Sewer History in Town of Lisbon / Village of Sussex
Transcribed and edited by Michael R. Reilly
December 22, 2005 Updated 12/23/2005
Sussex has smaller building lots, and services them withmunicipal wells and sewer lines, while Lisbon has larger lots with septic tanksand residential wells. Eventually, however, Lisbon did begin sewer service tosome subdivisions whose location and problems required it.
The Lisbon Town Board willhold a public hearing in early May, 2000 to adopt Waukesha County’s Land UsePlan in order to amend the plan.
Jeff Musche, town clerk,said the county’s land use plan currently encourages land owners in areasbordering other municipalities to annex their property to those municipalities.
The current zoning in theborder areas, under the county land use plan, requires sewer service. The towndoesn’t have sewer service, though it does contract with Sussex’s sewer.
Musche said the town wouldlike to change the zoning in these areas to a low-density urban residentialzoning. This would protect these lands from annexation, as well as protect greenspace, Musche said. Source: Sussex Sun, April 11, 2000
Both Sussex and the town ofLisbon will keep their identities as individual municipalities, but will worktogether on planning issues and may soon share services, according to anagreement approved Wednesday night.
For residents in so called”joint planning areas,” both Sussex and Lisbon must agree beforeproperty can be annexed to the village, Stan Riffle, an attorney representingSussex, said. Those lands typically lie in the Extraterritorial Zoning (ETZ)area extending from the village border about a mile and a half into the town.Currently, representatives from Lisbon and Sussex meet monthly to manageplanning issues in the ETZ.
The agreement also outlinescertain “added service areas” which will remain in the town, but couldreceive sewer service when capacity is added to the village’s processing plantin three to four years.
According to Bill Mielke,of Ruekert and Mielke engineers, the current plant has the capacity to treatabout 3.2 million gallons of wastewater per day. The facility is designed,however, to allow multiple expansions and can be enlarged as more treatmentcapacity is needed.
Waste disposal service toresidents in the town who currently purchase wastewater disposal capacity or wholive in Lisbon’s sanitary district will not be affected by the plan, Rifflesaid. Source: Sussex Sun, January 3, 2001.
Village of Sussex- Department of Public Works Director Ray Grzys said he expected a concessionstand owned by the Sussex Land O’ Lakes Cardinals baseball club at Village Park,destroyed by an intentionally-set fire, to be completely replaced by the end ofthis week. However, the new building will not include restrooms, as some hadhoped.
Starting from scratchbumped the reconstruction budget up $5,000 to about $17,000, which will becovered by the village’s insurance. What insurancewouldn’t cover, however, was the proposed addition of men’s and women’srestrooms to the building.
Cardinals’ games tend todraw large crowds to Village Park, and portable toilets are provided. But whenthe stand was damaged, village trustee Fred Gallant suggested exploring theaddition of permanent facilities.
Grzys said the villagelooked into such a project, and determined it to be too cost-prohibitive. Thejob would have called for concrete footings to support the restrooms, whichwould have required blasting through the park’s rocky surface. Then a sewer linewould have to have been extended through the park, and grinder pumps would havebeen installed. All that, plus the building and fixtures, would have cost about$90,000, Grzys said.
Insurance would coverrepairing or replacing the stand to the way it was before the fire, but wouldnot cover any additions. Since the baseball club is responsible for the stand,the group would have to have picked up the tab for the restrooms. So the newstand will be ready, and the port-o-lets will be back. Source: Sussex Sun,May 2, 2001
Thevillage’s 2020 planning committee gave village officials approval to take thevillage’s 2020 plan to the public at a special meeting held Wednesday at VillageHall. Trustee Roger Johnsonsuggested linking the staging plans with the village’s plans for sewer and waterexpansion. “It would be foolish to put (new construction) in areas that wedon’t plan to have service in,” he said.
Current plans for expansion of the village’s sewer system don’t begin until 2005or 2006.
“Seweris very important. It is in the planning stages,” said Swartz. The villageis trying to limit expansion of sewer with a plan whereby limited improvementsto the plant produce the highest amount of capacity, Swartz said.
