The village of Brookfield on Monday moved another step closer to building a pump station to reduce flooding in the vicinity of Forest and Washington avenues by agreeing to purchase a vacant lot that will provide for above-ground storm water detention during heavy rain events.

Village trustees voted unanimously on Jan. 12 to purchase the 75-by-125-foot parcel of land at 3526 Forest Ave. for $50,000. The village will close on the property before the end of the month, Village Manager Keith Sbiral said.

The land is a key part of the village’s storm water management plan for the neighborhood, which has experienced several instances of flooding during heavy rain events in recent years. On at least two occasions since 2008, the entire 3500 and 3600 block of Forest and several properties in the 3500 block of Prairie Avenue flooded when storm sewers backed up.

Now that vacant land will serve as a storm water detention area capable of storing 150,000 gallons. It’s part of a larger project that will include another 120,000 gallons of underground storm water detention along Washington Avenue and a pump station that will be able to eject 5,000 gallons of storm water per minute from the storm sewers into Salt Creek.

Sbiral said that the single property on Forest Avenue could be configured to house the 150,000-gallon detention facility or the village could seek to acquire more property.

The pump station and detention areas should be able to prevent the kinds of storm sewer backups residents have experienced.

The project is expected to cost about $2 million, but $1.5 million of that cost will be paid for by a grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The balance, including the cost for the Forest Avenue land acquisition is being paid out of the village’s water and sewer fund.

In either late January or early February, said Sbiral, trustees will be asked to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the MWRD to obtain the grant funding.

Sbiral said acquisition of the property was not related to delays the village has experienced in getting the intergovernmental agreement from the MWRD. Officials initially believed the agreement would be in place prior to end of 2014.

The plan is for the pump station and storm water detention facilities to be constructed in 2015, Sbiral said.

Since 2007, the Forest Avenue property has been owned by a developer who wanted to build townhomes and then two single-family homes on the parcel. However, the village refused to grant zoning variances that would have allowed the townhomes or houses.

Patrick O’Kane purchased the property, which at the time contained a blighted single-family home, in February 2007 for $195,000. He demolished the home shortly after buying the property and the land has sat vacant since that time.

One reply on “Brookfield to buy vacant land for storm water project”