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Sugar Grove trustees take another look at Mallard Point drainage improvements

The Sugar Grove Village Board of Trustees is continuing to weigh possible solutions to address concerns raised by residents about flooding in the Mallard Point subdivision.

Scott Trotter, president of Trotter & Associates, gave a presentation to the board on Jan. 21 highlighting the village’s options.

“As you know, we continue to struggle with the groundwater issue at Mallard Point,” he said.

The topic was previously discussed at a September 2019 village board meeting.

The village of Sugar Grove and Trotter & Associates have been working in partnership since 2008 to provide relief in a number of ways, including routing a major tile and the lowering the elevation of a pond.

“We have brought tiles and systems out and allowed several of the homes to connect their foundation drains or their sump pumps directly to the tile system that you have constructed, which has helped many of the residents,” Trotter said.

The latest alternatives raised would run a new pipe across a field in the back of the Mallard Point subdivision or allow the village to work toward purchasing up to eight homes in preparation to tear them down.

The village, which does not own the properties in question, could be charged about $500,000 to acquire the easements and right-of-ways and make further improvements possible, officials said.

Trotter said the eight homeowners would need to pay for the cost of connecting foundation drains from their homes to the pipe.

Trustee Rick Montalto questioned if completing further improvements would make for the right decision.

“I’ve been through this when I was younger in Addison where they had a lot of flooding issues,” he said. “The ultimate response was after throwing so much money trying to fix it, if we’re down to eight houses—all the other houses are fine—would it be more fiscally responsible to buy those eight houses, knock them down and not have houses there?”

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger didn’t reject the idea as a possible alternative.

“We did discuss it very briefly at the staff level, and it’s certainly a potential alternative,” he said. “I’m hopeful that the example that was presented tonight is the extreme, not the norm for all eight homes.”

The eight homes are surrounded at two ends by a pond and they are sitting at a lower elevation to the rest of the subdivision, which Montalto said leads him to believe the issue may never be resolved.

Eichelberger said the village is at odds trying to resolve the issue.

“A lot of dollars have been spent—both from the residents that live throughout the entire subdivision of Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks and even more from the rest of the village—paying to try to help to solve this problem,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is as far as what could we have done.”

Trotter said he doesn’t believe maleficence was at play.

“When those tiles were interrupted and the houses were built, there was not a convenient route for that groundwater to be removed from the area and return to its natural state other than to say that we have a stormwater system that takes care of surface water as well as some groundwater,” he said.

The village is aware that at least two of the homes within Mallard Point do not connect to the existing stormwater system, officials said. It remains unclear what the impact is.

“It’s hard to know where it’s flowing,” Eichelberger said.

Eichelberger said it’s his understanding the village has the legal authority to require the homeowners to connect to the stormwater system or the new pipe that could be installed.

“That is something going forward the board may want to consider [with] any of the scenarios, should they be mandated to connect to the storm sewer system because it’s under the theory that it’s contributing to the problem,” he said.

The village intends to check in with the homeowners to gather more information about how the sump pumps are performing.


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