WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 1, 2016
6:30 p.m. – Mallinckrodt Community Center

Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott, Stephanie Foster
Staff:  Superintendents: Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht

Staff: Director Wilson, Jeff Bowen, Holly Specht
Commissioner: Ryrie Pellaton

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order at 6:30 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Foster seconded a motion to approve the minutes from January 4, 2016; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence

Commissioner Shelly acknowledged an email from Ashish Jain regarding the availability of SUP and/or kayak spaces at the sailing beach. Commissioner Shelly stated that no decisions will be made on this tonight but that communications and discussions will continue on an ongoing basis. Superintendent Bingham highlighted on Ashish Jain’s suggestions. Superintendent Bingham explained that using the tennis lottery idea for sailing is not reasonable based on the expense people pay for their vessel and the idea that they may not be able to get a spot the following year. Superintendent Bingham asked the Committee what they thought about the lottery idea. Superintendent Bingham commented that using kayak slots for paddle boards would be challenging due to customers being on a waitlist for an SUP spot. Staff is looking at ways to grandfather customers that have been there for a period of time. Staff would consider increasing the number of slots available on the beach with further discussions and moving cautiously. Superintendent Bingham stated there is a policy in place for trail-ins.  There is a limit on the number of trail-ins and capacity was not reached last year. Commissioner Shelly inquired about the trail-in location being the same as last year.

Superintendent Bingham will follow up with Commissioner Olvany to see if he would like Staff to follow up with Ashish Jain. The Committee and Staff will continue to discuss options for rack space. The Committee discussed where to cut off the waitlist. Superintendent Bingham stated there are 120 on the waitlist. Commissioner Shelly commented on closing the list and not taking further names. The Committee discussed the waiting list and how to address it. Commissioner Abbott commented on the idea of opening up more spots to see if this option can work. He would like this to be strongly looked at to see if more spaces can be added. The Committee agreed to discuss this further next month.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Attendance Record will become a permanent part of the record.

Heidi Natura, Living Habitats
Judy Pollock, Living Habitats

V. Manager’s Report

Holly Specht reported on the following:

  • The contracts for sailing were mailed on January 25th. An email blast went out on January 26th notifying members to look in their mailbox. The deadline for renewal is February 22nd.  The Lottery will be held on March 5th.  Customers on the wait list will be given two weeks to respond otherwise the next customer on the wait list will be notified. Customers will be contacted both by phone, email and letter. As of today, there are 32 contracts in.
  • There are 300 kids currently enrolled in aquatics camp. Three sections are currently filled. Staff will work on the wait list and move kids around.
  • There are currently 3 enrolled for the junior lifeguard program.
  • Sailing lessons are about half full.
  • Staff is in the process of interviewing.
  • Staff is currently getting beach requests for inside and outside camps. Staff accommodates the inside camp schedules before outside camps.
  • Holly Specht and Katy Bradford attended the IPRA Conference.

Superintendent Bingham commented on the use of drones in the parks and that Staff is working with attorneys for their input. A policy will likely be in place before summer.

VI. Unfinished Business

A. Bird Habitat Update – Living Habitats

Heidi Natura from Living Habitats thanked the Board and the Staff of the Wilmette Park District for choosing Living Habitats for their bird habitat project. Heidi went on to present and discuss their vision and plan for the bird habitat project.

The Committee discussed in details areas for the bird habitat. Director Wilson commented on Area 1 during the slide presentation being an area that can be used to achieve more density if that is what is needed. Commissioner Shelly commented that she will defer Staff to the areas of placement for the bird habitat. Ms. Natura added that they have had discussions with Staff and are aware of the other uses in the park for special events and other recreational activities. They will work with Staff so that the design does not interfere with those uses in the future. The intent is to not make the entire park entirely wild but to supplement existing landscaping to make it more attractive to migrating birds.  Based on the comments and suggestions from the Committee Ms. Natura will come up with a diagram of the plan for review.

B. Survey Update

Director Wilson highlighted on the survey update. As of Thursday, January 28th 1,250 surveys have been completed. This reflects a 12% response rate. A 3-5% response rate is typical. The next steps for aQity will be to follow up with non-respondents in a sampling way based on Wilmette population. A full in-depth report will be presented at the next Lakefront Committee Meeting. Director Wilson commented on how the community boundaries are split up for analysis purposes. He explained that the existing boundaries are by elementary schools which will be used. 

VII. New Business

A. Park Permit Requests:

The Committee discussed the below park permits.

• New Trier HS, Post-Graduation Party, Mary 23, 2016
• Central Elementary School, June 7, 2016
• Syd Rocks/Giving Rocks Foundation, September 25, 2016

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

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.