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Preliminary Report on the Milwaukee County Water Utility: Transfer of water services for seven customers

Milwaukee County owns and operates a water utility on the Milwaukee County Grounds, an area of County-owned property located entirely within the borders of the City of Wauwatosa. The water utility also maintains the sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure on the County Grounds. The water utility was originally developed when the County Grounds was occupied solely by County institutions such as the County Hospital, a poor farm, an orphanage, and a tuberculosis asylum. An electric utility also was developed to serve County functions at the County Grounds, but that utility was sold to We Energies in 1995.

Over the past 100 years, several of the County functions at the site have been privatized, phased out, or moved to other locations. They have been replaced by major regional hospitals such as Froedtert and Children’s, related medical facilities such as the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the 175-acre Milwaukee County Research Park, which serves as an incubator for high technology businesses. Significant parcels of the County Grounds also have been sold over time to private sector occupants such as GE Healthcare and, more recently, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation for the development of Innovation Park Campus. A substantial portion of the northeast quadrant of the Grounds also remains undeveloped and serves as parkland and natural area, as well as meeting floodwater retention needs.