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posted: 12/14/2012 5:00 AM

Wheeling board too reckless with money

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"Wheeling board considers offering developer compensatory water relief." (Dec. 3).

The federal government, FEMA and the NFIP Act has established regulations pertaining to floodplains. One of which requires compensatory water storage.

After approximately $45,000 to study the feasibility of altering a 5.8-acre parcel of Wheeling land adjacent to the Prairie Park development, the village may decide to execute Phase 2 of the project which would require major topographical modification to increase stormwater retention.

The Plan 4 change, if approved, is likely to cost the village another $700,000 by modifying the topography to Wheeling's William Rogers Diversion channel.

By doing so, the village hopes that they can sell the additional compensatory water storage rights to an adjacent development thereby providing more buildable land and a greater profit to the contractor.

Such risky assumptions must be reviewed and measured against prudent reality. There is no definite buyer who is willing to reimburse the speculative $785K land development. Why would the village board undertake such a venture without having a professional study showing current and projected values of retention ponds (compensatory water storage) in that area?

In these weak financial times we should beware of trustees who are not financially conservative. They are speculating with our money.

Although I invited four Trustees to meet with me to discuss their seemingly irrational position, none were willing. If you have a chance to talk to any of them, bring up the subject and press them for answers such as why they believe that we taxpayers should enrich and aid private contractors and developers.

Given the history of our village's meddling in the Collins, Kmart and Wickes properties (unprofitable so far), citizens must be diligent to prevent helter-skelter commercial development. The board should be reined in.

Jack Caldwell

Wheeling

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