ON-Lion Letter

In February, a Milwaukee County, Wis., judge ruled that area utility ratepayers cannot be forced to bear the burden of relocation costs associated with the construction of a streetcar in downtown Milwaukee.  Judge William Sosnay's decision affirms the conclusion reached by the Public Service Commission in a case brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) in Milwaukee on behalf of Brett Healy and 35 other customers of utilities like We Energies.

Sosnay's decision means that the estimated $10 million to $25 million in costs to move the underground utilities running through the proposed streetcar route will be borne by the City of Milwaukee.

"This is the outcome we've been fighting for since 2011," WILL deputy counsel Thomas Kamenick said.  "If Milwaukee wants a streetcar, it should be responsible for the costs of construction and maintenance, not unsuspecting ratepayers.  Milwaukee was proposing taxation without representation."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports WILL.  Healy is president of the MacIver Institute, which is also substantially supported by the Bradley Foundation.

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