WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Committee-of-the-Whole
Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
6:30 p.m. - Village Hall Training Room


Attendees Present

Commissioners: President John Olvany, Vice President Amy Wolfe, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott, Stephanie Foster, Ryrie Pellaton, Gordon Anderson

Secretary/Executive Director Steve Wilson
Staff: Jeff Bowen, Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Ken Eppelheimer, Marlon Rodas, Cindy Felicicchia

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting  Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.

A. Roll call taken.

II. Communications and Correspondence

None

III. Recognition of Visitors

Emily Spectre, Daily Northshore

IV. New Business

A. 2016-2020 Capital Improvement Plan

President Olvany commented on the meeting and how this is an opportunity to discuss larger issues based around the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This discussion is a chance for sharing information from one Committee to another Committee. President Olvany asked Superintendent Eppelheimer to present a summary of CIP. Superintendent Eppelheimer commented that Staff started discussing CIP back in August to begin the process. There was a long list of deferred projects from the 2015 plan. The results of artificial turf field being above what was planned and the failure of the lakefront referendum. There were costs that needed to be made up. In this plan for 2016 there is over $1.37 million in deferred projects. Most of that consists of two large playgrounds. Meetings were held to discuss priorities to make sure everything that was on the list fit within the plan. CIP was reviewed by each of the standing Committees. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated that the District is always trying to have a balanced plan with items that would benefit each facility without holding up more expensive items that truly need to be replaced. The 5 year plan provides funding to each of the 8 facilities and 324 maintained acres.

Superintendent Eppelheimer presented and discussed what the priority codes are and what they mean. The A priorities consist of 18% which are, need to be done or already have an investment priorities; B priorities consist of 78% which are replacement priorities; and C priorities consist of 5% for new items for a total in CIP of $3,128,500. President Olvany asked if anything deferred from 2015 would become automatically an A priority. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated probably not. Director Wilson pointed out that when looking at the priority codes they are more about the nature of the project and not the timing and necessity of the project.

President Olvany pointed out that it is essentially the Committee’s job to not defer capital projects to the point where a future Board would have to act with a sense of urgency. President Olvany commented that he is not in favor of deferring park playgrounds every year. President Olvany mentioned that capital expenditures for each facility do not stand on its own, but supported by the District as a whole.

President Olvany asked Superintendent Eppelheimer to explain ADA. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated that the District will levy for ADA improvements. An ADA study was done 4 years ago with improvements that need to be done throughout the District. The CIP consists of $100,000 each year on ADA improvements. In 2015 the District will only spend about half of that. The District has some defined items down at the lakefront that has caused the ADA portion of this plan to be about $285,000 for 2016. The District has built up a little reserve to take care of required changes to make the facility more accessible. ADA requires that you are showing progress on changes within a 5 year period. Director Wilson pointed out that the date has been known to change. Commissioner Pellaton pointed out that the District could be sued at any time for not being ADA compliant. President Olvany summarized that the difference with ADA levy is that it is uncapped to a certain extent and does not mean those are new taxes. Superintendent Eppelheimer concurred.

President Olvany stated that he will run this meeting a little differently from in the past for more of a visual approach starting with Lakefront and ending with Golf which will consist of flipping through the report.

Superintendent Eppelheimer and Director Wilson explained the Source and Use of Funds report. In the report on Source and Use of Funds is an extremely high level conceptual plan for planning purposes. There is no hard science behind the $7 million at the Lakefront and that it is just a place holder. President Olvany pointed out that when discussing this report it will be important for the Committee to understand the ramifications of District’s funding going forward. President Olvany asked the Committee to discuss this report further at the end of the meeting.

President Olvany started discussing Gillson Park and asked Commissioner Shelly her thoughts since she is the Chair of Lakefront. The Committee reviewed and discussed with Staff the different line items as reflected in the report. The Committee discussed Langdon playground and the renovations. Director Wilson commented that the Staff discussed planning for it in 2017 and not 2016 due to the survey going out and to see what people actually want done there. Staff wanted to make sure they heard from the community before they did anything with Langdon. Commissioner Shelly questioned whether or not to have a playground at Langdon altogether. Superintendent Lambrecht pointed out that Langdon playground is used by a lot of grandparents from the condominiums who take their grandchildren to the park. The Committee will wait to see the results of the community wide survey.

