The Crystal Lake City Council last week backed plans to further study ways to reduce flooding caused by heavy rains in neighborhoods throughout Crystal Lake.
It’s a step in the right direction, but residents who heard this same promise in 2007 should be forgiven for any skepticism they harbor. We’re not satisfied either. More needs to be done to address stormwater problems throughout Crystal Lake.
The City Council and city officials must take the reins here to see this work through, but they’ll need support from elected officials at both the state and federal level. Our state and congressional representatives need to come through to help the city secure grants and other state and federal funding to fix these long-standing problems.
The city has spent more than $1.6 million since 2007 to pay for studies and improvements, including construction on the North Shore that cost more than $760,000. Other improvement projects did not advance because of a lack of consensus from residents.
Going forward, residents need to work together with the city to find solutions that everyone can live with because the alternative is more flooding – a public health and safety problem that has persisted despite past efforts.
Crystal Lake residents have given personal accounts of flooding problems affecting homes and neighborhoods throughout the city, and pleaded for solutions to standing water that hurts property values and creates hazardous living conditions both inside and outside the homes.
City Council member Ralph Dawson promised that the problems would be fixed.
“I can’t change what’s been, but I can change what’s going to happen,” Dawson said.
We plan to hold Dawson and the rest of the council to that promise. And we expect our lawmakers in Springfield and Washington to do their part to get the money needed to fulfill it.