Stormwater Information Timeline

May 22, 2013 Park Board Meeting

 Park/ City/ School Committee Update

City staff has reached out to staff from other agencies regarding potential stormwater solutions.  To date, the stormwater issue has only reached the Park District Board; the School District is forthcoming.

Unfinished Business: City of Elmhurst Stormwater Management Potential Solutions

Commissioner Kubiesa stated that this item has been placed on the Agenda to continue discussions regarding the City's potential stormwater management solutions.  Any questions/ideas gleaned at this meeting will be added to the list of inquiries from the May 8, 2013 Park Board meeting and delivered to the City Manager the following day. City staff will then have an opportunity to prepare answers to questions before the meeting or address them at the June 12, 2013 regular Park Board meeting when they plan on making a formal presentation of potential stormwater management solutions.  In order to accommodate the expected number of visitors at the June 12 meeting, staff proposes to move the meeting to The Abbey at 407 West St. Charles Road.  The June 12 Park Board meeting time will also be changed to 4:30 p.m. to allow for sufficient time to tour proposed park sites.  Executive Director Rogers stated that in order to comply with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), a bus will transport the Board and visitors to proposed District parks.

During discussion, the Board raised the following additional questions and ideas:

·       Hiring a consultant to advocate for and protect the District's interest.

·       Receive copies of specifications for Washington Park to comprehend scope of project.

·       Request Burke Engineering to provide a virtual reality presentation of proposed park sites to better visualize the plans.

·       Does speed of drainage cause extreme dryness by depleting moisture or inability to hold water?

·       At what rainwater level does the area begin to fill?

·       How in depth have green/holistic solutions been explored?

·       What are the ramifications when a field has incurred severe damage making it unusable for the season due to a broken drain pipe?  Will the City repair the field at their cost and how quickly?

As the Board would like to know more about the before and after of Washington Park, in terms of grading and how that park compares to what is being proposed for East End, Executive Director Rogers will add the inquiry to the list of questions for the City and Burke Engineering.  Board President Kubiesa encouraged each Park Board Commissioner to individually visit Downers Grove's Washington Park ball field, which was also designed by Burke Engineering for stormwater retention, to get an overview of what a retention field resembles.

The Board discussed the Park Commissioners attending neighborhood meetings held by the City, as private citizens and not as representatives of the Park Board, in order to remain informed.

Executive Director Rogers reminded the Board that a detention basin would change the characteristics of a park and restrict options to change the park in the future.  With that said, President Kubiesa stated that the Park Board is a steward of open space and responsibilities lie in protecting those spaces.

May 8, 2013 Park Board Meeting

New Business: Preliminary Discussion of City of Elmhurst Stormwater Management Potential Solution

Conceptual drawings by Burke were given to the Board as part of their Board packet prior to the meeting.  Board President Kubiesa stated that the Board will discuss and brainstorm for ideas and questions relating to the City of Elmhurst’s conceptual drawings illustrating potential stormwater management solutions that suggest utilizing Park District facilities. President Kubiesa stated that although the Board would like to be part of the stormwater management solution, its responsibilities lie in protecting and maintaining its parks.  City staff plans on attending the June 12, 2013 board meeting to further discuss the plans. The plans were presented in a slideshow by Executive Director Rogers in order to enhance visualization, further explain water flow, grading, and other potential plans submitted by the City of Elmhurst. Mr. Rogers also included photos of water retention facilities at two parks at the Downers Grove Park District, which were designed by Burke Engineering. To date, the Park District sites under consideration include Golden Meadows, East End Park, Pioneer Park, Wild Meadows Trace, and York Commons.  Commissioner Spaeth then presented a consolidated report he produced using various City of Elmhurst reports regarding stormwater management.

The Board held an in-depth discussion throughout the presentation resulting in the following questions and ideas to pose to the City of Elmhurst staff.


·       The fire station at York Commons has an underground storage, could it be linked/added to the list of proposed areas for water retention?

·       Are retaining walls primarily for ADA?

