By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – It’s moving in on eight years since the devastating Rock River flood of June 2008 caused considerable damage to many properties along and near Shore Drive.

Over that time the village has engaged in a multi-million-dollar buyout program, in partnership with state and federal agencies. So far, having completed phases I and II, it has acquired 85 properties, mostly houses, which subsequently were demolished.

The village now is preparing to enter Phase III, armed a with $3.936 million grant it received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With that money, officials expect to purchase approximately 25 parcels in the affected area.

Deadline to complete all aspects of this round of funding is Dec. 31, 2017.

Staff plans to hold a kick-off meeting with contractors in the near future. Jack Petersen, grant administrator with the CLAS company, soon will begin contacting homeowners who will be involved in this phase of the program.

Action was taken at village meetings on May 16 to get this part of the program under way.

Before those meetings staff advertised and sent out requests for proposals for six related services, which are necessary to complete requirements of the grant.

Twenty-three responses were received in the following areas: legal, two; appraisals, two; property acquisition services, three; title and closing services, five; engineering for demolition oversight, two; and asbestos inspectors, nine.

The village board concurred with a recommendation from the advisory administration and finance committee (A&F) that the following companies be selected:

* Appraisal services, Davidson & Associate, cost of $375 per parcel.

* Asbestos inspection services, Environmental Consulting Group, $660 per parcel.

* Property acquisition services (grant administrator), CLAS, at $2,200 per parcel.

* Legal services, Lakeshore Title Agency, $500 per parcel.

* Title services, Lakeshore Title Agency, $913 per parcel.

Michelle Johannsen, accounting and human resources manager for the village, explained to the A&F committee that the pricing and understanding with each contractor is aligned with the grant requirements and the budget set forth.

She added that all costs associated with those contractors would be reimbursed by the grant.


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