Topic: Discussion & Determination of Path Forward Regarding Storm Sewer System
Present: Trustees Kathy Dodd, Joel Kurzman, Julie Wolf, Dan Sullivan, Senta Plunkett and Board President: Bob Bielinski.
The meeting on April 17th followed a two-month Village-wide public education and listening initiative to help residents understand the challenges in managing stormwater during heavy rainfalls. The focus of the initiative was on flood damage in the section of Wilmette that is west of Ridge Road. In newsletters and during open houses, residents were introduced to the advantages, challenges, and costs of three very different approaches to reducing the frequency, severity and duration of overland flooding. A comprehensive review of the options can be found on the Village website (www.WilmetteStormwater.com).
The meeting began with a brief history of the engineering studies that led up to the final recommendations. This was followed by a review of benefits and limitations of each of three, divergent plans for relieving flooding. The task at hand on Tuesday night was for the Village Board to decide which of the plans best met the needs of the community and then to prepare official directives for the steps toward implementation.
Three final plans and estimated costs:
Plan 1: Sewer System Expansion - cost up to $108 million Plan 2: Sewer System Expansion & Stormwater Storage Hybrid - cost up to $91 million
Plan 3: Stormwater Storage - cost up to $60 million
Two questions served to frame most of the discussion for the trustees:
The issue of being fiscally responsible was a main decider... here is why:
Disadvantages/Potential Compensating Options for the Board’s Choice
Additional incentives for choosing Plan 3+ were noted
Call for follow-up
To assess the effectiveness of Plan 3+, trustees built into the request to staff a requirement to perform follow up evaluations.
The final directions for the staff were to do the following:
“Issue a request for proposal for preliminary engineering for all 3 underground storage facilities and design engineering for the Community Playfield/Centennial, upsize two relief sewer pipes to allow future flexibility to add on Sewer Expansion (Option 1), include green infrastructure as a component of the preliminary engineering design, have the Municipal Services Committee review public/private partnerships for green improvements, include in the 10-year capital improvement plan a study to determine the effectiveness of the improvements once complete and identify additional improvements as appropriate.”
Fiscal Responsibility and Faster Relief Drove the Village Board Decision
Trudy Gibbs - Observer