From the desk of Bob Malkas
I wrote an open letter that was posted in The Lansing Journal. It was a reaction to an annual $2.00 bill I received from the Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District for 2023 service rendered: that billing has gone on for more than 40-years. I pay it along with other homeowners in Lansing, Lynwood, Sauk Village. I make the payment knowing what will happen if it is not paid. I have wondered how many homeowners are aware that if they do not pay it a lien will be placed on their property.
I did get a response from Jeff Mordon, one of the two appointed commissioners, and we had a phone conversation concerning why I have opposed the Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District since I received my first bill in the 1970s.
I did follow up the call by sending him some documents from my file on the Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District that includes an explanation of what should have been done when Cook Country adopted a County-wide Stormwater Management Plan. This occurred on February 15, 2007. It establishes the authority for general supervision of Cook County stormwater management was being conveyed to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) pursuant to the passage of PA 93-1049 on November 17, 2004.
It addresses existing Drainage Districts in Cook County in Chapter 5:
“Active drainage has the potential to perform many functions constituent with the implementation of this plan. For example, drainage districts can levy assessments for stream maintenance and restoration activities. Drainage districts may also be able to help address existing and future drainage problems, so the district will encourage their participation in watershed planning efforts.”
In accordance with the Act, “a drainage district that continues to exist within Cook Country shall conform its operations to the county-wide stormwater management plan. The district has the authority, upon creation and implementation of the Cook County Management Plan, to petition the circuit court to dissolve any drainage district entire within the district.”
The MWRD explains further their authority: “The MWRDGC will assume all property and obligations of the former drainage districts and all debts must be discharged as soon as practicable.”
If the Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District cannot show progress in compliance with PA 93-1049, their continued existence cannot be justified. All three communities should ask them to voluntarily disband, if they cannot show the services they provide to the taxpayers.
I provided a self-addressed stamped envelope with my payment and requested a list of the projects completed since the last billing.
If dissolved the responsibility for maintenance of the Lincoln-Lansing Ditch would transfer to the MWRD, which I think you will agree has more financial resources than the LLDD. All considered, the overall maintenance of the LLDD would be improved because more funds would become available, so a service to Chicago Southland would be achieved.
Potentially helpful related articles
- Agenda: Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District — 02/04/20 (published February 2020)
- Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District: Little known agency a big player in local flood control (published March 2020)
- Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District in need of cash infusion (published September 2022)