Winnetka evaluates flood control costs
Winnetka, 07/23/11 Winnetka Public Works employee Mickey Thorpe uses six pumps and hundreds of feet of hose to drain a flooded pumping station at the corner of Ash Street and Hibbard Road Saturday night. The heavy rain flooded the pumping station making it unable to work efficiently. Homes near Willow and Hibbard near Duke Childs Field experienced heavy flooding in the streets that poured over into basements. |Allen Kaleta~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 18, 2013 3:18PM
WINNETKA — With nearly $50 million in stormwater improvement projects now sitting on the table the Winnetka Village Council took their first look at funding options and potential costs to the village.
Trustees heard from representatives of Municipal Financial Services Group to evaluate their options, methods of improvements and level of service.
Estimated costs for the projects total just a little over $48 million and the improvements would provide increased flood protection to the most susceptible areas of the village against rain events up to a 100-year, one percent chance, storm.
At the Jan. 8 study session Village Engineer Steve Saunders gave a timeline to the council, which includes a Feb. 12 workshop to look at the rate/fee analysis, and a Mar. 12 workshop that will look at the implementation of the costs.
“We’re not really asking for the council to make a decision (tonight),” Saunders said at the Jan. 8 meeting. “We wanted to present our progress and get thinking about some of the elements you may or may not want to include. We wanted to get feedback from the council and bring back more information to help you make a decision.”
The council looked at three funding options and MFSG selected a base-property to demonstrate the impact on property owners. The three options included a stormwater fee, a property tax and a combination of both. All three alternatives project costs out to the year 2033.
Saunders said the three most important elements going forward are what projects to contain in the stormwater improvement program, what is the source of funding and how to spread out the tax burdens.
“The financial picture is starting to take shape,” Saunders said. “We’ll start to look at some specific numbers to evaluate how broadly these elements will play out.”
Staff points out nothing is final and projects could be scaled back, but some still want to assure flood protection to all Winnetka residents.
“I as a resident would be willing to pay that amount of money so others will be protected,” said Trustee Arthur Braun. “We have no basement, but I would be very happy to pay so the village as a whole is well protected from flooding.”
Trustee Patrick Corrigan worried that some residents would be upset if they were, “paying for stormwater utility up to 10 years prior to any implementation of protection in their area,” but Saunders said the time frame to implement the projects really couldn’t be tightened anymore.
“I think what we have there is actually aggressive,” Saunders said.
Heading into next month’s study session Saunders said trustees appeared to want to see more identifying information about cost implementations.
“The next workshop is really going to be focused on rate methodology and how to apply it to classes of properties,” Saunders said.