More than a decade after work to deepen part of the Seavey drainage ditch in Mundelein ended, village officials on Monday again debated whether the project should resume.
Completing the dredging and reconstruction of the channel could cost up to $4 million. More than $1 million was spent on the first stage of the project, which finished in 2002.
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The second phase never started, and it was delayed through the years primarily because of financial concerns.
Public Works Director Adam Boeche talked to Mayor Steve Lentz and the village board about the project during a committee-of-the-whole meeting Monday night. No decisions were made.
Running some 8,000 feet through the center of town, the man-made channel is one of four major branches that are integral to draining the Indian Creek watershed. It's also a source of consternation for residents who live in the area and curse it after heavy rains cause flooding in the area -- and their basements.
The first phase of the project deepened the channel between Seymour and Shaddle avenues.
The second phase would do the same between Shaddle and Butterfield Road.
Because the work stopped at Shaddle, water in the ditch hits a wall of earth there, causing sediment to build up in the part of the channel that already was dug out.
If the job isn't completed, the Phase I work will be rendered "ineffective," Boeche said.
If the project isn't completed, Village Administrator John Lobaito said people will "see more and more of an impact."
Trustee Terri Voss was the strongest proponent for resuming the work. "I've been on the board for 10 years, and for 10 years I've heard complaints about why we don't fix the Seavey," Voss said.
Trustee Ed Sullivan expressed doubts about the village's ability to fund the project. He also said the effort wouldn't be popular with people who live near the channel, saying people wouldn't like workers behind their homes.