The Park District suggested some ideas concerning the valve and construction schedule at York Commons and the re-sequencing of events for the IGA for Golden Meadows. The City's representatives were receptive to the ideas and the Park Board subcommittee, staffs, engineers and attorneys from both agencies will continue their efforts in reviewing these ideas.
Stormwater Information Timeline
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.
Stormwater Subcommittiee Report
The City has continued to work on developing a draft IGA for the use of Golden Meadows Park for a stormwater detention basin. The City’s Public Works Committee met on March 14; the City Council then approved the IGA on March 21. The District received a copy of the IGA on March 22 and forwarded it to the District’s attorney and stormwater subcommittee to begin the reviewing process.
The stormwater subcommittee met with the City on Wednesday, March 24 in Council Chambers with public present to continue discussions concerning the City’s request to use park property for stormwater detention.
Five residents attended the meeting and one spoke during public comment. All five sites under consideration were discussed.
As regards York Commons, the City noted that once the design of the valve was complete, the park district would be receiving the 95% plans (those plans were subsequently received on March 30 and are being reviewed by the Park Board’s subcommittee and by Greg Wolterstorff of V3). The City announced that they will hold an Open House on the project, as required by the intergovernmental agreement, on April 20 from 4-6 p.m.. and the Park District will participate. In addition, the timeline for the project was discussed as it is apparent the work will not be able to be completed prior to Smalley Pool opening for the summer. The City is working on a proposed schedule for the project; the Park District made it clear that safety will be the utmost concern when considering the schedule as thousands of people utilize the park and pool during the summer.
Golden Meadows was next on the agenda. However, as was noted at the Park Board’s March 23 meeting, the City Council approved the terms of the draft IGA on March 21 and the Park District received a copy of it the following day; as a result not much conversation took place. The Park Board’s subcommittee, staff and Andrew Paine of Tressler are now in the midst of reviewing the document.
Lastly, after much discussion City officials requested that the Park District reconfirm the status of the other three parks under consideration (East End, Crestview and Wild Meadows Trace). Whereas the Park District is not interested in considering the use of those sites for detention without first considering alternative stormwater improvements including underground storage, the City is not interested in considering other options for those sites if they involve increased costs in order to preserve open space. The following statement was once again shared by the Park District, : “At this point in time, the Park Board is not interested in encumbering additional open space with detention basins to provide relief for approximately 11 remaining homes that would be impacted. However…the District believes that Park and City staff should discuss alternative ideas for three sites, similar to those the City has already utilized.”
The next subcommittee meeting will be held Thursday, March 28, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.. at City Hall.
Stormwater Subcommittee – Graf, Spaeth, RogersOn February 22, Board President Ubriaco signed the intergovernmental agreement for the York Commons Park stormwater detention. V3 engineer, Greg Wolterstorff conducted a peer review of the 65% completion plans, which the subcommittee reviewed and returned to the City on February 29. Per the IGA, the next version of plans will be reviewed at 95% completion. The engineer made 19 comments from his peer review, the City is currently addressing those comments.
The Public Works Committee will discuss the terms of the draft IGA for Golden Meadows at its March 14 meeting and anticipates passing it on for discussion and approval of the terms to the City Council for their March 21 meeting. Commissioner Spaeth suggested the progression of negotiations with the City be posted on the District’s website for public review.
Executive Director Rogers stated that on February 16, 2016, the City Council approved the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the York Commons detention basin with a shut-off valve by a vote of 13:1. The City Council also approved an amendment to their resolution authorizing the IGA and clarifying that the shut-off valve was being approved to satisfy the District’s desires even though their expert engineer finds it an unnecessary component to the detention basin. The amended resolution does not impact the IGA. V3 Engineering emailed a draft peer review letter of the York Common plans, which the stormwater subcommittee will review and report back to the Board.
A draft of an IGA for Golden Meadows was discussed at the City’s Public Works Committee (Committee) meeting on February 22. The Committee anticipated presenting the IGA to the City Council on March 7, but had additional questions and proposed conducting due diligence. The Committee questioned whether compensation would be reduced should the site contain soil contamination, how much escrow is needed – the appraised value or the full 1.5 times the appraised value, and if the Park District was willing to approach the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) prior to reviewing the IGA to gauge IDNR’s response to an escrow account for a future land purchase for the conversion of Golden Meadows Park. The Committee will continue its discussions at its next meeting, after which the IGA will go to the City Council for review. The draft IGA for Golden Meadows has been posted on the City’s website, but it will not go to the Park District until the Council has had a chance to review.
Rogers stated that it is not advisable for the District to approach IDNR without an IGA. Board President Ubriaco added that IDNR was clear at its meeting held with Mayor Morley, her, subcommittee members, and City and Park District staff that IDNR cannot theorize possibilities but needs an agreement to make its decision.
Rogers stated that the District proposed the concept of renumeration for replacement property for up to 1.5 times the appraised value of the existing property. The Board agreed that with an IGA in hand, it will be evident to the IDNR of the seriousness of the negotiations where the City is prepared to place the appraised value of the existing property into escrow.
As a clarification, Commissioner Ubriaco stated that the Park District is requesting the City provide 1.5 times the appraised value for replacement land, not 1.5 times of replacement land because IDNR requires the District to replace parkland with like-size property and like value. At this point, the District may not have the luxury of replacing the land with like value, it may cost more. Should the replacement land cost twice the price of the appraisal, then the City would provide the 1.5 times appraised value of the park property being used and then the Park District would pay for anything over the compensated 1.5 times. Rogers added that IDNR must agree on the replacement property to ensure its comparable size, recreational usefulness, and value. The floor is appraised and the cap is the 1.5 of the appraised value. The Park Board is not looking to be compensated in any way other than replacing open space and providing comparable land with recreational usefulness to what was there.
Elmhurst Park District and the City of Elmhurst reached an agreement on the IGA for York Commons on February 22, 2016. Signed Intergovernmental Agreement attached below.