President Olvany discussed Maple Park next with $300,000 in 2017 for playground renovations. He commented that there needs to be a better strategy when it comes to playground renovations so they do not fall on top of each other every year. He stated there needs to be more staggering on these. Director Wilson commented that if the schedule was followed as designed the District would be achieving much better what you would like to see done. Due to operational shortfalls often predicated on bad weather we look to the capital since it is the most discretionary spending we have. So these are often moved around. President Olvany commented on doing a Board policy to have a better plan for playgrounds. Commission Pellaton asked what the life expectancy is for a new park. Superintendent Lambrecht stated about 20 years but it makes a big difference if the park gets a lot of use out of it. Commissioner Pellaton commented to possibly aim for two parks a year then people will know what to expect. Commissioner Wolfe commented on starting with the parks that are the oldest. Commissioner Shelly asked if any of the parks are ADA compliant. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the parks that have been done in the last 10 years are ADA compliant. Commissioner Pellaton asked how parks are selected. Director Wilson stated that there are usually one to two parks on the schedule and the District needs to create a $300,000 to $500,000 per year in the budget. Superintendent Lambrecht monitors the parks to dictate what park is more necessary in that given year. President Olvany asked which parks are on the schedule for 2016. Superintendent Lambrecht stated Howard and Forest Parks. He commented that Forest Park is a necessity. Director Wilson stated that when it comes to the discretionary capital of spending it comes to the balancing of priorities. President Olvany recommends the Parks & Recreation committee to look at this and come up with a plan/schedule so this issue does not come up every year.

The Committee discussed Green Bay Bike Trail and the shelter and picnic tables that would be added to the park. The Committee recommended scratching the shelter and bench line item for $40,000.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the line items for Centennial Pool. The Committee recommended scratching line item Activity Pool Water Feature for 2017 for $100,000.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the line items for Centennial Indoor Tennis. The Committee recommended moving line items carpet replacement, furniture replacement, and pro shop remodeling from 2017 to 2019.

The Committee reviewed and discussed Centennial Ice and the Zamboni. Commissioner Wolfe commented on getting sponsorships for the Zamboni. The Committee discussed moving this to 2017 since the wait time to get a Zamboni could be 1 year. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that there is a big aftermarket resale for Zamboni’s. Commissioner Anderson asked if the District buys anything refurbished. Superintendent Bowen stated that the equipment purchased for golf is new and the many years of service you get is because the District stays on top of all the maintenance. Superintendent Bingham pointed out that the District gets a great resale value on equipment because of the maintenance of the equipment. Director Wilson commented that the District has tried many times to sell the old Zambonis without success. Director Wilson commented that the District has top of the line ice which needs to be maintained properly. Superintendent Bowen stated that there is a 10 year life expectancy on a Zamboni. The Zamboni will stay in 2016.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the Community Playfield. Commissioner Shelly asked about the irrigation system. Director Wilson commented that the park is heavily used and never gets a break. The District does okay with getting the water off the field. The irrigation system would provide a better product to the community. This is not a high priority. The Committee discussed the many programs held on the field. The Committee commented on a turf field. Director Wilson commented that there has been a storm water study done by the Village about the concept of underground storage at community playfields like they did at West Park. They also discussed surface storage which is digging straight down 10 feet. Superintendent Lambrecht pointed out that the project done at West Park was for the Village therefore the storm water retention was covered. If this is done at community playfield the District would have to include storm water retention in some form under the field. Director Wilson stated he does not know where the Village stands on this.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the Keay Nature Center. President Olvany commented that investing money in this nature center is a good idea. Commissioner Wolfe concurred.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the Community Recreation Center (CRC) and the line item for roof replacement for $500,000. President Olvany asked Superintendent Lambrecht if this was a high or low number. Superintendent Lambrecht commented that this was a high number but he is not sure what will be under the roof once they start tearing it apart. President Olvany commented on representatives from Go Green contacting him about solar electric power and building and places that could handle it. Go Green has identified CRC as a possibility. Director Wilson commented that the District has had conversations about this and is waiting for a more detailed thought process behind this topic. Commissioner Anderson pointed out that this is not a financial investment in the sense of return but a statement. Director Wilson commented that it is more about doing the right thing and being responsible. One of the stated goals of a grant that are available is you must be able to offset 25% or more of your current electric. Commissioner Wolfe asked if the roof needed to be replaced no matter what; which was a resounding yes. She asked if money would be saved by doing it all at once. Superintendent Lambrecht stated yes. Commissioner Shelly asked if any of this would affect the number tonight. Director Wilson responded no. President Olvany commented to table the solar power discussion for now.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the fitness center. Commissioner Pellaton inquired about the $35,000 in fitness equipment. Director Wilson stated it is for cardio equipment which is always on a cycle to replace. Superintendent Bingham commented that the District has a replacement plan in place. The District usually does a trade in for parts. Commissioner Shelly asked about life expectancy on equipment. Superintendent Bingham stated the District stretches it out as long as possible. Director Wilson commented that with technology changing patrons want newer, better equipment in the center sooner.

