Village Board postpones vote on SSA proposal

By on March 5, 2010

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday postponed until April the vote to propose the establishment of a special service area (SSA) in the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions.

The proposal is the first step in establishing a method to charge Mallard Point and Rolling Oak residents for the maintenance of the retention pond and other stormwater infrastructure that affects the residents of the two subdivisions.

The next step would be for the board to establish the SSA, and the last and final step would be to approve an annual rate.

Approximately 70 Mallard Point residents who attended the Village Board meeting on Tuesday had a number of questions and concerns regarding the SSA and how it would affect them, as well as comments that they didn’t feel the village did its due diligence when the subdivision was being built.

Approximately 20 of those in attendance reported that they currently experience flooding in and around their homes. Some of the residents said they think the village should take some responsibility for the problems that currently exist.

“Why didn’t the village take the responsibility to make sure that these people (the builders) dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s?” resident Linda Sackett asked. “You put the responsibility back on the people. Where’s your responsibility, Sean (Michels, village president)? We were told the property should not have been built on.”

Trustee Tom Renk said he took umbrage with residents blaming the current members of the board for their problems, when they were not on the board when the development was originally approved in the mid-1990s. However, Jim Stone, a homeowner in Mallard Point, said that did not excuse the current board from doing the right thing now.

The annexation agreement the village negotiated with the developer at the time allows the village to create an SSA, and waives the right of the homeowners to oppose it.

Although the board has been discussing Mallard Point’s problems for over a year, some board members, such as Rick Montalto, also a resident of the Mallard Point Subdivision, were still not comfortable that they had enough information to vote on the SSA.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions, and I don’t feel comfortable moving forward,” Montalto said.

The vote will be placed on the agenda for the Tuesday, April 6, meeting.

SSA charges
According to Finance Director Justin VanVooren, the maximum that the village could charge residents under the terms of the SSA is $1.50 per every $100 of Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) or $1,000 annually for a $200,000 home.

However, the average cost for a Mallard Point homeowner is more likely to be close to $185 for the first five years, and $125 for the first five years for a resident of Rolling Oaks.

“This comes back to a trust issue,” he said. “The $1,000 limit was passed just in case additional maintenance needs to be done.”

Project timeline
The village began an investigation into the subdivision’s flooding problems in fall 2008, when residents began to report recurring groundwater issues and elevated water levels. The village hired Trotter & Associates to conduct a study of the development’s problems, and in June 2009, village officials began working with Kane County representatives and Rob Roy Drainage Ditch officials to determine what fixes were needed and who should pay for them.

The village’s expenditures for the study and the work done so far to begin to address the issues are approaching $100,000. The SSA would pay for this amount, as well as the ongoing maintenance work.