Bayside — When Penny Goldman first sought to bring municipal water to her street, she started small with a group of 160 residents.
It wasn't long before interest picked up outside of her neighborhood, and she expanded the scope of her efforts to other areas of the village. Currently about 365 Bayside residents have submitted a $300 deposit to join the Bayside Municipal Water Project, which would connect homes currently served by wells to municipal water from the Mequon Water Utility.
"The level of interest seemed to indicate the project could be bigger than originally expected," Goldman said. "We basically decided to open this up and look at the whole area."
Soon, an engineering study will determine which neighborhoods have garnered a critical mass to justify the installation of a water main. Based on the village's interest survey map, the connection of municipal water seems most likely on Lake Drive from Glencoe Place north into Ozaukee County. Interest is also high on residential streets east of Regent Road and north of Brown Deer Road.
Residents who want to connect to municipal water will have to lobby their neighbors to increase their chances of getting connected. Those residents would like more information about municipal water can attend public informational meetings at Village Hall on Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. Those who are interested in joining the water project need to submit association documents and a $300 deposit at Bayside Village Hall.
Currently, about 40 percent of Bayside homes are connected to municipal water. Last year, 165 homes in the southwestern portion of the village hooked up to city water. If the list of 365 Bayside residents have their municipal water wishes granted, it would bring the village's total municipal water participation to 60 percent.
An additional 200 homes have indicated interest in the voluntary municipal water project, but have not completed the the required documents or submitted a deposit yet. Goldman said it is important that those homeowners submit their deposit before it is too late. By joining the water association, homeowners are able to get greatly reduced rates due to economies of scale.
Cost estimates are difficult to predict, as construction bids will not be bid out until February or March. Goldman said the cost of installing water main will be capped at $11,500 per home. Homeowners would have to pay an estimated $1,700 for a lateral in their first year, and in their second year, they would begin making payments of roughly $700 as part of a 20-year payment plan.
Municipal water bills are roughly $160 per quarter. Goldman points out that wells can also be costly, as they require periodic testing, water softening and iron filters. Some well owners are facing steep costs for replacing their wells or digging new wells.
Once the project is engineered and bid out, construction is expected to occur from May through October.
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