Stormwater Information Timeline
Six residents attended the meeting and two spoke during public comment. All five sites under consideration were discussed, beginning with York Commons Park.
The Park Distric subcommittee shared the Board’s position statement on the requirement of a shut-off valve for the proposed detention basin at York Commons (see attached) and, as the City and Park District continue to have a philosophical difference over inclusion of the valve, much conversation took place. Your subcommittee agreed to the City’s request for information from V3 Engineering concerning its opinion on the valve and reiterated that the Board was firm in its position.
As regards to Golden Meadows, the City indicated that the Board’s proposal (with which the City’s stormwater subcommittee members have agreed) needs to go to their Public Works Committee and will do so within the next month.
Finally, as it relates to the three remaining sites being discussed (East End, Wild Meadows Trace and Crestview) on January 13, I received the attached letter from the City Manager restating the City’s request that the Park District forgo replacement of, and compensation for, these sites and instead work with the City to ask IDNR to make an exception to their policy against off-site stormwater to OSLAD funded sites. As noted in earlier communications to the Board, this request was also supposed to include the City identifying ways for the two agencies to work together to discuss improvements to the parks that could also facilitate the construction of stormwater basins. According to the City this was inadvertently left out of the letter, but it was agreed that the City Manager and I would discuss it.
The next subcommittee meeting will be held Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
Subsequent to the subcommittee meeting, on Tuesday, January 18 the City Council met and, at the direction of the stormwater subcommittee, during public comment, Executive Director Rogers read the statement reiterating the Board’s position on the valve at York Commons.
Later in the meeting, the City Council voted 10-0 (with four absences) approved the IGA without the valve. This vote was preceded by a presentation by Mayor Morley and Alderman Jim Kennedy (chair of the Public Works Committee) on the concept of the valve that rapidly deteriorated into a series of very critical remarks about the Park District and Board made by numerous members of the City Council. After the Council vote, the Mayor indicated that a letter concerning the vote would be sent to the Park District. No letter has been received as of the writing of this memo.
Executive Director Rogers updated the Board on stormwater management discussions with the City of Elmhurst. Subsequent to the December 9 stormwater management meeting, the City Council voted to amend a resolution for an intergovernmental agreement with the Park District to remove the shut-off valve from the IGA for the proposed detention basin in York Commons Park. The Council then voted to defer consideration of the amended resolution to January 4 and again to January 19. Following the January 4 meeting, on January 11 the City Council held a special Committee of the Whole meeting during which Burke Engineering presented information regarding the York Commons Park proposed detention basin with a shut-off valve. The next stormwater management subcommittee meeting will be on January 14, 2016. Commissioner Spaeth added that he looks forward to meeting with the City to reach a resolution and help residents affected by stormwater flooding. The shut-off valve has always been part of the proposed detention basin.
Stormwater Management Intergovernmental Agreement – York Commons Park
Commissioner Graf made a motion that the Board of Park Commissioners approve the intergovernmental agreement between the City of Elmhurst and the Elmhurst Park District for the construction, operation, and maintenance of stormwater improvements in York Commons Park, Elmhurst, DuPage County, Illinois and authorize the Park Board President to execute said IGA. Commissioner Pelosi seconded the motion.
Executive Director Rogers reported on the stormwater committee meeting held on December 9 in City chambers which had five residents in attendance of which four spoke during public comment. At the committee meeting, all five sites under consideration were discussed. There was general agreement amongst the two entities concerning the conversion of the Golden Meadows site per the Park Board’s proposal. The Golden Meadows proposal requires official consideration by the City's Public Works Committee, which, according to the City Manager’s public comment at tonight’s meeting, is forthcoming. The District’s stormwater subcommittee committed that once an IGA for Golden Meadows has been approved, the Park District will approach IL Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) regarding the concept of escrowing City funds while working towards acquiring replacement property to help expedite the provision of stormwater relief.
