Flooding fix means moving out

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The city is trying to fix major flooding problems, but it means many people will have to move out of their homes.     

The city is looking to buy certain properties. Most of them are along Hedge Road from North Mattis to Hedge Court. The others are in the north section of Boneyard Creek from University to Neil Street.

Many who live on Hedge Road don’t have a problem with moving out and are on board with whatever it’ll take to fix the flooding in their neighborhood. 

The storm sewers in that area are too small to take on all the water when it rains, causing it to back up onto people’s property. The city plans to build a detention basin in Garden Hills and connect the storm sewer system along Joanne Lane on the other side of the railroad tracks. 

But to do that, they have to buy 46 properties on Hedge and one on Joanne. They also need to buy more than nine different types of properties in Boneyard Creek. That project includes creek reconstruction, detention basins and trail improvements. 

Darlene Dobynes lives in a house on Hedge Road and she’s happy the city is doing something about the flooding problem, even if it means she has to move out of her house.

Dobynes says, “I’m ready, let’s go! I think it’s a good idea. It’s a good plan. Tear them down and do something about the floods. If they could fix the holes that would be better, but they can’t fix everything with us living here.”

Once the city appraises the properties, then they have to demolish them and pay to relocate the people who live there. They plan to finish buying the properties in Boneyard Creek in December 2019 and Garden Hills in December 2022. 

It’ll cost $25.9 million to pay for the improvements in Boneyard Creek and $5 million to buy the properties and relocate people in Garden Hills. They plan to pay for all this with city money, plus state and federal loans and grants.

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