“Wecan add a million gallons for a couple million dollars,” he said. To getmore expansion, the project cost could swell to $10 million, and that may not bewhat the village wants to do, he said. “Wewanted to make sure (the 2020 plan and the sewer growth plans) mesh, so we don’thave to put more capital into it than we can afford.” Source:Sussex Sun, July 30, 2002
Villagers and the Sussex Plan Commission both gave their approval to thevillage’s vision of its near future. The SmartGrowth Comprehensive Plan was first announced in May of 2002, but it’s been inthe works for a lot longer than that. “This is a continuation of planningthat began over 25 years ago,” said Village Trustee Roger Johnson, chairmanof the planning task force. He explained that Sussex first developed a plan in1980 and again in 1990 and in 1996.
In1999, Wisconsin enacted what is widely referred to as its “smart growthlegislation.” Among other things, the legislation ensures that by 2010,every city, village, county and town in the state will be guided by acomprehensive plan as defined by state statute.
The amount of growth will be phased in for practicalpurposes. “Our existing sewer capacity is at the max,” said Johnson.”2005 is the soonest we can increase capacity,” said Johnson.Source: Sussex Sun, March 25, 2003.
Village ofSussex - The absorption of Sussex Estates by the village started to pay offyesterday when work began to replace the area’s failing water main. SussexEstates used to be a land trust with its own separate water system. It agreed tobecome part of Sussex to update that system, village assistant administrator,Jeremy Smith said. Source: Sussex Sun, July 1,2003.
Town ofLisbon – An overflow crowd jammed the Town Hall’s board meeting room Fridaynight, demanding solutions to the problems that have plagued them since twoHalquist quarry blasts rocked their world Oct. 9.
Lisbon Town Board Chairman Gerald Schmitz tried to get a read on the crowd’sfeelings about replacing their wells with a sewer and water system. VillageEngineer John Stigler called it the only long-term solution to the problem, butadmitted it would take at least two years to install it. He also said the systemwould increase the value of any property it served.
The residents’ reaction to the idea was mixed, many feelingit was the wrong question at the time. “We want to know what you’re goingto do about Halquist now,” several said. Lawrence Genrich of MapleAvenue agreed with Schmitz and Stigler that “the only long-term fix ismunicipal water. I’ve told my son, don’t buy any house with a well and a septictank or mound.”
Schmitz said that such a system would require an agreementwith Sussex for access to its municipal sewer and water system. He said thevillage had refused to make such an arrangement when the boundary agreementbetween the two communities was signed. Source: SussexSun, October 28, 2003.
Lisbon officials, includingSchmitz and Village Engineer John Stigler, had suggested at an overflow publicmeeting on the subject Oct. 24 that a municipal sewer and water system was theonly long-run solution. Town Supervisor Ron Evert had suggested a community wellinstead. All possibilities “are on the table,” Musche said.
Schmitz said he had not pursued any single option, includingstarting discussions with Sussex about tapping into its municipal water system,because the residents of the affected area had given the board no clearindication of which way they wanted to go.
“I know you want hard numbers before we decide on adirection,” Schmitz told the Salentines and Emil Glodoski, the only threefrom the area at Monday’s meeting. Glodoski agreed that his neighbors were”split on the municipal water issue. Some of them are not sure they canafford it. This is not a rich neighborhood.” Source: Sussex Sun,November 11, 2003.
Town of Lisbon HamiltonSchool District – Of the district’s 2,234 property taxpayers, the 1,667without sewer hook-ups will average $2,339.10 in school taxes this year 10.8%,or $237.66, more than last year after deducting the state lottery creditof $99.14. The school district’s 567 property owners hooked up to sewer lineswill pay $89.60 more, for an average tax of $4,110.70 – plus an additional $365sewer hook-up bill if they haven’t paid it yet. Source: Sussex Sun,December 9, 2003.
Lisbon has asked Sussex tosupply its municipal water to the homes around Maple Avenue whose well water wascontaminated or disrupted after a pair of Halquist Stone Co. quarry blasts Oct.9. The Sussex Village Board wants something first: a more specific proposal.
At the Feb. 24 SussexVillage Board meeting, several trustees and County Supervisor Henry Carlson, aformer village trustee suggested it would make sense to lay down sewer lines atthe same time. Town Clerk Jeff Musche agreed that it would “make the mostsense” to lay water and sewer lines at the same time, but warned that sewerlines were far more expensive. While it is necessary to dig down only five tosix feet to lay water pipes, 20-30 feet is required to lay sewer lines, he said.And the hard rock close to the surface would make it even more expensive.