Regarding the other three parks in consideration including East End Park, Crestview Park, and Wild Meadows Trace, City officials suggested the Park District consider foregoing replacement and compensation for those sites and instead work with the City to either ask IDNR to make an exception to the policy of restricting mediation of off-site stormwater to OSLAD funded sites or that both entities (City and Park District) work together to identify ways to facilitate both the construction of stormwater basins in conjunction with improvements to the park. The District’s subcommittee requested the City respond to the District’s November 19 proposal in writing and submit any proposed new approaches for the Park Board to consider. As of December 16, the District has not received anything from the City specific to the sites.
Regarding York Commons, on December 7, as part of its consensus agenda, the City Council unanimously approved the Public Works Committee report containing the major terms relating to York Commons proposed by the Park Board. Rogers reviewed highlights of an IGA with the City to include an 11 acre foot detention basin on the west lobe of York Commons Park. The IGA included two attachments that will become exhibits of the IGA. One attachment was the detention basin maintenance staff schedule and the second a preliminary grading plan showing where the site will be located and how it will work.
The first paragraph of the IGA broadly covers the use of the west portion of York Commons Park along York Road for stormwater detention with the installation of an automated shut-off valve to the stormwater basin from Crescent Street to prevent the basin from taking on water exceeding the 100-year elevation.
Paragraph two extends the Park District’s lease of the maintenance facility garage through February 29, 2108 to coincide with the length of the lease for Fire Station No. 2 in York Commons Park. It also calls for a perpetual agreement allowing the City an easement for maintenance of the detention and temporary construction easement to allow the City access to the park to build the basin. The proposed easements will be part of the exhibits to the IGA; attorneys are still working on language to include in the final IGA.
Paragraph three calls for a review of the plans and specifications for the project at predetermined intervals and at percentages of completion. The review milestones were developed with assistance from V3 engineer Greg Wolterstorff using industry standards. A clause calling for mutual agreement of the final plans and specifications between both agencies is included.
Paragraph six involves the coordination of the construction schedule with the two entities working together to figure out what is the best timing and phasing to work on the construction. Coordination discussions have already begun.
Paragraph seven covers the demolition of facilities. Should it be necessary for the City to demolish any improvements in the park, the District will receive advanced notice of such. Also, included is required videotaping of the site before work begins to obtain a baseline of existing conditions.
Paragraph eight calls for restoration of the park by the City after the detention basin is completed and the replacement of trees on a 1-to-1 inch basis, along with the Park District’s option to elect for replacement value for some of the trees rather than having new tree stock installed. Commissioner Graf stated that the tree replacement clause is the Illinois Standard from the Illinois Arborist - Diameter per Breast Height (DBH), which is the diameter of the tree at 4.5 ft. above the ground. Tree species fall in a different category on a percentage. As an example, ash trees are considered scrub trees. Executive Director Rogers stated that one of the sub-points in that paragraph covers trees that will not be evaluated for reimbursement such as diseased trees or those that should otherwise be removed, i.e. ash trees due to emerald ash borer infestation, American elm diagnosed with Dutch elm, and dead, dying, declining or severally damaged trees. The City has already conducted a preliminary tree inventory, which will be part of the videotaping.
Paragraph nine discusses environmental testing and remediation by the city. In this paragraph, the City has the ability to void the IGA in its entirety if the site contains environmental contamination or hazardous material(s). Should the City determine not to move forward after contamination is discovered, the entire IGA, including the extension of the maintenance garage lease could be terminated as the District does not expect to receive something without an exchange of services.
In response to Commissioner Spaeth’s question regarding the District’s liability should contaminates be found, Executive Director Rogers stated that contamination would be discovered during soil boring testing prior to construction. The ground will still be capped. As it is District property, the District would decide what steps to take from there. If the City does discover something; they have the option to move forward by developing a remediation plan, which both parties agree to. Contamination may be found to be minimal enough to move forward, but the City has the option to say no and not move ahead. Should the testing result in no contamination, but further digging finds contamination, the City must decide to remediate or back away. It is District property; therefore, the District would need to determine if it needs to be re-capped or remediated.
