McHenry County sues Nunda Township over easement work

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 5:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 11:27 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County has filed a lawsuit against Nunda Township Highway Department after its commissioner Mike Lesperance failed to act on written warnings of potential ordinance violations.

The lawsuit – filed on Nov. 21 – says the township highway department violated two county ordinances when it worked on a culvert and diverted stormwater runoff without obtaining the proper county permits over the summer. The county says the highway department developed in a flood-prone area without a permit and changed the direction of stormwater runoff without a permit.

Under the ordinance, the township could face fines ranging from $750 to $1,500 for each day it is in violation of the ordinance if the court rules against the highway department.

The McHenry County Stormwater Management division took notice of the issue after township resident Douglas Mann was concerned the township’s work would cause more flooding on his property and proper engineering studies were not done.

Mann, who lives on 3007 Garden Lane in Crystal Lake, said flooding issues arose from the June 26 storms when easements on the north and south side of Running Iron Drive were overwhelmed and caused damage to some property on the east side of Garden Lane.

Although Mann said that issue is important to fix, he 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 floodwater pounding his property and only transfer the problem.

Dan Kegl and David Mellem, with the McHenry County State’s Attorney Office, said they could not comment in detail as the case is still active. Lesperance did not immediately return a message for comment.

The first court date is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 16 at the McHenry County Courthouse.

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