Friday, March 02, 2012

A Pleasant Surprise

I am impressed with my village board and staff. About six months ago they had their first meeting regarding the flooding issue that has affected our community the past two years. Last night, they presented a multi-faceted plan to try and address the problems. It is apparent that the village has few resources for this and short of replacing and improving our 100+ year old sewer system; there is no economically viable “fix” to the solution.

What the Village Staff came up with is not perfect it is a proposal that shows a lot of thought and commitment to the problem. They will be instituting a downspout disconnection program. A consultant will be hired to perform computer modeling of the system so that any future improvements can be done in an informed manner. They will have a pilot program for inlet restrictors and will add eight pilot permeable paved alleys. The staff is working to put together a Multi Hazard Mitigation Plan so that they can secure funds for additional village-wide mitigation procedures and they have already applied for funds for a bioswale at one of our parkways. Their multi-faceted approach shows that they did their homework and that they listened to the many citizens that were vocal about this issue.

The biggest proposal, or at least the most-discussed one involved a grant or loan program for homeowners to install their own overhead plumbing. We already drained our savings to install ours but there are many homeowners in the area that, understandably, can’t take on such a project without assistance. The board, comprised of Adam Salzman, John Hedges, Colette Lueck, Bob Tucker and Ray Johnson, voted unanimously to approve a grant that would pay half of a homeowner’s expenses up to $3,500.00 for private sewage mitigation improvements. The first round of grants would be need-based and we would likely not qualify but we will get in line for funds as they will retroactively pay for improvements as long as the program is continued.

As you can tell from my previous post, upon hearing the news that came out of the financial committee last week, I was disheartened about this issue and prepared for the worst. What occurred last night was a pleasant surprise and I hope that their proposals, once instituted, start to have a positive impact on our sewer system.

Now I just can’t wait to see how this bioswale proposal moves forward. I think it will be an awesome feature but wonder if the folks in the proposed neighborhood will go along with it.

1 comment:

Fargo said...

Congrats on the encouraging news. It really does sound like they did their homework before developing the plan. I hope you get the bioswale. I'd like to see some in our chronic flood locations here in Beverly.