Lombard to swear in new leadership, address flooding
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The first village board meeting for two new trustees and Lombard Village President-elect Keith Giagnorio also will be the first time the governing body convenes after major flooding struck the Lilac Village on April 18.
A meeting originally scheduled for the evening the flooding hit was canceled to allow staff to focus on responding to the crisis. That means the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday will serve as both a swearing-in for District 1 Trustee Dan Whittington, District 3 Trustee Reid Foltyniewicz and Giagnorio, and an opportunity to publicly discuss flood response and damage estimates.
Lombard public works estimates 3,000 homes were damaged after a slow-moving storm brought more than 6 inches of rain in 24 hours to Lombard April 17 and 18. Giagnorio said he has experienced firsthand how "devastated" many of the homes are, and he empathizes with residents who experienced similar flooding less than three years ago in July 2010.
Areas near ponds prone to flooding were hit again, he said, as homes near Terrace View, Vista and Charles Lane ponds were among trouble spots. More than 25 streets were impassable when standing waters reached their peak, and public works estimates the village has spent $95,000 on flood-related expenses including overtime for employees in all departments and garbage removal costs.
The $95,000 estimate does not include costs residents have incurred as they begin to empty, drain and sanitize flooded rooms, basements and garages, said Dave Gorman, assistant public works director.
Residents with damaged homes are asked to complete a survey at villageoflombard.org to inform the village of the extent of the problem at their property. Results will be used to build a comprehensive record of flood damages to share with state and federal governments as Lombard seeks disaster assistance.
Stormwater management projects have been a priority in Lombard since the village recovered from flooding in July 2010. While equipment has been upgraded at some of the 10 pumping stations the village identified as needing improvement, work to increase the capacity of Terrace View Pond and build a new pumping station on Route 53 near Phillips Court has not been completed.
Giagnorio and the two new trustees joining the board — Whittington and Foltyniewicz — all say they know projects aimed at preventing flooding must continue to be a focus.
Whittington will succeed Trustee Greg Gron in representing the flood-prone District 1, which contains Terrace View Pond on the village's northwest side. Foltyniewicz will be sworn in to follow Trustee Zachary Wilson in representing District 3 on the south side of town, where flooding often occurs on 17th, 18th and 19th streets near the former Ken-Loch Golf Links.
While Whittington and Foltyniewicz will be sworn in Thursday, trustees will begin consideration of Giagnorio's nomination of Mike Fugiel to fill the remaining two years of the District 2 seat he is leaving to become village president.
Fugiel, who worked as executive director of the Lombard Park District from 1997 to 2007, has lived in the district 15 years and volunteers with the Rotary Club and the Glenbard East Athletic Boosters Association. Giagnorio chose him from three applicants to fill the seat.
"I am convinced that Mike will assume this position seamlessly and will represent the residents of District 2 well," Giagnorio said.
Newly elected village clerk Sharon Kuderna also will be sworn in Thursday, succeeding Brigitte O'Brien, who did not seek re-election.
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