Pewaukee Merger Study Outline and Budget

The Pewaukee merger study is being undertaken in several phases. The purpose of a phased approach is as to enable the Merger Advisory Committee to recommend termination of the merger study at the end of any phase should the Committee be of the opinion that a mutually beneficial approach to the consolidation of the two municipalities cannot be found.

As identified in the accompanying chart, four phases of the study are envisioned. At the present time (Fall 2009), the study is in Phase IV. All costs incurred by the consultant team are being shared equally by the City and the Village.

Phase Number

Phase Name


Consultant Cost


Merged General Fund Budget Preparation

  • Work undertaken by City and Village Administrators

No Cost

  • Principal Finding: Consolidation of City and Village could effect general fund cost savings of at least $1.1 million assuming that about $409,000 in Village hydrant rental expenditures were paid instead through utility fees as is the practice in the City.


Consolidation Tax Rate Feasibility Analysis

  • Work undertaken by consultant team of Municipal Economics & Planning (Ruekert/Mielke) and Boardman Law Firm


  • Principal Finding: There are several ways to structure a consolidation of the City and Village so as to ensure that cost savings brought about by the consolidation can be shared by both taxpayer groups, thereby reducing property tax rates for both groups.


Setting the Stage for a Definitive Consolidation Proposal

  • Work was undertaken by the above-referenced consultant team


  • Sanitary Sewer and Water Utility Study
    • Quantify possible future capital cost avoidance by a utility merger
    • Examine potential availability of Village utility reserves for use in municipal consolidation tax rate reduction, including impacts on future user charges
    • Explore the rate ramifications of utility merger


  • Principal findings of Sewer and Water Study
    • Consolidation would not bring about significant capital cost savings attendant to the sanitary sewerage systems, nor would there be significant operational cost savings.
    • Consolidation would result in the avoidance of about $6.7 million in capital costs for the water supply systems, with nearly all such savings accruing to City ratepayers. Consolidation would not result in significant water system operational cost savings.
    • Considering both sewer and water utilities, both City and Village ratepayers would benefit from the consolidation. City ratepayers, however, would benefit more than Village ratepayers. City ratepayers would have both lower future sewer and water rates owing to the consolidation. Village ratepayers would have lower future sewer rates, and slightly higher water rates, but benefit from slightly lower total utility rates as compared to a situation where consolidation does not occur.
  • Seek Special Consolidation Taxing District Legislation
    • Draft legislation has been obtained and awaits sponsorship for introduction into the lawmaking process.


  • Prepare Street Utility District Plan*



Preparation of a Final Consolidation Plan

  • Work is being undertaken by the above-referenced consultant team supplemented by the firm of Zeppos & Associates, Inc. That team continues to work with the City and Village Administrators.


  • Preparation of a consolidation transition plan
    • Articulation of the terms of the consolidation
    • Determination of a time schedule
    • Proposed format and structure of successor municipality
    • Interim governance requirements
    • Identification of issues to be addressed by the post-consolidation governing body
    • Estimation of one-time transition costs
  • Preparation of a consolidation ordinance
  • Conduct of a public information and education program to help ensure that voters and property owners fully understand the consolidation proposal.
  • Before a consolidation referendum can be submitted to the voters for a binding determination, the consolidation proposal must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Common Council and Village Board.

*This work would be undertaken only if the effort to obtain consolidation taxing district legislation failed.