Downers Grove Council OKs Naturalization of Valley View Pond
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to award a $548,740 contract to ENCAP, Inc. to turn the 2.5-acre man-made pond into a flowing waterway.
A 2.5-acre man-made pond in Downers Grove will be turned into a flowing waterway in the coming years, despite ongoing opposition from nearby residents.
The Downers Grove Council voted unanimously Tuesday to naturalize View View pond, located in the Valley View Estates subdivision west of Main Street and north of 75th Street. The project will turn the water into sustainable marshland with a flowing waterway, officials said.
A $548,740 contract was awarded to ENCAP, Inc. to both design and build the new waterway.
Over the years, Valley View pond has suffered from poor water conditions, odors, algae blooms and more as a result from sediment buildup, waterfowl presence and a lack of substantial vegetation, according to village officials.
Beginning in May, the village held several meetings with nearby residents to discuss options for improving water quality at the pond. Village officials argued for naturalization, while the majority of residents expressed a preference for more open water.
Over the course of the year, village officials have maintained their preference for naturalization, citing the high cost of maintenance associated with dredging.
Residents continued to voice their objections to the waterway, saying they view the water as a pond, a selling point of their home, and a community gathering space where they can fish and ice skate—not a stormwater detention pond. They also questioned the village's commitment to maintaining the area.
In an email Wednesday, Valley View resident Scott Reichl said he was disappointed by the vote.
"Personally, I'm disappointed in the decision-making process and leadership skills demonstrated by the council members and the mayor," Reichl said. "Considering they were affecting the lives of many people who have lived on or nearby the pond for 30 years, their approach to us and the process has me lacking confidence in their ability to address and protect the things that currently make Downers a unique place to live."
Village Manager Dave Fieldman said Tuesday that both the village and contractor are committed to communicating with residents throughout the process.
"We will include the neighborhood in the landscaping design to the extent that is allowed in the permit process," Fieldman said. "We will be in constant contact during the design, construction and maintenance phases."
Public Works Director Nan Newlon said construction could start in late 2013 or early 2014.
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