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Shorewood, Whitefish Bay Looking to Share Cost on Sewer Upgrades

Whitefish Bay officials considering sharing half of sanitary sewer upgrade costs for work in Shorewood that will be mutually beneficial.

Shorewood and Whitefish Bay are mulling a cost share agreement as both communities move forward in their campaigns to mend faulty, outdated sewers.

Sewer projects are scheduled over the next several years in the northwest portion of Shorewood, with upgrades to the village's sanitary and stormwater sewer system. When the projects are finished, most sanitary sewer connections between the two communities will be cut, though some connections will still remain.

The cost share agreement took into consideration the mutually beneficial sanitary sewer work conducted along Fairmount Avenue in Whitefish Bay in 2010 and sanitary sewer upgrades on East Kensington Boulevard to start this summer in Shorewood. 

The cost share agreement has been drafted to install a sanitary sewer pipe that would run west down East Glendale Avenue, and connect to another proposed waste water pipe on East Kensington Boulevard.

The project is estimated to cost $550,000, though Shorewood officials said the true figure will become clear after the village bids the project out on March 19. Whatever the project cost turns out to be, the two communities would split it.

The $550,000 includes engineering (15 percent of the total cost), road construction associated with the sewer improvements, new manholes and 250 feet of sanitary sewer piping.

The proposed agreement stipulates that Whitefish Bay would provide the funds in 2012, but the work must wrap up by 2015. If it finishes late, Shorewood would be obligated to reimburse Whitefish Bay, plus interest.

Whitefish Bay Trustee Jim Roemer said the entire project will eliminate two-thirds of sanitary sewer flows in the northwestern portion of the village.

"This will have a very significant, near-term impact on the sanitary flows in the southern edge of the village, and we're not far from understanding what we need to accomplish ... in the storm sewer system,"  .

Officials are also considering sharing the cost of stormwater pipe that would run west from North Larkin Avenue to East Marlborough Boulevard. But an agreement for that project wouldn’t be facilitated unless its design was altered to provide a benefit to Whitefish Bay. Bay officials would be responsible with identifying a change of design that would benefit their village.

Those sewer improvements are expected to be constructed no later than 2018.

"It's a positive step," Shorewood Trustee Michael Maher said. "It's a good idea to work together to solve this issue."

Trustees will be asked to sign off on a final agreement in the future, but the item was brought before each of the boards Monday night for conceptual review.

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