Town Chairman GeraldSchmitz told the Town Board at its Feb. 23 meeting that Lisbon is also lookingat other options, including requesting water from the city of Pewaukee, orconstructing a municipal well in the affected area. He said he was also willingto consider letting Sussex annex the area, if that’s what it takes to getmunicipal water from the village.
Lisbon has already been working with Pewaukee on a request tosupply another subdivision Country Club Estates in the town’s southeast corner,south of Lisbon Road and between Duplainville and Town Line roads with citywater. Lisbon has received a “positive response,” from Pewaukee,Musche said meaning city officials have told him, “It could be done,”he said. About three or four wells at Country Club Estates fail each year,Musche said.
Pewaukeeestimated that supplying Country Club Estates with water could cost about $1million, Musche said. With that estimate in mind, he thought it might cost about$700,000 to do the same for the two Maple Avenue area subdivisions. Eachneighborhood numbers about 50 homes. Adding $3,000 to $5,000 for the laterallines to connect the water mains to each home, the total cost per householdcould reach $15,000 to $20,000 for the Maple Avenue area and more for CountryClub Estates.
Source: Sussex Sun, March 2, 2004.
The Hamilton District SchoolBoard set a Special Annual Meeting for 7 p.m. March 23 – One issue the districtis also working on is a response to a request from the village of Sussex toprovide permanent, temporary and tree-lined easements to allow municipal stormsewer improvements. The district must also get voter approval at a SpecialAnnual Meeting to approve an easement. Source: SussexSun, March 9, 2004.
Town of Lisbon - A majority of homeownersin the neighborhood where some wells were disrupted or contaminated after apair of blasts Oct. 9 at a nearby Halquist Stone Co. quarry want municipal waterpiped into their homes. In a May 5 memo to the TownBoard, Town Clerk Jeffrey Musche reported that a postcard survey of the MapleAvenue area conducted by town staff yielded 42 “yes” and 32″no” votes. Nine postcards were not returned and were counted amongthe no votes. Source: Sussex Sun, May 11, 2004.
Led by Templeton Middle School science teacher Maxine Kay, 90 students testedSussex Creek water in two locations for the better part of a day, measuring pHcontent, turbidity (cloudiness), temperature, depth, water speed and “macroinvertebrates” (bugs). This is the fourth year Kay has led this project,and she calls the creek, all in all, “very healthy.” The creekstill has a people problem, though. “People use it as a dump,” shesaid. “Now we’re cleaning it up.” “There used to be big fish inSussex Creek,” Kay said. “We’re trying to solve the problem.”That’s us problem solvers!”
Sussex Village Engineer Curt Bolton said the students’ workwas an important part of the village’s efforts to comply with state and federalregulations on “nonpoint source pollution.” Again, the “peopleproblem” waste from “property, cars and roads flushed into thecreek” strains the village’s pollution control measures, including itsstorm drains and sewers.
The city of Waukesha has named communities upstream from it,including Sussex, as a source of some of that city’s water pollution problems,Bolton said. “Fortunately, the Village Board had the foresight to say ‘yes’to the designation early,” he said, “so now we might get some fundingfrom the state” to deal with the problem. With or without state aid, Sussexwill have to look to its own citizens for additional funding. Bolton doesn’tthink it will come from higher property taxes, though. “Instead, we’resetting fees on the more impervious areas on a property, like parking lots,roofs and driveways.” Bolton also doesn’t see the village installing anymore storm drainage pipes. “We’re emphasizing water quality overpipes,” he said. “We won’t be installing pipes.” Source:Sussex Sun, May 11, 2004.
Town of Lisbon – Homeownersin the Maple Avenue and Lisbon Road area who’ve been waiting more than sevenmonths for a solution to the problems afflicting their wells will have to waitat least two more years before they’ll see a solution pouring from theirfaucets.
Schmitz emphasized, however, that”opening up the boundary agreement is out,” though, he added, “anamendment would be fine.” He was responding to a previous Village Boardstatement that said Sussex would not consider supplying water to thatneighborhood without a change in the boundary agreement. He and Town SupervisorRobert Williams, an engineer who’s been in touch with the families in theaffected area, did appear to agree with Knapp’s comment, though, that “ifit’s going to be water, it’s got to be sewer and water.”
