The Addison Creek Restoration Commission, which for several years was chaired by Bellwood Mayor Frank A. Pasquale, has completed its work and examined all possible options to alleviate the flooding problems in Bellwood and other communities. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District now is taking responsibility to develop solutions for the $130 million project, and as a result, residents in Bellwood, Broadview, Melrose Park, Northlake, North Riverside, Stone Park and Westchester will not see any tax increase related to the project.
Because many Bellwood residents live in the Addison Creek flood plain as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), several mayors and I requested that the Illinois state legislature create the commission to study the impact of the creek on seven communities, including Bellwood. The commission worked with many professionals and agencies to find solutions, produced engineering studies and was committed to reducing the size of the floodplain. Doing so would eliminate residents having to purchase mandated flood insurance. Consequently, property values would increase and municipalities would face a reduced financial burden associated with flood response and cleanup.
The commission has met its responsibility as charted by the state. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has approved funding for preliminary engineering and approved contracting with a consultant to work on the important project.