City Council to vote on flooding study for troubled Briarcliffe subdivision

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 1:04 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 6:42 p.m. CDT

WHEATON – The Wheaton City Council is expected to vote next week to use an estimated $187,400 to perform a drainage study of the Briarcliffe subdivision, one of the areas hit the hardest in last April's flood.

Several properties were flooded along Brentwood Lane east of Briarcliffe Boulevard near the College of DuPage, after the water levels rose above the berm at Briarcliffe Lake 4.

The proposed analysis, which would be conducted by Burke Engineering, Ltd., would seek to determine the existing level of flood protection and identify any alternate measures that could to be taken to protect the properties, Wheaton Director of Engineering Paul Redman said.

The cost of the study would be covered by the Stormwater Fund Reserve, said City Manager Don Rose.

"From what I've read, something has to be done," said Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk. "The situation down there is untenable, it's terrifying. And taking funds from the reserves – that's why we have reserves, for emergencies. I think this truly is one."

Redman said that the survey would help pay for the costs if action is needed to protect the area from flooding. The College of DuPage, the Briarcliffe Homeowners Association and the city of Wheaton all have some stake in the area, he said, and there may be a distribution of payment between those three entities to cover the cost of future upkeep.

Realtor Pat Schmidt, who was among the more than 40 area residents in attendance, said that many of her neighbors shared concerns about reaching a long term flooding solution.

"I have lived in my house long enough to watch the whole scene play out," she said. "I was here during the first 100 year storm in 1976 and I was here for all five 100 year storms. So we wonder: is this a fixable problem?"

The City Council will vote on the measure at next week's meeting on Sept. 16.

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