Objections lead Army Corps to drop plans for Didier Farms
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Faced with opposition from local governments and property owners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dropping a controversial proposal to build a large reservoir on the historic Didier Farms site north of Buffalo Grove, officials confirmed Thursday.
Buffalo Grove Village President Jeffrey Braiman said the Army Corps' decision was disclosed to him Wednesday at a meeting attending by state and local officials.
"Because of the pushback from Didier, (Lake) county and us, (they) are taking it out of the plan," Braiman said.
Army Corps Project Manager Jeff Zuercher confirmed Thursday that the proposal would not be included in his agency's report later this month.
Though including it would not guarantee the project's eventual completion, taking it out at this point makes reconsideration unlikely.
Instead, the corps is expected to seek other sites for the proposed reservoir, which is part of a larger Army Corps plan to reduce flooding and restore ecosystems along the Des Plaines River in Cook and Lake counties. The plan, which could take up to $450 million and 20 years to fully implement, includes 27 projects in all.
Wednesday's meeting took place in Des Plaines at the behest of state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who invited the Corps to give a presentation to several representatives and mayors in the areas affected, Braiman said.
It came two days after Buffalo Grove's village board passed a resolution opposing the plan, which called for 4.5-foot-deep reservoir with a berm levee structure around the perimeter of the Didier and Hoffmann properties. The area under consideration spanned about 93.1 acres, bounded by Buffalo Grove Road to the west, Aptakisic Road to the south, Brandywyn Lane to the north and Prairie Road to the east.
Army Corps officials, who made the plan public last week, said they had no intent to seize the site through eminent domain, but instead hoped to work with the property owners on a voluntary sale at some point.
Other projects in the plan include construction of an 11,100-foot levee and flood wall in Des Plaines; construction of a pumping station in Maine Township; and the removal of five suburban dams on the river.
• Staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this story
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