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Shorewood installing rain gardens to purify stormwater

Two bioswales to be added on north side of Kensington

June 19, 2012

Shorewood - Two rain garden basins will be constructed at the intersection of Kensington Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue as part of Phase I of Shorewood's Basin 6 project.

The Village Board on Monday approved allocating $16,500 from the project to fund the installation of two of the four bioswales recommended in alternate D of the project. Alternates A, B and C were previously approved by the board in March.

The basins will serve to improve water quality by using plants to filter impurities from the water as it flows through the basins before being routed back into the street, according to a memo from Public Works Director Leeann Butschlick.

Although alternate D originally proposed constructing four rain garden basins, one at each corner of the intersection, staff has determined that only two are necessary to handle water flow in the area. Both would be installed on the north side of Kensington.

The improvements are essentially the only "green" element of the project, Trustee Thad Nation said.

Officials expressed support for installing the basins, but Trustee Michael Maher stressed the need to ensure neighbors had received adequate notice of the project. Informational letters were mailed to neighbors one week before the Village Board meeting.

"(The neighbors) may fully support it, but if they don't, I definitely want them involved in the process," Maher said.

The board approved the project on the condition that affected property owners are informed of the project and their response is taken into consideration.

The contract awarded for the Basin 6 project including alternates A through C was approximately $3.8 million. The cost of installing the two bioswales will be included in project borrowing.

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