Boardwalk Updates as of 11-2019
From The Bog Log:
Site Superintendent Reflections
By Greg Kelly, Site Superintendent
In the Summer 2019 Edition of The Bog Log, the Friends of Volo Bog reported on its concerns that about two-thirds of the Interpretive Boardwalk has been closed indefinitely as various sections into the bog have become impassable due to high water, failing walkways and generally unsafe conditions. The Friends of Volo Bog had posted a Call to Action and sample letters on its website www.friendsofvolobog.org/ to get more interested voices to convey these concerns to State of Illinois legislators so that funding of repairs/replacement could be made as soon as possible.
There was a tremendous response to this request by interested and concerned supporters of Volo Bog SNA who want to protect the bog and Interpretive Boardwalk. The Illinois DNR Director was quite impressed with this response. We learned that the FOVB was the most vocal group within the State! As a result of this immense response, the boardwalk project has been elevated on the Statewide Capital Projects list to a fast track project and the project was sent to the Capital Development Board (CDB) for further consideration and processing. I and other Volo Bog SNA staff wish to greatly thank those supporters responsible for helping this project to finally move along.
Although no definite dates have yet been established for commencement or completion, the project seems to be quickly moving forward. I recently met with the CDB in Springfield. CDB is performing a cost analysis for identifying the necessary State funding. Then CDB will: prepare a Request for Qualifications to solicit architectural/ engineering (A/E) firms to submit their Statements of Qualification to design the necessary repair/replacement work; award the contract to the selected A/E firm; and the A/E firm will then design the project and prepare a final, detailed opinion of probable construction cost. Once this A/E work has been completed, the project will go out for construction bids, be awarded to the successful and qualified bidder, and then constructed. In discussing the project with the CDB, I anticipate that award to an A/E firm would be made by mid-summer 2020 but this is subject to finalization of the schedule by the CDB.
At this time, since your communications have been heard by the Illinois DNR Director and the State, no further communications are necessary as we now need to give the CDB time to develop the project.
Status of Wastewater Contamination Issue: The Illinois DNR continues to work with the Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois EPA, the Lake County Department of Public Health, the Village of Lakemoor, and other State agencies to resolve the issue of continuing periodic contamination from the privately-owned Rockwell Utilities wastewater treatment plant lagoons serving The Meadows development and the Lakemoor Golf Club. In September, the Attorney General’s Office issued a six-count civil lawsuit against Rockwell Utilities and this lawsuit is initially making its way through the courts. The Illinois DNR, representatives from the Attorney General’s Office, and State Water Survey staff recently met with Rockwell Utilities to discuss the six-count lawsuit filed. The Illinois DNR and the Attorney General’s Office have a follow-up meeting scheduled later in November to discuss the details of resolution with Rockwell Utilities. The DNR has several demands required of Rockwell. Local Illinois DNR staff have also been engaged with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and State Water Resources divisions of DNR for their advice and assistance.
Recently, the Illinois DNR had a press release that was covered by a couple of media regarding the lawsuit and its concerns that the Illinois EPA has not been very interested in pursuing this legal dispute with Rockwell Utilities so we are asking concerned citizens to express their concerns to the Illinois EPA’s Regional Office at 9511 W. Harrison Street, Des Plaines IL 60016; telephone number (847) 294-4000. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT!