While major sections of unincorporated Kane County were under water during the recent floods, other sections that flooded for years were much drier than in the big storms of 2007 and 2008. But future projects to move more county residents to areas that are high and dry may depend on a money source that has also started to dry up.
Three years of flood mitigation and 22 completed stormwater management projects totaling more than $3.6 million left residents in subdivisions such as Novak Park, Three Lakes, Ogden Gardens and Evening Prairie without the need to fret over whether their sump pumps would keep up with the deluge. But there were still 89 homes in the unincorporated areas that saw notable flood damage, according to statistics compiled by Kane County Emergency Management. That means there is still work to do.
In fact, there's about $3.7 million worth of work yet to be done, according to county officials. The question is where will the money come from. To date, the county has leveraged part of the money it receives from riverboat gambling profits to garner grant money to help with the flood projects. But those funds are slowing to a trickle. In 2010, the county board's Riverboat Subcommittee approved $625,000 to help with the flood projects. Last year, the amount had fallen to $555,000. The reduction was a direct result of dwindling riverboat funds. The subcommittee has not yet met this year to discuss the funding it has for such projects, but it is again expected to have less money.
The projects waiting in the pipeline include:
• The Golfview neighborhood in Aurora Township needs a $1.18 million project to help prevent future flooding.
• The Johnston-Lindwood area, also in Aurora Township, has $576,000 of work.
• The Pine Tree Regional Detention in Kaneland Township has $176,000 of work.
• Big Timber Acres in Rutland Township has a $105,000 project.
• The Catatoga neighborhood in Elgin Township has $70,000 of mitigation that is needed.
• West Highland Acres in Elgin Township needs $100,000 to complete its mitigation project.
• The South Park neighborhood in Aurora Township has a $1.5 million project.
The county board's Riverboat Subcommittee will meet this summer to determine how much money it has to fund both internal and external grant requests, including flood projects.