Progress continues on Mallard Point drainage issues
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”To come up with a plan to resolve recurring groundwater and drainage issues in the Mallard Point Subdivision and surround properties, and Village officials, members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board, Mallard Point residents and Kane County Water Resources Department Director Paul Schuch have been working together.
Several months ago, the village hired engineering firm Trotter & Associates to study the wetlands and retention pond to determine the reason for elevated water levels and flooding in the area. Although Mark Bushnell, a project engineer with the firm, found mud and overgrown vegetation blocking the water flow from the subdivision, removal of these blockages has not solved the problem.
According to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, four separate projects will need to be implemented to fix the problems completely.
The first would involve laying a large drain tile from the Mallard Point Subdivision south to Jericho Road take the excess water to a place open enough to absorb it. The second step would be to study the drain tiles on the northern end of the property to determine if some are broken or if some need to be rerouted.
Funding for these two projects would likely end up being the responsibility of property owners throughout the Rob Roy Drainage District, as the improvements would benefit all involved, explained Eichelberger.
Rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of the wetland and the retention pond within the Mallard Point Subdivision would likely be paid for through a Special Services Assessment (SSA) on the residents of Mallard Point, as these projects are more specific to the subdivision.
Village President Sean Michels said he and other officials met with representatives of the various agencies on Monday to discuss what needs to be done and how to determine what it will cost.
â€œI’m sure it has a number of the residents nervous about what the costs could be,â€ Michels said.
Eichelberger said funding for the projects would probably be raised through bonds. Money to pay back the bonds would then likely be collected through a tax bill to the Rob Roy Drainage Ditch residents over a period of 10 years or more.
An SSA spread out over time and assessed on the Mallard Point residents would potentially be the vehicle for the pond and wetland rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance.
Eichelberger said that although there were more questions than answers at this point, the village plans to continue to move forward with the projects. However, he said that even if money was no object, Schuch has told the village that because approvals are needed from four different agencies, next summer would be the earliest that something could be done.
Mallard Point resident and trustee Kevin Geary said the situation in Mallard Point was an emergency similar to a water main breaking, and that residents could not wait that long for it to be fixed. He said the village has a financial responsibility to fix the problem.
â€œThe storm water management system is not working,â€ he said. â€œThere’s nothing wrong with the houses; it’s a storm water system problem.â€
After the meeting, Eichelberger said he thought there was consensus building among the Mallard Point residents to move forward with the projects.
Many of the residents are already paying $200 to $250 a month to run their sump pumps, he said. If that’s the case, they might be willing to consider an additional tax or assessment to fix the problem for good.