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Village of Downers Grove to buy and demolish two houses affected by flooding

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:17 a.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Village Council voted Tuesday to buy and demolish two homes in the 4400 block of Lee Avenue that have been damaged by flooding.

The village will pay $280,000 for 4405 Lee Ave., and $300,000 for 4409 Lee Ave., according to village documents.

The item was on the consent agenda and was approved without discussion during a short council meeting Tuesday night. Mayor Martin Tully and commissioners Geoff Neustadt, Becky Rheintgen and Greg Hose were in attendance.

The purchase money comes from the Stormwater Fund, which budgeted $3.03 million for capital projects in 2013.

Part of the village's stormwater improvement plan includes buying properties that regularly flood and demolishing them if that is more cost effective than building additional flood prevention measures to protect the properties.

Both addresses lay in a "localized poor drainage area," according to village staff, and flood on a regular basis. Both sustained substantial damage in the April 18 storm, and both properties are served by a private septic system that does not function during large rain events.

In other news, the meeting had only one item up for first reading, a one-year extension for the parking garage development agreement for the 3500 block of Lacey Road.

The project would add two, five-story additions to the existing parking garage at the site and add a new six-level garage.

The village entered into the original agreement in August 2011 and granted the first extension in August 2012. The new extention, if approved, would end in August 2014.

The developers, Hamilton Partners, told village staff they expect to begin construction in 2014 or 2015.

Tully voiced support for the extension at the meeting.

"We'd love to see the project actually come to fruition," he said. "And if granting another extension would help facilitate that then I think id be all in favor of it. And hopefully by Aug. 16, 2014 we'll be talking about … construction."

Village staff recommends the extension, which will go before the village council for a vote at a future meeting.

Hamilton Partners is requesting the extension to give it more time to lease office space at the location that was vacated when Sara Lee, now known as Hillshire Brands, moved to downtown Chicago.

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