Updated: January 21, 2013 1:58AM
LINDENHURST — Wes Welsh, Public Works director for the village of Lindenhurst, has received the 2012 “Stormwater Manager of the Year” award from the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission.
“Wes has long understood that effective stormwater management at the local level has a positive effect on a watershed level. Wes has implemented projects to reduce flooding, improve infrastructure and the natural drainage system,” said Mike Warner, SMC executive director.
For more than 22 years, Wes has been Lindenhurst’s public works director and village engineer, overseeing the village’s stormwater infrastructure and land development projects.
Officials said his efficient operation of the wastewater facility has contributed to the betterment of water quality in Hastings Creek, a tributary to North Mill Creek and the Des Plaines River. Welsh was actively involved in the North Mill Creek-Dutch Gap Canal watershed planning process and hosted a bus tour stop at the wastewater facility to highlight the connection between water treatment and water quality.
Recently, he assisted SMC in a grant application for the buyout of repetitively flood damaged homes in the village, and participated in the development and update of the Lake County All Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.
Welsh administers the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II, a program designed to reduce source pollution in surface waters making them safe for drinking, fishing, swimming, and other activities in streams, rivers and lakes.
Since 2006, SMC has recognized the efforts of individuals, local governments, groups, and projects reflecting SMC mission of flood damage reduction, protection and restoration of Lake County’s natural resources and water quality improvements.
Other 2012 recipients included the village of North Barrington; Township High School District 113; Barbara Waller, director, Cool Learning Experience -First Baptist Church, Waukegan; and the Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, Md.
Outgoing commissioners Steve Mountsier of Lake Barrington, Anne Flanigan Bassi of Highland Park and Melinda Bush of Grayslake were also recognized. For more on the 2012 awards, link to www.lakecountyil.gov/stormwater.