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Thiensville business owners don't warm to water mains

March 5, 2012

To say the response of business owners was lukewarm would be to overstate what could be described as a tepid reaction to the idea of installing municipal water along Main Street in Thiensville.

The Village Board held a public information meeting tonight, inviting the business owners to attend. About 10 of them did come, but those within the current project area, from a point south of Willowbrook to a point in front of the record store at Buntrock and Main streets, didn't show much enthusiasm, largely because of cost.

One businessman outside of the proposed area, Scott Heatwole, addressed the board before the public meeting, outlining a series of problems with a well serving 180 S. Main Street and 184 to 190 South Main Street. Heatwole said the water is so hard that it has caused seven water heaters to fail in eight years. Shower heads, faucets and other water equipment in the buildings has also failed or become corroded.

But property owners in the area where the village is considering the installation of water mains say they have no problems with their wells.

Village officials believe municipal water, purchased through the Water Utility in Mequon, would add to the value of property on Main Street and help with the development of vacant sites. Mike Rau, the manager of the Water Utility, said public health improves with public water, the cost of fire insurance decreases, and is impact quality of life issues. If power goes out, residents still have water under a municipal system.

Village officials plan to continue to gather information from business owners and to provide them with information about likely costs. The village is also considering major repairs to Main Street, which has become a bumpy ride as the joints between pavement sections have failed.

Since it would make no sense to tear up the street to add water mains after it is repaired, the water decision must come first.

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