Over the past several years, the Village has experienced multiple, high-intensity rain events. These events exceeded the limited capacity of the Village's sewer system, resulting in adverse impacts to residents such as flooded basements and overland flooding in a number of depressional areas. In response, the Village pursued a study of various flood mitigation projects (LINK). Funding for some of these projects was obtained through a voter-approved referendum in 2015.
The 50th Street project (LINK) consists of the construction of a new storm sewer along 50th Street from East Avenue to Spring Avenue. The Village completed the engineering for the project in 2016 (LINK) and accepted bids for the construction of the project later that year. While the Village was moving forward with the project, the 50th Street project was stopped and has been delayed due to litigation filed by Lehigh Hanson Quarry in McCook. The Village was surprised that Lehigh Hansen would file a lawsuit because the Village constructed a storm sewer from East Avenue to the McCook ditch approximately 100 years ago. In 1992, the Village learned that the Quarry, without the Village’s permission or knowledge, demolished a major portion of the sewer pipe so that it could excavate the area underneath the sewer.
In 2018, the Village and Lehigh Hanson reached a tentative settlement regarding the 50th Street project. However, the cost of construction contemplated by that settlement was unfeasible. The Village has expressed to Lehigh Hanson that it is amenable to constructive, fair negotiations. In addition, the Court recently ruled against Lehigh Hanson on its motion for summary judgement. Attached is a copy of the Court’s decision (LINK).
In May 2020 and most recently on June 26, 2021, the Village endured significant flooding. At the June 28, 2021 Village Board meeting, the Village provided a presentation from its litigation counsel and stormwater engineers, and heard resident concerns. Video of this meeting is available on the Village’s website (LINK). Residents are asked to provide photos and videos of the flooding they experienced to President Mark Kuchler at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information will be shared with the Village's legal counsel, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (“MWRD”), legislators and others.
The Village continues its efforts to further identify flood control projects and to strongly advocate for and pursue critical partnerships with the MWRD, federal and state legislators, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Cook County to identify and fund additional projects that will provide sustainable flood relief for our mutual constituents and residents.