Floodplains become a Plus for Lisle, Illinois
As one of the first communities to join the Community Rating System (in 1991), the Village of Lisle, Illinois, already had a good idea of how to manage its floodprone areas—which amount to almost one-fifth of the community’s area. The Village had been requiring two feet of freeboard on new building, for example, but “since the CRS, our ordinance just kept getting better and better,” says Mary Lou Kalsted, Lisle’s second CRS Coordinator (now retired).
Lisle lies mainly in the eastern portion of the DuPage River watershed, near Chicago. The river and four creeks bring periodic flooding. Lisle was settled in 1830 and incorporated in 1956. The population is no nearly 25,000.
Over the years, Kalsted says, “We became big believers in the program.” So much so that, when Kalsted retired, the Village hired Marilyn Sucoe, the new Stormwater Administrator/CRS Coordinator, in part because of her prior experience with the CRS. “The Village wanted to make sure it continued in a positive CRS direction,” adds Sucoe. “The CRS creates a structure for managing your floodplains and the point system encourages you to do better.”