Spot Check: Stormwater Redux

On May 10th, The Village Council held a Study Session on Stormwater. What’s a study session – and how’s it different from a regular meeting? Steve Saunders presented the how-we-got-here’s and where-we-are’s. Teeing it up for Strand’s Last Stand, June 7th, Village Council Chambers, when they will review work-to-date, explain their Vision, ID open issues and “engagement opportunities,” and propose next steps. If needed, Strand will stay involved on a project-by-project basis.

A Flood of Ideas

Strand will be presenting its Vision, promo’ed at Washburne Auditorium on April 12th, [tap or click "Category," scroll down to "Stormwater"] plus comments and conversations they’ve had with residents, agencies and “other interested parties” since then. According to Strand, its best case [pgs. 5-9] delivers the most relief for the money, calls for 15 initiatives rolled out in four phases, [Attachment #3, pgs. 25-35] and involves the cooperation of governmental agencies, school districts and neighbors. At that point, it will have completed its initial contract.

Pricetag: $57.7 million. [pg. 7]

Players and Their Positions

  • Cook County Forest Preserve District – The Linchpin. Key players are taking our calls, and like what’s in it for them. They have questions, [Attachment #5, pg. 51] and won’t chat without clean water. But Saunders says we’re a “Heck of a lot farther” than before tunnel.
  • New Trier High School – Willing to talk about Duke Childs Field, but not paying, can’t lose any programmable space, and is concerned about the viability of the landfill. In a letter to the Board of Ed, [Attachment #4, pgs. 37-39] Super Yonke lays it out.
  • Park District - Crow Island Woods is theirs so the Park Board must approve any activity. They propose to Master Plan [pg. 11] and offer to bring in Lakota (go-to on numerous PD projects) and Pizzo (CCFP BFF). Their scope of work [Attachment #6, pg. 54], carries a $80,000-$100,000 pricetag, and delivers in 4-6 months.
  • Nearby residents – Wary times two: Loss of their woods and a tunnel down their street. Some want to know more, some want alternate solution, some don’t want at all. Public comments begin at 1:37:00.

What’s Next

Council’s Job 1: Keep talking with the Forest Preserve. Some trustees would also like to assess the community’s will for stormwater relief. Steve Saunders wants to continue working toward a solution so the Forest Preserve has a reason to get in the boat. Everyone agrees that clarity on the Forest Preserve’s participation will lead to more productive talks with the rest of the stakeholders.

You’re Up

  • Get the facts. Lots of information in the Agenda Packets, including meeting minutes and study reports.
  • Show up – and contribute. Trustees want insight, facts and figures, your own experiences. Check the calendar for dates and times.
  • Tune in – Watch the videos if you can't make the meetings
  • Make contact – this is critical right now. The VC is committed to listening. Don’t be a stranger. Call or write. Trustees read everything. They want to know what you know.

…And understand that public process is messy, but aims to get the best for the most with the least. Have patience. Stay the course.