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Great Lakes Article:

MMSD will fund 6 projects to keep rain out of sewers
By Marie Rohde
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published December 14th, 2004

The commission that oversees Milwaukee's sewerage district on Monday awarded about $733,000 for six experimental projects designed to keep rain out of the sewers.

But the commission rejected two other projects because not enough money had been budgeted.

"We advertised for proposals based on there being $733,000 dollars available," said Commissioner Dale Richards of Oak Creek.

If the commission decided to spend more, he said, "we'd be sending the wrong message."

The total for the additional projects would have brought spending to $1.3 million.

The same program stirred controversy last year when the commission agreed to a district proposal that required spending $750,000 more on experimental projects than had been budgeted. One award given to the city of Milwaukee was nearly three times the total allocated for 2004 projects, and several suburban leaders charged that Milwaukee had an unfair advantage in the process.

Seven of the 11 members of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District commission are appointed by the mayor of Milwaukee.

Chairman Dennis Grzezinski suggested Monday that the 28 communities served by the district be notified that additional money could be made available, but other commissioners did not support him.

"We were talking about austerity measures just four weeks ago when we discussed the budget," said River Hills President Robert Brunner.

The largest award was $331,800 given to the Milwaukee School of Engineering for an acre parking lot at Milwaukee St. and Highland Ave. The project will allow rain to seep through the pavement. MSOE will also develop an educational program in connection with the project.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was awarded $140,000 for the design and engineering of three parking lots that also would allow the rain to seep through the surface.

The City of Greenfield was awarded $108,125 for construction of a wetland detention pond on Alverno College property in Milwaukee. That is intended to prevent flooding of Greenfield streets and nearby property during storms.

Milwaukee was awarded $31,750 to encourage residents living in an area bordered by Walnut St., 12th St., Fond du Lac Ave. and North Ave. to build rain gardens and disconnect their down spouts. The city also got a $95,000 grant to be applied toward installing streets, alleys and sidewalks that allow rain to seep through rather than run into the sewers.

The final grant of $26,000 will pay for the construction and monitoring of a cistern in an area of Milwaukee where 10 single-family homes are being constructed. The Vineyard Terrace Residential Development is bordered by 4th, 5th and Vine streets and Reservoir Ave.

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