Approves step to establish future SSA
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”The Village Board on Tuesday approved a $14,000 contract with engineering company Trotter and Associates to conduct an on-site field tile investigation for the Mallard Point Subdivision and the adjacent Ogle property.
The unbudgeted project will be paid for with village funds, but may end up being charged back to the Mallard Point residents through a possible future SSA (Special Services Assessment).
Village officials and members of the Rob Roy Drainage District Board have been working for several months on a plan to resolve recurring groundwater and drainage issues in the Mallard Point Subdivision and the properties surrounding it.
The board also passed on Tuesday a resolution of intent regarding the establishment of an SSA in the Mallard Point Subdivision. The vote was 4-2 in favor of the resolution, with trustee Kevin Geary and Tom Renk voting against the resolution. Village President Sean Michels was not at the meeting.
Village attorney Steve Andersson explained that the resolution of intent does not establish the SSA, but gives the village the authority to establish one. He said that the resolution also starts the time clock, which allows the village to recapture funds already spent on projects related to the flooding and drainage issue, as long as they were spent within the last 60 days.
The village paid $10,000 in February for Trotter and Associates to inspect the retention basin and wetlands within Mallard Point. However, because this expense was prior to the 60 days, the village will not be able to recoup this from Mallard Point residents.
The current project’s cost of $14,000, as well as a previous one to complete a drain tile concept plan for the area south of Mallard Point to Jericho Road at a cost of $10,000, would be allowable expenses for the village to recapture through the SSA.
The resolution sets a maximum amount that could be reimbursed through the SSA at $100,000.
Although the resolution starts the time clock, there are a number of steps the village would have to take before an SSA could be established. Board members proposed Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a public hearing regarding the SSA.
However, according to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, the village will likely not have an answer by then to the biggest question residents will haveâ€”how much is it going to cost them?
â€œNo one can say how much this is going to cost,â€ he said. â€œThe earliest will be this fall, when studies are done.â€
He added that the other unknown variable is how the costs for the various projects will be spread among how many residents. He said the village could be a year away from knowing the answer to that question.
Additional projects related to the flooding problems could be conducted by the Rob Roy Drainage District, which encompasses the Mallard Point Subdivision, the Ogle property and other property owners south to Jericho Road. These costs could then be recaptured by the district through an additional tax on the Drainage District residents.
Sugar Grove Public Works Director Tony Speciale tried to put the SSA question in perspective. He said that every subdivision the village has approved in the last five years or more, including Windsor Pointe, Windsor West, Hannaford Farms and Settler’s Ridge, has an established SSA, should any need to use it.
Although Eichelberger said that no one at this point knows how much these projects will cost each individual, he said it is more reasonable to say that it would be in the hundreds of dollars per year range, as opposed to thousands of dollars.
Montalto, who lives in Mallard Point, said passing the resolution was the fiscally responsible thing to do. He said he hoped the public hearing would be a good forum in which to address any misinformation that people are getting.
Trustees Mari Johnson and Melisa Taylor attempted to reassure the several Mallard Point residents who attended the meeting.
â€œEverything will be done in a step-by-step process,â€ Johnson said. â€œWe want to get the right thing done.â€
â€œWe will not spend money frivolously,â€ Taylor said. â€œWe will criticize every expense.â€
Montalto informed the residents that both he and trustee Kevin Geary live in Mallard Point, and will be personally affected by the board’s decisions.
â€œWe are managing this,â€ he said.