Lake Zurich officials continue evaluating the village’s response to the historic flooding in June, resulting in one new policy change.
The Board of Trustees recently agreed to establish a policy to waive permit fees when a state of emergency declaration is made during a natural disaster or emergency.
Waiving permit fees would allow residents to begin clean up and reconstruction of damaged property. Residents would still need to have the work inspected.
The devastating June 26 flooding caused damage throughout Lake Zurich leading to a state of emergency declaration. In the aftermath, village officials have been examining what policies Lake Zurich needs to deal with natural disasters and emergencies.
Other possible policy changes included extending village hall hours during an emergency and establishing a set policy on pumping water from residents’ homes during an emergency.
A criticism flood victims had was village hall closing the weekend following the event. Residents were still dealing with the aftermath. The decision not to open that weekend was based on the fact there were fewer people calling the village plus employees were out in the field to address questions, Village Manager Jason Slowinski said.
It’s good to have a policy in place but staff needs to have the discretion, Trustee Jim Beaudoin said. It really comes down to making a good decision at the time, he added.
Trustees decided not to have a set policy regarding village hall hours to give staff more discretion on a case-by-case situation.
Lake Zurich will also decide on a case-by-case basis on whether to assist residents with pumping water out of basements.
“The general message to our community is we are going to assist only when we take care of everything else,” Slowinski said. “They shouldn’t expect our staff would be there as the rain is falling and the water is raising in the basement. We need to deal with the larger emergency affecting everybody.”
“We have limited staff and limited pumps. We’ve got to mann areas of concern throughout the entire village,” said Mike Brown, public works manager.
Lake Zurich is also looking at its contract with Waste Management to include special pickups during emergencies. The village provided dumpsters in flooded neighborhoods and special pickups.
Village staff is still putting together a final report on the response to the flood emergency that will be presented to the board and the public, Slowinski said.
“This is just a policy discussion,” Slowinski said. “We will still involve our residents and get their feedback on how we did and address their concerns.”