Mount Prospect teams with park district to address flooding
Mount Prospect and the River Trails Park District are entering an agreement officials say will relieve flooding in neighborhoods near the village's two Levee 37 pumping stations and enable upgrades at Burning Bush Trails and Aspen Trails parks.
Under the deal, stormwater detention will be added at the two parks to hold excess water during heavy rains. Although Levee 37 has helped prevent the Des Plaines River from overflowing its banks, surrounding neighborhoods can experience flooding after heavy rains.
"I'm sure most of the people in my neighborhood will be happy when this is finished, as long as it works," said village Trustee William Grossi, who lives near Burning Bush Trails Park.
The village will bear the majority of the costs, estimated at $10 million to $12 million. But through the efforts of legislators such as state Rep. Mark Walker of Arlington Heights, officials hope the village can access state capital funds, a $2 million grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and a low-interest state loan to relieve some of the financial burden.
Along with stormwater detention, Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said, the projects will provide larger pipes for better discharge in the storm sewer systems.
The first project will be at Burning Bush Trails and is set to begin this year.
"As fate would have it, the park district was in the process of developing plans to improve the park when we came knocking on the door," Dorsey said.
The village will pick up the majority of the $5.7 million total cost, most of which will pay for stormwater improvements at Burning Bush Trails. The park district plans to contribute $650,000 toward $1.8 million in improvements, which will include athletic fields on the east side of the park.
"Normally, when it rains, fields get muddy and they hold water for a while, and they are essentially unusable," Dorsey said. "We believe the fields will actually be more useful for the neighborhood and for the park district."
The improvements at Aspen Trails will cost $5.6 million, including $550,000 for recreational amenities.