Menomonee Falls — Neighbors of what could have been an industrial waste treatment business can breathe a collective sigh of relief as concerns that Advanced Waste Services was going to build in Menomonee Falls have officially been laid to rest.
In a special meeting Thursday, July 31, the Village Board approved a $2.8 million settlement agreement with AWS that authorizes the village’s purchase of 21.6 acres of land that would have been the new home of its ChemWorks industrial waste processing business.
Advanced Waste last year proposed moving ChemWorks from Milwaukee’s west side to the site near Manhardt Drive and Lilly Road, a proposal that was met with concerns about noise pollution and air quality from hundreds of neighboring residents.
After several months of discussion and consideration, the Plan Commission ultimately voted down the proposal after issuing a stop-work order on the project, a move that prompted AWS to provide notice they intended to file a claim against the village for more than $2 million in damages.
The resulting settlement is one Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said is considered more of a real estate transaction that he feels is a welcomed move for both parties.
“We think this is a very productive settlement for both parties,” he said. “We wish them well and believe there are really no long-term negatives here. Both parties are eager to move past this, so we are thankful we could reach a negotiated settlement that is in the long-term best interest of the village.”
Meanwhile, President and Chief Executive Officer of AWS Mike Malatesta said the company will explore options for a new location for the business outside the village.
“We are confident AWS would be a positive addition to the Menomonee Falls community,” he said, “but we do not want to dedicate our resources to pursue legal actions.”
Upon the Nov. 3 closing of the purchase of land from AWS, a second agreement also approved July 31 authorizes the subsequent sale of the property to Town Realty for development of a light industrial business.
Currently zoned for heavy industrial development, Fitzgerald said something of a smaller scale will be a better fit in the area and the village will seek to change the zoning to reflect that by the end of the year.
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