October 1, 2014 Public Meeting Regarding Stormwater

The Public Meeting held at The Abbey on October 1, 2014 drew nearly 120 Elmhurst residents. The panel included stormwater committee representatives, Vince Spaeth, Vice President, Board of Park Commissioners, Bob Howard, Park Board Commissioner, James Rogers, Executive Director of the Elmhurst Park District and Greg Wolterstorff, Park District consultant with V3 Engineering.

Watch October 1, 2014 Public Meeting Concerning Proposed Stormwater Detention Sites meeting below or download/listen to an audio only version.

The meeting began with the reading of the following  statement originally made at the June 25, 2014 Park Board meeting by Board President Carolyn Ubriaco regarding sustainable stormwater solutions and the City of Elmhurst’s request to utilize park property for proposed stormwater detention projects.

In August 2013, the City of Elmhurst approached the Elmhurst Park District Board with very preliminary temporary stormwater detention concepts.  With unanimous support, the Elmhurst Park Board approved the appointment of Commissioners Bob Howard and Vince Spaeth to the Stormwater Subcommittee.  Over nearly the past year, Commissioners Howard and Spaeth have met regularly with their counterparts, Aldermen Jim Kennedy and Danee Polomsky, joined by respective staff members from both agencies including City Manager Jim Grabowski and Elmhurst Park District Executive Director Jim Rogers. 

The Elmhurst Park Board unanimously approved hiring V3 Engineering to help speed our process and advance progress on the City of Elmhurst’s desire to use parkland for temporary stormwater detention.  V3 Engineering is providing expertise that was not contemplated in the Burke Engineering engagement with the City of Elmhurst; specifically, identifying what is necessary to preserve recreational features and uses while providing for temporary stormwater detention when needed.  

The Elmhurst Park District Board has not wavered in its support for the mutual efforts underway with the City of Elmhurst.  We are motivated and anxious to contribute to effective sustainable stormwater methods because we believe it is in the community’s best interest and the right thing to do. 

Elmhurst Park District recreational lands diverted to stormwater detention are likely to be encumbered into perpetuity.  You, the residents of the Elmhurst Park District are counting on us to make wise choices and to do the right things in the right way.   Please support us in our park district mission as we continue to work with the City of Elmhurst on theirs, i.e.., providing stormwater management to residents

 

Executive Director Rogers explained that on August 14, 2014, the Park Board of Commissioners received a formal request from the City of Elmhurst prioritizing two of four projects - York Commons Park and Golden Meadows Park, with the request for a decision by September 30, 2014.  The Park District informed the City that a public meeting would be held in order for the Park Board to receive additional public input before making a decision, but that a decision would be forthcoming in the following weeks. 

Executive Director Rogers also explained that there were three main decision criteria identified by the Park Board:

  • To help the City meet stormwater needs if possible
  • To ensure that the park sites, if used for detention, retain their recreational function
  • To ensure that any decision would not adversely impact park neighbors

James Rogers provided a brief overview of each potential park-based stormwater solution followed by questions and/or comments from the public relating to that site. 

The sites were discussed in the following order:

  • York Commons Park
  • Golden Meadows Park
  • East End Park
  • Wild Meadows Trace/Pioneer Park
  • Crestview Park, only recently added to the list of potential stormwater sites, was discussed briefly as the Park Board has not received official notification from the City on this project.

The Stormwater Information pages on the Park District website, www.epd.org,  were referenced throughout the meeting, illustrating conceptual drawings which were reviewed for each site.

There was significant discussion, numerous questions, and many ideas raised throughout the evening.

If you have a specific question or comment please click here to send an email to the Park District.

We thank everyone who came out to the meeting and welcome all residents to listen to the complete audio or video of the meeting by clicking the link provided below.

Within the next month, the Park Board will engage in continued discussions at the October 8 and October 22 Park Board meetings with the objective of a decision and recommendation regarding stormwater detention for York Commons Park and Golden Meadows Park within a month.