Proposed road projects spark debate in Dyer

2014-03-12T21:00:00Z 2014-03-12T22:05:07Z Proposed road projects spark debate in DyerMary Wilds Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 12, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

DYER | A proposed 2014 road project sparked debate during a recent Town Council study session.

No one denies Dyer streets need repair, but how the town chooses projects and why sparked discussion among council members and the audience.

Michael Klausman, a resident of the Monaldi section of what is known as the Berens-Monaldi neighborhood, wanted to know why the streets in Monaldi have gone so long untended when streets in the Berens section of the neighborhood were redone roughly a decade ago.

“You keep putting us off,” he said.

Council President Joe Cinko said that while he sympathized with the frustration Klausman and his neighbors might be feeling, the town has a policy of “doing the worst first.”

The town has a rating system for its streets, and while those in Monaldi may rank a four or five, others in town rank one or two. The lower the ranking, the higher the priority.

“I wish I could give you a timeline” of when Monaldi’s streets may be addressed, he said.

Town Administrator Rick Eberly said after the meeting that the reconstruction projects the council may take up for a vote at its next meeting already have been engineered. They involve Cambridge and 211th Street.

Were the council to change course and choose different streets to reconstruct, project engineering would need to be completed first and the projects themselves likely would not begin until next year, he said.

Town Councilwoman Mary Tanis, a Berens-Monaldi resident, backed up Klausman’s assertion that neighborhood streets require attention.

Also during a discussion of funding for streets, Tanis and Councilwoman Debbie Astor questioned the current goals of the Stormwater Board.

The board has a long-term goal of creating a stormwater reservoir in the Plum Creek watershed. It is partnering with several entities to build the reservoir, Town Attorney Bill Enslen said.

Once established, the reservoir would drastically reduce the risk of flooding in the Plum Creek watershed, officials said. However, any reservoir work won't be started for years, officials said.

The potential location of the proposed reservoir is in Illinois. Its potential effects would benefit many communities within the watershed.

Tanis said she would prefer that Dyer’s money be kept in Dyer “so we can help our citizens.”

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