An overflow crowd of Township of Lyons residents attended a special meeting Nov. 14 about a plan to ease flooding. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

An overflow crowd of Township of Lyons residents attended a special meeting Nov. 14 about a plan to ease flooding. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Not all are happy with Lyons Township plan to ease flooding

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Most residents approve buying house for detention pond

By Steve Metsch

The Township of Lyons will proceed with plans to buy a house in the 6200 block of Linden Lane, demolish it and put in a detention pond to ease area flooding, but it wasn’t an easy approval process.

Resident voted in favor of the plan at a special town meeting Nov. 14 at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road, Countryside.

The project is designed to help ease flooding for five houses that tend to flood when heavy rains fall, and help 12 others see less flooding on their properties.

dvn township sean

Township of Lyons Highway Commissioner Sean McDermott said a detention pond would help ease flooding woes in a La Grange Highlands neighborhood. 

But it wasn’t without some opposition from residents who are concerned with how the project will work and how it will look.

An overflow crowd packed the meeting room which, for most township board meetings, has plenty of room to spare.

And, unlike most board meetings, this one lasted about 45 minutes as moderator Christopher Getty, the township supervisor, gave everyone a chance to speak.

Township Highway Commissioner Sean McDermott said the township has been working with the MWRD and the La Grange Highlands Civic Association regarding flooding in the area.

The MWRD will contribute $1 million toward the project, McDermott said.

“They came back and identified one, the home as the good location for small detention. And with the development of a conveyance system to move water away from people’s homes,” McDermott said.

Five homes should be freed from flooding concerns, and another 12 should see “dramatically reduced” problems, he said.

MWRD Primary Civil Engineer Holly Sauter said the area has been studied “for approximately eight years.”

While one project is not available to help everyone, this is a start, she told the crowd.

“We’re worried about people who get water in their homes, not necessarily nuisance flooding, which is water in the streets and backyards, etc.,” Sauter said.

The MWRD said benefits from this project “are definitely viable to help those people reduce the significant amount of flooding.” She noted that 10-year storms have hit twice in the past two years.

Township engineer John Fitzgerald of Novotny Engineering said the proposed system will move water through pipes to the detention pond that will replace a house at 6211 Linden Lane.

Homes that can expect relieve are at 10921 and 10930 Jann Court, 10921 62nd Street and 10920 and 10930 Linn Court, he said. Another 12 should see some flooding relieve on their property, he said.

“We’ll be happy to meet with residents and mitigate concerns,” Fitzgerald said. “I think this will be a great asset.”

Not everyone agreed.

One woman said she was concerned about children being kept safe when water is detained in the pond, and how the pond will be maintained.

“Kids are going to find a way to get in there,” she said.

An intergovernmental agreement will address caring for the site, Fitzgerald said.

McDermott said the pond is designed to detain water after storms, not retain water.

Seven hundred feet of ditches along the west side of Willow Springs Road, designed to hold water, will be improved in the project, McDermott said.

One man asked how the water will drain into a higher location where the pond is intended. “How can you gravity feed it without pumping?” he said.

“We’re going to look at it all and come up with sensible design that works,” Fitzgerald said.

Some scoffed at that, but he said a plan can’t be made until land is acquired.

Jeanne Rozner, of the 10900 block of Linn Court, said, “I don’t think anybody here is against or for anything except what helps all of us.”

“We should be in a room with Acacia Acres families,” Rozner said. “Our whole neighborhood is little kids now. There’s just not enough information.”

Township Assessor Patrick Hynes said it’s not often the MWRD offers to pay $1 million on a project to alleviate flooding and it makes sense to take advantage of that.

Rozner said the plan seems rushed.

“Oh, there’s a house available, let’s buy it. We flood every single time. We go through three sump pumps a year. … It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Mike McGuire, of the 900 block of 61st Street, former vice president of the civic association, said he’s worked with MWRD and the township for years on this.

“We probably have 15 areas that need help. These people have put a lot of time and energy into trying to figure this stuff out,” McGuire said.

“I’ve walked every one of your streets. …. There’s been so many plans we tried to put in place. This is the first time we’re considered for money. I want you to take that into consideration.

“My backyard (during big rains) is a raging river,” McGuire said. “A lot of work has gone into this. If the engineers are telling us they have a way to get the water into the detention pond, I do have faith they’re going to do it.”

Sauter said the site has been researched and “it’s an easy outlet to the (drainage) system. … This property is equally great as any other property. It’s a perfect location.”

There are probably 11 more sites that could be improved, McGuire said.

“I’m just happy we’re even getting one. Hopefully, then we can start working our way down the list. That’s the way I look at it.”

When the vote was taken, a majority of people said “aye.” Getty asked for a show of hands of those who oppose the plan. Nine hands were raised.

2 Comments

  1. Susan Mathews on November 22, 2022 at 6:29 am

    “Detention pond”? Isn’t the correct term “retention pond



    • Bob Bong on November 22, 2022 at 4:28 pm

      Detention pond is correct in this case. Detention ponds are used to hold overflow during heavy rains and then empty out. Retention ponds are used for permanent or longterm retention of water.



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