WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, April 4, 2016
6:30 p.m. – Mallinckrodt Community Center


Attendees Present

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

Staff: Steve Wilson, Ken Eppelheimer, Cindy Felicicchia, Holly Specht
Commissioners: John Olvany, Ryrie Pellaton, Gordon Anderson

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order at 6:32 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Foster seconded a motion to approve the minutes from March 7, 2016; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Recognition of Visitors

Attendance Sheet will become a permanent part of the record.

IV. Communication and Correspondence

None

V. Lakefront Survey: Next Steps

Commissioner Shelly commented on the valuable information received from the community wide survey. She suggested the Committee focus on the top tier items that were discussed. The first priority was preserving natural open spaces. She stated that the overwhelming response to the implementation of the bird habitat project at Gillson Park shows that the District is committed to doing this. Regarding the other key priorities, she would like to see the beach house and parking lot to be one project and the second project repairing the roads and storm sewers. She felt these costs could be lower than what was originally discussed. She suggested the district keep the first project at about $3.5 to $4 million and the second project closer to $1 million, these are lose numbers. This would then go to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee to determine how this can be financed. She would like to keep moving with a steady pace with one of these projects being in place by 2017. 

Commissioner Abbott commented on seeing a public hearing format set up to get public comments on the survey and to educate the public on what the survey results entailed. He feels that before he solidifies his opinions of what the District should do with the various infrastructures down at the lakefront he would like to hear what the public has to say. Commissioner Foster agreed with Commissioner Abbott to invite people to a public hearing to hear the results of the survey. Commissioner Foster commented on the location of the beach house.

The Committee agreed to combine the four projects into two projects as stated above. Commissioner Shelly suggested that Staff be available for soccer Saturdays and Farmer’s Market for bringing the survey results to the community. Commissioner Pellaton pointed out that the construction time frame could be difficult to meet in 2017. He commented that with these two projects it might be difficult without going to a referendum. Commissioner Pellaton agreed he liked the idea of a public hearing forum to educate the public on the survey results.

Tom Scanlan commented on the design options and a possible contest. The Committee discussed preliminary options on getting design ideas. The Committee agreed to not bring up the previous designs from the referendum process. Commissioner Shelly asked Superintendent Lambrecht to research some options on how to proceed with a contest and pointing out the pros and cons. Commissioner Shelly asked Superintendent Bingham to come up with some dates/places to hold a public hearing session or two. Commissioner Shelly would like it to be a town hall forum.

VI. Sailing Beach

Superintendent Bingham reported on the four options discussed at the last meeting and highlighted in the updated memo in the packet. She highlighted that option one and two could be done with very little impact. Option one consists of adding 6-8 additional kayak spaces. Option two would consist of allowing kayak storage under catamarans. Owners would then be charged an “Optional Sailing” option which is currently in place and is cheaper than a monohull rack space. This would allow for 16-18 additional monohull/kayak spaces to open up. Option three was discussed further with Staff regarding adding more SUP spaces at the current sailing beach.

Staff is working on dwindling down the waitlist by calling patrons and also seeing if they would be interested in another location at the south end of the beach. The consensus is that most would be willing to do it but that they would not want their name deleted from the waitlist.

Commissioner Shelly pointed out that that she likes the idea of the pilot beach at another location such as the south end of the beach. This area could grow in popularity down the road. Commissioner Olvany commented on the possibility of adding more staff to the current sailing beach and being vigilant on monitoring the SUPs. He feels that a lot more people could be accommodated. He would like to see this be researched and discussed further as the season goes on.

The Committee agreed that no more SUP spaces should be added to the current sailing beach at this time. The Committee agreed that Staff could move forward with options one and two. Superintendent Lambrecht will start building the rack spaces for the new location.

VII. Unfinished Business

A. Bird Habitat Verbal Update

Superintendent Lambrecht reported that planning and tweaking of the design are continuing. The first planting will be in the fall.

B. Drones

Superintendent Bingham reported that language will be added to the ordinance regarding drone usage for indoor and outdoor use at the facilities. Staff has consulted with the District’s attorneys regarding this matter. Director Wilson commented that this language will go to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee and then to the Board for final approval. The Committee recommended for this to go to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

VIII. New Business

A. Park Permit Request – Baker Demonstration School, May 27, 2016

Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Foster seconded a motion to approve the park permit for Baker Demonstration School on May 27, 2016. All voted yes; motion carried.

IX. Manager’s Report

Holly Specht reported on the following topics:

  • Staff has been working on calling all the patrons on the waiting list for the sailing beach. Staff has been able to amend the list based on patrons being on multiple lists along with patrons not responding back.
  • Northwest Passage will be offering an interactive class on Lake Michigan in regards to water safety. This will be offered in early June and free of charge. Staff is working on promoting this class.
  • Staff is busy getting ready for the season.
  • There will be open water safety education for Great Gillson Camp, Jr. Lifeguards and Camp Fusion this summer conducted by Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
  • qPCR water testing will be underway this summer for the 5th year.

X. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:37 p.m.