CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County officials have warned the Nunda Township Highway Department that it could face major fines if it does not comply with county codes on culvert work it has started in a residential area.
After Garden Lane resident Doug Mann expressed concern that the department was manipulating a culvert near his home without proper engineering studies or permits, county engineer Cory Horton sent a letter to Nunda Township Highway Commissioner Mike Lesperance, giving him 14 days to meet county requirements.
Horton, chief stormwater engineer for the county, said in the letter that the culvert work near Running Iron Drive violates two county ordinances – developing in a flood-prone area without a permit and changing the direction of stormwater runoff without a permit.
If the original structure is not being restored or a permit is not being pursued in 14 days, the issue will be reported to the McHenry County State’s Attorney Office and the township could be fined $750 for each violation every day the violations continue.
Mann said the swift county response was refreshing after being denied a Freedom of Information Act request at the township office, and he hopes the issue is resolved without legal action.
“I’m thankful the county appears to be looking out for me, the common citizen,” Mann said.
After the June 26 storm caused flooding in the area, Mann said Lesperance’s decision to divert the flow from the easement on the north side of Running Iron Drive to the one on the south side would result in all future floodwater pounding his property.
Mann was denied multiple times when he asked to see engineering documents to show the work would not result in flooding to his home. Lesperance has also refused to answer questions about the issue in the past, but he could not be reached for comment Friday because he was in meetings in Rockford all day.