Committee of the Whole Meeting
Storm Sewer System Improvements
All Board members in attendance.
Also attending: Village Manager Timothy Frenzer, Asst. Village Manager Mike Braiman, Director of Engineering and Public Works Brigitte Berger
The Board met to consider information about four alternatives under consideration for improving the handling of storm water west of Ridge Road. The meeting opened with over one hour of presentation and discussion of the financial considerations of the four options with Melinda Malloy. Ms. Malloy identified the improvements to the sewer system since 1990, other projected sewer system expenses and water system improvements, public safety pension payments, general operating expenses, and the annual tax levy increase.
Ms. Malloy discussed the use of bonds to fund the storm sewer improvements. Bonds could be repaid through existing sewer fees, a new storm water utility fee (as Winnetka and about a dozen other Illinois communities have implemented), or property taxes (not advisable as it is likely to lead to the bonds being downgraded and more expensive).
Joe Johnson of Stantec presented the four options under consideration for west Wilmette storm water relief. Those options include reduced cost options that the Board asked Stantec to investigate and present.
Relief sewer – most comprehensive solution providing for elimination of flooding for 10-year storm via new larger storm sewer pipes (8 miles of new sewer pipe).
95% structures/97% properties
Reduced relief sewer plus neighborhood storage – combination of less sewer pipe and underground storage in Kenilworth Gardens
81% structures/79% properties
Reduced relief sewer – reduced cost option that would install less sewer pipe in west Wilmette
74% structures/61% properties
Neighborhood storage –underground storage at Thornwood Park, Centennial Park, and the Community Recreation Center
71% structures/67% properties
Other Items of Interest: After approximately 2 ½ hours, the board opened the floor for brief comments from the public about the four options under consideration. Of the ten individuals who spoke, at eight stated they live in the affected areas. One person noted that the flooding in west Wilmette affects 1260 houses. Several individuals stated that the Village had done sufficient due diligence and that expedited action should be taken. Some residents and Trustee Kurzman noted that the storm water flooding streets and backing up into basements mixes with wastewater – leading to lawns, streets, and basements being exposed to fecal matter. Most of the speakers were in favor of Option 1, with a few in favor of Option 2. Several residents spoke in favor of the storm water utility fee.
The Board took a break at 10:00 pm – after public comment – and returned to discuss the options. The observer had to leave at 10:00 pm.
The full packet of materials is available on the Village of Wilmette website: https://www.wilmette.com/download/agendas_and_minutes/committee_of_the_whole/packets/2017/11-27-17-Storm-Water-Agenda-Packet.pdf
Next storm water meeting: December 12, 2017, 6:30 pm at Village Hall
Observer: Lisa Bragança Meeting Length: Over 3 hours – observer stayed for first 3 hours.