Mundelein officials will consider hiring an engineering firm to design the next phase of long-proposed improvements to the Seavey drainage ditch that runs through town.
HR Green Inc., which has offices throughout the U.S., will be paid $194,670 for the work if the board approves the contract tonight.
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About $160,000 was included in the village budget for the design work. The projected $34,670 difference will be raised by reducing the money to be spent on stormwater projects, according to a memo from Village Engineer Bill Emmerich.
Completing the dredging and reconstruction of the channel could cost up to $4 million, officials have said. More than $1 million was spent on the first stage of the project, which wrapped up in 2002.
The second phase never began, and it's been delayed through the years because of financial concerns.
Running about 8,000 feet through the center of town, the man-made channel helps drain the Indian Creek watershed. It was built to alleviate flooding, but it hasn't successfully done its intended job.
The first phase 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 a decade ago, 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.
Five feet of sediment has accumulated at Shaddle Avenue, according to Emmerich's memo.
If the project isn't completed, the first-phase improvements will be undone by nature, officials have said.
Board members are divided about moving forward. Some, like Terri Voss, strongly support finishing the project.
Trustee Ed Sullivan, however, has questioned the village's ability to fund the project. And at a meeting earlier this month, he said the project wouldn't be popular with residents who live near the channel because workers would be in their backyards.
Tonight's board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the main fire station, 1000 N. Midlothian Road.