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In 2019, when we set our annual goals for 2020, we did not know what the new year would bring. In 2020, we had
to face some of the biggest challenges of our generation: a global health crisis, a reckoning with racial inequality
across the nation, and a worsening climate crisis that continues to impact our operations and the community we
serve. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s commitment to long-term planning and visioning proved useful in 2020. We maintained a strong financial position and avoided drastic changes to our operations. We have been able to protect our workforce and maintain assets. And most importantly, we continued to deliver on our mission to protect public health
and the environment.
The COVID-10 pandemic profoundly disrupted economic activity and reduced employment around the world and in
our region. In order to lessen the stressors on our constituents, we responded by reevaluating and prioritizing our
spending to be able to provide affordable wastewater services in 2020 and 2021. Our prudence paid off and helped
us reach our strategic plan goal of financial strength, with the 2020 budget ending with a surplus and the 2021 budget
adopting minimal rate increases. Despite the challenges of 2020, we met our goal of infrastructure management
and reached 100 percent compliance with applicable regulations and our O&M contracts. We helped improve the
region’s ability to respond to climate change by increasing the region’s green infrastructure through the Fresh Coast
Protection Partnership program which is one of the first fee-for-service agreements of its kind for the area. We
improved watershed collaboration by revamping our Private Property Infrastructure and Inflow program and policy
and securing a $7.5 million grant from the USDA’s National Regional Conservation Partnership to work upstream
and improve water quality. We strengthened our digital outreach efforts and learned to give virtual tours of Jones
Island so people around the world can learn more about the important work we do. In order to be an employer of
choice, we put our employees’ safety first during the pandemic and avoided any layoffs or reductions. Finally, the
pandemic reiterated the importance of internal communication and collaboration as we all learned to work under
new circumstances and conditions.
I am extremely proud of the work outlined in this report. Not only for the substantive impact the District has had
on improving the Milwaukee region’s resilience but also great pride in the resilience of the people who work at the
District. Persevering through personal challenges, these individuals continued to work hard to exceed the generational
challenges posed by the pandemic.
It was a trying year, but we rose to meet challenges and are proud of the work we accomplished. We encourage
you to read on and learn more about the District’s achievements over the past year. As always, we welcome your
Be Safe! Be Understanding! Be Kind!
Kevin L. Shafer, P.E.
Executive Director - Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
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-Kevin L. Shafer, P.E.
Executive Director - MMSD