by Susan Oâ€™Neill
Sugar Groveâ€”Mike Fagel of the Rob Roy Drainage District addressed the Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday, requesting assistance from the village to pay for the drainage solution.
Fagel pointed out that the Drainage District, which encompasses 4,000 acres of farmland, was created more than 100 years ago to deal with agricultural property.
â€œIt was never intended to serve rooftops,â€ he said.
Fagel suggested that the district could be separated into farmland and a subdistrict of residential property, for the purposes of taxing the property owners to pay for the drainage solution.
Fagel, who is one of the three people on the Drainage District Board, said the board has not levied for taxes since 1980, and that funding has been depleted to pay for the drainage issue thus far.
â€œWe don’t feel comfortable taking on the entire project,â€ Fagel said. â€œWe don’t have the staff or the money. We need the support of the village and the county. We can only move forward if we work together.â€
Fagel said that although the owners of the farmland want to help their residential neighbors, they also want to see their farmland return to the equilibrium that existed prior to development. During the last growing season, hundreds of acres were rendered unfarmable due to the flooding from the development to the north.