April 17, 2019
By Dave Fidlin
Special to Conley Media
Touches on new City Hall, Lake Michigan water, street and utility projects
Waukesha — When it came time to deliver his customary State of the City Address, Mayor Shawn Reilly on Tuesday looked back — and ahead — as he highlighted past, present and future projects and efforts shaping the community.
Reilly touched on a number of issues, including the plans in motion for a new City Hall, switchover to Lake Michigan water and infrastructure improvements downtown and elsewhere.
The mayor delivered his address, based on a 10-page report, at the end of a Common Council meeting Tuesday.
One of the items Reilly placed emphasis on in his comb-through of highlights was the new City Hall. Talks of constructing a new municipal building have bubbled to the surface in various forms in recent decades, but have picked up steam in the past several years.
Construction on the new facility, which will replace the current Delafield Street site that was constructed in 1965, is slated to take place later this year as part of a multi-year, multi-phased process.
“We will start construction on the new City Hall by the end of the year,” Reilly said in his address. “I look forward to working with the Common Council and the city staff in helping move our city forward.”
Another oft-discussed topic — the city’s long-term water supply — also was touched on briefly amid Reilly’s annual checkup on Waukesha-related matters.
Reilly reminded attendees Waukesha’s pursuit of having Lake Michigan water piped into the city is underway after an agreement with Milwaukee was struck. More important, the diversion was approved, with a number of stipulations, by members of the Great Lakes Compact.
“Planning and permitting for the water project is underway, with the goal of a 2023 transition to Lake Michigan water,” Reilly said. “We will return 100 percent of the water back to Lake Michigan.”
Reilly also looked at some of his perceived accomplishments in Waukesha in 2018, including the completion of a design and construction of downtown street and utility improvements of South Street, from North Grand Avenue to Barstow Street, in addition to Gaspar Street, from South to West Main streets.
“This $1.4 million project included rehab of the sanitary sewer system, relay of the water main, reconstruction of the roadway and installation of decorative brick pavers,” Reilly said.
In the year ahead, Reilly emphasized three infrastructure improvements are in the works, including the Greenmeadow interceptor sewer project, the second phase of Northview Road reconstruction and flood mitigation improvements.
Cummings selected as council president
Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings was selected to lead the Common Council after receiving a majority of the votes from her elected colleagues Tuesday.
Annually, the council in mid-April holds an organizational meeting after the spring general election. Selecting a council president is one of multiple items — the others including issuing oaths of office and appointing aldermen to boards, committees and commissions.
City takes out $14.7M in notes to help finance City Hall project
Waukesha officials have approved a plan to take out $14.7 million in general obligation promissory notes as a step in securing interim financing for the first phase of the new City Hall project.
The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution, setting the stage for taking out the notes. Terms include a 2.08-percent interest rate.
“It’s an excellent interest rate,” Alderman Joe Pieper said. “It’s darn near free.”