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Stormwater Update

February 21, 2017 11:55 AM

At the February 7, 2017 Regular Council meeting, Trustee Chris Rintz updated the Council and community about progress in the stormwater negotiations with the Cook County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD), New Trier Township High School (NTTHS), and Winnetka Park District (WPD). 

Trustee Rintz conveyed that the overall tenor of conversations is positive, and CCFPD is very willing to cooperate with the Village on a workable stormwater project their property.  Engineering staff for CCFPD and Winnetka are working to come to an understanding of where, when and how measurements for pollutants would take place, and which contaminants would be included in the testing.  The Village is resolute on the issue of ensuring that the quality of the water going to the Skokie River (River) will be the best it can possibly be.  While the stormwater currently flowing to the River is not treated, the Village wants to implement a project that is environmentally sensitive and improves future water quality.

Keeping concerns about Crow Island Woods in mind, as well as apprehensions about Duke Child’s Field, underground storage has taken on a new significance, and discussions with the Board Presidents of WPD and NTTHS have been encouraging.  Both bodies have indicated a desire to work with the Village on its stormwater detention goals.

Trustee Rintz explained that during recent discussions, the magnitude of permit fees has become apparent, and fees for tree replacement alone could exceed the cost of the entire CCFPD project.  It is clear that Strand’s Final Concept Vision requires modifications and tradeoffs to accommodate the reality of the permit fees, which are established by Ordinance, and cannot be waived.  The Village desires to minimize the area impacted by construction in order to reduce the cost of implementation, and thereby create more room in the budget for fees and permits.  An outcome of this negotiation process is that the CCFPD project is becoming more environmentally sensitive overall, leaving more of the area in its natural state.

Trustee Rintz continued that the Village wishes to maintain the Strand Concept Vision parameter of a 100-year storm protection level, to ensure Winnetka residents are being properly served.  Next steps are to continue the dialog with the CCFPD, get their reaction to some big-picture options that Strand is currently developing, and if there is concurrence on Strand’s direction, to move forward with a draft Memorandum of Understanding for Council discussion.  The goal is to arrive at a concept that doesn’t adversely impact Crow Island Woods and the NTTHS sport field, creating a win-win project that will receive broad support from the community.


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