The Riverside village board has called a special meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the township hall, 27 Riverside Road, to weigh potentially pulling its support for the Hofmann Dam removal in light of information disclosed last week about water levels once the dam is removed.
Twenty-eight residents of Maplewood Road, where 15 homes on the west side of the street directly abut the river, sent a detailed letter to village trustees Monday morning demanding that the village seek a court-ordered injunction to halt the notching of Hofmann Dam for at least six months.
That delay is needed, they say to explore ways of limiting potential damage to their properties or compensating them for any losses that result from the dam removal.
On June 7, approximately 75 residents turned out at P.J. Klem’s restaurant in Lyons to hear the results of an independent analysis of river flow data conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
At the start of the meeting, Lt. Col. James Schriener, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Chicago, apologized to Riverside residents for basing previous predictions about water levels on incorrect data.
Based on the corrected data that was confirmed by the USGS, when Hofmann Dam is removed, during periods of glow flow,h which occur about 20 percent of the time, the depth of the Des Plaines River will drop half a foot between 26th and 31st streets to more than 4 feet just above Hofmann Dam.
The width of the river during low flows will narrow by about 14.5 feet near 26th Street to about 123 feet closer to the dam.
Residents along Maplewood Road say that the resulting mudflats will not only be unsightly, but that the now-submerged retaining walls at 15 properties on the river may start crumbling once the water recedes from its normal levels.
The Army Corps of Engineers says that the resulting exposed mud flats will revegetate over time, a claim some residents, especially those along Maplewood Road, question.