A $7 million stormwater management project aimed at reducing flooding in Carol Stream is a step closer to getting off the ground.
The village board Monday approved final plans for construction of two aboveground reservoirs in Armstrong Park and a siphon that will release stormwater to a downstream point in Klein Creek.
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The project is being coordinated by DuPage County, but a 2011 intergovernmental agreement stipulates that final plans be approved by the village and park district. The park board gave its approval in February.
Officials have said the project won't completely eliminate flooding damages in the neighborhood south of Armstrong Park near Klein and Thunderbird creeks, but it would significantly reduce them.
"Is it gonna stop flooding completely? We don't know, but it will slow it down," said Village President Frank Saverino.
The county is now awaiting approval of its dam safety permit application, which is being reviewed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources. If state DNR officials provide only minor comments on the application, the county would be able to put the project out to bid.
County Board Member Jim Zay, who is chairman of the county's stormwater committee, said he and county officials have been making phone calls to officials in Springfield in hopes of moving along a project that's faced delays because of the time needed for various governmental agencies to review it.
"We sit here, and we wait," Zay told the village board and some park district officials in attendance Monday. "Unfortunately we're waiting for another governmental agency to get our permit."
"We're trying to do everything we can to speed it up," he said.
Necessary approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers were received Monday by the county.
Zay said county officials are hopeful crews can begin to "move dirt" by July 1 after bids go out and a contractor is selected.
Currently, a pile of clay dirt sits on the site of the project on the south side of the park -- where the old Aldrin Community Center sat before it was demolished last year to make way for the stormwater management system.
Officials hope "substantial completion" of the project would be achieved this year.
The county is lobbying federal officials in hopes of securing funding for a portion of the project. Zay said the county has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $5.5 million, of which a portion would pay for the Armstrong Park project and a portion would help fund other projects in the county.
So far, $5 million of the project's estimated $7 million cost has been secured from a county bond issue. That's enough to pay for the construction of the two flood reservoirs, which will have the capacity to store 115 acre-feet of stormwater. Still to be funded is the 60-inch siphon release sewer that will take water from the reservoirs down the center of Indianwood Drive.
Village Trustee Mary Frusolone asked what would occur if only the reservoirs and not the siphon were constructed.
County project engineer Sarah Ruthko said the system would have the ability to pump water back out the way it came in, but that effectively it would "work like a giant detention pond."
Zay said he feels "really well" the county will receive additional funding from FEMA. The county's lobbyist in Washington, D.C. has been talking with members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, who have expressed their support.
"We're putting our full court press on," Zay said.