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CEDARBURG - The common council voted unanimously to participate in the Mid-Moraine Water Quality Collective at its May 8 meeting.

To join, the city had to agree to a contract saying they'd contribute $5,000 to the collective.

Formed in 2014 as a response to stormwater requirements, the collective is a joint effort by engineering firms Ruekert/Mielke and Graef. The goal is to use the collective resources of communities and the engineering firms to plan watershed solutions for the region through shared data, best practices research and more.

It was also mentioned that with such resources shared, all communities would save both time and money. The collective is also "very aggressive" with grant applications, according to Dave Arnott of Ruekert/Mielke.

There are two primary options within the collective when it comes to tackling issues. The first was referred to as "group compliance," where one entity does what they do best for the group. The other option, called "group conditions," takes the best parts of all plans and creates a new option.

The collective covers issues related to both wastewater and stormwater.

According to Arnott, the Department of Natural Resources has the vision to work as a larger group and has contacted the collective in relation to that. One of the reasons for that move mentioned during the meeting is the possibility of group permits.

The collective offers the communities greater political clout with the DNR as a group versus one municipality trying to have its voice heard. There are 12 communities within the collective, Arnott said.

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