Portion of Edgewood Drive Project on Hold
Algonquin at a crossroads due to unusual situation and can’t proceed with road project despite residents’ pleas.
Highlands homeowner Janice Slonke thought it was a mistake.
Edgewood Drive was supposed to be on the list of road construction projects this year. She had attended a meeting last fall where Algonquin officials showed neighbors blueprints of the project so she was confident the long-needed repairs would be made.
But when the list was announced recently, only a small portion of Edgewood Drive was not on it.
No one denies Edgewood Drive _ tucked away in an enclave amid a picturesque golf course on the village’s west side _ needs to be reconstructed.
However, Algonquin is facing an unusual situation in the Highlands subdivision, which includes single-family homes and townhomes, that has tied officials’ hands.
Algonquin does not own the easements that would allow the construction project to move forward. It needs the 46 owners of single-family homes to sign an agreement for a permanent easement. To date, only 28 homeowners have signed off.
The village needs the remaining 18 homeowners to sign the agreement in order to do the project because it cannot do repairs on private property.
Algonquin has known about the problems with the road and flooding in the subdivision for about five years and has been trying to resolve it.
“Your street needs to be reconstructed, there is not a doubt,” Village President John Schmitt told Slonke when she appeared at a board meeting this week.
Edgewood is so deteoriated, crews will have to go down to the dirt then reconstruct the road, he said. The curbs and sidewalks must be replaced as well and new grading must be done, officials said.
“We want to make this happen, too. We have tried,” Schmitt said. “Our hands are tied because we don’t have an easement. We are at your mercy.”
Slonke said she appreciates all the efforts the village has made to get the necessary issues, but she asked the board to revisit the issue. She invited trustees to come out and visit the neighborhood to see the road.
“We’ve done our due diligence,” Schmitt said. “We’ve passed out fliers. We’ve gone door to door. What else can we do? You tell me what else can we do.”
If the village got the remaining signatures within the next week, public works could add the project to this year’s list, said Bob Mitchard, director of public works.
Or Algonquin could do a quick patch job but it would not solve the drainage issues or the road, officials said.
There will be improvements on a portion of Edgewood, about .7 miles near the townhomes that line the entrance of the street, because the homeowner’s association has signed off on an easement, Mitchard said.
Schmitt urged Slonke to talk with her neighbors about the easements and explain the situation.
Slonke is concerned about the village pitting neighbor against neighbor. But Schmitt said he is just asking the neighborhood to help itself.
“I am challenging you to help us get the job done,” Schmitt said. “We are not holding back on anything. We don’t have a choice, it is not our land.”