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Bayside's second volunteer water project under way

Resident gauging interest to bring municipal water to central part of village

March 8, 2013

Bayside - After the success of a volunteer water project that will bring municipal water to 157 residents in the southwest portion of Bayside, a second effort is under way to gauge the feasibility to bring water to the central part of the village.

Resident Penny Goldman is leading an effort to see how many residents on the roads of North Rexleigh, North King, and parts of North Regent, East Glencoe, North Maitland, East Ellsworth and East Brown Deer Road are interested in connecting to municipal water instead of having well water. This endeavor comes after 157 homes on four water trusts in the southwest section of the village volunteered to convert to municipal water supplied by Mequon Water Utility.

The cost to construct the infrastructure and hookups to municipal water will fall on the property owners who are choosing to connect to it. The village is helping residents in the southwest part of the village through municipal bonds that are unique because only the residents who volunteered are responsible to pay it back, not the village as a whole.

The village is taking a similar role in the new project, assisting Goldman and the neighborhood to determine how much interest there is to see if it is financially viable, Village Manager Andy Pederson said.

Residents in the neighborhoods in question are encouraged to email Goldman at privatewellproject@gmail.com to share their opinions on the project, as well as take an online survey at surveymonkey.com/S/PDTQ2P5 that will help evaluate the feasibility of the project.

"Given the overwhelming response - originally thought 50, ended up with 157 properties hooking up - we have more experience now as to facilitating the process to assist with the desire of the community," Pederson said. "The village would be willing to utilize the financing tool we did in the current project. The number of participants and geographic area that makes economical sense is what is being worked on now."

Goldman has lived in Bayside for 26 years and has wanted municipal water ever since. With mineral deposits rusting her home fixtures and pipes, she said it has been hard to live with water supplied from the well.

Though she said the cost of bringing in municipal water does come with a higher price tag, it is equal to the cost of using water softeners, iron filters and the wear and tear on appliances over the years. However, she said there are people in Bayside who love their well water, which makes the volunteer project a better fit for the community as people have a choice.

"I'm hoping we can get enough people so the village can write another bond to make it more cost effective for people to spread the amount over a longer period of time," Goldman said.

Connecting to municipal water would also allow for fire hydrants to be placed in neighborhoods, which wells do not allow, an added bonus to the project, Goldman said.

Once residential interest is gauged, Goldman said an information session with Mequon Water Utility will be scheduled to discuss feasibility and cost.

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