Mequon homes costing longtime neighbors
Council members looking at how sewer expansion is assessed
By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff
May 26, 2015
MEQUON — As plans for
building as many as 200 new homes in central Mequon
advance, some longtime area residents are finding
themselves caught in the middle of the boom.
Several residents appeared before the Mequon Common
Council May 12 to complain they may have to pay as much
as $35,000 to get connected to the sewers being expanded
into the area.
“I’m paying $20,000 so developers can reap all of the
profit,” said Janice Besler, who lives in the 10600
block of North Wauwatosa Road.
Patrick McDonald, another resident who lives in the
10300 block of North Wauwatosa Road, said he was told
that he would have to connect to the incoming sewer for
Kristin Lundeen, the city engineer and director of
public works, said the city decided the fairest way to
charge for the sewer expansion was to base it on
acreage. All of the homes in the Central Growth Area
will be developed on lots with an overall density of 1
acre. Most lots will be around one-half acre; the
remaining land will be green space for community use of
The affected homeowners who have lived in the area for
years live on much bigger properties; some could be
subdivided, while others cannot.
Two developers are moving forward with three projects
that, when fully built out, could add approximately 200
homes to the city. The subdivisions are in an area
between Wauwatosa and Swan roads with Donges Bay Road to
the south. The development will extend north to the rear
of subdivisions that now face Mequon Road.
Council members appeared sympathetic to the residents’
plight and tabled two of four items related to the sewer
projects to give city staff time to work out an
arrangement that would address their concerns.
Possible solutions would be to spread out payments for
the sewer work over a number of years, change the
formula for how the costs are computed or allow the
existing residents to defer payments for the work until
their property is sold.
“I don’t want to force them off their farmsteads,” said
Pamela Fuhry-Adams, who represents Mequon’s 8th
District. “They’re going to have the value (from the
improvements). They’re just going to have to pay for it
later when it sells.”
Connie Pukaite, who represents District 2, said there
are nine – or possibly fewer – existing residents who
are affected. The potential cost for the sewer extension
solely for these properties will be slightly lower than
“I think we should be able to sit down and noodle this
out,” she said.
Dale Mayr, the District 3 alderman, agreed. “I find it
increasingly difficult to charge people who don’t want
it and don’t need it,” he said.
The council then unanimously:
■ Approved the sale of $7.125 million in general
obligation bonds to fund the work. Of that amount, $5.8
million is to fund road improvements throughout the city
over the next three years; $1.325 million is for the
sewer infrastructure improvements.
■ Approved the low bid of Kruczek Construction to
complete the sewer work.
■ Tabled two resolutions that deal with special
assessments for the project. The council likely will
discuss the issue again at its June meeting.
Gary Achterberg can be reached