There has been a lot of discussion about our proposed plan to connect Township residents in the study area to a municipal water line. We are glad this is happening. We know there remain questions about the plan and we would like to address some of the things we have heard in our conversations with residents and local elected officials.
First, we want to make it clear that we believe that providing municipal water is the best option because it provides a long-term and sustainable solution to all impacted residents. Unlike digging deeper wells, where there is no promise that there will be enough safe and clean water available, a municipal water line will provide an unlimited supply – one that is tested and treated in accordance with the highest regulatory standards. By comparison, digging deeper wells won’t be a lasting solution, and means more time-consuming monitoring, more maintenance and continued need for access to private property.
We also know there are concerns about the municipal water supply potentially coming from the City of Marinette. We do not support a solution where the City of Marinette annexes Township residents in the study area. We know that could potentially be costly for the affected residents. It is our hope that through ongoing discussions with state government and City of Marinette officials we will be able to resolve this matter quickly and move forward.
Finally, there are a number of reasons why hooking up to the municipal water line from the City of Peshtigo is not the best option. Arcadis, the environmental consultants we hired, has looked at this option extensively. The nearest connection is five miles farther than the City of Marinette connections. It would require the laying of at least an additional five miles of pipe, which would need to cross several miles of town roads, county roads and possibly state roads, a railroad and wetlands. The additional permitting, design and access approvals would add years to the project.
We will commit the necessary resources to enable Cedar Corporation, the technical consultant to the Board of Supervisors, to review our approach for the planned municipal water line for the study area and the evaluation of other options for drinking water. Going forward, we will update Cedar Corporation on our progress to date and address any other questions they may have.
We will also take every possible action to work with the independent Citizen’s Advisory Committee, which was recently formed and consists of 11 teachers, scientists and residents. We will make ourselves available to meet with them and provide the appropriate information to help them meet their objectives.
Our goal is to do everything we can to bring long-term clean drinking water to residents in the Township of Peshtigo who have been impacted by this issue as quickly as possible. We are glad that the Peshtigo Board of Supervisors recently approved our request for access to survey the land. It is a necessary first step to installing a municipal water line that will provide a long-term solution to this problem.