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Burbank residents got their first look at potential improvements being considered for the Melvina Ditch Reservoir Tuesday night at an open house hosted by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD).
The two-hour meeting held at Reavis High School provided residents a chance to learn about several proposed design alternatives to the existing reservoir located at 87th Street and Nashville Ave. and solicited public feedback on the project.
Residents were encouraged to first view a 10-minute audiovisual presentation in the school’s auditorium that summarized recent reservoir improvements and outlined six different expansion options under consideration.
(View slideshow below)
After the presentation, residents were steered to the gymnasium where large illustrations of the various plan alternatives were on display. MWRD engineers and staff, along with Burbank Mayor Harry Klein and other city officials, were on-hand to answer questions. Residents were given a questionnaire and asked to rank the alternatives and provide comments.
The alternatives being considered would protect between 145-512 properties throughout Burbank from reservoir overtopping during a rain event similar to that experienced by the city in August 2014. Reservoir improvements would consist of a combination of flattening the bottom, using deep retaining walls instead of sloped sides, digging the reservoir deeper and expanding the existing footprint.
Expansion would necessitate the purchase of between 2 to 15 existing properties adjacent to the reservoir. According to the MWRD, the purchase price would be based on “fair market value.”
Costs estimates among the various alternatives range between approximately $18 million to $29 million. It is unclear where the money to fund the project will come from, but an MWRD engineer said the district was committed to paying half the cost with the State of Illinois paying the remainder. In return, the MWRD would require the City of Burbank to make future infrastructure investments including larger sewer pipes and additional detention storage.
MWRD engineers emphasized that even with improvements to the Melvina Ditch Reservoir, flooding throughout Burbank and Oak Lawn can not be completely eliminated and stressed the need for community participation in storm water management measures such as rain gardens, pervious pavement, native landscaping and rain barrels.
The MWRD plans in coming months to analyze public comments and finalize design improvements to the reservoir while working with the City of Burbank and Village of Oak Lawn on intergovernmental agreements. After a final design is determined, the MWRD will begin negotiations with owners of the affected properties. ❒
Residents may direct comments to:
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Attn: Stormwater Section
111 E. Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60611
6621 West 86th Street, Burbank, IL 19-31-407-064-0000
6611 West 86th Street, Burbank, IL 19-31-407-065-0000
6601 West 86th Street, Burbank, IL 19-31-407-066-0000
6621 West 86th Street, Burbank, IL 19-31-407-090-0000
6633 West 86th Street, Burbank, IL 19-31-407-091-0000
8559 Nashville Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-408-012-0000
8556 Neenah Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-408-018-0000
8557 Neenah Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-409-014-0000
8536 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-409-022-0000
8600 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-004-0000
8618 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-005-0000
8620 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-006-0000
8638 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-007-0000
8640 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-009-0000
8642 Natchez Avenue, Burbank, IL 19-31-412-010-0000