Sturtevant trustees next week are expected to approve a resolution that will make them the owners of a home plagued by flooding for years.
Formerly owned by John Thema, the house at 2720 Wisconsin Street has been used as rental property, and it has been damaged during heavy rains when the creek that runs behind the house flooded.
Using a 70/30 flood abatement grant – where the state pays 70 percent of the cost, and the village foots the rest of the bill – Sturtevant will purchase the property and raze the house. The total amount of the grant comes to just over $100,000.
“We will raze the building and the hard surfaces and turn the lot into green space,” Village Engineer/DPW Director Jeff Seitz said at a committee meeting last month.
The creek has been problematic for several years because sometime in the 1960s the waterway was manipulated with right angles, which interferes with natural water flow. During a heavy rain, water rushes through too quickly from the wetlands on the other side of the railroad tracks, hits the right angles and overflows its banks.
Once the lot is green space, village officials will take over routine maintenance, like mowing the grass, and eventually will apply to the state Department of Natural Resources to return the creek to its more natural state.
The process could take several years, Seitz added.
Thema passed away in 2012, and the village is purchasing the property from his estate.