Wellington’s Drainage Upgrades Are Costly, But Necessary

If we learned anything from Tropical Storm Isaac two years ago, it was that having a working infrastructure is crucial in emergency situations. Though updating a community’s infrastructure is neither cheap nor exciting, it is a crucial necessity that must be done.

This week, Wellington began the process to increase its Acme Improvement District drainage assessment by $100 per unit each year. The village plans to use the extra money to make a much-needed $29 million investment into its drainage infrastructure over a 12-year period.

Although some residents will cringe at the added cost, these improvements are critical to preventing future issues.

Two years ago, much of Wellington was under water for several days because of unexpectedly high rainfall. Water issues are complicated enough as it is, with municipalities battling for drainage rights. Having so much water in such a short period of time caused emergency situations across the western communities.

Although Wellington can’t necessarily get more drainage privileges, it can increase its capacity to hold water, and make it easier for water to drain off the roads. Raising the elevation of Forest Hill Blvd. and widening culverts is a major step in this process, and it will help when the next major storm arrives.

Another issue complicating things is the rising costs of flood insurance because the Federal Emergency Management Agency has put much of our communities in the flood zone. The new distinction couldn’t have come at a worse time, as we continue to grapple with drainage solutions. Wellington hopes its efforts will keep residents from paying high premiums, which have risen exponentially in some parts of the state.

While no one likes to pay a higher rate, these assessments are crucial to keeping Wellington residents out of the flood zone. Further, Wellington’s efforts will help regionally, creating more capacity for storage, and hopefully encouraging other communities to invest in drainage projects.