Update on $77 Million Stormwater Project
On Thursday October 20th the Board met as a Committee of the Whole to discuss the proposed $77 million storm water project and reached a consensus to include funding in the 2017 Budget for a value engineering study. The study will validate the results of the recommended project and to determine if there are lower cost alternatives. It is anticipated that this new study will be completed in spring of 2017. Additional public meetings will be held at that time to determine whether or not to proceed with the project.
Click here for complete information about the project including minutes of the board meeting.
The LWV Wilmette Stormwater Study grew out of the Board planning session in June, 2013. Then on June 18, Wilmette, in cooperation with other North Shore leagues, presented a community meeting on stormwater. Attendance was robust, an indication that this issue is a high priority with Village residents. The presenters included the MWRD (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District), the CNT (Center for Neighborhood Technology), the ILEPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency), and Illinois Coastal Management.
During the summer of 2013, several League members began to gather information by attending a field trip to the Deep Tunnel Project and by meeting with the CNT and the National Resource Defense Council. These agencies shared a wealth of information and helped to give direction to the upcoming study.
By September, 2013, the League study group was formed: Joanne Aggens, Nancy Canafax, Georgia Gebhardt, Trudy Gibbs, Joel Kurzman and Lali Watt. The study group researched the topic from September-December and developed a set of consensus questions. Group members attended the Lake Michigan LWV annual meeting in Kenosha, the Winnetka Deep Tunnel community meetings and the meeting of the NWMC Watershed Planning Council. Brigitte Berger, Wilmette Village engineer, met with the group numerous times to give background information and to answer questions. The product of this research and the consensus questions, including the results of the consensus meeting, may be accessed on the LWV Wilmette website (lwvwilmette.org).
Next steps: the 2014-2015 LWV Wilmette Board will be exploring how the League can take action on this position and advocate for improved stormwater policies/programs in the Village.
A presentation of the study questions and the research related to them, was presented to a sizable group which was able to come to consensus. That consensus will form the basis of a position that will allow the Wilmette League to advocate on matters related to Village stormwater policy.
There was participation of League members from neighboring Leagues. Their comments during the discussion session are often germane to problems and solutions they have encountered ahead of us. Voting during the consensus session is limited to Wilmette League members.
Members of the study group: Joanne Aggens, Nancy Canafax, Georgia Gebhardt, Trudy Gibbs, Joel Kurzman, Trish Nealon and Lali Watt.
Thanks to Dorothy Speidel recording the session. Below are the notes and CONSENSUS RESULTS.
25 people gathered for the Consensus meeting held at the Wilmette Public Library. There were a few guests but an overwhelming majority of attendees were Wilmette League members.
Georgia Gebhardt, as chairman of the Stormwater Study Committee, welcomed all and thanked the rest of the Committee members: Joanne Aggens, Nancy Canafax, Trudy Gibbs, Joel Kurzman, and Lali Watt. Questions were asked and answered during the presentations.
There were 100 pages of presentation materials. Presentation materials are available upon request.
Objectives of the Study included:
Georgia went on to discuss:
Lali Watt presented:
Nancy Canafax presented:
Intense rainfall: some neighborhoods experience backups in both systems.
Challenges in Addressing Stormwater Flooding in Wilmette:
Trudy Gibbs presented:
Gail Thomason, facilitator:
1. Should the Village create more incentives for property owners to execute plans to retain larger amounts of stormwater on their properties? YES
2. Should there be a sewer/stormwater fee assessed proportionate to the amount of the impervious surface of a property with a way to adjust the fee for mitigating factors (such as a rain garden or retention device)? (Now the sewer fee is based on water usage.) YES
It was suggested that property owners would have to appeal to the Village to get credit for good practices.
3. Should the Village of Wilmette set up a process (including a reporting mechanism) with neighboring villages and other governmental entities in the same watershed to seek common solutions? The purpose of this process is to seek common solutions that protect each entity's interests. YES
4. Should a Wilmette Comprehensive Stormwater Plan include target measures for success including, but not limited to, such things as a reduction in percentage of basements flooded, an increase in pervious surfaces and/or improvement in runoff water quality? YES
5. A representative cross section of property owners (including business and residential owners and flooded and non-flooded properties) should have an active involvement in every stage of the development of the Village of Wilmette Stormwater Master Plan. YES
6. Should LWV Wilmette create an Action Committee to advocate for the adopted consensus positions? YES