Executive Director Rogers continued with his review of the IGA where paragraph ten covers the maintenance and repair of the stormwater improvements by the City. The maintenance plan was developed with V3 engineer Greg Wolterstorff using an outline from another detention site. All of the tasks and the frequencies have been evaluated. The tasks were sub-coded to denote the responsible party both for short and long-term maintenance.
Paragraph eleven details the indemnification/hold harmless language and insurance requirements. The entire agreement has been fully vetted and developed with District attorney Andrew Paine and City attorneys.
Paragraph twelve speaks to termination with two provisions. The first is language allowing the City to terminate the IGA prior to construction. The second states that the Park District can terminate the IGA if the City does not begin construction within two years extended from the initial stipulation of one year. This should not be an issue as the City has every intention to move forward as quickly as possible. In the case of either of these two terminations being enacted, the extension of the maintenance facility will remain in effect. Once this agreement is approved by both bodies, the extension of the maintenance facility is in effect. It would not be the case if environmental contaminates are found and the City terminated the agreement for that reason.
Commissioner Ennis inquired as to why the District is requiring an automated shut-off valve when both engineering firms stated it is not needed especially when electronics do fail or freeze. He stated he was not for the shut-off valve being part of the system.
In response to Commissioner Ennis questioning the inclusion of a shut-off valve, Commissioner Spaeth stated that the shut-off valve was always part of the original plan. When the District began discussions a year and a half ago, it presented its proposal to the City and the recommendation at the time was for the west lobe and included the shut-off valve. The shut-off valve was always included regardless of which lobe (east or west lobe) or both. In the District’s subcommittee discussions with Burke, it became apparent that the incremental cost of the Madison School and York Commons sites were much more costly then infrastructure improvements. Even though hundreds of thousands of dollars could have been saved with infrastructure improvements, the Park District recognized the small impact a detention basin could have on a number of homes. For that reason, the Park District proposed to allow the use of the west side of York Commons instead of relying solely on infrastructure improvements as the solution.
In addressing increased costs associated with the shut-off valve, Spaeth noted infrastructure improvements would have been the least expensive route. Additionally, the District waived the City’s proposed recreational amenities saving an estimated cost of $200,000. During discussions regarding the east lobe and west lobe of York Commons, the City proposed Cayuga coming into the lobes and later added Crescent Street. Many scenarios were discussed including what could happen in the future. After much discussion, the District proposed an 11 acre foot basin for the City to put whatever water they wanted - a 100-year, 500-year, etc. based storm event. Although the District would not be responsible for managing the detention, being part of the solution was important with the stipulation of a shut-off valve to protect and provide safety to the residents on the west side of York Street. In considering changes for the future, a 500-year storm event today may not be graded as such in the next 5 or 10 years. Fifteen years ago, storm frequencies and intensities were considerably less, thus it is uncertain if rain events will become progressively worse.
Commissioner Spaeth noted the continued development of the housing stock exacerbating the problem by creating increased impervious surface. The increased size of homes being built continue to stress the system. Therefore, whatever the static heads are from Crescent Street driving water into the detention, the levels can get higher and higher. The engineering work to date is valid, it is the unknown severity of future storms that are a concern. A shut-off valve is a necessity to protect those living near and going through the major thoroughfare of York Street. York Street is were fire trucks exit York Commons and is the route to the hospital. A massive overflow of the detention, at some point in the future, would be detrimental.
In regards to the failure of the valve, engineers design so that the failure mode is an acceptable mode of failure. The valve is going to be open 99.99% of the time, it will never be closed unless the basin is filled. When the basin is full, it will automatically shut the valve. The failure mode is open. There should not be a situation during a power loss that the valve is somehow going to cause something worse then what would happen without the valve at all. The valve is an added safety factor even with its cost. The Park Board has vetted this out to the nth degree.
President Ubriaco agreed with all points made by Commissioner Spaeth and stated that the last 500-year flood was on June 23, 2010, which is the model being used to determine the impact of internal flooding and the efficacy of a shut-off valve, but the reality is that the world has changed a lot since then and that model would look very different today. One thing that remains constant is that there is more impervious surface not less so there is greater exposure for overflow. It would be horrible if an overflow caused the neighborhood pain. It is extremely dangerous to flood York Street as it is a lifeline to and from the hospital. It is a heavily traveled road.
