ChemWorks files notice of claim against Menomonee Falls

CREATED Feb. 26, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb. 26, 2014

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MENOMONEE FALLS - The stage is set for a big battle in Waukesha County.  A company with a history of odor complaints is fighting to move to Menomonee Falls.

Residents worry ChemWorks will stink up their neighborhood. The company says it's getting a raw deal and is threatening a lawsuit.
 
Wednesday night the village laid out a road map that determines the project's future direction.
 
Two big meetings are now planned in March that allow each side to make its case to village leaders.
 
"I'm just frustrated that its even gotten to this point," said resident Kevin Lewis. "I feel they should have done their homework way back when and we could have avoided this whole thing all together."
 
ChemWorks wants to move its Milwaukee waste water treatment business to Menomonee Falls. The company bought property in September and claims it got the necessary permit to to move forward. 
 
Then residents found out and raised several concerns about odors and property values.
 
"Yeah I'm worried," said resident Mary Zywiec. "It's in my backyard."  
 
The company is now threatening a $2 million lawsuit to recover what it already invested in the project.
 
"We've done everything the Village asked of us," said company President Mike Malatesta. "To be told now that the Village can effectively put us through a 'do over' process is just not right."  
 
The village's Plan Commission agreed to change its rules to allow the community to speak out at a separate meeting after ChemWorks makes its presentation.  
 
Village President Randy Newmann says all voices will be heard. "I wouldn't ask for someones comment if I didn't think it had value." 
  
The company makes its case March 20 at Ben Franklin Elementary School.
 
Public testimony is tentatively set for March 24 at the school. A final decision is scheduled for April 9. That meeting will also be at Ben Franklin.
 
The village ordered all work on the proposed site stopped until a final decision is made.