·       Would like to look at full scope of plan

·       How vital is the Park District to the whole?

·       Are there plans to offer a cost-sharing program to residents for the cost of installing backflow, overhead, side yard, and/or draining systems? Grant program for glass blocks or raising driveway.

·       What happens if the Park District is unable to provide the required land space?  Is there eminent domain?

·       How soon does the city plan on implementing the plans?

·       What are the capacity issues?

·       Are turf fields proposed at Golden Meadows?

·       Will areas be fenced?

·       Are there any safety issues in regard to depth (2-8 ft)?

·       Will the system be pump or gravity fed at Golden Meadows?  If pump, what will happen during electrical power failure?

·       Will the proposed sewer line at East End be tied into the Caroline sewer?  What will be the impact- positive/negative?

·       What impact at East End on York’s cross country running team?

·       What flexibility will the district lose with the plans?

·       How long will it take for the water to drain?

·       What is the distance of the retaining wall from the soccer field lines at Pioneer Park?

·       What is water flow direction at Prairie Path and Wild Meadows Trace?  How many trees will be lost?

·       How many homes will benefit from proposed plans?

·       If soccer fields are flooded, will there be runover to other areas?

·       Will those who don’t have water problems have flooding problems?

·       Where are the funds for the proposed plans coming from?

·       If similar plans are being used at the Downers Grove Park District, did it prevent flooding during the April 18 storm?

·       Has City decided to change ordinance on impermeable surface restriction for the proposed plans?  Will new construction ordinances be developed?  Are we pushing problem 10 years out?

·       Terraced versus large berms?



·       Placing guardrails on Seminole at Wild Meadows Trace

·       When constructing new facilities, add underground storage.

·       Use of permeable pavement at York Commons, moved proposed plans for York Commons to the parking lot.

·       Use of Great Western Prairie areas.

·       Would like to see more green alternatives addressed

·       Using Berteau Street hospital as an alternative

·       Eldridge Park as an option

May 2, 2013 Park District Staff with City Staff and Burke Engineering Meeting

The City of Elmhurst requested this meeting as a follow-up to the December 2012 meeting to review the more refined draft conceptual plans.  Burke Engineering presented these conceptual drawings with more detail and informed the District that a presentation would be made to the Elmhurst City Council on May 6th and that large display boards of the conceptual drawings would be on the council floor.  In addition, City staff indicated they would be providing a report to the City Council on the effects of the recent storms and a status update on discussions between City and Park District staff.  Jim Rogers said he would present these conceptual drawings  to the Park Board at the May 8 meeting.  June 12 was set as a tentative date for the City of Elmhurst and Burke Engineering to give a presention of the concepts in full to the Park Board.  Some questions were raised to the City of Elmhurst and Burke Engineering by the District staff as to timeline, the potential of green solutions such as permeable pavers in parking lots, and replacement of grass with articfical turf for these locations.  


April 24, 2013 Park Board Meeting

Future Agenda Item

Commissioner Ubriaco received feedback from residents that they are being informed by the City that the City will seek out the Park District’s cooperation in resolving stormwater problems. Commissioner Ubriaco clarified that the Park District is receptive and ready to discuss and solve the issues surrounding stormwater with the City, but the District has yet to be formally approached.

Executive Director Rogers added that Burke Engineering has updated its preliminary report and asked Park District staff to review and report any discrepancies.  Staff pointed out some of the maps were inaccurate as park updates were not exhibited on the maps.  The maps have been updated again and both City and Park District staff plan to meet again to review changes with the anticipation that shortly after, the City will present a plan to the Park Board.

Commissioner Howard suggested a write up be developed by the three government entities informing residents of its status on addressing stormwater issues.

The Board further discussed the April 18, 2013 storm damage to properties in Elmhurst, misinformation received by residents, and the urgency required to address stormwater retention.

April 10, 2013 Park Board Meeting

Park/City/School Committee Update

Burke Engineering is still working on updating maps and prioritization from the City's perspective for some potential stormwater management solutions.  The District's plan to reestablish park and facility tours may provide an opportunity for officials from multiple agencies to see parks under consideration for stormwater storage.

