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R.A. Smith National Attends, Sponsors Brookfield Showcase

by Justin Schueler 7. October 2016 08:17

The Wisconsin chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, held a municipal showcase featuring the City of Brookfield. It’s quite the exciting time in Brookfield because the city is growing. What better way to learn about current and future developments than by taking a tour? R.A. Smith National’s Justin Schueler, P.E., traffic engineer, and Steve Miazga, P.E., business development manager, participated in the event. R.A. Smith National was pleased to be a gold sponsor of the October 6, 2016, municipal showcase event.

Justin praised the event and shared the following:

The Municipal Showcase started at the Brookfield Embassy Suites by Hilton, where Steve Ponto, the mayor of Brookfield, provided an overview of the many active and planned construction projects in the city (many of which R.A. Smith National has been involved with, including Portillo’s and The Reserve at Brookfield apartments to name a couple), and then we took a bus tour of three sites:

1. Brookfield Square Mall: The general manager of the mall presented on active and proposed improvements, including a new Chick-fil-A restaurant replacing the Associated Bank and new restaurant/retail uses planned around the outside of the exiting Boston Store.  Chick-fil-A’s opening of the 124th Street location in Brookfield was its largest in company history, which factored into them considering the second site in Brookfield. 

2. The Corridor: A mixed-use development on the former Ruby Farms site. Retail development is planned to the north along Bluemound Road and is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and is home of the first Wisconsin Portillo’s (which was the company’s third-largest opening in its history). Free samples of their world-famous chocolate cake shakes were provided. The Corridor has a flex area in the middle for hotel/medical/fitness/retail development. Three large office buildings or corporate headquarters are planned to the south along I-94. 

3. The Corners: A mixed-use retail/residential “lifestyle” development. It includes the first Wisconsin Von Maur department store, planned grocery, retail and 244 apartment units. Enough concrete was used on the site to build a 46-story high-rise building. The site features an outdoor shopping setting (similar to Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, Wis., but about one-half the size). 

The event ended with a cocktail happy hour with appetizers back at the Embassy Suites by Hilton.  The developments are expected to generate thousands of new jobs and further entrench Bluemound Road as a premier commercial corridor.

In the photo immediately below: Renderings and site maps of the city’s growth.
In the photo further below: Learning more about The Corridor.

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General | Land Development | Municipal

Grassroots Effort Brings Municipal Water to Bayside

by John Bruggeman 2. May 2016 09:33

John Bruggeman

As a traffic engineer, I don’t deal with water issues on a daily basis. However, as a resident of Bayside, Wisconsin, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a voluntary project that will provide municipal water access from the Mequon Water Utility to over 550 homes in the village.

The project started as part of a grassroots citizen effort over the past few years, initially focused on a small area of the central village, which spread to encompass large portions of eastern and northern areas of the village. Most of the homes in the project area were served by private or shared wells. Several smaller citizen-led projects, including the most recent in 2013, provided the framework for this project. I served as a block captain to inform residents in my neighborhood and encourage participation in the project. Most of our information sharing was by word of mouth, so it gave me an opportunity to get to know my neighbors better, listen to their concerns and answer their questions. Several project volunteers, including project leader Penny Goldman, dedicated countless hours to the effort.

The Village of Bayside (which took no official position on the project) served as the conduit between the project and Bayside residents, offering numerous public information sessions, newsletter articles and information booths at local events. The Village also provided financing options to residents to pay for the project over a 20-year term.   
After 2-plus years of hard work in planning and design, the project was constructed in summer 2015. Construction started in June and was substantially complete by late fall. Final restoration and punch list items will be completed in spring 2016. The final totals included the installation of nearly 14 miles of water main, 106 fire hydrants, and 127 mainline valves for over 500 new Mequon Water Utility customers. With this project, over 85% of the Village now has access to municipal water. 

Connecting individual residences to municipal water is a costly endeavor. This project provided an “economy of scale” by getting a large group of residents to connect at one time and provide a more cost-effective solution. It is believed to be the largest project of its kind in the state of Wisconsin.

Mequon Water Utility distribution system
Image showing a portion of the Mequon Water Utility map showing the homes to receive municipal water access thanks to this grassroots effort. View the entire map below as a PDF.

Mequon Water Utility.pdf (351.49 kb)

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New-Tech Parking Meters Simplify Payment Process

by John Burgan 12. October 2015 12:01

The Wisconsin Chapter of AWPA (American Public Works Association) recently published its October 2015 newsletter. Take a read through all of the informative and interesting articles, including the article from the Engineering & Technology Committee on page 11.

Because of my interest in municipal parking, I chose to feature parking meters and the technology currently used for those operating in the City of Milwaukee. Also of note are mobile parking payment apps. Read on to learn more.

New-Tech Parking Meters Simplify Payment Process
APWA Wisconsin Chapter October 2015 Newsletter



Municipal | Technology

Funding Infiltration & Inflow (I & I) Reduction on Private Property

by Chris Stamborski 23. July 2014 03:44

Private property is a major source of infiltration/inflow (I & I) entering into dedicated wastewater or sanitary sewer systems. Various efforts are underway in Wisconsin, and nationwide, to not only identify these sources, but develop remedies to reduce the amount of flow entering these systems. An important aspect of these efforts is providing financial assistance to local government for investigation and installation of best management practices. This article will explore some of the ways in which this type of work is either currently being funded, or may be funded, in the future.

In southeast Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) developed a program in 2011 titled “2010-2020 Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Program.” The program is focused on developing and implementing remedies for I & I from private property sources to reduce the amount of flow that must be stored, conveyed and treated by MMSD.