Commissioner Morissette-Moll stated that the Park District is acting as a diligent neighbor and is not trying to increase the complexity of the City's storm management and advised the City that a closer pulse be kept on the rampant building of mansions that are consuming the majority of earth.
Commissioner Graf agreed that a shut-off valve is necessary from the standpoint of the people living near the proposed basin on York Road. The homes directly across the street are below grade as well as the people downstream. York Road is a thoroughfare and that is where the water travels, down through there to Washington Street to McKinley. The Madison School detention basin is going to help Washington Street; the York Commons basin will help a few homes on Washington and down that corridor. The bigger piece is the City’s commitment to the southwest infrastructure improvements, which the IGA mentions the City’s full intentions to complete the comprehensive stormwater plan. When the infrastructure improvements are made, the York Commons detention basin could potentially be downsized. Commissioner Graf stated he looked forward to getting the project underway to provide relief to folks flooding on Crescent.
President Ubriaco stated that she was satisfied with the IGA and pleased with the work completed on all sides. The City’s plans to install infrastructure improvements could make this stormwater basin obsolete and unnecessary. In response to President Ubriaco’s inquiry whether the IGA addresses the removal of the stormwater basin, Rogers stated the IGA does not address the removal. Commissioner Spaeth stated there was some discussion about removal that could still be addressed in the future, but for the sake of getting shovels in the ground the IGA is thorough. President Ubriaco stated that she would not want the District to be left with a basin when it no longer becomes necessary and questioned if there may be some adaptive reuse for stormwater basins. She did not want the City to hold the land use in perpetuity if it were not necessary.
Executive Director Rogers added that at this point, it is uncertain what the City would do to make the basin unnecessary. At some point, should the City deem it unnecessary with a shut-off valve that has operational and maintenance costs, the City would want to take it off line. Commissioner Spaeth added that both the City and Park District have established a great relationship and there will continue to be many more projects in town to work on and help each other out. The District will always strive to do what is best for the community; the IGA exhibits the District’s good intentions. It is more important to get shovels in the ground and move forward with some level of trust for the future. Commissioner Graf added that the committee did discuss provisions for bona fide uses similar to School District discussions regarding educational uses, where the Park District would give the City a one-year notice.
President Ubriaco asked about toxic material buildup and the monitoring of such that may pose a hazard to park users. Executive Director Rogers stated that the maintenance tasks schedules covers annual inspections for sediment and accumulation and on an as-needed basis, removal of sediment accumulation. If required, a professional engineer will carry out an inspection upon identification of severe problems. Should other soil concerns exist, the District can require the City to bring someone in a professional engineer and identify the problem and look at a way to remediate.
Commissioner Pelosi and Kies supported a shut-off valve as part of the detention basin.
In Commissioner Spaeth’s visit to pump houses on the creek and to the wastewater treatment plant, he saw many pumps and found some all over the city. In this particular case, the District can have a manual closer valve not just a motorized valve. It all depends on the engineering of the basin for the failure mode and what safety precautions need to be in place. The fact remains that water from a 5-year storm, 100-year storm, or infinite-year storm can be stored there, but when it is full it is full. That is what was agreed. As there were no further comments or discussions, the Board was polled. Ayes: Commissioner Pelosi, Ennis, Graf, Kies, Morissette-Moll, Spaeth, and Ubriaco. Nays: None. Motion passed unanimously.
The stormwater subcommittee met with the City on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 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 four spoke during public comment. All five sites under consideration were discussed, beginning with York Commons. As noted in the December 8 email to the Board, as part of its December 7 Consent Agenda, the City Council unanimously approved (12-0) a Public Works Committee report containing terms in keeping with the Park Board’s latest proposal for York Commons. Most critically it included the extension of the Maintenance Facility lease until 2108. Since then, discussions concerning the terms of the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) have been finalized between both agency staff and attorneys (IGA copy attached). Highlights of the agreement are on the attached page.
