EDWARDSVILLE — The public is invited to join officials from Madison County, the Heartlands Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at one of two open houses designed to share information with residents, property owners and business representatives on the development of the American Bottom Watershed Plan.
The first open house will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Pontoon Beach Village Hall, 1 Regency Parkway. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, an open house will take place at the Nelson Hagnauer Township Hall, 2060 Delmar Ave. in Granite City.
The watershed area includes Granite City, Pontoon Beach, Mitchell, Venice and Madison.
According to Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan, the primary purpose of the events is to open a dialog with residents affected by flooding in the American Bottom Watershed, which includes Granite City, Pontoon Beach, Mitchell, Venice, Madison and unincorporated areas.
“It is important to obtain input from those directly impacted by flooding and water quality issues within the watershed area, and to obtain the public’s help as goals for flood and pollution reduction are established,” Dunstan said. “And it is important our residents and business owners are given as much information as possible and understand the watershed planning process.”
The open houses are the first step in the watershed planning process. The planning team will spend the next several months identifying issues throughout the area and preparing a survey that will be distributed to residents and property owners in the watershed. Once issues have been identified, the planning team will complete a written plan with a series of stormwater recommendations for the area.
The effort is part of Madison County’s overall stormwater management effort. Earlier this year, Madison County completed a watershed plan for the Silver Creek Watershed, and a similar effort is under way for the two Cahokia Creek Watersheds. As a result of the Silver Creek plan, the Illinois EPA awarded a $500,000 grant to address water quality and flooding issues identified in the plan.
The effort is being undertaken by a partnership between Madison County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with Heartlands Conservancy as the lead consultant.