Photo: The sump pump in the home of Mallard Point resident Laurie Geary is full of mold after years of the flooding problems discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. Geary brought in a sample of the red mold to show the Village Board during the public comment portion of the meeting. Courtesy Photo
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Mallard Point subdivision residents on Tuesday spoke during the public comment portion of the Village Board meeting, venting their frustration with the fact that the village still has not reached a deal with Rob Roy Drainage District No. 2 and three land owners to allow for the installation of a pipe—18 inches in diameter and 8,800 feet long—that would convey water from the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions to the Drainage District ditch located near Jericho Road and Route 30.
The village on Jan. 4 released an FAQ explaining why its decision to walk away from a deal with the Drainage District and landowners (one of which is the family of Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer). The FAQ states, “Once designed, the project had four main parts that all had to come together. Approval, construction costs, easement acquisition and financing. All of these items required the cooperation of other entities. The costs and complications of these items reached a point where it was determined that the project was no longer in the best interest of the community.”
Village President Sean Michels was absent from the meeting.
Several residents brought pictures of their flood-damaged basement and property to display during public comment. Laurie Geary, wife of trustee Kevin Geary, brought a jar of red mold that she said is all over her basement.
“You wait a year (to get a deal done), I’m not going to have a house left … and you guys want to wait and play?” she said to the board. “You’re dealing with our homes, our lives …”
Resident Jim Stone also spoke during public comment, referencing a 1992 Kane/DuPage County Conservation Soil Report that said the Mallard Point property was unsuitable for homes to be built unless they were slab or raised homes and crawlspaces only. Stone then read from the minutes of the Plan Commission meeting from July 14, 1992, in which the then-developer defended the Mallard Point development, “indicating that, almost always, the Kane/DuPage Soil Report are negative to development.”
“If any developer ever comes into this village again, please make them pull a soil report, and please do not ignore it,” Stone said to the board. “Don’t have a second Mallard Point on your hand, and please do not have these families and their children be subject to mold and the suffering that they’re going through. Please do not do that.”
Board trustee Rick Montalto told residents in attendance that he doesn’t think there’s anyone on the board who doesn’t want to see the project move forward.
“There are other entities involved, and have been involved. We thought we were at impasses; things look like they’ve turned for the better and it looks like they’ll be able to go forward. We’re going to talk about them in executive session,” he said.
Trustee Mari Johnson, acting as board president pro-tem in Michels’ absence, said legal documents needed to be reviewed.
“Now we have the documents; we intend to review them and move forward. When you (Mallard Point residents) were here a couple weeks ago, we had nothing. The negotiations had broken down due to parties not of the village.”
When the audience asked if the parties were Rob Roy Drainage District and the Sauer family, Johnson replied, “Yes.”
Johnson was then asked when the issue would appear on the agenda so Mallard Point resident could attend the meeting.
“I am hopeful that the (Feb.) 22 will be a special meeting to get this taken care of. That’s the intent.”
The dialogue between the board and residents in attendance then briefly spilled into a shouting match, at which point Johnson told specific residents they were out of order.
“Staff will work with the consultants and we will determine a date, and you (residents) will be notified,” Johnson said.