The Committee reviewed and discussed paddle. The Committee discussed resurfacing of courts. Commissioner Shelly commented that you can go 3-4 years on average; 5-6 depending on wear and tear and how you want them to look without resurfacing the courts. Superintendent Lambrecht stated the courts were resurfaced in 2014. Commissioner Anderson commented on paddle court expansion due to limiting people to play where and depending on what league they joined. President Olvany commented that this is a new program for the park district that is growing. He stated that there is not enough data at this point to justify expenditure; maybe in another year which would give two complete years of data. President Olvany recommended this going to the Facilities Committee to review and come up with recommendations after 2 years of data. 

Commissioner Wolfe commented to add lights at West Park for the $400,000 as previously discussed. The Committee discussed moving this item to 2019. Commissioner Abbott would like to see revenue opportunities that may be available with the added lights. The Committee suggested that the Parks & Recreation Committee review some revenue opportunities that may be available with the added lights.

Commissioner Anderson commented on exploring options where appropriate on refurbished equipment and vehicles. President Olvany asked Superintendent Lambrecht if there is anything on the list that can be explored. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the District takes very good care of their equipment and that buying new on certain items is a plus because you know what you get. He stated that the trade-in value due to the good care taken on maintenance is a plus for the District. Director Wilson stated that Staff will research and take a look at this further and make recommendations to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

The Committee reviewed and discussed golf. President Olvany asked about the 2017 expense number of $400,000 on golf carts and asked about the possibility of leasing them. Director Wilson stated that leasing usually costs more over time. Superintendent Bowen stated that the golf carts are the original fleet since 2005; every one of the golf carts have been refurbished with batteries. He pointed out that Staff is beginning to spend more time and money on replacement parts.

Commissioner Pellaton commented on the Reel Grinder at golf budgeted for $40,000 in 2016 and then in 2019 budgeted for $47,000. He asked how long do they last and how many does the District have. Director Wilson commented the reel grinder is at the end of its life span and the question is why it is $40,000 and then $47,000. Director Wilsons stated that Staff will look into why this number is different. The bed knife and reel grinders were moved from 2019 to future years.

Commissioner Olvany asked about hardware versus software and why the District is investing in hardware when it seems to make more sense to invest in software. Also, he asked if the District is investing enough in software. Superintendent Eppelheimer commented that the District looks at this yearly and is regularly updated.  There is about $33,000 in yearly software license fees in the operations budget. The District stays current with many programs. The security software is also updated. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated that within the next year or so the District will have someone come in and test the security software. Commissioner Wolfe asked about data breaches. Director Wilson stated that sensitive data for the past couple of years has been flushed out of the District’s system. The route to the other information is external to the District. The District is not legally allowed to hold that information unless an extensive test is passed. The District does not have the funds to implement this.

Commissioner Anderson asked about the computer hardware costs and the computer tablets for the Commissioners of $8,000. The Committee discussed and reviewed having or not having tablets. Commissioner Wolfe commented that we should be going greener and using tablets instead of paper. The consensus of the Committee was split. The Committee decided to leave this on the budget but further discussions are warranted before anything is purchased.

B. Source and Use of Funds for Capital Improvement Plan

The Committee reviewed and discussed the Source and Use of Funds for Capital Improvement Plan report. President Olvany highlighted that the Committee essentially agreed with the $3 million in capital to be spent. Director Wilson pointed out minus $40,000 for the Green Bay Bike Trail picnic tables and shelter. President Olvany pointed out that the ending capital fund balance for next year will be $2,193,761. He stated that the concept of creating fund balances in order to pay for some of the projects at lakefront would take a long time. President Olvany commented that to raise money somewhere else is either with bonds or by way of referendum. Commissioner Wolfe pointed out that the work still needs to be done even if another referendum does not pass so there needs to be a projected plan. Commissioner Shelly pointed out that it could be one project at a time. The Committee recommended seeing what the survey says before continuing with lakefront. Superintendent Eppelheimer commented that the source are listed from issued debt of $960,000 and surplus from operations using the 2015 projected year-end of $1.1 million and transfer from operations to the capital fund $1.5 million. Surplus from operations and transfer to capital for 2016 uses the proposed draft budget. The Total CIP for each year is listed under the uses beginning in 2016 with $3,128,500.

Superintendent Eppelheimer highlighted on the process of the December Board meeting with the truth in taxation public hearing that will take place.

V. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:08 p.m.