Contact: Shawn N. Reilly, Mayor
Waukesha, WI (May 31, 2018) – The City of Waukesha is proud it will receive, along with the City of Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Policy Forum’s Intergovernmental Cooperation Award. The “Salute to Local Government” Awards recognize “governments and school districts for innovative problem solving, effective use of technology, partnership, and cooperation.”
“Last year, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and I made a historic announcement of a water agreement between Waukesha and Milwaukee,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said. “This was an important collaboration for the common good of our residents and businesses. We are proud to receive this award which we hope will lead to additional partnerships in the future.”
Waukesha’s current groundwater supply is unsustainable. It contains natural contaminants, including the carcinogen radium. The agreement to obtain Lake Michigan water provides a new water supply for Waukesha at a lower cost than other suppliers. It also provides a new source of funds for Milwaukee, providing mutual benefits for decades to come. Reaching that agreement set a new precedent for cooperation that could extend to other important regional issues.
The tentative deal was announced by Mayors Reilly and Barrett on October 30, 2017, with a ceremonial toast of Lake Michigan water. At the event Mayor Barrett called the new partnership “the most significant intergovernmental cooperation agreement in southeastern Wisconsin history.”
History became official on December 20, 2017, as Mayors Reilly and Barrett were joined by leaders from both cities to sign the regional cooperative agreement. Construction on the project is anticipated to begin in early 2020.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum award presentation will take place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.