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updated: 7/3/2013 10:52 AM

Cary waives building permit fees in flood-damaged areas

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As Cary begins regrouping after a flood that damaged 37 homes, the village board took another step Tuesday night toward making life easier for those affected.

The village board agreed to waive future building permit fees for properties damaged in the June 26 storm that officials say dumped more than six inches of rain on the village in about two hours.

Many affected residents live in the Sunset Crest neighborhood, which lies at the bottom of a hill.

Last week, several residents from that area were forced to throw out dozens of items, including many with sentimental value.

The flooding wasn't limited to homes.

Thirty-three intersections and eight businesses also were flooded, Public Works Director Cris Papierniak said.

While there is no limit to the amount the village will waive in building permit fees, Trustee David Chapman wanted to cap it at $3,000.

But some trustees questioned whether it was fair to set a limit.

"If we're going to do it at all, we need to give it to everybody," Robert Bragg said.

Due to a parliamentary error on Chapman's part, however, his amendment was never called for a vote.

Ever since the rain stopped, Cary officials have snapped into action helping residents.

Cary officials will be meeting with affected residents from Sunset Crest for a second time on July 11 to discuss their flooding concerns and identify ways they could financially recoup their losses -- possibly with loans from the Small Business Association.

The McHenry County Emergency Management Agency is also doing individual assessments of the flood damage and polling residents on the extent of the damage, while the village works with it and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to secure other funding, Village Administrator Christopher Clark said.

Cary scheduled an additional trash pickup day for last Friday to help resident get rid of property damaged in the storm.

But residents who missed that collection still can drop off flood-damaged items at the public works facility, 454 Cary Woods Circle.

Finally, Clark is investigating why a previous board never implemented any of the recommendations made in a 10-year-old study that were meant to reduce flooding in the Sunset Crest neighborhood.

"What we've seen is some significant work and expense to remedy a problem that affects, relatively speaking, a small number of homes that have been heavily impacted," Clark said.

"Our understanding is that's part of the reason why those major improvements haven't been made, but from most residents' perspective, they're obviously in a low spot and they're in a tough spot."

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