In May, the Village of Frankfort approved the purchase of 2.2 acres of vacant
land for the purpose of erecting a water tower. The parcel, which was purchased for $150,000 from the Frankfort Fire
Protection District, is located next to the fire district's Station No. 4 at
80th Avenue and Steger Road.
What has angered at least one couple living in unincorporated Frankfort is the fact that they had no voice. They weren't consulted about the project, said Anita Houtsma. While the water tower is expected to assure adequate water pressure for the villagers living in that region, village officials failed to consider the impact on those living in the surrounding area.
Houtsma and husband Neil showed up to address the issued at a public hearing before the regular Village Board meeting on Monday.
Houtsma, who lives behind the fire house on a 2.5-acre parcel, said the water tower will diminish the quality of life that she and her neighbors have come to enjoy. The couple along with her immediate neighbors only learned of the water tower project on Friday. Mayor Jim Holland stopped at the homes of five neighbors to inform them of the project.
A formal letter from the village was never issued, according to Mayor Jim Holland, because "the site is not right next to anybody's home. …I went out there to tell them."
The problem, according to Houtsma, is that the village has already invested itself in a plan she foresees as working to diminish the property value of the homes. Her home, she said, has a market value in excess of $600,000. A water tower at the back end of the property will wreak havoc on her property value.
Holland said the village has initiated engineering and water testing on the project, but it has not approved the construction of the tower. There will be committee meetings and site testing for a secure water source before the water tower could actually be slated for final approval. At the earliest, the project would be set for approval in the fall.
The water tower is needed for additional storage capacity. That particular site was selected because the residents on the southeast side of town, at times, experience low water pressure. The site also satisfied the village's need to locate near a 12-inch water main to operate the water tower.
Houtsma said she and her husband already have talked to an attorney to help plead their case before the village. "We'll have sue," she said.The she has also dashed off a plea for help in a letter to the Office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh. However, she doesn't anticipate any serious support, she added
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