According to Lisbon Town Clerk Jeffrey Musche,if the decision is made, it would take one and a half to two years from thatpoint to bring Sussex municipal water to the area. The decision, itself,however, might be six months away, he added.
Paul Brown said in another telephoneinterview, “I still can’t drink the water here; it’s bad water.””I talked to the DNR, and they said, ‘Don’t drink it.’ “They told me Icould use it for housecleaning or for laundry, and that we could brush our teethor shower with it, as long as we didn’t swallow any of it.’ ”
Musche also estimated that the cost of bringing Sussex waterto the afflicted neighborhood would be about $1.2 million, and that adding asewer system would double the cost, “plus a little more because it has tobe buried deeper,” he said. He added that he could only guess at sewerinstallation costs because Town Engineer John Stigler had only come up withpreliminary cost projections for water, not for sewer services.
The two together add up to at least $2.5 million, or about$50,000 per household for the 52 homes in the area. If financed by a 20-yearbond, which Musche called “typical,” that would cost homeowners about$2,500 per year. They would also have to pay Sussex an additional user fee forthe ongoing water service, itself, Musche said. Source: Sussex Sun, May18, 2004.
Residents, experts and Lisbon officialshave come up with four possible solutions:
· Bringing Sussex municipal water and sewer services down Maple Avenue to those50-plus homes.
· Drilling a community well to serve the whole area.
· Creating several “water trusts” to serve small groups of homes withshared wells.
· Letting the homeowners fend for themselves individually, creating and payingfor their own solutions.
Most of the experts, including Chad Czarkowski of theWisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office in Milwaukee, and LisbonTown Engineer John Stigler, agree that the best long-term solution is for Lisbonand Sussex to come to an agreement that would supply the area with Sussexmunicipal water and sewer services. Politically, however, that idea seems deadin the water. Despite several meetings and exchanges of letters between the twocommunities, Sussex and Lisbon are no closer to such a solution than they were ayear ago.
Czarkowski believes that aging and failingresidential septic systems are one of the sources of bacteria in some homes’water supplies. Because of the high bedrock in the area around quarries, hesaid, “even rainwater can carry bacteria into well water” because”it doesn’t get filtered.”
The area’s 50-plus households also raise the stakes.”Fifty is the magic number,” Czarkowski said, because the DNR requiresa community well that serves at least that number of households to add either asecond well or a two-day reservoir in order to back up the main well.
Community wells often have to be drilled deeper than 500feet, Czarkowski added, increasing the risk of radium contamination. Blendingthe water from both a deep and a shallow well could meet both needs, he said. Healso suggested a third solution: several water trusts that would serve no morethan six households each, thereby avoiding the costs of complying with stateregulations. Source: Sussex Sun, October 26, 2004.
LATEST HALQUIST QUARRY BLAST DRAWS COMPLAINTS – Exactly 14months after a pair of Halquist quarry blasts that those neighbors blamed fordisrupting and contaminating their well water, they say it’s happened again.
Lisbon Town Clerk Jeffrey Musche said Monday that his officereceived 24 complaints about last Thursday’s 11 a.m. blast, including one fromthe staff at Sussex Village Hall. “We sure felt it,” said SusanFreiheit, the village’s assistant clerk-treasurer. Musche said half the callerscomplained of “muddy, discolored water,” and most of the rest aboutthe noise and “shaking of the house.” One homeowner said the blastcracked his basement floor.
“There are a lot of unhappy peoplehere,” said Beverly Johnson, who lives on Northview Drive. “I’velived here 27 years, and I had no problems until three years ago when thedynamiting and the dust got really bad.” Mike Gotthardt of Maple Avenuesaid he was dining at Perks restaurant near Sussex Village Hall at the time,”and the whole building shook.”
Asked about the blast, Halquist Stone Co. President TomHalquist said, “As long as we have the lawsuit going, I can’t comment onany of this.” That lawsuit was filed earlier this year by attorney TedWarpinski on behalf of 29 residents of the area who claimed they were affectedby last year’s blasts.
Source: Sussex Sun, December 14, 2004.
