Cleaning sewage out of a basement gets old pretty fast, and many Forest Parkers are frustrated and fatalistic about the heavy rainstorms that turn their basement rec rooms into an extension of the sewer.
Rightly, residents hate being at the mercy of the weather. They fear for the resale value of their house.
The village’s half-hearted offer to subsidize a check valve or two – as long as you apply in the middle of January – seems indifferent to the real suffering going on in our village. And we know commissioners live here too, and have suffered flooding as well.
The village’s first steps to work with engineers to map out the sewers and build a separated storm system is a worthy goal, and possibly one that can reap grant money from federal or state funders.
As a quick fix, let Burke and associates look into the plan proposed in Crain’s this week. The Cook County Land Bank buys and razes foreclosed houses in the worst-hit neighborhoods for retention ponds, or “rain gardens.” Maybe we could temporarily re-route local drains to an empty lot on the block and give Forest Parkers a little relief.