Barrington set to lead rehabilitation of Flint Creek

  • Flint Creek flows through the Grassy Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Barrington on a path that takes it from the Fox River to Barrington Hills. The village of Barrington is leading a renovation project on a section of the meandering creek between Hart Road and Route 59.

      Flint Creek flows through the Grassy Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Barrington on a path that takes it from the Fox River to Barrington Hills. The village of Barrington is leading a renovation project on a section of the meandering creek between Hart Road and Route 59. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
 

Buoyed by a state grant, Barrington will lead a project to renovate a section of Flint Creek between Route 59 and Hart Road, work that officials say will improve stormwater drainage and reduce pollution.

Village board members this week officially accepted the $339,641 grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. While led by the village, the estimated $566,069 Flint Creek project also will include Barrington Area Unit District 220 and the Barrington Park District.

Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said the Flint Creek work will be significant for the area. The rehabilitation will cut across property owned by the village, park system and District 220.

"We're going to try to engineer to the greatest extent possible to give us more flood-proofing out of the (creek)," Lawler said. "That's not what this grant specifically is for as far as the state is concerned, but a side benefit to us is some additional capacity."

Under the plan, engineering will begin this year for the project involving the stabilization of 3,165 feet of stream bank and channels along Flint Creek between Hart and Route 59. Lawler said the engineering phase will determine how much soil and plant materials must be removed.

Construction is to start in 2020. When the project is finished, annual pollutants going into the water are expected to be reduced by 506 tons of sediment, 267,226 pounds of suspended solids, 637 pounds of phosphorous and 2,896 pounds of nitrogen, according to the village.

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Barrington, District 220 and the park district each will contribute toward the $226,428 that won't be covered by the state EPA grant. Barrington may wind up paying $80,000 to $90,000, based on the amount of work on its land, with the parks and school district splitting the remainder, Lawler said.

The Barrington Area Development Council and Barrington Noon Rotary Club, both nonprofit organizations, sparked the Flint Creek project in a meeting with village officials in 2015. Lawler said the groups paid "a significant amount of money" for an initial study in 2016 that was the technical basis in the state grant application process.

Barrington Village President Karen Darch took note of the private money that paid for the initial study of the creek.

"A lot of good people in town," Darch said.

Popular community volunteer Joe Kelsch, who died in 2017, pushed for the Flint Creek work on behalf of Noon Rotary and the development council.

Flint Creek starts in Barrington Hills on the south, meanders around Barrington and eventually leads to the Fox River in the north.

"It's significant," Lawler said. "It is the primary drainage area for not only the village of Barrington, but to many of the villages."

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