Could Brookfield lake become a dump?

Keller Russell

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Could Brookfield lake become a dump?

CREATED Jun. 18, 2013

BROOKFIELD - Buried beyond the trees of Debbie Hanson’s Brookfield backyard is a quiet oasis; a lone lake in an old quarry.

“I bought this house because of what’s back there. Nothing’s back there but the nature.”

But the area could soon lose its peacefulness.

A contractor with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Super Excavators, plans to buy the former quarry from its private owners to truck in and dump soil and what’s called “clean fill” – uncontaminated rock, asphalt and concrete.

The majority would come from the Zoo Interchange project.

“I’m rather upset,” said Roberta Woodward who has lived nearby for more than a decade.

She’s concerned about what the imported soil could do to her water quality.

“The street that I live on is one of the few in this area that has well water.”

Others are upset about the noise and traffic the project will generate. Trucks will be allowed to run five days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for up to seven years.

The owner of a nearby apartment complex has started a petition against the project for neighbors to sign.

While they’re encouraged to voice their concerns, there may be little the city can do to appease neighbors.

Due to a provision in state law, WDOT projects do not need to secure local zoning approvals for material disposal sites.

The contractor does need to abide by WDOT requirements for an “Erosion Control Implementation Plan” which the state regulates. They also need to follow DNR rules.

A map on the city’s website shows what the area would eventually look like.

The fill would be graded and turned into a city park. An apartment complex would also be developed just south of Burleigh road.

But Debbie Hanson believes the park isn’t worth years of noise, dust, and traffic.

“You know I don’t know how much other property is available in Brookfield to do what they want but you know, leave my backyard alone.”

The city is hosting a public meeting for neighbors to ask questions and voice their concerns.

That’s Wednesday, June 19, at Brookfield East High School cafeteria from 4 – 7 p.m.

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