River Oaks Storm Sewers and Common Area Drainage Issues

Due to heavy rains several weeks ago and a blockage at the restrictor pipe in the storm sewer, the Common Area is full of water. Since then freezing weather has caused a 1" thick layer of ice to form on the surface of this water. Also there are indications of further problems with the storm sewer in this area, indicated by several sinkholes that have appeared directly above the storm sewer line. The City was once again contacted about this problem on Friday, November 9. The City is continuing to say that it is River Oaks responsibility to deal with this problem. After being contacted again on November 19, the Public Works department has now agreed to unclog the drain for the cost of the labor needed for this work. The situation is now more complicated because of the layer of ice. The City will be monitoring the situation daily to see what can be done. /p>

William Price, a homeowner and lawyer representing River Oaks, has sent the City a letter outlining arguments that it is the City's responsibility for dealing with this problem. The City has now referred the matter to the City attorney, whom we hope to hear from soon. William and Susan Price attended the City Council meeting on Monday, November 19, to present the situation to the City Council.

November 10, 2018 Letter to City of Warrenville Officials:

November 10, 2018

David Brummel, Mayor
City of Warrenville
Via email davidbrummel@warrenville.il.us
RE: Storm Drain Repairs, River Oaks
Dear Mayor,

  1. This office represents the River Oaks Improvement Association. The Association requests that the City, as it has in past instances, repair the city property (storm drains) in the commons area, blockages in which are causing a pond to form in the upper retention area. (See cc of photo attached.)
  2. Please note that the drains were transferred to city ownership in 1989 (see deed of transfer cc attached).
  3. Liability for such improvements, once accepted for city ownership, resides in the city, even if the city did not build same, cf. Burford v. Village of LaGrange, 90 Ill.App.2d 210 (cc attached.).
  4. Note that the Plan Commission considered the design for the detention area and the City Engineer had input in the final design, with City maintenance of silt traps expected and intended. (Plan Commission minutes and City Council minutes attached), and that the Plat for what was then Country Ridge Subdivision (now River Oaks) included the storm drains. Plat copies can be provided, which would further document the plat recording shown as city acceptance in the Burford case, but the transfer document and city discussions should be clear evidence of transfer of storm drains to city ownership and responsibility without additional proof.
  5. The storm drains belong to the city, and should be maintained by the city to keep the detention area able to take in all storm water and drain to dry storage areas, as originally planned and built. Your assistance in having maintenance done by the city to clear the current blockage would be much appreciated.

Respectfully Submitted,
William A. Price Attorney at Law

Relevant documents:

Plat of River Oaks showing easements

Plat of River Oaks showing storm sewers

Summary of Email exchanges with City of Warrenville