August 19, 2021 – Village of Richfield, Wi – The Village of Richfield will move into closed session at the end of its meeting on Thursday, August 19, 2021 to discuss a sewer/water agreement with the Village of Germantown.
This is not the first time the topic has been approached as the Village of Richfield has been pursuing the idea for maybe the past five years but according to Village Administrator Jim Healy it was a hot topic in 2020.
According to the agenda: in closed session, inter-governmental agreement with Village of Germantown for purchase of water and sewer infrastructure to service Northeast Corridor.
Healy said the area in question is about 200 acres of land north of the Kwik Trip along I41 bordered by STH 175 and Pleasant Hill Road. “This has been an area we’ve long kind of discussed as being ripe for industrial development,” he said.
Couple of bullet points about the issue:
- The land is owned by brothers Brian and Kevin Kazmierczak; it is currently farmland
- The entire Village of Richfield has wells and septic systems. There is no sewer/water in the Village. Even the Kwik Trip on STH 167 has wells/septic.
Healy said he believes at the time the Village of Richfield is very much engaged in doing it.
“It’s been a hot topic issue in our community for a number of years. But at that same time, over the course of the last decade, we’ve done numerous studies to show the benefit of this area, developing industrial and the positive effect it would have on the tax rates and the ability to have good family-supporting jobs right here in our own backyard,” Healy said.
The Village of Richfield has a population around 12,000. Some neighbors fear, once sewer/water are in then high-density housing will follow.
Healy said that won’t happen, primarily because of the location of the subcontinental divide.
“So we have an ordinance that talks about this very thing on our books, where sewer and water utilities cannot extend west of STH 175,” said Healy. “If it does, it triggers a referendum. We were that confident in the fact we only want this isolated to a very particular region of the village of Richfield, and no more.”
Healy said the Village of Richfield has worked hard to keep the community informed.
Questioned whether a decision would be made on Thursday, he said “no.”
“It’s not like we’re digging the lines tomorrow. We’re still very much having preliminary discussions not only with Germantown, but also with Jackson,” Healy said.
Germantown Village President Dean Wolter agreed, the talks are very preliminary.
“We don’t we don’t have an agreement with them,” said Wolter. “I mean, and we’re not proposing one. We may be discussing the sewer and water and what it would take for us to bring sewer and water to what they are trying to do over there off Holy Hill Road.”
Wolter said the Village of Germantown has had an open discussion on the issue. “The last time our board didn’t come to an agreement to offer the sewer and water in fact, even though we expanded the base of our water tower, we didn’t bring in the steel to make it higher. So in order for us to supply water to them, we have to bring our water tower up to a certain height and we didn’t approve that.”
Community Buildout Analysis CLICK HERE (2013)
CLICK HERE for Northeast Corridor Opportunity Analysis (2016)
Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Analysis CLICK HERE (2020)
Healy and Wolter said the Village of Richfield was also in talks with the Village of Jackson.
“They’re talking to both communities to see which one makes the most sense,” said Wolter.
“We’re the shorter route and I imagine we’re less expensive but what would it take with regard to the cost that we put into the infrastructure to bring it up there.”
Wolter was also concerned about adding to the competitiveness of luring development to the community if the Village of Germantown helps to make the Village of Richfield more attractive. “Since we paid to cover the cost to bring it up there, would we start competing against them for possible development opportunities,” he said.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall in Richfield, 4128 Hubertus Road. The meeting is open to the public.
This is a working story and more details will be added as information becomes available.