Chronic flooding in a Lindenhurst neighborhood would be remedied with the pending purchase and demolition of four homes.
Three vacant lots near the homes also would be acquired and included in the plan by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission to address long-standing flooding issues on Lindenhurst Drive, Old Elm Road and Woodlane Drive.
Acquisitions, demolition and related work will be funded through a federal grant to be administered through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The village, which approached the commission regarding the voluntary program, will pay about $229,407, or one-fourth of the $917,227 total cost.
"The village did a feasibility study and determined that the buyout option in this area was the most cost-effective solution, and they approached SMC for assistance in obtaining a federal grant for the buyouts, which we've worked on for a while now and were successful in obtaining," said Michael Warner, executive director.
Two of the homes on Lindenhurst Drive were built in 1961 and the others by 1974, Warner said.
The grant money is paid once the work is complete. In the interim, the Lake County Board at its meeting today is expected to appropriate that amount for reimbursement later.
"We frequently had to close the road," and residents' basements would flood, Village Administrator Matt Formica said. The village last summer bought and demolished a home nearby and now also owns three lots in the area, Formica said.
Village officials weighed the options over the years but decided acquisition and demolition was the best path for the most recent batch, he added.
"Those folks (homeowners) have all signed letters of interest and are on board," Formica said. "The most recent initiative was sparked by residents' concerns out there." The area is directly behind the Linden Plaza shopping area on Grand Avenue.
The commission has purchased properties throughout the county. A recent example is the Gurnee Grade School, just east of the Des Plaines River, which was razed and is being converted to a park to include soccer fields.
"They are properties that have experienced repetitive flooding," said Kurt Woolford, the commission's chief engineer. "The recommended mitigation strategy we use is to purchase properties at a fair value and demolish them."
Pending county approval, the process is expected to take about six months. The commission would temporarily own the property but look for a long-term partner. Formica said the final disposition of the land is to be determined but open space, wetland or some type of park facility is possible.