Discussion then continued concerning Golden Meadows Park where there was general agreement concerning the conversion of the site per the Park Board’s proposal. The City indicated that the proposal needs to be officially considered by the City Public Works Committee. Your subcommittee also committed that, once an IGA for Golden Meadows Park is approved, the Park District will commence discussions with IDNR about the concept of “escrowing” City funds while we work to acquire replacement property, in order to expedite the provision of stormwater relief.
As concerns the other three parks under consideration (East End, Crestview and Wild Meadows Trace) City officials requested that the Park District forgo replacement of, and compensation for, those sites and instead work with the City to either ask IDNR to make an exception to their policy against bringing off-site stormwater to OSLAD funded sites and/or to work with the City to identify ways for the two agencies to work together to further improvements to the parks that could also facilitate the construction of stormwater basins. Your subcommittee listened to the City’s ideas and eventually requested that the City respond to the District’s November 19 proposal in writing and submit any proposed new approaches for the Board to consider.
The next subcommittee meeting will be held Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.
Executive Director Rogers reported that he attended the City of Elmhurst Public Works Committee meeting on Monday, November 23, 2015. The City’s Stormwater Committee has agreed to send the Park Board's current proposal for York Commons to the City Council for its December 7, 2015 meeting. The proposal calls for an extension of the lease to the maintenance facility for an additional 79 years to coincide with the lease of the fire station and the removal of funding for recreational amenities.
The committee also had a brief discussion on the Board’s proposal for the other park sites. The City’s main concern was the compensation for the proposed sites. The Park Board proposed compensation to be 1.5 times the fair market value of the property to be converted. Those funds would then be used for the acquisition of replacement property. The City will pay no less than the appraised cost and no more than 1.5 times the appraised cost. If the actual cost of the replacement property falls in-between those two amounts, the Park District will receive the lesser of the 1.5 times the appraised cost or the actual replacement cost.
The District will coordinate with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on possible replacement property for each site. Executive Director Rogers stated that IDNR has indicated a willingness to be flexible given Elmhurst’s current situation. The District is committed to finding qualified replacement property. In response to Commissioner Kies asking if multiple properties can replace one parcel, Rogers stated it would be dependent on the Board’s consideration to accept multiple properties. IDNR has already confirmed that it will consider all options presented.
Old Business- Stormwater Management
The Park Board stormwater subcommittee met with the City on November 12, 2015 at the City Council Chambers to continue the City's request to use Park District property. The City presented a significantly different proposal from its original request to include all five sites in the intergovernmental agreement. The revised proposal requests the use of York Commons only for stormwater detention, recreational amenities including a basketball court, two sand volleyball courts costing approximately $220,000, and a 16-year extension to the maintenance facility.
The board’s subcommittee has reviewed the proposal and recommends that no recreational amenities be funded by the City, saving taxpayers $220,000, and the facility lease coincide with the fire station lease at York Commons Park that runs until 2108. In regards to the other sites, each site will be considered on an ala carte basis and the City and Park District should work together to secure replacement acquisitions. The proposal provides an opportunity for both parties to work together to find the best value for the taxpayer dollar. The subcommittee also proposed the City pay a multiplier of the fair market value of the property. The proposal is the Park District’s final offer and requested the City respond by the end of 2015.
In response to Commissioner Pelosi’s question of when property value should be assessed, Executive Director Rogers stated that the timing still needs to be sorted out.
The stormwater subcommittee met with the City on Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Council Chambers with public present to continue discussions concerning the City's request to use park property for stormwater detention.
Thursday, November 12, 2015, prior to the meeting, the following email was received from the City Manager.
"..._with the IDNR hurdle that appears to be out there, we think separating the two into individual agreements(referring to York Commons and Golden Measows), much like we did with D205, would hep expedite an agreement and put a shovel in the ground at York Commons. Tonight (at the subcommittee meeting), you will receive a draft agreement on York Commons, with some modified terms of what we have already discussed such as an extension on the maintenance garage lease, tree replacement, etc. We will walk through the agreement and explain why we are proposing it as we are. I expect your group will have some questions. The main idea here is the separate agreements discussion."
