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Wheaton council OKs more flood work, plat of subdivision and LED lights

WHEATON – The Wheaton City Council took action on several items during its meeting July 20, though the effect of that action may not be felt for months.

Below are three of note, all passed unanimously by the council, minus an absent Mayor Mike Gresk.

1. Stormwater study addition

More work will be added to a large stormwater study delivered in May.

Consultant Christopher B. Burke Engineering and city staff presented the Briarcliffe Lakes System Flood Study to show which areas from Butterfield Road to the WIlliston Basin in the 500 block of Kipling Court were most susceptible to extreme flooding.

The study also proposed several ways to address effected homes, including the construction of a new culvert from Brentwood and Cheshire lanes south to the Windsor Channel into the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's Rice Lake.

The council opted to add $31,800 in work for Burke to determine downstream stormwater flood impacts of the potential culvert.

Resident Peggy Rasmussen, of the 1800 block of Briarcliffe Boulevard, said during public comment that her home flooded in April 2013 and she is concerned about the long timeline for the culvert's construction. She asked if there were any back-up plans.

City Director of Engineering Paul Redman said buyouts are one possibility, provided they are cost-effective. He estimates more plans will come in the next several months.

Councilman Todd Scalzo said he appreciates residents' patience.

"If we could just send everything downstream, we would, but there's now laws in place that say we can't do that, and that's what this additional study is for," he said.

Resident Gary Burge, who lives in the Briarcliffe system, thanked the council for its attention and said many of the area residents recognize the patience required.

"Our community feels genuinely grateful to the council for the care and diligence with which you have applied yourself to this particular situation in Briarcliffe," he said. "It would have been very easy for council to figure, well, this is just one problem that's part of Mother Nature, and you haven't done that."

2. New subdivision

A proposed subdivision north of Jewell Road between Woodlawn Street and Gary Avenue may finally move forward.

Developer K. Hovnanian Homes of Naperville got approval for a final plat of subdivision to divide the 5.5-acre parcel into 12 single-family lots to create the Northridge Estates Subdivision. The new street will end in a cul-de-sac to reduce cut-through traffic near Wheaton North High School, Redman said.

The developer recently purchased the property and city documents state construction will begin as soon as all approvals and permits are issued, which is expected later this summer.

3. LED streetlights

The city will begin the process of installing new LED lights after months of public polling.

It will spend $407,152 in 2015-16 – $61,152 over budget – and $455,947 in 2016-17 to replace 582 lights installed in the 1970s, for which the city is no longer able to procure replacement parts, according to city documents.

The work includes putting in 18 metering and control stations. Residents voted to select a design in August 2014 and February 2015, and chose the "Cyclone."

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