Village of Sussex – The PlanCommission wants the Village Board to start litigation against Gordy’s ConcretePumping Service for failing to install a fire safety sprinkler system in itsgarage. The company’s 3-year-old buildingpermit included the sprinkler system requirement from the village’s fire safetycode.
An attorney from the firmLadewig, Rechlicz & Iggens, representing Walters, reiterated his explanationthat the delay was caused by lack of municipal water and sewer service to thebusiness’s property at N64 W22998 Highway 74. The business now gets its waterfrom a private well. The nearest village water and sewer lines are 600-700 feetaway at either Highway 74 or Quad/Graphics on Main Street. The commission didnot seem inclined to accept the attorney’s explanation.
In a telephone interviewMonday, Walters said he couldn’t afford the $35,000 to $40,000 it would take tomeet village requirements that he hook up two sprinkler heads that could supplycontinuous water for 15 minutes. Walters said he proposed an alternative”detection data system” a series of heat sensors and smoke detectorsthat would cost just $8,000. He would prefer to be hooked up to Sussex’smunicipal sewer and water lines, but, he claimed, village officials told him thevillage couldn’t afford it. “Why can’t they? What have I been paying taxesfor the last 30 years?” he asked.
Responding to Walters’attorney at the Plan Commission meeting Feb. 17, Fire Chief Corky Curtis said hehad already made several suggestions for less costly ways of supplying water toa sprinkling system using the company’s existing well. The simplest plan, Curtissaid, would install a 400-gallon holding tank with a pump that would supplyenough water for two sprinkler heads to contain a fire for 20 minutes until thefirefighters could arrive. Source: Sussex Sun,February 23, 2005.
City of Pewaukee – Twoproposed subdivisions along Duplainville Road could pave the way for developmentof more than 900 homes because the developer plans to fund construction of sewerand water to the new subdivisions. The project could reach as far north asLisbon, where it could help in rebuilding Redeemer United Church of Christ onTown Line and Lisbon roads, which was destroyed by fire more than a year ago.While the pipelines could service new development in Pewaukee, Musche saidLisbon is only talking about service to existing developments “sofar.”
The proposed sewer and water projectis facing opposition from city residents concerned about increased development,and increased costs to area residents and sewer and water customers. Under thedeveloper’s agreements with the City of Pewaukee, the city would construct thesewer and water lines but the developer would fund the majority of the project.The developer would be reimbursed as other area properties develop.
The estimated $3 million project includes construction of a$1 million sanitary sewer lift station that would serve an area that extendsalong parts of Swan Road and Pewaukee Road on the west and to properties east ofDuplainville Road. Weyer Road and the Town of Lisbon border are on the northernboundary of the area. Valley Brook and mainly undeveloped lands north of CapitolDrive lie south of the southern border of the service area.
Under the proposed project, properties inLisbon, such as the church, would also have the opportunity to hook up to sewerand water utilities. Lisbon will require that the church be rebuilt with asprinkler system connected to an adequate water supply, such as a municipalwater system. Source: Sussex Sun, April 15, 2005.
The Plan Commission did express someconcern about the church’s water supply and sprinkler system, especially in caseof another fire. Commissioner Neil Sasse asked, “If the power goes out, dothe sprinklers go out, too?” Kubala Washatko architect Vince Micha admittedthat they would.
Plan Commissioner and Town Supervisor Ronald Evert said thesolution to that problem would be a fire hydrant, but “no hydrant is goingin there until municipal water goes in there.” The new church will besupplied by a water well and a 12,000-gallon underground storage tank with morethan enough capacity to supply the sprinklers, Micha assured the PlanCommission. Church plans also indicate where hydrants would go if municipalwater ever comes to the area.
Lisbon is negotiating with the City of Pewaukee for municipalwater and sewer services for the nearby Country Club Estates subdivision, whichwould also supply the church. The church and the subdivision are both south ofLisbon Road. Source: Sussex Sun, May 11, 2005
Village of Sussex Withthe approval of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) behind it, Sussex isnow looking for engineering design firms to submit proposals on how toimplement the village’s waste water treatment plant expansion plan. Theplant handles all of the village’s residential and commercial wastewater.There are no septic tanks in Sussex. The plant also serves the Town of Lisbonand its sanitary district, the Village of Lannon and a portion of the Village ofMenomonee Falls.
