MWRD Board Approves 2021 Budget and Focuses on Stormwater Intergovernmental Agreements
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting
December 17, 2020
All Board members in attendance at various times
After amending the budget passed on December 10 to include a small salary increase for non-union employees, the Board approved a $1.2 billion budget for 2021 - an increase of $52,812 million over 2020. FTE’s are budgeted at 1,941 which is a decrease of 12 employees.
All agenda items were passed.
Items of Interest:
Green Alley Projects - Intergovernmental Agreements:
Intergovernmental Agreement with Chicago
Observer: Diane Edmundson Length of Meeting 3 hrs.
Stormwater Management Focus of Comments at Public Hearing on MWRD 2021 Tentative Budget
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
Public Hearing on 2021 Tentative Budget
December 2, 2020
7 Commissioners present, with Comm. Garcia absent.
There were 3 comments.
Both Ryan Wilson of the Metropolitan Planning Council and John Legg of the Nature Conservancy separately urged that the MWRD appoint one person to head-up and be the point person for the MWRD’s Stormwater Trading Pilot that was adopted earlier this year. While the failure of any developer to take advantage of this program may be due to COVID, both entities feel that having one dedicated person to head this pilot is crucial for its success. Both also pointed to the Washington, D.C. project as an example of all that needs to be done to successfully launch the program. The duties of this point person would include conveying consistent messaging to municipalities and developers and identifying barriers to getting the program launched, including any legislative barriers.
Chelsey Grassfield of the Friends of the Chicago River urged that the MWRD reassess its real estate holdings of 6,000 some acres for use as stormwater management, as opposed to being looked upon as development opportunities. Comm. Morita said that the MWRD has begun a land-use audit to look at best use for the land: lease-out vs. leaving vacant for stormwater management. Ms. Grassfield also stated that Friends had observed some instances at meeting where the attorneys representing the MWRD stated things that appeared to be inconsistent with MWRD policy. The Commissioners and Executive Director wanted more details, which Ms. Grassfield said she would provide.
Observer: Priscilla Mims Length of meeting: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Metropolitan Water Reclamation Board (MWRD) Meeting - December 3, 2020
All 8 current Board members in attendance. Eira L. Corral Sepulveda will be sworn in as the 9th Commissioner at the MWRD’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 1 pm.
A common theme running through all the discussions of designated items was the importance of engaging the communities involved. In some cases, the Commissioners verified that the communities had been involved prior to approving items. In other cases, the Commissioners encouraged the staff to be sure the communities knew what was being done for them by the MWRD.
All items on the agenda were approved unanimously. Following are some of the items discussed:
Prescription Drug Take-back Program:
Installation of odor-control equipment at the Stickney Plant
Length of meeting: 2 hours, 10 minutes (including a 25-minute pause for an Executive Session)
Observer: Priscilla Mims
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.