Transportation Utility Study

Transportation Utility Study

In June of 2020, the Common Council voted to hire Ehlers to assist with conducting a study on a Transportation Utility to determine whether it is a viable method of funding the City's transportation costs as well as establishing the fee structure, implementation and administration framework, and revenue needs.  Based on information presented at the September Council meeting, the Common Council voted to continue moving forward with the study to its completion.  This was not a vote to approve/implement the Transportation Utility.

This page will be the City's source for providing information to the public on this process.  Information, such as powerpoints, scholarly articles on Transportation Utilities, and information from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities regarding TUF legality in Wisconsin.  The City will also post information on community meetings that will be scheduled to give the public a chance to ask questions and learn more about what the TUF is and what it would mean to the community if one is implemented. 

Articles and Powerpoint Presentations:

Ehlers September Presentation - A powerpoint presented by the consultant at the September 8th, 2020 Council meeting. 

Funding Streets Through Transportation Utility Fees
- A League of Wisconsin Municipalities article that discusses the legality of TUFs (page 21-27).

An Alternative to Funding Local Transportation Needs - A powerpoint prepared in 2012 by R.A. Smith, an engineering firm with experience in trip generation-based user fees and the subcontracted consultant on the City's study.

Transportation Utility Fees: Possibilities for the City of Milwaukee - A 2007 study conducted by the UW-Madison La Fallotte School of Public Affairs for the City of Milwaukee that recommended the City adopt a TUF.  The City did not ultimately adopt it. 

The Transportation Utility Fee- Conference Paper written in 2010 by professors at the University of Florida and the University of Arizona. 

Community Meetings:  All meetings, unless otherwise noted, will be held at the Community Center 30 S. Main Street.

First series:  There will be a brief presentation (same for all three meetings) and then there will be a question and answer session.

  • November 5th, 2020 at 530pm
  • November 6th, 2020 at 2pm
  • November 7th, 2020 at 1030am

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is a Transportation Utility legal in Wisconsin?  Short answer - Yes.  Long answer - While a Transportation Utility has not been tested in Wisconsin, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities has issued a legal opinion that a Transportation Utility is a valid use of  the Home Rule Authority that essentially provides municipalities with the legal authority to do what they believe is in the best interest of their community provided that it does not conflict with or attempt to regulate something that the State already regulates if the State has not specifically prohibited municipalities from doing it.  The State has no laws regarding Transportation Utilities, nor is the specific method of funding transportation needs dictated by the State, and therefore, Home Rule Authority applies.  The LWM article can be found towards the top of this page.

More FAQs will be added once staff is able to evaluate the questions received from the community during the community meetings.

Anyone with questions is welcome to email the City Administrator at (Clicking on the link will auto-generate a new email.

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