by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”The installation of additional drain tiles to bring the current water levels down and regular maintenance of the retention pond and wetland areas should solve the flooding problems in the Mallard Point Subdivision, an engineering consultant told the Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday.
Trotter & Associates consultant Mark Bushnell, has been working since last year with engineers representing Kane County, the Rob Roy Drainage District and the village of Sugar Grove to come up with a solution to the area’s drainage issues.
He said it is likely that they will recommend placing an independent and parallel drainage tile south through the subdivision to take the unwanted water to a ditch near Jericho Road. In addition, he said that prescribed burns and other maintenance should take place on an annual basis to remove the debris and stop the further growth of vegetation.
Kane County has identified an initial potential funding source for the project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has made available $16.8 million in low-interest loans for use in public economic recovery projects.
But the money, which would be paid back at 2 percent interest, must be used before 2011. Kane County Board member Drew Frasz, who has been working with Sugar Grove to identify potential funding sources for the project, said that the target date for completion of the project must be November.
â€œThe funding is driving the project; now is the time that we can get the money,â€ Frasz said.
The money to pay back the loan would likely come from the enactment of a Special Services Area (SSA) for Mallard Point residents, a tax on property owners throughout the Rob Roy Drainage District, an area that includes Mallard Point, and potentially additional grants.
However, the residents of the Mallard Point Subdivision, 20 of whom attended Tuesdayâ€™s meeting, do not feel that they should be the ones to bear the brunt of the expenses to fix the problem. Some have said that they do not feel the village of Sugar Grove and its engineers did their due diligence when they approved the construction of the development at the time. Some also want to know why the current owner of the retention pond would not be responsible for maintaining it.
But Village President Sean Michels said that the subdivision has been functioning well for the past 15 years. He said there weren’t the engineering capabilities back when the development was originally built that exist today. Bushnell pointed out that besides the village’s engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers signed off on much of the work at the time.
Michels said that the recent increase in rainwater may also be the cause of some of the subdivision’s current problems.
The committee of engineers should have a completed plan within the next two months, Bushnell said. The Village Board will discuss the SSA at its Tuesday, March 2 meeting.
History of the problem
Problems with the neighborhood date back to the mid-1990′s, when Mallard Point was first built. After the first builder declared bankruptcy, two others took over before it was finally completed. Difficulties determining who was responsible for what problems go back to the beginning.
Although the annexation agreement called for the establishment of a homeowners association, one was never created. A proposal to create a special services area tax on the residents to pay for the maintenance of the common property areas never went beyond the discussion stages.
Residents began approaching the village in fall 2008, when drainage and flooding issues worsened, complaining of standing water, flooded basements and excessive electric bills to continually run two and sometimes three sump pumps.
The village contracted the engineering firm Trotter & Associates in 2009 to study the problem. Mark Bushnell has been working with engineers from the Rob Roy Drainage District, Kane County and the village to come up with a plan to resolve the issues as well as a cost-sharing program.