Park District Board Identifies Preferred Locations for Stormwater Reservoirs

The Wilmette Park District Board continued discussions of the Village’s Neighborhood Storage Stormwater Project at the Park District’s Board meeting on Monday, July 8.

The Park Board made recommendations on the placement of the proposed reservoirs at Thornwood Park, Hibbard Park and Community Playfield. The recommendations from the Park District Board are as follows:

Thornwood Park

Install a double-deck tank with a gravity and pumped outlet because it offers the smallest footprint and preserves the existing oak grove. Because the double-deck tank is deeper than originally contemplated, this option will require installation of a pumping station at the park.

Hibbard Park

Install a deeper reservoir with a gravity and pumped outlet at Hibbard Park to accommodate a potential future expansion or redevelopment of the Rec Center facility and to save as many trees as possible. This option will require installation of a pumping station at the park.

Community Playfields

The Park Board spent a good portion of the meeting discussing the reservoir options for Community Playfield.   After thoughtful discussion, a majority of the Park District Board determined the best, long term option is one that will create more playfields for the community’s use. This is accomplished by building a gravity outlet reservoir where the existing cottonwood grove is located. By removing the cottonwood trees and burying the existing surface stormwater detention to significantly improve drainage conditions, this southeast quadrant of the Playfields will be transformed into playable space. To address the concerns of community members regarding trees, the Park District stated its intention is to have a landscape plan that would plant a greater number of trees, and a more desirable mix of species, than the cottonwoods that will be removed.

Next Steps

At its July 23rd regular meeting, the Village Board will consider an amendment to the engineering design contract to cover costs associated with optimizing the storm sewers which will provide stormwater relief to more homeowners.

The Village and the Park District anticipate approving a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the location of the underground reservoirs in August. The Park District Board is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on the MOU at its August 12th meeting while the Village Board will do so at its August 27th meeting. Both meetings are open to the public and there will be an opportunity to provide comment to each Board prior to a vote.

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