Outstanding floodplain managers and exemplary programs were presented with IAFSM awards at the 2020 conference in Tinley Park. The following awards were presented:
Floodplain Manager of the Year
Cindy Cregmiles, CFM
Floodplain Manager of the Year, Cindy Cregmiles, CFM, is the County Code Administrator for Jersey County, Illinois and the historical village of Elsah, Illinois and this year’s Floodplain Manager of the Year. Her duties include administration of the Hazard Mitigation Plan, grant writing and enforcement of the County’s building codes and ordinances. She manages nearly 30,000 acres of floodplain with most of the structures located on US Army Corps of Engineers leased ground. At one time, Jersey County had 258 repetitive loss structures; today they have 12. Cindy began working for the County in 2006 to assist in the development of the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Jersey County applied to join the Community Rating System (CRS) in 2008 and currently is a class 5 CRS community. Jersey County also participates in the ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) and is a class 4 county. She has given presentations to students at local colleges on floodplain mitigation and the importance of building codes. For advancing floodplain knowledge and preparedness in Jersey County, IAFSM is pleased to honor Cindy with this award.
Journalism / Public Education Award
Patrick M. O’Connell
IAFSM is honored to present the Journalism / Public Education Award to Patrick M. O’Connell, a Chicago Tribune reporter who covers a wide array of topics, including the environment, politics, criminal justice and sports. In 2019, he wrote a series of stories that focused on flooding and environmental issues in communities along the Mississippi River. One of the stories focused on the tension between farmers, levee districts and landowners in Illinois and Missouri. Another featured the water woes of the small community of Kaskaskia, located on what is
essentially an island surrounded by the river in southwestern Illinois. A third story focused on Dogtooth Bend, a peninsula near the far southern tip of Illinois threatened by a broken levee and a changing river. O’Connell also was a member of the Tribune team that earned national honors for “The Water Drain” series (and he covered the Cubs’ 2016 World Series run!) You can find him on Twitter with handle @pmocwriter.
Outstanding Service Award
Erik Gil, P.E., CFM
Erik Gil received the Outstanding Service Award for his long tenure of distinguished service to the Association. Erik served as the Floodplain Management Chair between 2007 and 2011 and as Stormwater Management Chair in 2012. In 2013 he was elected Secretary of IAFSM and was subsequently elected into the Treasurer, Vice-Chair and Chair positions and latter of which he is serving in his second year. He helped moderate technical sessions at our conference between 2008 and 2018 and spoke as a presenter five times during that period. He helped organize several dinner seminars such as the IDNROWR Permitting seminar and has worked to support our
national parent organization, ASFPM. He was part of the 2016 Local Host Team when Illinois helped co-host the ASFPM Conference with the Michigan Chapter in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to his current activities with IAFSM, Erik was also very active with the ASCE Illinois Chapter, serving as Awards Chair in 1996 and as Director in 1997-98. Thank you for your service, Erik!
City of Elmhurst
Since 2015 the City of Elmhurst has completed eleven mitigation projects throughout the City, creating more than
112 acre-feet of new storage with construction costs over $30M, to help over 350 homes eliminate or significantly
reduce overland structural flooding risks.
Most recently, the City of Elmhurst completed Phase I and Phase II of the Southwest Elmhurst Stormwater Mitigation Project in 2019, which were large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at reducing overland flooding in southwest Elmhurst. These projects added two new detention basins, with a total capacity of 31.2 acre-feet, that will store overland flood waters during extreme rain events and collectively assist 121 homeowners in the southwest side of Elmhurst.
Additionally, the City of Elmhurst is performing engineering design for two additional stormwater improvement projects that will be built in 2020 and 2021. These two projects, assisting the Saylor, Swain, Vallette (2020) and Collegeview (2021) neighborhoods, will provide 100-year level of protection for 98 homes against structural damage resulting from overland flooding and will create an additional 17 acre-feet of new detention storage. When these projects are complete, the City will have reduced or eliminated structural damage from overland flooding for 464 homes and will have created 129 acre-feet of new detention storage since 2015.
In recognition of their efforts to mitigate flooding, IAFSM is proud to present the Mitigation Award to the City of Elmhurst.
Stormwater Management Award
Village of Glenview
For the last several years, the Village of Glenview has aggressively pursued funding for stormwater management
projects in areas prone to flooding. The Village has been able use their taxpayer dollars as local match for state, regional and federal cost-share programs. From 2014 to 2019, a total of $39.2 million in funding was secured and an additional $11 million is anticipated for 2020 through 2023.
Recent large-scale projects completed by the Village includes the Lyons School Detention Project, where storage was built under a school parking lot to benefit adjacent neighborhoods without detention; the East of Harms Project, where inline detention was installed along residential streets; and the Glen Oak Acres Storm Sewer Project, benefiting 100 homes within an area built without storm sewers (planned for the Spring of 2020). Additionally, the Village implemented an overhead sewer cost share program and formed a Residential Stormwater Task Force to allow for its citizens to become vested stakeholders in stormwater management solutions. For these efforts, the Stormwater Management Award was presented to the Village of Glenview.