January 23, 2013 Park Board Meeting

Park/City/School Committee Update

Executive Director Jim Rogers, City Manager and School Superintendent met and were shown drafts of conceptual drawings for stormwater retention sites.  These drafts were the same as were shared with Park District staff on December 17, 2012.  Refinements of the drawings are underway and will be presented to the Board of each governing body in the months ahead. 


December 17, 2012 Park District Staff with City Staff and Burke Engineering Meeting

The City requested this meeting as a follow up to the October 19, 2011 meeting with Park District staff, and the January 9, 2012 meeting of the Park/City/School subcommittee where initial concepts were presented regarding the possible use of Park District property for stormwater detention.  The Park District received new engineering conceptual drawings, some with additional detail, but the park photos did not represent current conditions regarding locations of fields, playgrounds and other amenities.  Burke said they would advise City when new conceptual drawings were updated.

Some discussion occurred regarding duration of ponding, the Washington Park in Downers Grove project and general questions relating to Park amenities and current conditions.

January 9, 2012 Park Board Meeting

Park/City/School Committee Update

Commissioner Spaeth reported that the City's efforts to address the stormwater and sanitary sewer flood issues was the major discussion at the meeting.  The City's consultant, Burke Engineering, did an interesting presentation of both issues.  The presentation involved a large amount of data, which will require some time to work through.  There are some ideas to potentially use some of the parks to take in some of the excess water, which may require digging 5 to 10 feet to hold the additional water.  Drains would lay underneath the system allowing fields to drain completely and quickly.  All of the options will need to be investigated.  Property acquisition was another potential concept that was discussed.  The bulk of the sanitary problems are in the southwestern Spring Road area, but the stormwater problem is widespread.  The City is forced to look at the schools and Park District because that is where the excess land is.

Commissioner Kies asked if there was any discussion regarding funding.  Commissioner Spaeth answered that no discussion ensued during the meeting regarding funding.  Executive Director Grodsky added that the numbers are so large that it will take some time to go through the different options and choose the best.

Commissioner Spaeth asked if there were any parks that have had their ground dug out. Deputy Director Rogers stated that  Washington Park in Downers Grove was a partner project with the Village of Downers Grove, which involved redoing a park completely by reducing the elevation of a ball diamond by 10 to 12 feet.  This was a huge project.  More can be read about it on the Village of Downers Grove website.  We need to question how long the fields would remain flooded.  Commissioner Kubiesa added that the question remains - is it less expensive to redo a park's surface (sod) as opposed to the number of homes that are flooded, thus costing millions.


January 9, 2012 Park/City/School Committee Meeting

City Manager Jim Grabowski shared the City of Elmhurst Comprehensive Flooding Plan Presentation prepared by Burke Engineering and dated December 5, 2011. He explained that City staff had met previously with staff counterparts (referencing the meeting with Park District staff on October 19, 2011) from the School and Park Districts about the engineer's findings and that the City's stormwater task force subcommittees were looked at and a number of potential solutions exist, a number of which could impact Park/School/City property.  The citizen task force hopes to make recommendations to the City Council in May.  Afterwards, additional discussions will need to be held with all agencies.  The committee agreed that there exists much opportunity for cooperation and that proactive communication on the potential solutions would be crucial.  

October 19, 2011 Park District Staff with City Staff and Burke Engineering Meeting

City of Elmhurst staff requested a meeting to inform the Park District staff that Burke Engineering was hired to propose flooding solutions for the City, and that the initial thoughts included potentially utilizing some parks as stormwater detention areas.  York Commons, Pioneer Park, Wild Meadows Trace, Seminole Park, Golden Meadows and East End Park were identified.  The discussions were very preliminary in nature.  Initial drawings with grading identified were shared with staff for initial feedback.   It was mentioned that a report from Burke Engineering would be completed and presented at a future Park/City/School meeting.