Monday, July 7, 2008 - 5:47am
Madison-After receiving Common Council approval, the Madison Water Utility has instituted a new plan for involving the public throughout the process when major facilities are constructed.
Although the utility has previously gathered public input on major projects, the new standard operating plan formalizes the procedures from the early stages on through completion for choosing the locations and designs for new municipal wells, reservoirs, pump stations, and control valve facilities. The formal plan was originally suggested by Ald. Tim Gruber (District 11), and is designed to inform and involve stakeholders in the vicinity of proposed projects.
Larry Nelson, Interim Water Utility Manager, stated that the plan strikes a balance between public participation and the need of the utility to provide the necessary infrastructure in an economical and timely fashion.
One of the key elements of each construction project will be the appointment of a Citizen Advisory Panel made up of interested parties such as neighborhood groups, environmental groups, businesses, elected officials, and other organizations. This volunteer panel will provide recommendations to the project manager/engineer on public goals, preferences, and community values as they relate to the proposed construction. Other public participation opportunities throughout the process could include open houses, public workshops, websites, meetings, feedback cards, surveys, and public comment meetings.
Major Water Utility projects currently underway are using a modified version of the public participation plan. Projects proposed after January 1, 2009, will use the entire new plan. The full text of the Public Participation Process for Water Utility Facilities is on the utility website under Plans, Programs, and Projects at www.cityofmadison.com/water.
The construction of major Water Utility infrastructure projects is projected in the utility's Master Plan and Infrastructure Management Plan, which are also posted on the website.
- Gail Gawenda, Public Information Officer, 608:266-9129