Sussex expects to financethe $5.9 million expansion with a Clean Water Fund low-interest loan. The othermunicipalities served by the plant will share that cost, based on the percentageof plant capacity each one reserves. Increasing the plant’s capacity “willallow us to continue managing our 2020 growth plan,” said VillageAdministrator Evan Teich. Source: Sussex Sun, July6, 2005.
Village of Sussex Thevillage is offering a guarantee for private wells within a half-mile of thenew municipal well it is building near Maple Avenue and Plainfield Road. Theguarantee is part of a new Water Commission policy on Well No. 6 the VillageBoard approved unanimously Aug. 9. The well will be on land the village is”attaching” from the Town of Lisbon as part of the two communities’boundary agreement.
Lisbon TownSupervisor Darrell Rupnow, whose family lives near the future well, had askedSussex at the hearing for a 20-year guarantee that would cover any problems withhis well, including replacing the pump or drilling a new well, that might arisefrom any lowering of the water table caused by the new well. Lisbonites who livefarther away also wanted coverage up to two miles from the new well. The newSussex policy won’t go quite that far. It’s a five-year guarantee, through Jan.1, 2011, covering wells within a half-mile radius whose owners file reports ontheir wells’ status by Jan. 1, 2006.
Sussex will provide a form to well ownerswithin that area, asking them for the information the village will needbefore it can honor any well damage claim under the guarantee. The form asks fora well’s age, depth, casing depth, maintenance record, and static and pumpingwater levels. “Without such baseline information,” Teich said,”we have no basis for compensating them.”
The Sussex Water Commission recommended thenew policy after rejecting a request from Lisbon Town Chairman Gerald Schmitzfor financial assistance from Sussex to help Lisbon well owners provide thevillage with their wells’ baseline information. Source: SussexSun, August 17, 2005
Village of SussexTheVillage Board created a new storm water utility Dec. 13 to reduce pollution anderosion in and around the village’s waterwaysmostly Sussex Creek. The utilitywill help Sussex comply with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)regulations NR 216 and 151, which it established to administer parts of thefederal Environmental Protection Act. Those mandates also requirecommunities in the Fox River water basin to reduce pollutants (“suspendedsolids”) pouring into local streams from storm water runoff by at least 20percent by 2008 and 40 percent by 2014
Assistant VillageAdministrator Jeremy Smith said in a later interview that the program wouldserve a dual purpose to retard erosion around the village’s waterways (mostlySussex Creek and its tributaries), but mainly to reduce pollutant discharge intothose waters.
To finance the utility’scapital and operating expenses, the board voted to impose a $5-per-month chargeon homeowners, billed quarterly with the village’s water and sewer charges.Village Engineer Curt Bolton explained in an interview later that week thatthe utility’s charges would be based on the square footage of a property’s”impervious surfaces” including driveways, property walkways, roofs,patios and, for businesses and organizations, parking lots. Village sidewalksand driveway approaches would not be included, he added. Property owners wouldbe charged for each equivalent runoff unit (ERU) or 3,897 square feet ofimpervious surface Boehm explained. Businesses that install detention pondsdesigned to control storm water runoff could receive a credit toward their stormwater utility charges, Boehm added.
The village expects tospend $158,000 on storm water projects next year, and as much as $234,000 by2010, based on what the board heard from Earth Tech senior engineer Chuck Boehmin October. That’s what it will take to create new detention ponds and enlargeexisting ones, he said, and to create and maintain wetlands to filter some ofthe storm water runoff before it reaches the village’s streams. Source:Sussex Sun, October 12 and December 21, 2005.
The village fixed a 39,000-gallon-a-day leak last month, after finding it withthe help of Water Leak Locators of Platteville. That’s about 14 million gallonsof water a year from a hole in the pipeline no wider than a pencil’s diameter,Village Engineer Curt Bolton told the Village Board at its Dec. 13 meeting.
“What was unique aboutthis leak,” Smith explained in a telephone interview Monday, “is thatit was going into wetlands, not coming up in people’s yards.” That waterline opened sometime in the mid-1990s.
The village also fixed another leak along Silver Spring Road,which had also gone unnoticed, because it spilled into Sussex Creek. Smith saidthere were 10 more leaks, and the village planned to plug them, “one leakat a time.” Source: Sussex Sun, December 21,2005.