Monday night, it was 40-50 residents of Lakewood’s County Club Additions subdivision meeting informally at the Gate 7 Beach owned by the subdivision’s Property Owners Association.
The meeting had been called by April Runge of Wiltshire Lane.
Representing Lakewood were President Erin Smith and Trustee Carl Davis, a resident of the subdivision. Smith explained that attendance by more than two members of her seven-member board would have been a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
Tuesday night, it was a three-hour open house hosted by city officials at City Hall.
Before I left the Crystal Lake meeting, I saw engineering and public works employees explaining what had happened and taking notes from residents.
In addition, I saw Mayor Aaron Shepley, City Manager Gary Mayerhofer and Council members Ralph Dawson and Ellen Brady Mueller.
Citizen complaints were similar in both Lakewood and Crystal Lake.
Both meetings had people in attendance whose homes had experienced sewage flowing into basements.
Both had owners of low lots complaining about municipal officials having allowed building on lots whose runoff flooding their yards and basements.
Both Lakewood’s Village President Smith and Crystal Lake Mayor Shepley talked about those unaffected by the flooding subsidizing those who were affected by the flooding.
Shepley put the topic in the form of a question about what responsibility the City had to assist those with problems. In the case of the family with sewage in its home as a result of the failure of a city pumping station, I said I thought the answer was clear–City taxpayers should bear the burden, just as they did when a pumping station resulted in damage to a lady’s home at the end of Green Oaks Drive.
Smith advanced the possibility of a Special Service Area tax district for the Lakewood part of the subdivision.
That is a concept used to finance a specific purpose for a limited area, for example, street lights in a rural subdivision.
It is currently used to collect money to maintain the lakes in Turnberry. That SSA district is due to expire this year.
Over the years, those living away from waterfront property have become restive about paying the lake improvement costs for which they perceive themselves receiving little benefit.
The question Smith advanced was whether those not having flooding problems would be willing to subsidize those having them.
Photos and commentary about the huge storm can be found in “Folks North and South of Crystal Lake Complain of Flooding.”