Thursday, May 04, 2006

The strange public hearing for MMSD plans

I stopped in at the public hearing this week that was held on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's application for DNR permits that would allow MMSD to build flood control project on the Milwaukee County grounds. This project is going to cost $90 million or more, create two huge stormwater ponds and have some wetlands impact, so it is no small deal.

The public hearing was unlike any I have ever attended. The first hint that something was odd came when one of the main speakers at the hearing thanked everyone for coming out to "support" the project. Really? Support? Sez who? Then the speaker described the project in positive terms -- hey, this is a sales pitch, not a public hearing!

Then, when he finished, someone in the audience finally asked: Who are you? And then, and only then, did the speaker reveal that he worked for HNTB, which is being more than a million bucks to design the project.

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