Stormwater Management Discussion
Executive Director Rogers updated the Board on stormwater discussions with the City of Elmhurst. The 95% completion plans for the York Commons Park detention basin were received and are being reviewed by the District’s Stormwater Subcommittee and engineering firm. On April 20, the City will hold an Open House for the community to review the proposed plans. A project schedule will be drafted by the City. The City was reminded that maintaining a safe park for users is the utmost concern to the District as thousands of people utilize the park and pool during the summer.
At the March 24, 2016 stormwater meeting, the City requested the Park Board reconfirm the status of the other three parks under consideration (East End, Crestview, and Wild Meadows Trace). Rogers informed the City, that the District is not interested in considering the use of those sites without first considering further improvements to the parks that could also facilitate the construction of stormwater basins. The City is not interested in considering other options for those sites if those options involve increased costs in order to preserve open space. Commissioner Spaeth stated that the City should consider all other options before using park space as the detention basins in those three parks would provide relief to only 11 homes. Altogether, the number of homes relieved from stormwater flooding between all five proposed detentions is 71 homes. Board consensus was to prevent homes from flooding while preserving green space for the community; therefore, other means must be found to achieve the goal of flood relief. Executive Director Rogers will reiterate the Board’s stance on the issue at the next stormwater meeting on April 28, 2016.
Commissioner Spaeth recalled that originally there were 11 or 12 homes near East End Park that would be relieved of stormwater flooding, but since then the City has bought 5 of the homes. Building a stormwater detention on those properties can relieve flooding for surrounding homes in the area. The acquisition of those properties is a positive solution that does not involve the use of Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) property.
Executive Director Rogers summarized the Golden Meadows intergovernmental agreement provided to the Board in draft form. According to the agreement, the City will approach IDNR to allow for the District to deed the west portion of Golden Meadows to the City to build a stormwater basin, while the District seeks replacement property. The unknown is whether or not the District will find replacement property in close comparison (value, acreage, and recreational usefulness) to the existing space and acceptable to IDNR. If the Golden Meadows property is appraised at $1 million, then the City would fund up to 1.5 times the value. If the only replacement property that the District can find costs $3 million, the City would fund $1.5 million dollars and the District would be responsible for the balance of $1.5 million. Rogers reviewed other highlighted points in the IGA including the appraisal process, tree replacement, easements, escrow funds, approval of construction plans, environmental status, construction schedules, maintenance and repairs, and termination of contract.
Rogers also presented to the Board a flowchart proposing the re-sequencing of events in the IGA that need to take place in order to streamline and expedite the processes of approaching IDNR and completing the construction of the detention basin. The Board concurred with Rogers’ suggestion that the City be permitted to conduct an environmental investigation before the IGA is signed. Commissioner Ubriaco stated that the District is always looking for ways to make the process move quicker.