The Village of Arlington Heights recently learned that it successfully received a $358,000 grant to assist paying for a rain garden and permeable pavers on village property northwest of the village complex that is home to village hall, police headquarters and a fire station. The grant was requested as part of the remedy for flooding concerns with construction of the new larger downtown police station that is being built between the existing village hall and fire station at 200 East Sigwalt Street. The intergovernmental agreement was approved and formalized by the village board Monday, June 18, 2108, which confirmed the grant award from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago stormwater management agency.
IMAGE CREDIT: Legat Architects and McClaren, Wilson, & Lawrie Inc.
Possible flooding caused by the large municipal complex with very little open, permeable space on top of the location of former Meyer’s Pond — where the campus is now located — was a concern in the planning stages of the construction project. The municipal campus with the three large buildings will include only a small underground stormwater detention vault (rated for a 100-year event) associated with the narrow rear north parking lot, which extends from north of the police station to north of the existing parking garage. In rainfall greater than a 100-year event, overflow is expected to run along the driveway between the new police station and Fire Station 1. A $150,000 emergency power generator and mechanical equipment vault was also planned for installation below grade in a hole because there is not enough space at ground level on the compact campus. There was concern whether the underground mechanical and electrical equipment would be subject to possible flood damage from heavy rains. It is unknown if that vault was actually built underground. The funding from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) had been contemplated, considering the need to handle stormwater deflected by the planned 70,500-square-foot police station.
The Rain Garden and permeable pavers are being designed and installed to have the capacity to manage up to 90,807 gallons of stormwater in the event of heavy rainfall.
The rain garden and permeable pavers will consist of about 25 percent of the total cost for the green, flooding prevention upgrades. The rain garden/pavers area will be built and maintained by the Village of Arlington Heights. The village has already spent $127,685 on the engineering and design of the rain garden/pavers project, and could spend another $1.8 million on construction, according to the agreement with the MWRDGC.
The rain garden will be installed near the existing park and brick gazebo at the northwest corner of the municipal complex, and the southeast corner of Arlington Heights Road and the Union Pacific railroad tracks. The Rain Garden will consist of native plants meant to naturally filter storm runoff and attenuate water flow before the rain water is released to a storm sewer.
The permeable pavement will be installed instead of impermeable asphalt on the police station’s rear parking lot, which will cover the underground stormwater detention vault; and the main access driveway between village hall and the police station, which is directly to the east of village hall.
It’s likely construction of the rain garden and pavers won’t take place until after move-in, according to Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village’s director of planning and community development. The village is due to receive half the $358,000 grant amount when rain garden/pavers construction is at the halfway point, and the remaining half when the project is completed, under terms of the agreement. The entire police station project encompassing the construction of the $27.9 million police station is being funded through a $35 million bond issue with 2.93% interest approved in January 2016. The funds will cover architectural expenses, construction costs, and engineering expenses, new furniture, equipment, build-out and rental for a temporary police station, and demolition of the former police station building. Officials report that the police station project is still expected to stay within the $27.9 million guaranteed maximum price for the entire police station project set by the village board July, 2017, and the new police station is on target to open Fall 2018.
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