The Village of Franklin Park takes an innovative approach to developing and financing stormwater infrastructure projects by leveraging StormStore™
- By Bryan Kovalick
- February 18, 2022
Mayor Barrett Pedersen and his staff at the Village of Franklin Park know how hard it can be to fund public projects that address environmental issues, such as flooding, reducing the urban heat island effect, or improving water quality. Recently, his team has taken an innovative approach to developing and financing stormwater infrastructure by tapping a new stormwater credit trading marketplace, StormStore™. The partnership that supports this marketplace is a project of Metropolitan Planning Council and The Nature Conservancy.
Recently, the Village of Franklin Park constructed one of the first projects for the StormStore marketplace, a detention pond at 25th and Nevada Avenues. As Mayor Barrett Pedersen has expressed, he wants the Village of Franklin Park to “turn stormwater into an asset by selling retention credits from our detention basins to developers who need them to develop large new building projects. This revenue would then be reinvested in more green infrastructure projects that would benefit our community.”
The Village planned this detention pond as part of their improvements to the Reuter Subdivision, a residential community that was previously experiencing flooding issues. To alleviate these issues, the Village installed separated stormwater and sewer systems. The detention pond serves as a basin for detaining the runoff captured via the separated stormwater system from 110 homes and adjacent streets in the subdivision.
Previously, the site of the detention pond was an underutilized municipal parking lot and storage facility. In converting this property to a detention pond, the Village has helped alleviate local flooding, while improving the quality of its water. As this detention pond is vegetated, it also provides some new green space, thus reducing the local urban heat island effect.
In order to generate stormwater credits, the Village built this detention pond with more capacity than is required by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s (MWRD) Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO). MWRD determined that the detention pond generated 2.4 acre/feet of detention credits. The Village may now sell these detention credits on the StormStore marketplace to any other development within the Lower Des Plaines River watershed.
Though the Village has not yet identified a buyer for these stormwater credits, the Village is hoping to sell their credits to a private development within Franklin Park for $250,000 per acre/feet, or $600,000 in total. The Village is also hoping to sell these credits to a development with site restrictions, or one facing hardships meeting the WMO requirements. This would generate new economic activity for the Village that might not have occurred otherwise.
As per a Village ordinance, the Village has earmarked the revenue from the sale of these stormwater credits to fund future green infrastructure projects. This ordinance will further the Village’s commitment to improve and green its environment while safeguarding its residents against flooding.
If you are interested in learning more about this project or would like to discuss another project, please reach out to our team to connect. The StormStore team hopes this demonstrates to other municipalities that trading stormwater credits can responsibly encourage new development, improve the quality of the environment, and reduce the risk of flooding.