The Village of Brookfield will apply for a grant from the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant (IGIG) program to replace most of the cracked and decaying Village Hall parking lot with a groundwater-permeable surface, Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral told the board Monday.

The village will ask for $665,000 in grant funding from the organization. Sbiral said IGIG gave money to Riverside last year. Brookfield will be expected to come up with an additional match of 15 percent to complete the project. The grant deadline is Dec. 15, 2011. The award would be decided in the spring.

The parking lot is past its useful life, said Sbiral. The lot, which abuts Salt Creek, also has drainage issues. Pools of standing water freeze and thaw, producing even more cracks in the asphalt. Sbiral also said that heavy Pace buses — which use the lot as a turnaround Ð also cause wear-and-tear.

Sbiral said a groundwater-permeable lot will alleviate flooding. He noted that Schiller Park’s village hall has a permeable paver parking lot that “looks great.”

The proposed pavers would be installed on the east and south portions of the lot Ð where the public parks to use village hall. A two-foot base of crushed stone would support the pavers. On the west side of the lot, next to the creek, grant money would be used for an infiltration trench with “appropriate plantings” to provide water storage and filtration during exceptionally heavy rainfall.

The north edge of the lot would be improved with drainage and sewer upgrades. The far north section of the village lot– where commuters park — would remain asphalt, said Sbiral. That portion of the lot is still in good shape, having recently been re-paved with financial help from Metra. Sbiral expressed doubts that Metra would be willing to kick in for the paver improvements.

Sbiral said that most of the grant preparation would be done in-house, limiting consultant costs. He added that the grant was not guaranteed. “It’s a competitive grant.”

But Trustee Kit Ketchmark, who owns a snow-plowing business, said that while paver-based lots “look tremendous,” the village needed to be aware of maintenance costs associated with permeable lots. “Maple pods get between some of those pavers and you end up weeding your parking lot,” he said.

He also pointed out snowplowing with large plows can tear up the pavers, or scratch them. “If the pavers are sticking up when the plow hits, it does a lot of damage,” he said. The public works department would have to plow the new lot with smaller pickup-truck plows which are less destructive. The plows also might require special rubber blades, he said.

Ketchmark also cautioned that the village would need to melt ice with calcium chloride or some other salt alternative because the pavers are susceptible to salt decay.

Trustee Michael Towner said even with maintenance costs, the pavers would be worthwhile. “The board members have made a commitment to go green,” he said.

Trustee Ryan Evans agreed, saying, “A lot of residents would back this wholeheartedly.” The board approved Sbiral’s proposal for the grant application.