The woes of Bolingbrook residents whose homes were damaged by flooding weeks ago go on without respite. Residents say about 150 of the 300 or so homes in the neighborhood had significant damage. While they clean up, residents say there is a lack of official and volunteer help.
First, we can all agree that the Bolingbrook flooding problem is not going to solve itself. The rains are not going to stop flowing downhill, the houses are not going to grow higher out of the ground, and the storm water system is not going to enlarge itself.
So, what are public officials doing to find a solution to this issue that affects some 300 property-owning, tax-paying residents of Shalersville?
That's right, nothing. Public officials say their hands are tied, there's nothing they can do except tell the residents to start a petition to tax themselves to build a solution. Residents say the "solution" was to have been built nearly 20 years ago when the storm water drains were put in, so why spend more money? One resident is suing county officials, so officials are declining to say much on the issue.
The development probably never should have been built in that bathtub of a location. But it was because zoning, building and flood zone regulations were sparse to nonexistent in the bad, old 1960s when it was built.
But again, that doesn't solve the problem as it exists today. Families, hardworking people are living there today. People are not going to continue to put money into homes that will only be damaged by flooding again and again.
A solution to flooding?
One way of fixing flooding would be through the county's storm water management district which collects money (based on residential equivalent space and hard surface such as parking lots for commercial land) from every property owner outside of the cities. The cities have their own storm water programs.
But that district's purpose is to work on water quality -- not quantity -- issues. It was also designed to meet the bare minimum required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the least cost to property owners. In other words, to do nothing about flooding. That can be changed, but it will take action by commissioners and a willingness from property owners to foot the bill.
An enlightening idea
Got your energy conservation kit yet for FirstEnergy? Rate payers are paying for the program but not many people have applied for the kits, which contain nine compact fluorescent light bulbs of various wattages, two LED night lights, one smart power strip and other items.
A reader called to let it be known that customers can get the kits, which will help cut their electric bills.
FirstEnergy customers in Ohio can call 877-639 0218 or go to www.ohioenergykit.com to request the kits, which are "free."
Well, not exactly, because FirstEnergy is recovering the cost of the kits through the residential rates you pay. The kits are part of the utility's efforts to achieve energy efficiency goals set under state law.
New uses for old buildings?
A reader called after a recent article about shelters for homeless veterans operated by Family & Community Services Inc. She wondered if anyone has looked at using the former Altercare nursing home on New Milford Road in Ravenna as such a shelter.
Good question. The nursing home has been vacant since Altercare moved to Brimfield.
Changing the former Workplace Connection jobs office in Ravenna into the new Center of Hope is back on track. Ravenna city council and Mayor Joe Bica recently agreed on legislation that lets Family & Community Services Inc. acquire the building and start renovations.
The clock is ticking -- the Center of Hope has to be serving meals in the new location or F&CS loses grant money it received for the work.
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