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Whitefish Bay officials looking at 10-year capital improvement plan

June 4, 2012

Whitefish Bay officials are reviewing a 10-year capital improvement plan - an important lynchpin toward the road to addressing upgrades in the sanitary sewer system that resulted in flooding nearly two years ago during torrential rainfall.

Tentatively, the village is planning to borrow about $100 million in the years ahead to fund improvements to the sanitary sewer system, as well as water utility infrastructure and streets.

The village has contracted with financial advisory firm Ehlers and Associates to hash over financial options for the impending work. Company representative Mike Harrigan reviewed some of the details at a Village Board meeting Monday night.

One of the most scrutinized aspects of this week's discussion focused on funding options. Village officials are grappling with implementing a storm water utility fee - a figure that would be determined based on a variety of factors, including the square footage of a property.

Over time, Herrigan said property tax payers could incur an increase of $1.42 per $1,000 of assessed value to fund the improvements without a storm water utility. With a current rate of 81 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, this would increase the amount to $2.23 per $1,000 of assessed value. The figure only represents the municipal portion of a village taxpayer's bill and only takes into account the money earmarked for funding improvements.

The board and administrators will further hash over details during a special meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. June 25 at Village Hall, 5300 N. Marlborough Drive.

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