Carpentersville seeking grant for Carpenter Creek projects
By Erin Sauder and Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org @DanaheyECN on Twitter August 23, 2013 12:16PM
The village of Carpentersville recently applied for a Hazard Mitigation Grant to help fund along Carpenter Creek, shown here trickling under Maple Avenue at Carpenter Park. | MIKE DANAHEY~SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Updated: September 27, 2013 6:08AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — The village has applied for grant money to help fund a project to address erosion and establish more accurate base flood elevations around Carpenter Creek in Old Town.
The project’s completion should mean a reduction in the cost of — or even the need for — flood insurance coverage for 40 or so homeowners located along or near Sedgewick and Brook streets, because the improvements would remove those parcels from the floodplain.
Residents in the area claim their premiums now range from about $350 to more than $1,000 a year for such policies, which are required as extra coverage for these homes by mortgage lenders.
According to the website for the National Flood Insurance Program, it is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which works with about 90 companies to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters. In order to qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards.
“Currently, we’re designing the improvements to reconfigure the creek a little bit and do some grading work to adjust the elevations,” said Village Engineer Ed Szydlowski of the in-the-works project.
Officials also have increased the scope of the effort and are looking at doing some stream bank stabilization in the area north of Carpenter Creek.
Years in the making
Such work has been more than three years in the making. According to published reports, the village commissioned a $109,000 engineering study and land survey of the Carpenter Creek area in question in July 2010.
The village is working with Ajay Jain of HR Green. Jain said officials are trying to move the project along “as expeditiously as we possibly can.”
“Funding is being looked into by the village,” he said. “It is a substantially expensive project. We’re hoping (getting the grant money) is successful; and then once all those pieces fall into place, we can be out for construction.”
Village staff did not provide a cost estimate for the work.
“We’d like to do everything at one time,” Szydlowski said. “If we don’t get the grant money, we’ll do the improvements to remove those 44 parcels from the floodplain. That construction is tentatively scheduled for next year.”
At the same time, village officials will submit letters to both the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and FEMA stating the improvements are done, with the intention that the parcels in question will no longer be included in the boundaries the floodplain.
“Those houses are probably two years away from being removed from the map requiring them to pay the insurance,” Szydlowski said.
FEMA Region V spokesman Mark Peterson said Friday that what Carpentersville is seeking is called a Hazard Mitigation Grant. The money is set aside from money granted to alleviate past disasters in a state, with Illinois allocating 15 percent of such funding to be used on projects like the one the village wants to do, with the broader goal of lessening the impact of future disasters.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has eligibility considerations and determines what efforts will get the aforementioned grants. IEMA Communications Manager Patti Thompson said Friday that Carpentersville’s application will be one of those under consideration in the next round of allocations, with no date set yet for the announcements of the mitigation grants being awarded.