WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, November 16, 2015
6:30 p.m. – Village Hall Training Room
Committee/Commissioners: Chair Amy Wolfe, Ryrie Pellaton, Stephanie Foster
Staff: Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht
Commissioner Bryan Abbott, Staff: Steve Wilson, Carol Heafey, Jeff Groves, Jeff Bowen, Ken Eppelheimer, Cindy Felicicchia
I. Meeting Called to Order
Meeting called to order 6:30 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes
A. Commissioner Foster moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the minutes of October 19, 2015 Parks & Recreation Committee meeting.
III. Communication and Correspondence
Commissioner Wolfe acknowledged an email from Tom Bonnie regarding the fitness center. Mr. Bonnie in his letter expressed his displeasure with the recent changes in the new lighting and the weight training machines. Commissioner Pellaton commented on the lighting and how it needed to be augmented and the change in light fixtures results in a reduction of energy consumption. He stated that Mr. Bonnie is not the only person who has expressed their complaints about the lighting and the glare on the television monitors. Superintendent Bingham and Staff have addressed the lighting concerns and will be putting in a dimmer system and angling the televisions differently. This dimmer system will be tested in one area to make sure it works. Some rewiring will need to be done to accommodate the dimmers. Superintendent Bingham stated that this new lighting is a much more economical way to go. Regarding Mr. Bonnie’s comments about the new equipment, Commissioner Wolfe pointed out that Staff has given Mr. Bonnie multiple training sessions on the new weight training machines. Commissioner Wolfe suggested offering Mr. Bonnie more training sessions. Commissioner Wolfe stated that she will follow up with Mr. Bonnie. Director Wilson pointed out that the policy for memberships is 100% satisfaction. The Committee will offer him the refund of his membership if that is what he would like.
IV. Recognition of Visitors
V. New Business
VI. Managers’ Reports
Jeff Groves (Facility Manager) reported on the following topics:
- Fall II session is ending with 1,600 children in the program.
- Staff is getting ready for two week Winter break camps.
- The travel team had a meet on November 7th and 8th in Palatine with 20 participants and great results.
- Fall into Wellness is going well with 32 patrons participating.
- There are a total of 1,798 fitness memberships to date.
- Staff is addressing the new lighting and weight training equipment with both positive and negative concerns.
- The Annual Thanksgiving dinner has 50 participants registered.
- Commissioner Wolfe asked if there have been other complaints on the temperature issues since the committee discussed the issue. Jeff stated there are no new complaints.
Carol Heafey (Program Manager) reported on the following topics:
- Halloween Happening was a great success with 799 registered children and more with their parents and grandparents. A few of the outside activities had to be shut down due to the rainy weather. The Staff discussed options for next year with the growing number of patrons. Some of the suggestions were to have it on Saturday to allow for more space utilizing the upstairs; charging a per person charge based on parents and grandparents now attending.
- The adult theater production of Oliver finished up this past weekend with 231 in attendance on Sunday. There were a total of 1,052 tickets sold.
- The children’s mini production of Sleeping Beauty is underway to start at the end of January. 65 children auditioned and 41 acquired parts. 28 are Wilmette residents.
- Fall II classes are running smoothly.
- The Dance section of the Leisure Guide had a new layout which staff believes has helped to increase numbers to 484 which is up from 420 last year.
- Staff has been getting ready for the end of the year events: numerous school days off classes, Nutcracker, Breakfast with Santa, Santa’s Mailbox, and Winter Break Camps and classes.
- Early Childhood open house was held on November 7th. Registration starts December 1st for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Staff is getting ready for the 2016 summer camps.
- The Eagle’s football program has seen a steady decline as much as 50% since 2012. Staff is recommending discontinuing this program. Superintendent Bingham commented on how the program has lost participants over the years and we are no longer able to have a house league or have enough kids for a middleweight and heavy weight travel team. Staff has heard second hand that there may be a parent run program in the works. Commissioner Wolfe asked if there was a way to fold it into other programs in the area so we are not leaving patrons without options. Superintendent Bingham stated that the Winnetka Park District will no longer run the program and it will be important for both communities to combine programs. Winnetka has a parent organization that has applied for their 501c3 nonprofit status that supposedly is inquiring about taking the program over. She stated that with the status of this program the District would let patrons know of options as we become aware of them. Commissioner Wolfe suggested advertising the District’s flag football as an alternative option. Superintendent Bingham stated that as soon as Staff knows anything more she will update the Committee.
VII. Unfinished Business
Director Wilson updated the Committee on the West Park project that is underway. The artificial turf is about 98% complete. We are on target to be done by December 1st.
Commissioner Pellaton asked about the 3.5% versus the 5% increase for the Center Fitness Club and what the final outcome was. Superintendent Bingham stated that Staff went with the proposed 5% that was recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee. Commissioner Wolfe asked about incentives given for memberships. Julie Mantice commented that Fitness just had their 20th year anniversary promotion with many perks such as, extra free month, new memberships received 2 months free and the initiation fee was waived. Other promotions are in the works for new members before the end of the year.
Commissioner Abbott asked about the plan for West Park parking once the field is complete. Director Wilson stated that traffic patterns for the seasons with sports and paddle should work well but that Staff is discussing and will be monitoring on a regular basis. Director Wilson commented that Superintendent Lambrecht will be reopening discussions again with the Village for alternatives for parking since the road will be repaved.
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 p.m.