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 (IGA) 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.