Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees meeting Jan 19
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Jan. 19 approved amendments to the village’s storm water pilot program that would shrink the pilot area boundaries and install a relief sewer.
Mayor Gerald Turry provided the deciding vote on the contentious issue, with trustees Jesal Patel, Lawrence Elster and Jennifer Spino voting in favor of the resolution and Ronald Cope, Craig Klatzko and Barry Bass voting against it.
Gewalt Hamilton Associates was awarded a $65,080 contract in 2013 to conduct the pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing on-street storm water storage with submerged restrictors and berms to protect basements from back-ups. Gewalt informed the village in June that the employee working on the project had resigned and that it would be at least 6 months before work could resume.
In July the board voted to waive competitive bidding on the engineering services for the program and to authorize Burke Engineering to complete the design work for the project.
Village manager Timothy Wiberg said at the meeting that Burke has completed a significant portion of the work to construct the berms and restrictors but that during the design process the company discovered that two components of the program required review.
The original pilot area was bounded by Pratt Avenue, McCormick Boulevard, Devon Avenue and Lincoln Avenue. Burke found that the area bounded by North Shore Avenue, Columbia Avenue, Kimball Avenue and McCormick Boulevard contained reverse-slope driveways that are in the lowest area of the village and that runoff that does not enter the village sewers usually flows to that area because it is blocked by McCormick from entering the North Shore Channel.
Wiberg said that that area would still be protected from a 10-year storm in the pilot program but that storms with a greater intensity would produce more flooding than what exists today.
Burke recommended that the pilot area be bound by Pratt on the north, south along an alley of Drake Avenue, Arthur Avenue to McCormick, and south on McCormick to Devon.
The firm also recommended that a storm relief sewer be installed from Trumbull Avenue along North Shore to the channel. Construction in the amended pilot area would cost $490,300, the design of the relief sewer would cost $116,400, and construction of the sewer would cost $1.5 million. Extending the relief sewer to Lawndale Avenue would increase the price of construction to $4.5 million.
Cope said that the pilot program does not consider flooding problems at individual homes. He said that the village should implement a program that provides grants to residents to address their flooding problems.
"I concluded that there is a good chance that this will create serious problems where people are not experiencing flooding now," Cope said. "To do this without seeing any visible benefits is a mistake. How will this provide benefits to the community?
"I feel that spending the money is a mistake. We will see more problems and people will suffer. People will be extremely upset."
"This is not a flooding basement problem but a storm sewer problem," Patel said. "That’s the key component. The point here is to control street flooding. We can’t sit idly by and do nothing."
Patel said that basements are affected when the system can’t contain street flooding.
At the Committee of the Whole meeting before the regular meeting, the trustees continued their discussion about changing the rules on the parking of commercial and recreational vehicles on residential streets and driveways.
The current code prohibits street parking of commercial vehicles that weigh more than 12,000 pounds or that bear commercial markings between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on Sundays. The code also prohibits parking Class 1 commercial vehicles on driveways or more than one Class 2 vehicle on a driveway.
The trustees reached a partial consensus that taxi cabs would be allowed as long as they do not have rooftop advertising, that commercial vehicles would be allowed to have advertising on the sides as long as the advertising does not wrap around the vehicle, that trailers could be parked on the side yard or rear yard, and that vehicles with fitted covers would be allowed.
Further discussion of the matter was deferred to a future meeting.
Also at the meeting, the board approved variations for the property at 3455 W. Albion Ave. The variations allow a two-story addition to encroach 1 foot 5 inches into the required 10-foot corner side-yard setback, the finished first floor to be 5 feet 3 inches in excess of the allowed 3 feet, a deck that will extend 3 feet 5/8 inches into the required 5 foot interior side yard and a patio that will extend 2 feet 5/8 inches into the required 4-foot interior side yard.
The board also approved a rear-yard setback variation that will allow construction of a deck 6 feet from the rear property line at a home at 5080 W. North Shore Ave.
The trustees also directed the village attorney to draft an ordinance amending the village code to classify relief allowing off-street parking in front and corner side yards in commercial districts as a special use rather than a variation as is currently required.
Also at the meeting, the village board approved a local agency agreement as required by the state Department of Transportation for participation in the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Grant program for the purchase of the Union Pacific Railroad right of way. The board approved the purchase of the right of way for $4.6 million for a new bike path at its meeting on Dec. 15. A closing on the property is scheduled for March.
A grant was received by the village to fund 80 percent of the acquisition costs for the property, and an additional grant will fund 80 percent of the cost of construction of the bike path.
The original grant was for $4,800,000 but after the initial appraisal for the land, the state reduced the grant to $2,995,000. However, after the sale of the property, the village requested the reinstatement of the original amount, to which the state agreed.
The board also approved and agreement with Municipal GIS Partners for geographical information systems services for $42,778.
The trustees also approved an ordinance granting a franchise to Nicor Gas Company to operate the natural gas distribution system in the village for 25 years as the original 50-year agreement expires this year. The new agreement includes a 20 percent increase in compensation for the use of the right of way from $17,941 to an estimated $23,991.35.
The board also approved a $38,760 contract to Best Quality Cleaning for janitorial services.