This is a very significant departure from the City's month's long insistence that any discussion include all five sites.
Eight residents attended the meeting and five spoke during public comment. The City then presented a separate IGA for York Commons, the legal terms of which they indicted follow those that we have negotiated previously. Following a conceptual discussion held earlier with the City Manager, the City is now proposing that extension of the Maintenance Facility Lease be done proportionately on a park by park basis. As a result, they are proposing to extend the lease by sixteen years in exchange for the use of York Commons (while also still funding the recreational improvements in the park). Theoretically, if the other four park sites were to be agreed upon through negotiations, the lease would be extended by sixteen years for each site, thus totaling eighty years - which would coincide with the length of the term for the Fire Station Lease in York Commons.
Discussion also took place concerning tree replacement and termination clauses.
As we did not receive a copy of the proposed IGA prior to the meeting, your subcommittee did not have the ability to respond during the meeting; however, we indicated that we wold review it and discuss the newly proposed terms with the Park Board, In addition, Andrew Paine, Tressler, is also reviewing the document.
The next subcommittee meeting will be held Wednesday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m.. at City Hall.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS (OLD) – Stormwater Management The Park Board stormwater subcommittee met with the City on October 29, 2015. There were 11 residents in attendance with 6 providing public comment. The two remaining unresolved issues are the inclusion of all five park sites and the level of compensation for the parkland. In an attempt to resolve these issues, the subcommittee proposed to the City, using an appraisal process consistent with IDNR to pay the Park District the fair market value of the property or the cost of replacement acreage, whichever is greater. The City indicated that the District will receive a response prior to the next stormwater committee meeting on November 12. The City proposed replacing trees on a “1 for 1” basis, after evaluating quality. The District agreed with this adding that it may choose to forego tree replacement for cash replacement value instead for some or all of the replacement trees. The City countered with the District providing a list of desired tree species and the City purchasing and installing the tree replacements in the future at park locations to be determined by the District. The subcommittee requested the counterproposal be placed in writing. Per the City’s request to provide copies of all grant documentation, staff began scanning the materials to fulfill their request.
On Tuesday morning, the District received a formal FOIA request from the City’s attorney. In response to Commissioner Pelosi’s inquiry about the exchange of land recently purchased by the City to satisfy IDNR’s requirement of replacement property, Executive Director Rogers stated that IDNR generally does not allow the exchange of publicly owned land. The Board discussed the possibility of IDNR accepting the exception as IDNR did state that they will consider all proposals. Completing the IGA master document with all five sites as stated in the District’s latest proposal, the District can move forward in approaching IDNR for considerations. Board President Ubriaco stated that the District’s agreement to accept replacement cost is a very generous offer.
The stormwater subcommittee met with the City on Thursday, October 29, 2015 in Council Chambers with public present to continue discussions concerning the City’s request to use park property for stormwater detention.
Eleven residents attended the meeting and six spoke during public comment. The Park District subcommittee presented a proposal to the City ( copy of the proposal is available below) in an attempt to resolve the remaining two larger issues upon which our agencies have yet to agree. Those being the inclusion in the IGA of all five sites that the City has requested to use and what level of compensation will be provided in order for the Park District to attempt to make up for the lost recreational value (both current and long-term) that will be experienced if the communities’ park land is to be encumbered in perpetuity with stormwater basins. The City and Park District continue to have a philosophical difference over the value of open space and, as a result, at times the discussions were once again contentious. However, we did have the opportunity to provide an overview of the Board’s proposal in its entirety and the City intends to prepare a response. In addition we reviewed the latest draft of the IGA, which primarily involved a discussion concerning how tree replacement will occur as a result of trees being removed to accommodate the construction of stormwater basins. In addition, dialogue also took place concerning the latest IDNR documentation that was provided as the City desires more information about the properties (Golden Meadows, East End, Wild Meadows Trace), which staff will provide next week. The next subcommittee meeting will be held Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.