Many areas of Mount Prospect are prone to flooding, but for the residents of one particular neighborhood, the cup continually overflows.
The area around Lawrence Lane on the southwest side of the village has been compared to a bowl that fills with water during severe storms. At least one resident says the problem has persisted since the early 1970s.
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"It's been a 43-year problem," said Lawrence Lane resident Connie Lassen. "Disastrous things have happened."
This summer, however, the village has engaged in a series of public improvements designed to mitigate flooding. At this week's village board committee-of-the-whole meeting, residents of the area were told that by Public Works Director Sean Dorsey that work to improve the neighborhood's north sewer system is virtually complete.
The system currently operates at less than a two-year level of service -- making flooding on Lawrence Lane virtually inevitable. With the improvements, the system will be designed for a 25-year flood -- with four chances in 100 of flooding occurring.
The area is served by the Meier/Lawrence detention basin which, because of its configuration, does not fill up all the time during major storms.
This should be addressed by improvements to the North Sewer System, which involves not only installing larger diameter sewer pipes, but also a relief sewer to the basin, at a cost of $486,000.
"By doing these two improvements, we take water that is currently ponding at Lawrence Lane and transfer that water so it ponds first in the detention basin, thereby minimizing or reducing the amount of ponding that we would expect to see on Lawrence Lane," said Randy Patchett of village consultant Burns & McDonnell.
Residents, however, are skeptical of the impact of the improvements. And those who addressed the board this week said the problem that needs to be addressed is the neighboring Linden Place apartments in Arlington Heights.
"The responsibility again lies a lot with Arlington Heights," Lassen said. "We were assured before Linden Place was built that there would not be a problem. This went all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, and I was part of that."
Dorsey said Mount Prospect is working with Arlington Heights regarding such remedies as increasing the height of the berm along the east side of the Linden Place detention pond and cleaning the inlet and outlet structures.
Mayor Arlene Juracek said she believes flooding was a problem for the area even before the Linden Place apartments were built.
"Water doesn't respect geographic boundaries," she added. "We send water to all of our neighbors."