In response to growing concerns about stormwater in Niles, Acting Mayor Robert Callero continued his pursuit to get to the bottom of community flood issues by calling a meeting of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) representatives and key staff to discuss regional stormwater plans, September 2008 flood data, and incoming results from the resident stormwater survey. At this January 30th meeting, Mayor Callero commissioned a staff level stormwater study, led by Assistant Village Manager Steven Vinezeano, to identify, evaluate, and report back on stormwater related issues within the Village of Niles.
Previously, immediately following the September flood, Mayor Callero gathered federal, state and regional agencies and held an open meeting for residents negatively impacted by the disastrous September storms in an effort to assist them with FEMA disaster relief and recovery. Over 1.1 million dollars in grant funds was given to Niles residents by FEMA for damaged property. In an effort to seek additional resident input, Mayor Callero directed staff develop a stormwater survey that was mailed to residents in December. This January 30th meeting starts the next phase in Callero’s plan to effectively address flooding issues in the community.
At the January 30th meeting, MWRD representatives also explained their program for studying stormwater management in Cook County to include both the Des Plaines and the North Branch of the Chicago River. The Watershed Planning Council, which will be holding public meetings through April, 2010, is in the analysis stage of their own detailed watershed planning process. The Village of Niles actively serves on this Council. The second stage of the Council, which is estimated to be completed by 2012, is then to prioritize and design recommended stormwater improvements to be funded by grants and/or a MWRD tax levy.
Mayor Callero’s staff level Stormwater Commission has been directed to share their findings of potential projects to address village-wide stormwater related issues by May 2009. The Commission is currently in the process of mapping resident stormwater survey and other pertinent technical data. Callero plans on taking the results to the Village Board of Trustees in a public meeting.