October 25, 2017

Dear Constituent,

I would like to invite you to a meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday, November 6 at the Oshkosh Town Hall. I have invited experts to explain options for addressing the water and sewer situation.

Thanks to Town Clerk Jeanette Merten for helping to arrange the meeting, and thanks to the Volunteer Fire Department for being willing to reschedule their meeting so we can use the town hall. The citizens of the Town of Oshkosh sure know how to work together to help each other.

We are really going to have to work together to solve this problem that has been worsening for decades. You’re no stranger to the issue, I’m sure. When WMHI sold off staff housing, they continued to provide water and sewer. WMHI was annexed to the City of Oshkosh in 1995. The city began assessing an additional suburban charge that added up to roughly one million dollars; the Wisconsin Attorney General determined that they did not have the authority to do that. Also at that time, the town and city agreed that WMHI would not act as the utility for longer than four years; no action was taken, so WMHI and DHS have continued to act in this capacity, being funded by Wisconsin taxpayers.

The recently enacted budget states that WMHI will not be allowed to continue to act as a water utility. Governor Walker graciously extended the deadline for a year, but something needs to be done now so that date doesn’t come and go, leaving you in a difficult situation.

Owners need to decide how they want to proceed. This information is for the water and sewer service only. Laterals on private property are the owner’s sole responsibility.

Before the meeting, you may wish to examine some information on several options.

I’ve run these options past the appropriate agencies for accuracy without any corrections, but this is just for general background information only, not legal advice.

It would be a good idea to examine these webpages ahead of time and come with your questions. Even if you don’t have time to prepare in advance, please come and learn about ways to resolve this situation.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t be free, but the worst thing we could do now is to procrastinate even longer. Let’s work together to choose a solution and implement it.

I’ll see you on November 6th.

Sincerely,

Representative Michael Schraa