The MMSD has $62 million budgeted for communities within the district over the 10-year period of the program. Each community is allocated funds based on their proportionate share of billings to the MMSD.  Each community may spend up to 20% of their allocation on investigative activities, with the balance of the funds going towards the implementation of a project. It is important to understand that the actual amount allocated and dispersed to eligible communities is dependent each year on the District’s annual budgeting process and inter-municipal agreements set up prior to the start of any defined project. 

The following tasks (to be completed on private property only) are eligible under MMSD’s program.

  • Disconnection of foundation drains from sanitary sewer
  • Installation of sump pumps related to above foundation drain disconnection
  • Replacement of deteriorated lateral sewers
  • Rehabilitation of deteriorated lateral sewers (i.e. CIPP lining, etc.)
  • Complete disconnection of laterals
  • Installation of privately owned storm laterals to convey stormwater
  • Inspection/investigation costs (i.e. dye testing, CCTV and flow monitoring)
  • Professional services--planning/design, preparation of bidding documents, direct project management
  • Construction inspection costs
  • Public education and outreach

Upon adoption of rule revisions anticipated in spring of 2015, the Clean Water Fund will be another resource for financial assistance for Wisconsin local units of government and sanitary districts for lateral lining work on private property. Lateral lining work on private property is considered an eligible activity under the Clean Water Fund if certain legal requirements are met. If a local unit of government or sanitary district and the homeowner(s) enters into a “limited scope maintenance easement,” the local government is allowed to assume legal rights to reline the private lateral, and thereby, be eligible for Clean Water Fund assistance. The financial assistance would be in the form of a reduced interest loan, or in the case of a municipality meeting financial hardship criteria, a grant.

R.A. Smith National has provided assistance to 22 local governments in Wisconsin, including several utility districts, with either a limited, or comprehensive, sanitary sewer evaluation study (SSES). We serve many of our clients on an ongoing basis as they have repeatedly contracted with R.A. Smith National for a continuum of services.

More Information
Visit our SSES web page to find out more about our SSES services. For more information or to discuss a project need, contact Chris Stamborski, P.E., assistant director of municipal services, at 262-317-3337.

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Clean Water Fund Advisory Group Finalizes Recommendations, Proposed Rule Changes Advance

by Karen Wiesneski 22. April 2014 05:10

The Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and an advisory group met for the last time on April 15, 2014, to finalize their recommendations for changes to the Wisconsin Clean Water Fund program (WDNR Chapter 162).  The group has met periodically since early February 2014. Substantive changes that have been proposed are listed below.

*   A revised priority scoring system to be incorporated into the Priority Evaluation and Ranking Form (PERF) has been recommended for the revolving loan fund program.

*   While not part of the rule revision process, the DNR is implementing an online Intent to Apply (ITA) submittal process in the fall of 2014 for the 2015 ITA submittals. Once the rules are in effect (spring/summer 2015), the WDNR will begin programming for an on-line self-scoring PERF to accompany the online ITA form.

*   The date for annual ITA and PERF submittals will change when the rules are enacted (anticipated spring 2015) from December 31 to October 31.

*   Options are provided for sanitary districts and sewerage districts by which MHI (median household income) is calculated in determining eligibility for hardship financial assistance or principal forgiveness on a loan. This change is necessary based on the time and cost for obtaining this information for non-standard municipal boundaries.  While the group noted that the new American Community Survey (ACS) methodology can result in a large margin of error, the statutes require that the data be provided by the US Census Bureau.  

Sanitary districts and sewerage districts, because of their unique boundaries, may use one of the following methods for determining their MHI:  1) Requesting a custom tabulation of income data at the census block level from the American Community Survey most recently published with 5-year data after providing the ACS with the census block information for the district; 2) The median household income of the census tract or block numbering area that encompasses the municipality.  If the municipality falls within two or more census tracts or block numbering areas, the median household income shall be weighted by the population of the municipality that resides within each minor civil division; or 3) The median household income of the minor civil division, such as a town, within which the municipality is located.  If the municipality falls within two or more minor civil divisions, the median household income shall be weighted by the population of the municipality that resides within each minor civil division. The applicant will be responsible for collecting this data which will be valid for a one-year period.

*   The total estimated cost of a project to be funded under the small loan program (through the State Trust Fund administered by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands) will be increased from $1 million or less to $2 million or less.

A tentative schedule for finalizing new rules is as follows: two-week economic impact public comment period end of April, early May; rules submitted to the Natural Resources Board at their June board meeting for public hearing authorization; 30-day public comment period in July; and changes made and rules finalized end of August or September 2014.  DNR staff anticipate requesting NRB adoption late fall and then subsequent legislative review in spring 2015.  The effective date of the rule is anticipated to be summer 2015.

If you have any questions about the rule revisions, please contact Robin Schmidt, Chief, Environmental Loans Section, at 608-266-3915 or  Updates to the rule will be posted on the DNR web site and in E-Bulletins at

If you would like to discuss a specific project need (funding or engineering related) with R.A. Smith National, please contact Chuck Pape at Chuck is a civil engineer with R.A. Smith National and was a voluntary member of the advisory group. He has 30+ years of prior experience with WDNR, serving primarily as their first point of contact for all Clean Water Fund projects in southeastern Wisconsin. Chuck’s experience with the existing funding system at WDNR provided a unique perspective on priority scoring and loan eligibility.

R.A. Smith National will continue to track the progress of these rule changes and communicate updates through this grants newsletter, our online grants directory at and our Wisconsin Grant Seekers group on LinkedIn.




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