The village of Lombard and Lombard Park District may collaborate on a plan to create more stormwater storage space at Terrace View Pond on the northwest side.
As it rains and rains, many homeowners near the pond say they wish something could be done right away to prevent their streets and basements from filling with water.
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"It's just that worry," said Lisa Cisneros, who lives on Elizabeth Street, just west of the pond. "I'm always watching the weather whenever I go anywhere."
But before an intergovernmental agreement is signed or officials take action against flooding near the pond, the village will pay for an engineering and environmental study to determine the effectiveness of proposed changes, Village Manager David Hulseberg said.
"Based on the information (the study) provides, it will help the park board make an informed decision," Paul Friedrichs, the park district's executive director, said.
The village on Friday will begin seeking qualifications from companies capable of doing the study. Hulseberg said the study will cost about $25,000 and should be complete in time for the park board to review its results in August or September and vote on whether to allow the flood mitigation plan to move forward.
Park board members have indicated they support helping neighbors with flooding issues -- as long as the village's plan has the desired effect.
"We just wanted to see what the engineering and environmental studies say before we say yes," Mike Kuderna, park board president, said. "I think the board overall is in agreement to help ... I definitely think this is going to be an idea that goes forward."
The village proposes "lowering the pond" by installing pumps to decrease the water level during dry conditions by one foot. With less water normally contained in the pond, it will be able to hold more rain when storms hit. The village needs park board approval to lower the water level because Terrace View Pond is on park district property.
The pond has been a water retention area since it was built in 1972 under an intergovernmental agreement between the village and the park district, according to Hulseberg. Such collaborations on stormwater projects are nothing new, Friedrichs said.
"Our mission frankly isn't to take care of stormwater management for the neighbors -- that is what the village is there for," Friedrichs said. "But if we can help some neighbors, obviously, we're going to help some neighbors."
If studies prove lowering the pond's water level would assist with stormwater management, and the park board approves the project, construction of a pumping station could begin this fall.
Still, neighbors, including Linda Sullivan, who leads a homeowners association that formed to address flooding concerns, say starting construction this fall may be too late.
"The flooding in Lombard is just getting worse and worse," Sullivan said. "There doesn't seem to be any realization that people are going to have to walk away from their homes this spring or summer if nothing is done."