We will report later this week on the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting over the future of the flood-guaranteed Riverside Lawn neighborhood. Residents of this unincorporated smidge of Cook County were invited by county and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District officials to talk about the future of a community that, come hell and high water, is certain to be inundated by the Des Plaines River.
The reported main topic of the meeting is the willingness of the 45 or so homeowners to voluntarily sell their properties to the government so the small area can be returned to open wetland and taxpayers can be spared any further costs of trying to keep residents there dry or subsidizing repairs after the next inevitable flood.
We see this as a welcome and necessary step. We have gone beyond bad luck and into a moment when the forces of nature have come to reclaim this bottomland. And nature will not and should not be denied in this instance.
As difficult as it is to leave one’s home, to likely see it leveled, relocation at a fair price is the right course. The MWRD and the county are taking the progressive stand in putting this option on the table. Time to move ahead.