Flood-Prone Property Acquisition 

On August 7, 2014, the Board of Commissioners adopted a policy on the selection and prioritization of projects for acquiring flood-prone property. This program is comprised of three distinct components:

Local Sponsor Assistance Program - MWRD’s top priority will be to facilitate the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s federally funded program by assisting Local Sponsor communities in providing their share of the cost for property acquisition.

MWRD Initiated Program - in communities where MWRD’s Board of Commissioners approved capital projects from MWRD’s Detailed Watershed Plans, should the cost of a property acquisition alternative be less than the capital project and provide equivalent benefits, the acquisition alternative will be pursued.

Local Government Application Program - MWRD will consider applications directly from local governments requesting property acquisition of specific flood-prone structures.

In 2015 and 2017, MWRD solicited applications from municipalities and townships for assistance with the acquisition of flood-prone structures located throughout our corporate limits. MWRD has entered into intergovernmental agreements with several municipalities and the Cook County Land Bank Authority to acquire over 90 flood-prone properties to date. Upon acquisition, the structures are removed, and deed restrictions are placed on the acquired properties to remain as open space in perpetuity.

MWRD provides funding support for acquisition of flood-prone properties. The applicant/partner agency is responsible for the acquisitions, including obtaining appraisals, making offers, conducting property closings, establishing escrow and demolition. The partner agency is also responsible for accepting ownership of the acquired property, ensuring perpetual public open-space use and maintenance of the property, and providing regular reports certifying compliance with the terms of the IGAs.

Call for Projects

MWRD is currently accepting project applications until March 12, 2021 for voluntary Flood-Prone Property Acquisition. Applications and all attachments must be submitted via MWRD website, e-mail, U.S. Mail or other courier service. Electronic submission online or via E-mail is preferred.

Website: Complete this online application form.

E-mail: Download the Voluntary Flood-Prone Property Acquisition Program Application. Submit applications to StormApps@mwrd.org. Limit email size (including attachments) to 50MB. Submit application in one email only if possible, and include a list of all attachments in that email. Attach files using a filename that is unique to your project, referencing the organization name and/or project title.

Mail: It is strongly preferred that applications and all attachments be submitted electronically on a CD, DVD, or flash drive. If you are unable to submit electronic copies, please mail your application in a sealed envelope titled “FLOOD-PRONE PROPERTY ACQUISITION APPLICATION.”

 

Address for Mailed or Hand Delivered Applications Contact for Questions

Catherine O’Connor
Director of Engineering
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
100 East Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60611-3154

Richard Fisher
Principal Civil Engineer
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
312-751-5479
FisherR@mwrd.org

 

All applications must be received by MWRD on or before March 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM CST. Late or partial applications will not be accepted.

 

Eligibility Requirements

Projects must be within the MWRD’s corporate boundaries. The Applicant must be a public entity able to enter into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the MWRD. Eligible public entities include municipalities, townships, county agencies, park districts, school districts, and other local government organizations. This is a reimbursement program. The applicant/partner agency is responsible for the acquisitions, including obtaining appraisals, making offers, conducting property closings, establishing escrow and demolition. The partner agency is also responsible for accepting ownership of the acquired property, ensuring perpetual public open-space use and maintenance of the property, and providing regular reports certifying compliance with the terms of the IGAs.

 

General Cost Share Requirements

An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) will be drafted specifically for each selected flood-prone property acquisition (FPPA) project. The following requirements will likely be included in the IGA:

1) Voluntary Program, Appraisals

The properties selected for the FPPA Program should be voluntarily offered for sale by the owners that have experienced repetitive losses due to stormwater events.

Selected applicants must obtain two appraisals for each property submitted by certified appraisers that were approved by MWRD.

If the two appraised values for any parcel are equal, that amount shall be the offered purchase price for that parcel. In the event of a difference in the appraisals for any one parcel, the average of the two appraised values shall be the offered purchase price.

Each parcel owner shall have thirty days from the date the offer is conveyed to accept. Failure to accept an offer within said thirty-day period shall be deemed a rejection of the offer.

2) Costs, reimbursements

Applicants must arrange closings for all accepted offers and shall be responsible for all legal, title and associated buyer closing costs, at its sole expense. The sellers shall be responsible for all associated seller closing costs.

MWRD will provide reimbursement for an agreed upon percentage of the purchase price only. MWRD will not reimburse for closing costs, attorneys’ fees, demolition or other costs.

Quarterly reimbursement requests should be submitted to MWRD for all parcels acquired by the City during the preceding ninety days.

3) Permits, demolition

Applicants must obtain all federal and state permits necessary to implement and maintain the project.

Applicants are responsible for demolishing all structures on the selected properties and completing all tasks related to the conversion of acquired parcels to open space including grading and re-seeding of those parcels.

4) Public ownership and maintenance requirements

Applicants must ensure perpetual public ownership and maintenance as open space of all acquired parcels.

The MWRD will be allowed access to the project site to perform its own inspection.

5) Indemnification

Selected applicants will be required to indemnify the MWRD for any and all claims related to the exercise of any right, privilege, or authority granted to the City under the IGA or the purchase or failure to purchase any of the parcels set forth in the IGA.