Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, April 20, 2015
7:15 p.m. – Village Hall Council Chambers

Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair Bryan Abbott, John Olvany, Gary Benz, Commissioners Shelley Shelly, James Crowley, Amy Wolfe
Staff:  Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Holly Specht, Steve Wilson, Ken Eppelheimer, Cindy Felicicchia, Jeff Bowen, Shelagh Donoghue

Attendees Absent


I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 7:15 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Benz moved Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to approve the minutes from March 16, 2015; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence

Commissioner Abbott acknowledged an email from Ashish Jain regarding limited paddle board spots at the sailing beach. The Committee discussed options regarding the waiting list for spots. Superintendent Bingham suggested staying with the current number of spaces at this time to see how the additional spaces that were added last year go with a warmer summer and higher usage.

The Committee discussed some different options on launching areas and fees. Holly Specht stated that the rate for launching privileges is currently $155 dollars. Commissioner Olvany stated he thought that was steep. His thoughts were to make it a quarter of that to make it more attractive. Holly stated that the policy for sailing contract states that if one does not check in before July 10th that their space will be given away to the next person on the waitlist. Commissioner Abbott asked Staff to come back to the Committee with some recommendation options in regards to the above.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Mary Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette. She commented on the North Shore Triathlon and it being sponsored by Precision Multisport. She asked why an event was being scheduled in the middle of August when the Park District’s practice has been to avoid these dates. Superintendent Bingham stated that this is a District event as well. She stated the reason it was in August and not September was due to scheduling conflicts with other events and possible construction. She stated in the future the event will be held in September.

Mary Shea expressed her concerns about parking and congestion during that time. She would like to see the event moved to September this year. She asked about the revenue generated by this event. Superintendent Bingham stated that Precision Multisport gives the District a percentage which goes towards the District’s Scholarship Fund. Superintendent Bingham stated that working with this professional organization gives the District an opportunity to have this community event. Mary Shea stated this event is primarily non-Wilmette residents and serving the larger metropolitan region and blocking streets and using our resources on a very crowded summer weekend. She stated that the Wilmette citizens should have the right to use their beach. She stated she is disappointed that the District is serving once again the larger metropolitan region.  Commissioner Shelly stated she disagrees and that this event is a great way to get the community together and introduce triathlons to people of all ages and ability levels.

V. Manager’s Report

Holly Specht reported on the following:

  • Staff is getting ready for the summer.
  • Lenny Hoffman Excavating is coming to start leveling the sand on the beaches next Monday, April 27th. 
  • Staff will start moving sailing boats next Tuesday, April 28th. The sailing beach opens May 9th.
  • Lakeview Center has 10 rentals scheduled in April.
  • A Nature Program has started with 2 classes being held. Superintendent Bingham commented that the person running the program comes highly recommended with a good reputation in the field.
  • The Cystic Fibrosis fun walk is scheduled for May 17th.
  • Sailing staff will be attending a power boat training June 2nd through June 4th instructed by US Sailing.
  • Assistant Manager Julio Rodriguez attended the PDRMA Aquatic Risk Manager Seminar last week.
  • Special use permits are being revised to add additional language. Superintendent Bingham stated she is looking at other park districts to see what their policies are.

Commissioner Olvany asked about a policy regarding park permits. Superintendent Bingham stated that due to the wide range of requests the District is getting lately Staff has started researching other park districts to see how they handle their park permits. Commissioner Olvany stated that the Parks and Recreation Committee should come up with recommendations and bring options to the full Board. Superintendent Bingham will follow up with this.

VI. Unfinished Business

A. Lakefront Plan Update

Commissioner Abbott stated that this meeting will not be to redesign the Lakefront Plan. Further discussions will be underway once the new Board and Committees have been set up. Commissioner Abbot asked Superintendent Lambrecht for his comments. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that everything has stopped as of April 8th due to the outcome of the referendum results. Projects are currently on hold. He stated at the last point of design discussions with the contractors regarding project scope cuts, the results were about a $238,000 savings not including the changes that were made in regards to the size of the beach house. Approximately 650 feet of the total square footage has been cut from the beach house design with a cost savings of approximately $200,000.

Commissioner Olvany commented that the Committee needs to see what the community wants, what has to be done with infrastructure needs, what we can afford and how to pay for it. Commissioner Olvany stated we need to find out from the community what people are willing to pay. Commissioner Olvany discussed the only way to raise the kinds of funds necessary in his opinion is by a bond referendum.

Commissioner Abbott would like to divide the current plan into three buckets. The first, is the must do’s of regulatory requirements. The second, maintaining public assets and infrastructure in the most cost effective manner along with the new features of the plan. The third, community outreach and community input. The Committee discussed in detail a community wide survey approach.

Commissioner Benz stated that it cannot be a single one time survey it needs to be done in multiple stages. He stated to build from the last election and look at it in segments and objectives. Commissioner Shelly mentioned that it was a good idea to wait until the new Committees are formed and that will give staff more time to get the plan divided up into three buckets.

Commission Crowley summarized that the Committee agrees that the overall plan is to get information from the community. Ryrie Pellaton commented that we need to get community input and widespread buy-in before another referendum.

VII. New Business

A. Park Permit Requests

• North Shore Triathlon – August 23rd. This date has moved from the original date of August 2nd.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the park permit for North Shore Triathlon on August 23rd.

By voice vote, voting Yes: All; voting No: None. Motion carried.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:33 p.m.