Ward Meeting Minutes

The 3rd Ward meeting takes place on the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at Prairie Lakes Community Center. Please sign up for my eNewsletter to get the latest information about the meeting. Thank you to volunteer Ruth Bethscheider who takes minutes. The following notes are an informal account of these meetings.


Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Prairie Lakes Community Center
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In attendance: 19 residents; Alderman Matt Bogusz; Holly Sorensen, DPPL Assistant Director; Jason Bajor, City Manager; Jason Slowinski, Assistant City Manager; Jim Prandini, Chief of Police; Mike Conlan, Community & Economic Development Director

Des Plaines Public Library (DPPL) Presentation, Holly Sorensen
In this difficult economy, the DPPL is busier
Circulation and foot traffic increased 30% in June
Use of library computers increased
Strategic Plan implemented 2 years ago to feature FREE services

How to start careers
Job seekers group and “Help Now” service to proofread résumés. Log in from home using DPPL card number
“Learning Express” to hone job skills
Practice tests available for GED, real estate license, CDL, EMT, and more.
Series of books and DVDs on career help

Adult computer classes
Basic computer skills
Practice and Play which offers help in applications like e-mail and offers open lab time with in-person assistance.
Access to Consumer Reports Online
Access to Chilton’s Online
Access to All Data for vehicle dealer announcements
Local newspaper archives including obituary search
Genealogy database
Teen homework online help with live tutors
College prep seminars
ACT/SAT practice tests
How to write an application essay
How to fund college

Friday night documentaries and independent films at 6:30pm
Sunday afternoon feature films at 1:30pm

DVD rentals
My Media Mall for audiobook downloads to MP3 or iPod
Summer Reading program has 2,000 children registered
Teen Summer Reading program and movies
Seniors Wii bowling every Friday from 10:00am – Noon

Library Book Cart Drill Teams featured in July 4th parade to compete at conference
Blogs on DPPL Web site
PlainTalk: features videos
Positively Ellinwood: fiction, movies discussions
Kidding Around: for children and parents
The Blog of Awesome: for teens
The library has free Wi-Fi access in entire building

Resident Open Questions
Backyard/front yard flooding, Jason Bajor
Q: What is status of the stormwater master plan?
A: This is funded each year; however, funding may have run out for this year. City manager will address issues with individuals. City is looking into how this can be funded for the future. In the meantime, City engineers can give homeowners landscaping ideas about how to alleviate flooding without requiring a variance.

Q: Why has flooding increased around 2nd, 3rd, Walter and Greenview since road and sewer reconstruction?
A: Need to look again as to why this may be happening.

Q: Why is area around Grant Ave. flooding up to doorways?
A: Record water is testing system. Need to find out if stormsewer system is scheduled for reconstruction this summer.

Q: Are catch basins allowed in the front yard?
A: Yes, but maybe not at some elevations.

Miscellaneous comments
Barricading flooded streets takes time as city services are spread thin (Bajor).
Northwest Municipal Water Reclamation District has to consider chemical runoff into Lake Michigan when flood water is released (Bogusz).
New construction drainage systems seem to be causing more flooding on Forest (resident). We need more reservoirs.
Increasing the span, rather than the depth, of the DP River can alleviate flooding.
Most flooding in DP comes from the DP River, and land that is built-out doesn’t allow for drainage. The big-picture problem needs to be addressed further north first as the flooding issue is bigger than Des Plaines (Bogusz).
Common misconception that “flood gates” are opened by City of Chicago that immediately drains suburban homes. As the stormwater system starts to work, residences on higher elevations drain first, and evidence can be sudden and dramatic (Bajor).
If water can’t be moved, it has to be stored. Clay soil is a big problem because of its inability to hold water. Gradually building water storage, like the Big Bend Lake project, will make more of a difference than even the Levee. Big Bend homes would not be permitted to be built if they were building today.
All new construction is required to include stormwater storage. All new buildings in downtown DP have underground water storage vaults.

Sysco Issues, Mike Conlan
Water retention pond is actually a detention pond designed to hold water for 24 hour and slowly release it. City civil engineers and Sysco’s engineering department determined the pond was not working properly. Sysco will correct the drainage issue in the next three weeks.

City tested noise levels from trucks and back-up beepers and found them to be at safe levels; although, a nuisance. The neighborhood directly affected is on Orchard Court, which is 550 feet from Sysco. Neighborhood just north of Sysco, at about the same distance, has not complained probably due to high sound wall fence bordering Sysco’s northern edge. City asked Sysco to be a good neighbor and try to alleviate noise for southern neighbors; perhaps, with a sound wall fence and plantings. Sysco agreed. City will follow-up.

Traffic Circle, Jim Prandini
The circle is under control of the state and very difficult to work with to improve traffic patterns.
This is the #1 accident location in DP; however, most accidents are minor.

Fireworks, Jim Prandini
July 4th is busiest night for DP Police Dept. with extra officers on duty
This year was no busier than last year.
Residents in violation are given warning for 1st offense and fines/arrest for subsequent offenses.

Police Announcements
Residents interested in Neighborhood Watch meeting at the end of August should submit their names and contact info to Chief Prandini.
Residents interested in Senior Police beginning this fall on Wednesdays at 10am in the Frisbee Center should contact Chief Prandini.

3rd Ward Meetings Held Every 2nd Wednesday of the Month


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