Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - March 16, 2017
The meeting began with a packed house, standing room only, and a party atmosphere complete with refreshments, due to the fact that no less than 6 people and groups were being honored and brought large contingencies of supporters with them. Honorees included retiring ABC Reporter Charles Thomas and individuals/groups working on clean water initiatives. Excitement was definitely in the air.
Highlights from the Meeting:
Length of Meeting - The meeting was over 2 hours and counting when the observer had to leave due to another appointment.
Observer - Jan Goldberg
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - March 17, 2016
Significant Topics Discussed:
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) will provide an $180,000 grant to a new non-profit being “birthed” in Chicago called “Current”. World Business Chicago is launching this water technology research center that will focus on local water issues. The MWRD staff and Debra Shore among other commissioners believes this technology center has the potential to be a great resource and will monitor Current’s value over the next two years.
Board Members asked the staff to provide new real estate appraisal guidelines and to get an updated appraisal for a vacant property that is currently being rented at an annual rate of 10% of its 2012 appraised value. The importance of this request reflects the board’s interest in its fiduciary responsibilities to MWRD and the citizens that underwrite the work of its operations.
A citizen during the public comment period called for an Independent Inspector General for the MWRD. The League of Women Voters of Cook County strongly supports the creation of this office.
Significant Topic Removed from Agenda:
Deleted from the agenda was a request by Executive Director, David St. Pierre to start the statutory procedures to sell the MWRD’s lobby and plaza areas of its 101-11 East Erie Street building. The board was very reluctant to give approval without investigating long-term rental or other options. A hotel is being built adjacent to the MWRD building and its owners want to buy the current lobby in order to facilitate getting a liquor license to serve alcohol on the lower level of its hotel.
Observer - Diane Edmundson
Maintenance Committee In-Service, Thursday November 19, 2015
Steve McCracken, Watershed Director of the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup, gave a presentation on water quality improvement. 37 utilities in Cook and DuPage counties make up the Workgroup. Much of the Salt Creek watershed and the DuPage River watershed is in DuPage county.
The group is concerned that while the EPA is requiring that towns limit chloride in the water, the actual water quality is not improving. The group is working to get better water quality, while using tax dollars more efficiently. This has involved getting rid of several dams on the DuPage River. They are using an Index of Bio-integrity to measure water quality.
MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre said that the MWRD would be contributing to this work at the level of $2 million. Because much of the land area is not actually in Cook County, the District's contribution must be limited. He deems it an important project and recommends that the MWRD support it.
Submitted by Georgia Gebhardt
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.