewer plan and Franklin's use of eminent domain to acquire land for the sewer project from any owners unwilling to sell their property. The resolution will be discussed Monday at a meeting of the County Board's Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

Franklin is seeking $31 million in low-interest Clean Water Fund loans from the state Department of Natural Resources so it can build a large regional sewer across the southwest side of the city. Mayor Tom Taylor's goal is to begin operating the sewer by 2014 so the city can attract new development, particularly commercial businesses and manufacturers, to the area.

MMSD would begin buying the sewer from Franklin in 2015, under terms of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement. The district would take ownership in 2031, after paying an estimated $41.1 million in principal and interest.

Taylor said Friday that new development is needed to reduce the property tax burden on the city's homeowners.

New development would boost the region's total tax base and help finance the flood control measures advocated by Weishan, MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said.

The proposed regional sewer, known as the Ryan Creek interceptor, would extend more than five miles from an existing MMSD regional sewer, at S. 60th St. and Ryan Road, to the county line at S. 124th St. and Ryan Road. Its course would meander south of Ryan Road, generally along the creek.

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