A message from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:
Our Ongoing Flooding Crisis
I wanted to send out a quick update regarding ongoing efforts in dealing with the flooding and sewage crisis that this rain continues to cause.
Coming from the east, this is the first home on Broadway. The village board has discussed digging some sort of a retention facility in the median, but mentioned that since Crystal Lake is insistent upon Lakewood’s getting a permit for the Crystal Lake side of the road that Lakewood was planning to just install it on the Lakewood side of Broadway.
I have spoken at length with many residents and have been to a number of homes and walked their basements as well. Some with as much as two feet of sewage. I know trustee Phil Stephan has been in a number of basements as well.
It isn’t just the Lakewood side of Broadway that has water problems. This is a home on the Crystal Lake side near Gate 4.
I’m certain everyone is aware that while our village definitely has deficiencies in our drainage/sewer system on the east side that MUST be addressed, McHenry and Lake counties have been declared in a “State of Emergency” and these issues go far beyond our village at this point.
I have have also spoken at length with our Public Works Supervisor, Barry Wickersheim as well as our Wastewater Plant Operator Gary Zickuhr.
Our public works crew has pumps running 24/7 removing storm water.
Regarding the sewage – We know that at least a portion of the problem is caused by some homes incorrectly connecting sump-pumps into the sewer lines.
The new sewage pumping station in the middle of Broadway at Gate 6. Crystal Lake is expecting to get landscaping approval on the city side.
We also know that there was a power outage in the area last night that caused our new lift station to “go down” until our public works crews could get their to activate the emergency generator.
Those issues aside, my understanding is that the major culprit is something else.
The western part of Broadway has flooding problems, too.
The yard is flooded, too.
I am told that it is believed, at this point, that the severity of the sewage issues we are currently experiencing is being caused by damage/deficiencies/lack of maintenance in certain portions of village sewer lines.
This family’s yard is flooded.
At the advice of our wastewater operator, I have authorized moving forward with having a contractor come out and run a camera into specific manholes/sewer lines to assess the integrity of our sewer lines and look for the problem areas. The contractor has already been scheduled, but I have not been provided an actual time/date that they will get started.
Here’s a Broadway home with its picket fence reflecting in the side yard pond. Back when Bob and Betty Baker lived here it was designated a Better Homes and Gardens home.
I do want to say up front, that it could be argued, that the authorization of this contractor should have been brought before the board for approval prior to giving authorization. But, given the dire circumstances that many residents are being forced to live with, I made the decision to expedite matters and “get the ball rolling” toward a solution, rather than wait until our board meeting on Tuesday night to bring it before the board.
This the street next to the home with the picket fence.
Broadway and the spruce are flooded in this picture.
The authorization of this work will be on our agenda, to be discussed and voted upon at our village board meeting on Tuesday, July 25th at 7:00pm at the Redtail Golf Club Meeting Room.
Another flooded yard on western Broadway.
Present at this meeting, will be representatives from our Public Works Dept., a representative from the contracting firm, as well as representatives from our engineering firms, to discuss and help understand the scope of the problem as well as solutions.
The road is not flooded near this home, but there is standing water about to encroach on its garage.
If you are experiencing flooding/sewage issues, I hope you will come to attend this meeting, show your support and hear for yourselves what we learn.
There was a bit of water on this part of Broadway.
And I ask that you please share this and help spread the word to other residents who may also be experiencing flooding/sewage issues, as well.
These three evergreen trunks have water around them. That’s a sliding board behind them.
Also, (and I know this isn’t much) but, we do have “Clean-Up kits” available at the Village Hall. I believe these kits contain a mop, broom, bucket, disinfectant, garbage bags, gloves, masks, etc. I do not know what quantities we have, but if we run out, I am told that residents can also contact the American Red Cross for kits, by calling: 847.220.7495.
Near the Gate 22 Beach there was some ponding.
If I can share one more thought (and if it sounds a little angry, it’s because I am).
I can not, at this point, speak in an informed manner as to the cause of this ongoing flooding on the east side of our village, nor can I speak in an informed manner as to potential solutions or the costs, thereof.
But, in recent discussions with former administration, I have heard some general remarks along the lines of “short of spending a couple million dollars that we don’t have, to address the problem, there isn’t a whole lot we can do.”
I can not help but be entirely appalled in being told this when our previous administration has, in the last 2 1/2 years, ALREADY SPENT nearly A MILLION DOLLARS on land speculation and legal & engineering fees for their proposed “future development” at Rtes 47 & 176.
Add to this all the talk and planning to spend nearly $4 Million Dollar on a new Village Hall!
I share these thoughts, not to be negative and dredge up the past, but only to offer a promise that I will not ignore this problem, And, I will never sit by and allow millions of dollars to be spent on new development, a new village hall, etc. until our current infrastructure is sound and residents can rest at peace in their homes.
I hope to see you on Tuesday.