Carol Stream residents had the opportunity Tuesday to provide input on a planned stormwater management project aimed at easing flooding in one of the village's most flood-prone neighborhoods.
Officials say the project won't eliminate flooding, but it will alleviate its impact during major storm events, such as the floods in 2008 and 2010 that filled nearby houses and streets. But not everyone in the neighborhood is welcoming the project, which would put two water reservoirs and a pumping station practically in their backyards.
Under the county's plan, overflow from the reservoirs will be moved out through a siphon to nearby Klein Creek.
Some residents on Arrowhead Trail, which is located on the western side of the park, said during a public meeting that the berm of one of the reservoirs is too high.
"If it's not going to solve the problem, then why do I have to look at a 12- to 16-foot berm?" said Laurie Marshall, who has lived on Arrowhead for 33 years and formerly served on the park district board.
Myra Kiely, a 43-year resident on Arrowhead, called the proposed 114-acre-foot reservoir "a big bathtub of stagnant, polluted water."
But officials say the only way to reduce the berm's height would be to spread out the size of the reservoir -- and that would interfere with park district ball fields and other recreational amenities.
John Wills of Wills Burke Kelsey Associates, the project design consultant, said the wall won't abut residents' property lines. There's 60 feet between their fences and the reservoir where native foliage will be planted. Looking from the view of yards on Arrowhead, the berm will be 12 feet high -- just under the height of a typical backyard shed, Wills said.
The berm rises to 15 feet inside the park because of varying elevations, he said.
Village President Frank Saverino said the project is the best opportunity right now to help address one of Carol Stream's biggest problems.
"Nobody wants change," Saverino said. "Let's try to be good neighbors. (This is) neighbors helping neighbors."
A year ago, the DuPage County Board approved spending $5 million for the project. Board member Jim Zay, chairman of the county's stormwater management planning committee, said it was hard to find funding because of economic conditions, and there were other communities with flood problems as well.
But just like the east side of the county gets funding to alleviate flood problems, "the west side of the county needs funding too," Zay said.
Tony Charlton, director of the county's stormwater management division, said the project would likely go to bid next spring, with construction completed by winter.