Oak Lawn mayor says unique solution for chronic flooding problems hitting roadblock

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OAK LAWN, Ill. — Residents in suburban Oak Lawn are drying out after yet another heavy rain that brought flooding to the streets and into the basements.

It is a common problem after storms because the area is at a very low level. But the village and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District said they have identified a solution. Mayor Sandra Bury said the answer is to pay to use the wetlands on the western portion of St. Casimir Cemetery on 111th Street in Chicago but directly across from Oak Lawn. It would be an area to drain the flood water and because it is a wetland it can never be used for burials.

The mayor said the village approached the archdiocese several years ago with a proposal but has not heard back.

WGN reached out to the archdiocese which said “St. Casimir Cemetery is in the City of Chicago, not in the village of Oak Lawn.  We have never received a proposal from the village of Oak Lawn regarding a lease of cemetery property.”

Bury said the village stands by its claim that it presented the archdiocese with its plan.  Bury does not plan to argue the point but hope the church would be open to the proposal in the future and could help alleviate the flooding problem.



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