by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday passed an ordinance allowing for a special service area (SSA) in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions.
The ordinance is the first step in establishing a method to charge Mallard Point and Rolling Oak residents for the maintenance of the retention pond and other stormwater infrastructure that affects the residents of the two subdivisions.
The next step is to establish the SSA, which may happen in June, and the last and final step would be to approve an annual rate.
The measure passed 5-1, with trustee Kevin Geary voting no. Both Geary and trustee Rick Montalto live in Mallard Point. Geary has experienced flooding at his residence; Montalto has not.
Geary said he voted against the measure because he was uncomfortable with the language in the ordinance, which authorizes the use of the SSA money for improvement, expansion, repair and replacement of wetlands, storm water detention basins and other infrastructure, in addition to maintenance.
â€œIt was just a little too loosey-goosey for me,â€ he said. â€œThe board had the chance to craft an ordinance that would have given the residents confidence that it was strictly a maintenance thing, but they chose not to. Some of the residents have said, ‘We don’t want to open our check books until we’re aware of the costs.â€™â€
The village’s expenditures for the study and the work done so far to begin to address the issues are approaching $100,000. The SSA would pay for this amount, as well as the ongoing maintenance work.
The annexation agreement the village negotiated with the developer at the time Mallard Point was built allows the village to create an SSA, and waives the right of the homeowners to oppose it.
Although the SSA is being set up to pay for the maintenance of the pond, cost-sharing for the more expensive solutions to the flooding may be divided among the residents of the Rob Roy Drainage District (RRDD), which includes Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks residents, and the village. Kane County will assist with the funding in the form of low-interest loans. According to Montalto, there is $17 million available through a 2 percent interest loan, to be paid back over 20 years.
The next step in attempting to determine a solution for the drainage issue is to conduct test pumping of the area. The Rob Roy Drainage District is currently working on a draft of an intergovernmental agreement with the village to clarify the parameters of the test.
The Village Board will vote on the agreement after it is drafted.
The village began an investigation into the subdivision’s flooding problems in fall 2008, when approximately 20 of the 250 residents reported recurring flooding. The village hired engineering firm Trotter & Associates to conduct a study of the development’s problems, and in June 2009, village officials began working with the Kane County representatives and Rob Roy Drainage Ditch officials to determine what fixes were needed and who should pay for them.