Bonds would help pay for flooding relief
Updated: August 27, 2012 10:37AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Having an indoor pool was never in the design for Elmwood Park residents, but when it rains — fast and heavy — that’s exactly what they’re getting.
Heavy flooding has affected the village for years, but especially during recent storms.
At a July 19 meeting at Elmwood Park Recreation Center, village officials answered questions, fielded complaints and presented the village’s Water Mitigation Plan to about a 100 residents in attendance.
Christopher Burke, the village engineer, said what they have planned would correct the village’s flooding problem.
The plan calls for installing several miles of new storm sewers and box culverts in the village to accommodate the flow of water and direct it south to the Oak Park Country Club where a reservoir will be built.
There will also be a pumping station built in the area in association with the reservoir. Burke also said a flood retaining wall will be built along Thatcher Road, just east of the Des Plaines River to prevent the river from overflowing into nearby residential areas.
The total cost to complete the project will cost $19.7 million.
Elmwood Park Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri said no property taxes would be needed to pay for the project. He said Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has committed $5.2 million.
Elmwood Park Village Manager Paul Volpe said the rest would be paid through general obligation bonds paid off through water bill revenues. He said they could get a good deal on the bonds because interests rates right now are so low.
“We’ll issue bonds for the first two years and others based on cash flow needs for the project,” Volpe said.
That’s good news to Sue Sutton, who lives on the 7900 block of Cortland Street. Her basement has flooded twice due to heavy rains
“Two years ago I had six feet of water in my basement,” she said. “The same time last year the same thing happened.”
Silvestri said the village has had heard residents complaints are working toward resolving them.
“I understand peoples frustration with their basement floods,” he said.
“This is going to happen,” he said about the project. “In two years this could be done. We’ll pay for it with existing revenue. It’s a good deal for residents. It’s a great deal for Elmwood Park.”