Milwaukee: Atlanta's most cunning and conniving foe.
While metro Atlanta fights tooth and nail for its water supply, some folks in the water-rich Wisconsin city say they could capitalize on our crisis and hit us where it hurts.
That means they're coming to steal our businesses! Knives out!
"We have plenty of water and we have plenty of pumping capacity. It's the perfect place for a wet industry to locate," says [Rich Meeusen, CEO of Milwaukee-based water-meter maker Badger Meter Inc], a Milwaukee native who is also co-chairman of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council, a local group that promotes the city as a water-technology center.
Mr. Meeusen says he got the idea after reading a report on the excess capacity of the water system and news of Atlanta's water woes. In July, a federal judge ordered that Lake Lanier, a major source of water in the Atlanta area, would no longer be available as a drinking-water supply in three years.
Mr. Meeusen wants Milwaukee to run ads in Atlanta to try to lure away businesses. "If you're a wet business in Atlanta, you ought to be thinking about Milwaukee water," he says.
After the jump, Atlanta Department of Watershed Management Commissioner Rob Hunter tells the WSJ, "aww, hell naw, not so fast."
Actually, the city of Atlanta isn't directly affected by the ruling, since it gets it water from the Chattahoochee River downstream from the lake, says Rob Hunter, commissioner of the city's Department of Watershed Management. The city has plans to ensure its water supply for many years, he says, and the areas that depend directly on the lake for drinking water are hoping talks between the governors of Georgia, Florida and Alabama will prevent them from being cut off completely.
Meeusen is probably making the common mistake of misidentifying metro Atlanta the sprawling 28-county tumor that feeds off credit-card debt, bad reality shows and carbon monoxide with the city proper. We won't hold that against him. Now tell 'em 'bout the airport, Sonya!
"We're a transportation/logistics hub. People like to be located here," says Sonya Moste, director of marketing and public relations for the Atlanta Development Authority. As for Milwaukee's plan to steal businesses, she says, "I just don't think they would be very successful."
Unh! How's that feel?
As much as we urban elites knock the suburbs, their economic health impacts our own. We must now unite. From Douglasville to Dacula, Cherokee to Conyers, all metro Atlantans must join hands and stop the Wisconsin interlopers. Yes, we still have a war to fight with Tennessee. But dust off your Tea Party sign-making skills and show these folks how it's done!
(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
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