All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Friday, June 16, 2006

Is anyone thinking how much this will cost the taxpayers?

Have you noticed how many issues before the School District and the City of Brookfield carry a hefty price tag? Is our government considering how we are going to pay for all of this? It does not seem so. We all need to work within a fixed budget. They should too.

Elmbrook was forced to give up on their pie-in-the-sky two new high school idea. Instead, they are promoting their bargain, nearly $90 million high school renovation project. That is supposed to be a practical solution?

The spending does not end there. Now they are venturing into the costly proposition of providing 4 year old kindergarten. Have they even considered the ethics of providing free daycare at taxpayer expense?

Our City Plan Commission and Park & Rec. Commission unanimously approved the “Pocket Park” for the new Town Square west of Brookfield Square (where the Firestone store is located). This will be surrounded by more condos/apartments and retail—all part of TIF #3. Isn’t that just what we need? More traffic generating development for already congested Bluemound!

The idea of relocating our 2 east side fire stations is gaining momentum. First we had the study, now we have the need. But is it a need? One reason given for the need is that the two older stations originally were designed for one fire truck. Now they need to house an ambulance too. Another reason for the need is to have separate bathroom facilities for female fire fighters. If the present facility has completely individual single shower/bathroom stalls with a lockable door, isn’t that sufficient? That is the way shower facilities are done at many National Parks and I never felt threatened by it. Or, had anyone even considered only stationing female fire fighters at the new safety building? But if they really need to make an additional shower room, last time I checked, an extra bathroom and garage bay addition did not cost $2.5million!

The west side may need better fire and EMT service, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of serving the east side of the city. A satellite EMT station, not costing anywhere near $2.5 million, could be located somewhere on the west side, thus improving response times. Plus, we are annexing more Town of Brookfield land all the time. What happens when the west side grows to the point of needing their own fire station? If we have moved them away from the east side and then still need a new one on the west side. Relocating the fire stations will have only created a very expensive problem.

Let’s not forget the Calhoun Road south project costing over $11million! (Yes, I know about 2/3 of that is Federal Tax Dollars, and we all know those are free.) Again we have the study fueling the need. Alderman Jerry Mellone presented very compelling evidence that the traffic study used to justify the colossal scope of the widening was flawed. Tom Grisa acknowledged the inconsistencies in the study, but defended the scope of the project anyway.

Jerry brought up a very creative solution: by narrowing the project to 2 lanes south of Swanson School, the city would have enough money to purchase and save Ruby Farm. The city could then locate an EMT station there, thus eliminating the need for the expensive fire station relocation project.

Bottom line? We need to start separating needs from wants. Taxpayers expect to pay for needs, not wish list wants.

Links: and
Weed control links: garlic mustard and garlic mustard's pretty cousin, Dame's Rocket. (It can take over native areas too.) Garlic mustard should be thrown in the trash--do not compost


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