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Sewer repairs set for 10 years

Creation of utility yet to be decided

Dec. 14, 2011

Shorewood - The village's grand, long-term plan for sanitary and stormwater improvements took shape this week as officials reached a consensus on several pieces of information. The work is designed to alleviate the extensive flooding that occurred in portions of the community nearly a year-and-a-half ago.

At a special meeting Monday, the board voted on 10-year timeline for the work, which will extend out through 2021. Work in some of the hardest hit areas of the village could begin this summer. Officials also voted to bid out nearly $4.4 million of more imminent work in portions of East Capitol Drive, North Newhall Avenue, East Olive Street and North Wilson Drive.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said other components of the complex sanitary and stormwater issue are awaiting decisions. Chief among them is whether to implement a stormwater utility - a proposal that for the first time would bring nontaxpaying entities into the fold by funding improvements, based on usage. In the larger scope, the board also has not made a firm decision on the mix of funding options for the work, which could include user fees, special assessments and taxes.

Overall, there is support in the community for the construction work. Asked whether there was concern about backups at their properties, 64 percent of respondents in a summer survey said they were "very concerned" or "somewhat concerned" about the issue. At the other end of the spectrum, 12 percent said they were "not at all concerned."

A total of 1,295 surveys were returned. In all, 3,603 surveys were sent to residents, resulting in a 36-percent response rate.

The Village Board is expected to hold an additional meeting in January to hash over sewer and stormwater issues.

- Dave Fidlin

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: The Shorewood Village Board continues to discuss issues pertaining to sewer and stormwater improvements.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23

WHERE: Village Hall, 3930 N. Murray Ave.

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