Funding will help manage flooding and mitigate ongoing effects of extreme weather caused by climate change
LAKE COUNTY - Governor JB Pritzker today joined legislators, community leaders, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to announce $30 million in funding for 14 critical stormwater projects in Lake County. Stormwater runoff causes flooding and can carry pollutants into waterways including lakes, streams, and wetlands. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) through the FY22 state funding bill, work on the projects throughout Lake County is set to begin this year.
"Lake County is renowned for its natural beauty – but the waterways that make this region such a great place to live require high quality, efficient infrastructure," said Governor JB Pritzker. "That's why Rebuild Illinois is investing over $800 million to Lake County alone. By combining federal, state, and local resources – we can truly fulfill that responsibility, and in turn, strengthen and revitalize all of Illinois' communities."
"From the beginning, our administration has prioritized providing the resources needed to protect public health and the environment," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "This $30 million dollar investment will dramatically improve Lake County's infrastructure, protect homes and businesses, and continue our mission of forward-thinking leadership in Illinois. As head of the Rivers of Illinois Coordinating Council, I recognize the importance of listening to the experts as we confront this climate crisis so we can keep our communities safe. These efforts to mitigate flooding are just one example of our commitment to that."
Proper stormwater management is a critical structural necessity – especially for areas like Lake County, which has 920 square miles of natural water sources within its boundaries. It shares a border with Lake Michigan to the east and is also comprised of 170 other lakes and rivers, plus 400 miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands. In total, the 14 projects are expected to provide stormwater management benefits to more than 2,300 properties and 25 roadways in Lake County.
"Governor Pritzker has prioritized critical infrastructure needs that will make a sustained, positive impact in communities for generations to come," said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. "Through this $30 million investment, Lake County will be able to fortify its critical stormwater infrastructure, which will help mitigate flooding, benefit the natural ecosystem, and improve the quality of life for residents."?
Stormwater management projects include engineering, design, and construction for storm sewers, culverts, subdivision drainage improvements, stabilization of stream channels and drainageways, and the utilization of stormwater storage basins. These projects will help manage flooding and protect Lake County's abundant water sources from pollutants.
The projects and municipality/local jurisdiction in which they are located are:
- Park City Flood Mitigation Storm Sewer (Park City, Waukegan)
- Highlands Neighborhood Drainage Improvements (Highland Park)
- Knollwood Subdivision Flood Mitigation and Road Improvements (Fox Lake)
- Burr Oak Stormwater Detention and Storm Sewer (Lake Forest)
- Wildwood Area Stormwater Infrastructure Improvements (Warren Township)
- Oak Spring Lane Storm Sewer Bypass (Libertyville Township)
- Sequoit Creek Channel Improvements (Antioch)
- Haryan Farm Drainage System Improvements (Grayslake)
- Skokie River Channel Improvements Phase 2 (East Skokie Drainage District, Lake Forest)
- Rockland Road Area Storm Sewer – Final Phase (Libertyville)
- Seavey Master Plan Highlands Subdivision Phase 1 (Libertyville)
- Seavey Master Plan Highlands Subdivision Phase 2 (Libertyville)
- Talbot Avenue Drainage Improvements (Shields Township)
- Dady Slough Outlet and Infrastructure Improvements (Park City, Waukegan)
"This robust grant will allow us to meet the needs of communities that are struggling with challenges of deteriorating infrastructure," said State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest). "We are committed to protecting public health and the environment by addressing stormwater management needs."
"Stormwater runoff can be a burden that hinders public safety and harms our environment," said State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove). "Thanks to Gov. Pritzker and DCEO, this $30 million investment will improve Lake County's stormwater management and help reduce flooding throughout the region."
"We don't have a lot of control over storms and major weather events, but we can invest in infrastructure to safeguard our communities," said Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Gurnee). "Thank you to Governor Pritzker for making this massive project a reality. This will impact thousands of residents for many, many years to come."
"Flooding near Dady Slough in Park City has at times impacted 800 nearby families," said Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10). "Stormwater and flood management is a top priority in our region. That's why I've helped fund three local stormwater management projects in Washington and why I'm proud to celebrate the success of the state in Rebuild Illinois, delivering $30 million in state funding for Lake County stormwater management alone."
"The residents of Lake County have suffered from an increasing number of flooding events which have displaced countless families and businesses. As the impact of climate change continues, these flooding events will only worsen. These infrastructure funds will improve the quality of life for the residents, increase home valuation, and alleviate property tax pressures. We appreciate the support and partnership from Governor Pritzker as well as the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, who will oversee the implementation of these projects. This is a testament to what can be accomplished for the people of Lake County when everyone works together," said State Representative Sam Yingling (D-Round Lake Beach).
"The release of $30 million to mitigate flooding in Lake County is yet another example of our community punching above its weight in Springfield," said State Representative Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove). "The Lake County Delegation has secured historic victories for our community in recent years, such as funding to save the Adlai E. Stevenson House, support for environmental justice communities like Waukegan and Zion, and needed reforms to our local judiciary. I am grateful that Governor Pritzker has been a reliable ally in our mission to ensure that the state of Illinois is serving the needs of every single person in Lake County."
"We are incredibly grateful for the grant funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Thanks to Governor Pritzker and our entire state delegation for this critical funding and thank you to the Stormwater Management Commission for your dedication to protect homes and businesses from the catastrophic flooding that Lake County has experienced over the years. Thirty million dollars is already planned for 14 drainage and stormwater infrastructure projects that will have immediate positive impact that will last for decades. This is just the beginning as we work to improve stormwater management and infrastructure for all our residents who are affected by flooding and stormwater issues," according to Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart.
Kurt Woolford, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission Executive Director, shared, "All 14 of these projects are important, but the infrastructure improvements at Dady Slough will address flooding that devastated this area just a few short years ago. It is expected to benefit more than 800 properties in the Cities of Waukegan and Park City, bringing much-needed relief to disadvantaged residents in our county. And it will also provide hands-on S.T.E.M. learning opportunities for students at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep which will assume the ownership and preservation of the Dady Slough wetland located just outside their backdoor."