The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is inviting local government entities to apply for assistance in addressing stormwater management in 2020.
Government entities, including municipalities, townships, county agencies, park districts, school districts and other local government organizations have until Feb. 14, 2020 to apply for assistance in addressing local flooding through the MWRD’s Stormwater Partnership Program. In addition, the MWRD is also accepting applications for assistance in acquiring flood prone properties. Applications for both programs can be found at mwrd.org/stormwater-management-1.
“We are happy to announce these calls for projects and flood-prone property acquisitions that will aid local communities dealing with flooding and drainage problems,” said MWRD Chairman of Finance Frank Avila. “These critical funds and MWRD expertise will protect homes and build resilient communities faced with absorbing intense and unpredictable rainfalls. If you have a potential project in mind, the MWRD wants to hear from you today.”
The project types under the MWRD’s Stormwater Partnership Program include the installation of green and gray infrastructure, stormwater storage, upsizing critical storm sewers and culverts, pump stations and establishing drainage ways. Projects must be within the MWRD’s corporate boundaries and be intended to address structure flooding, not nuisance flooding, such as rear-yard or minor street ponding issues. Projects must be designed to manage stormwater through conveyance and/or storage improvements. Elements of green infrastructure may be used but should not be the primary source of stormwater abatement, as projects that are primarily green infrastructure related can be submitted separately for consideration through MWRD’s Green Infrastructure Program. A call for green infrastructure project applications is anticipated later this year.
In addition to protecting the water environment for Chicago and 128 suburban communities over an area of 883 square miles, the MWRD also serves as the regional authority for stormwater management in Cook County. The MWRD protects the safety of residents and minimizes flooding damages by coordinating, planning, implementing, financing, and operating regional stormwater management projects and develops and enforces reasonable rules with respect to watershed development.
To better leverage these partnerships and create a more widespread impact in combating flooding, the MWRD’s Stormwater Partnership Program is reliant on intergovernmental agreements and cost sharing between MWRD and potential partners. Therefore, the MWRD requests that local governmental agencies determine their level of financial support toward a potential flood control project and include that information on the application. The applicant must also demonstrate a willingness and capability to maintain and operate the completed project in perpetuity.
Communities are encouraged to consider acquisition of flood-prone properties in instances where other measures are not feasible to address structures affected by overbank flooding along area rivers and streams. Through the MWRD’s Flood-Prone Property Acquisition Program, MWRD has entered into intergovernmental agreements with several communities to acquire flood-prone properties. Upon acquisition, the structures are removed, and deed restrictions are placed on the acquired properties requiring them to remain as open spaces in perpetuity.
“There have been amazing projects constructed with this funding in the past that have helped thousands of people, so we strongly encourage local governments to take advantage of this opportunity to make strategic investments in infrastructure projects across our county,” said MWRD Commissioner Kimberly Du Buclet.
The MWRD will prioritize the submitted projects based on MWRD’s current budgetary allocation for the programs as well as other factors, including the project’s intended stormwater benefits towards protecting structures from flooding. For more information, including program guidelines, partnership responsibilities, and eligibility requirements, please visit www.mwrd.org and select Stormwater Management under Services.