Determining a course forward via public engagement
The Village understands that any decision to move forward on a major infrastructure project needs to be well-informed by public feedback. We have been studying potential improvements and funding mechanisms since 2013. We are proud that we have lived up to our commitment to move through this process thoughtfully, thoroughly and transparently.
The Village Board anticipates that it will make a final decision regarding stormwater improvements at its April 17th meeting.
In the meantime, the Village Board is embarking on an intensive public education and listening initiative to inform residents of the solutions under consideration, answer their questions and solicit input and ideas.
It is our goal to provide opportunities for everyone to weigh in on any or all aspects of the potential improvements through several channels.
The Village will be hosting two open houses for residents to interact with Village Staff and project engineers and provide feedback on the proposed projects. The open houses are scheduled for the following dates and times:
- February 8th from 4:00pm – 8:00pm at Village Hall
- March 13th from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at Village Hall
Public Education Materials
A series of newsletters will be sent to all addresses in Wilmette in the coming months. The first special newsletter, which will lay out the proposed improvements in detail, will be sent to residents prior to the first open house.
This website also includes important information about the project’s history, costs and improvements. We encourage you to use this site as your one-stop resource.
Providing Feedback- We Want to Hear from You!
Residents can provide feedback in a number of ways:
- Online Community Engagement Portal
- Complete an online comment form
- Send a letter to 1200 Wilmette Avenue, attn.: Stormwater Project
- Attend a Village Board meeting
All Village meetings are open to the public and each meeting provides an opportunity for public comment. The Village Board meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm and residents are welcome to attend and voice their opinion.
At the April 17, 2017 Special Meeting of the Village Board, all interested residents will have the opportunity to address the Board prior to a vote on the stormwater improvements.
In order to understand how we’ve arrived at this point, it may be helpful to understand the work that’s been done since the Village Board began studying this matter in 2013. What follows is a brief history of the Village’s efforts to identify improvements that, if implemented, would reduce the frequency, severity and duration of overland flooding west of Ridge Road.
The Village retained Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. (CBBEL) in 2013 to conduct an analysis of the separate storm sewer system, located west of Ridge Road. The goal of the study was to determine the location of critical “bottlenecks” within the system and identify projects that would improve capacity, thereby reducing overland flooding.
CBBEL presented a number of alternatives that would achieve the Village’s goal of improved flood protection. The Village provided the results of the study to residents at a series of public meetings in 2015 and 2016.
Validating the Project’s Cost and Benefits
Given the significant financial investment and impact of the CBBEL proposal ($77 million in 2016 dollars to install 44,000 feet of new sewer pipe), in 2016, the Village hired a second engineering firm, Stantec, to verify and validate the proposed project’s costs and associated benefits.
Stantec concurred with the conclusions of the CBBEL study by noting that the proposed project was the most effective improvement to provide flood relief west of Ridge Road, while also advising that the project could cost as much as $95 million (in 2017 dollars).
Exhausting Possible Alternatives and Lower Cost Solutions
In early 2017, given the financial magnitude of the project under consideration, the Village continued to explore in great detail any and all possible alternatives and lower cost options to provide flood relief west of Ridge Road. Stantec identified two additional projects which would provide varying levels of relief at costs ranging from $48 – $95 million (in 2017 dollars).
In December of 2017, the Village Board continued its public dialogue of the projects and narrowed the options under consideration to the three potential improvements. The Village Board and staff decided that it would undergo a public education initiative in the first quarter of 2018 to solicit feedback from residents prior to making a final decision about a course forward.