Firm floats idea of water capacity study

Report could serve as a road map for when to add towers or wells; federal money may help pay for it
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Village of Fredonia is considering a water capacity study that could charter future infrastructure decisions as the municipality plans for new development.

Ben Wood of Strand Associates Inc. engineering consultant presented a proposal for a water capacity study to the Public Works Committee on April 21. The  $10,000 study would evaluate water capacity in the village, when it may need to be expanded and how much improvements would cost.

Strand would collect information on how much water is used in the village on average and during a busy usage day. The information would be used to plot what capacity the village has with its current system and how much it could support if additional water customers were added. Then, based on expected growth rates, Strand would plot out water use expected after decades of growth.

Wood said the study would serve as a road map for when water capacity additions such as a new well or water tower are needed, how much they would cost and how they could be best financed — through tax increment finance districts, rate increases or impact fees.

With expectations that federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will be made available to states this year, Wood said now is a good time to complete a study because a project plan will have to be presented to qualify.

“We’re recommending that a lot of our clients get these plans in place so they are ready,” he said.

Wood said he anticipates that municipalities may be able to submit intent to apply letters for projects by October and that the village’s water project may be eligible.

“It’s the largest investment in drinking water since the Clean Water Act of 1972. It’s $50 billion,” he said.

Wood noted that BIL funds may not cover the  cost of the entirety of a water project but that they would get it rolling.

Village engineer and Public Works Director Roger Strohm said when the village needs additional water capacity that it will opt for a new storage reservoir, rather than a water tower, but the study will provide additional information on the best route.

“What this study will do is tell us what our steps are,” he said.

Strohm noted that the study was budgeted for this year.

Trustee Joshua Haas questioned how long the study would be useful to the village as a planning tool.

Wood said the study would plan decades in advance. He added that if growth rates differed from what was used in the study, the timeline for capacity improvements could be adjusted accordingly.

“$10,000 for a plan we can use for 20 years is a good trade off,” Haas said.

Village President Don Dohrwardt said there are still unknown factors regarding the village’s future water projects. For example, village leaders are unsure where future development may occur, leaving questions as to where a new water reservoir or tower would be most economically located. But with information from the study, he said, many details will come into focus.

“This will give us a good idea to what the answers will be to a number of questions we’ll be asking in the future,” he said.

The Public Works Committee unanimously recommended approval of the study to the Village Board, which will consider the matter on May 17.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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