The village of Brookfield took its next step toward the construction of a pump station in the vicinity of Washington and Forest avenues last week when village trustees voted unanimously to award a contract for the project’s preliminary engineering.

Brookfield will pay Hancock Engineering $104,400 for the preliminary design work for the pump station and above-ground generator and a 120,000-gallon underground storage reservoir.

The generator and pumps tentatively are expected to be located in an unimproved public right of way north of Washington Avenue on the west side of Salt Creek. The underground storage reservoir would be located on an east-west axis beneath the northern half of Washington Avenue west of Forest Avenue.

Village Engineer Derek Treichel said it will take four to six months before his firm will have plans ready for the village to use. He said it’s unlikely that the preliminary plans will include a bid package, because there is another element of the plan that’s still under consideration.

In addition to the pump station and underground reservoir, village officials have pitched constructing an above-ground 150,000-gallon storm water retention area. Officials are believed to be eyeing property on the west side of the 3500 block of Forest Avenue for that facility.

In all, the project is estimated to cost about $2 million. The village is applying for grant funding through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Cook County that could cover up to 75 percent of the cost.

If the village is successful in winning the grant and obtaining property on Forest Avenue, the project could move ahead as early as 2015. The village board later this year will determine how to fund the project. It’s likely that any village share of the cost would come from its water and sewer fund.

The idea for the pump station resulted from extensive flooding in the area along Forest Avenue and near the intersection of Washington and Prairie avenues has suffered since 2008.

When Salt Creek rises above the storm sewer outfalls in that area, the storm sewers back up into the streets and endanger homes in the area. Since 2008, the area has flooded three times.

The pump station would allow Brookfield to eject storm water into Salt Creek and keep it off the streets during heavy rains. But the pump station won’t be a guarantee against future flooding, since it would not address combined sewer backups and would not be effective in the event Salt Creek overflows its banks.

The village in 2013 started a flood prevention program for residents to help prevent combined sewer backups. The village now budgets about $100,000 annually to help residents defray the cost of installing flood control systems for their properties.

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