Persistent flooding plaguing the Village of Oregon doesn’t seem to be going away, and some village leaders believe it’s time to get the public involved in figuring out long-term solutions.

At Monday’s Village Board meeting, public works director Jeff Rau updated trustees on the ongoing Netherwood Road closures and suggested holding a public water forum in the next several weeks. Trustees who spoke seemed to agree it was a good idea.

Rau said a forum would provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and see that the board is listening to their concerns, even though certain projects take time.

“I spend a very large part of the day dealing with frustrated members of the public (about the flooding issue),” Rau said. “I feel for them.”

The Oregon Rotary Bike Trail, for example, has been submerged for most of the past two years, but with Lake Barney having expanded from about 30 acres to around 800, there’s no quick fix.

“We’ve talked exhaustedly about (flooding) in the past – how it’s affected our bike path,” he said. “It’s been (at its worst) with the amount of water we are getting.”

Rau said his department’s priority is to keep Netherwood Road open “as much as possible,” especially in accordance with bus schedules, though that’s mostly been limited to peak hours over the past week as the village pumps water across the road.

“We have to pump for another two weeks under our plan,” Rau said.

Rau suggested a good time for a water forum would be near the end of October or early November, but an exact date still merits discussion with the village.

Email Emilie Heidemann at or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.