Jan. 7, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – I urge my fellow Washington County citizens to contact their County Supervisor TODAY and ask that they VOTE NO on a fiscally irresponsible resolution to amend Washington County’s Capital Improvement Plan that will cost Washington County tax payers approximately $2.5M.
The resolution proposes to create more than a half mile of new road to extend County Hwy W (CTH W) from State Hwy 175 (STH 175) to State Hwy 83 (STH 83) at a total ESTIMATED cost to tax payers of $2.1M. The ESTIMATED cost is based on a 30% engineering study, the actual cost to taxpayers could be far more. The proposal will be presented to the Washington County Board on Wednesday, January 9.
Please call or email your supervisor now! All County Supervisors’ contact information is at the end of this letter.
The proposal must be rejected for the following reasons:
- It misappropriates money from the County’s long-term road repair funds.
- It is a waste of tax payer dollars due to existing road infrastructure.
- It will endanger motorists and other users of the roadways
- It will destroy precious agricultural lands
Misappropriation of long-term road repair funds
County officials claim the amendment will have no net financial impact on the Capital Improvement Plan; this a FALSE statement. County officials plan to pay for the cost to construct the new road by robbing funds the County recently received from the State of Wisconsin when it agreed to take jurisdiction of the portion of STH 83 lying north of Hartford. The State paid the County $5M for this transfer because the state considered STH 83 to have wear and tear the county will need to repair in the future. The County has already allocated approximately half of this $5M for other purposes. Rather than save the remaining funds for road maintenance as was intended by the State, the County is proposing to misappropriate this money to construct a new and completely unneeded road.
Keep in mind this past August when the County Board authorized County Officials to borrow $10M to fund planned highway projects. The County Board approved this mortgage on our future with the full understanding that an additional $12M in borrowers will be needed to fund future planned highway projects. The interest cost of this borrowing is estimated to be $3.78M-$4.55M. And yet instead of using the money the County received from the State of Wisconsin to pay for planned road projects it has to borrow to fund, it is asking the County Board to use the money to build a new road for which the County will have to borrow more money to maintain.
Unnecessary due to existing road infrastructure
County officials’ claim that an extension of County Hwy W is needed to improve mobility is FALSE. There are already two existing county highways, County Highways K and S (CTHs K and S), within one mile of each other connecting State Highways 175 and 83. Extensive renovations will be made to CTH K this coming summer at a cost of approximately $5M. Renovations to CTH S have also been proposed. And would be appropriate. These improvements to our existing road infrastructure are sufficient to support the County’s mobility needs.
Further, an extension of CTH W will result in three county highways connecting the same two state highways within half mile of each other. The County has conducted absolutely no studies, has no data, nor has it received any recommendations from the state or any other authority to support its contention that an extension of County Hwy W is needed to improve mobility. Further, its traffic counts reflect very minimal use of these roads. Clearly the County’s proposal to extend CTH W is a completely unnecessary and wasteful use of taxpayer’s tax dollars.
Endanger motorists and other users of the roadway
County officials’ claims that extending CTH W is necessary to improve the safety of the area roads is FALSE. By extending CTH W the County will create two new intersections creating additional opportunities for vehicles to collide. The County relies on accident reports to support its contention that extending CTH is necessary to improve safety but offers no studies or data to support its contention that the creation of two new intersections will improve safety and not actually increase the number of vehicle collisions in this area..
Also, extending CTH W will encourage additional traffic into downtown Allenton, an already congested commercial area that includes an active rail crossing. Why encourage vehicles to use this route when existing CTH K is a far safer route to Allenton via Highway 41, which avoids this commercial bottleneck and safely transports vehicles over the railroad via a bridge? Increased traffic in this area also poses risk of harm to other users enjoying these area roads including bikers, joggers and farm equipment operators.
Destruction of agricultural lands
Finally, Washington County’s agricultural land is a non-renewable resource. Once this land is gone it can never be restored. Constructing an unneeded road is a foolish use of our precious finite agricultural land resources.
Contact your County Supervisor
If you agree the county should not waste $2.1M of tax payer dollars (only an estimate) by constructing a new road over valuable agricultural land, please contact your County Supervisor and ask them to oppose the resolution to amend Washington County’s Capital Improvement Plan on Wednesday, January 9th.
Anne Wenninger Gehring
County Supervisor Contact Information obtained from: http://www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml?mdl=departments.mdl&ID=CBD
Name Phone Email
Kris Deiss 262-323-1542 [email protected]
Roger Kist 414-550-2755 [email protected],
Christopher Bossert 262-404-5158 [email protected]
Chris Jenkins 262-707-3959 [email protected]
Michael Bassill 414-378-3647 [email protected]
Denis Kelling 262-305-2678 [email protected]
Brian Krebs 262-305-5224 [email protected]
Dick Bertram 262-355-5111 [email protected]
William Symicek 262-622-3385 [email protected]
Keith Stephan 262-438-4108 [email protected]
Frank Carr 414-526-6030 [email protected]
Joe Gonnering 262-675-2681 or [email protected]
Robert Hartwig 414-313-7514 [email protected]
Marcy Bishop 262-677-2662 [email protected]
Marilyn Merten 262-677-2597 [email protected]
Russell Brandt 262-644-8854 [email protected]
Tim Michalak 262-670-1119 [email protected]
James Burg 262-339-7690 [email protected]
John Bulawa 414-531-6479 [email protected]
Mark McCune 262-844-2018 [email protected]
Don Kriefall 414-803-3488 [email protected]
Rock Brandner 262-628-1665 or [email protected]
Brian Gallitz 262-790-3199 [email protected]
Peter Sorce 262-253-0561 [email protected]
Jeffrey Scheif 262-253-0976 [email protected]
Carroll Merry 262-253-6902 [email protected]
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