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D161 board vote will decide the fate of Flossmoor drainage plan

The Flossmoor School District 161 Board of Education will soon vote on the Village of Flossmoor’s proposal to dig a detention basin on school property. 

After a lengthy discussion and many questions about the project at the February meeting, the board received a response from the Mayor of Flossmoor, Michelle Nelson, and the Village Board of Trustees. The long letter, accompanied by additional information requested by the board, answered questions and outlined the efforts to find a suitable location for a detention basin.

“As a result of all the study work that has been conducted, the village board continues to support detention storage behind Heather Hill School to provide flooding relief to the Flossmoor Viaduct/Central Business District and Heather Hill neighborhood,” the letter said. “This solution is the most viable and cost-effective.”

The follow-up discussion at the March 18 meeting allowed board members to ask any questions about the answers provided by the village. 


“I don’t think there is anyone that I’ve talked to anywhere at any time who isn’t interested in seeing this problem fixed. That is the consensus,” board member Michael Rouse II said as he repeated his need for clarity. “The best way to do that is where the conversation and disagreement begin. I would be incredibly frustrated as a board member who voted in favor of the basin if the problem isn’t fixed.” 

During the meeting, several community members addressed the audience and voiced opinions on both sides of the proposed detention basin debate. 

Maureen Mader, owner of Dunning’s Market, said that while the market doesn’t flood, the majority of neighboring businesses do. 

“Just because we may not live here, it doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve some remediation for our problems as well; it will wipe these people out,” she said of the flooding. “All the shops on Sterling Avenue are single women with families on a shoestring budget. If they flood and lose inventory, they will be done.”

Cameron Nelson, the school board’s vice president, led the March 18 meeting. President Carolyn Griggs participated remotely. All other members were present, and the detention basin discussion concluded after Flossmoor Public Works Director John Brunke, a representative from the fire department, and an engineer overseeing the project answered a series of their questions.

The board may decide to vote on the detention basin project at its next scheduled meeting on April 8.

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