The City of Franklin is considering switching its water supply from Oak Creek to Milwaukee when its current contract is up in 2024.
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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly mark their agreement with a water toast.[/caption]
Glen Morrow, Franklin city engineer and utility manager, asked Ghassan Korban, Milwaukee commissioner of public works, to start formal negotiations with the Franklin Board of Water Commissioners, in an Oct. 18 letter
“You should know that the commissioners are also negotiating a contract extension with Oak Creek,” Morrow wrote. “However, upon a preliminary review of circumstances we believe that connection to Milwaukee Water Works appears to be a desirable alternative.”
Morrow told BizTimes that Franklin reached out to a number of municipalities earlier this year and is also negotiating with Racine.
"We're trying to do our due dilligence, trying to make sure we get the best value for our utility rate payers," he said.
The letter was marked as received on Oct. 23, a week before Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly announced a deal for Milwaukee to supply Waukesha with water
. Waukesha had planned for years to get its water from Oak Creek once the city received approval from the Great Lakes Compact Council, but Reilly said Milwaukee ended up being the “most cost effective and efficient choice.”
In addition to shortening the length of the pipeline Waukesha needs to build, opting for Milwaukee came with a lower rate charge. The initial contract puts the rate at $1.45 per 1,000 gallons, compared to a rate around $2.20 per 1,000 with Oak Creek.
Franklin is currently paying Oak Creek $3.12 per 1,000 gallons, according to Public Service Commission documents.
Morrow said while the rates would potentially be lower, there also potential costs to extend and connect infrastructure.
"We've got to weigh all those factors in," he said.
Morrow’s letter says formal negotiations would allow Franklin to confirm the assumptions it has already made and asked for advice on the best way to proceed.
Milwaukee alderman Jim Bohl and Mark Borkowski are now seeking a resolution directing the Milwaukee Water Works, Legislative Reference Bureau and Department of City Development to prepare an analysis relating to a water service agreement and to ask Franklin for additional information.
Milwaukee and Franklin officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.