Minutes of Regular Meeting of the
Board of Park Commissioners
Monday, July 11, 2016
7:30 p.m. - Village Hall Council Chambers

Attendees Present

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

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

Attendees Absent


I. Meeting  Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

A. Roll call taken.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. June 13, 2016 Regular Minutes

Commissioner Wolfe moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the June 13, 2016 Annual Board Meeting.

Minutes were approved as amended on Page 5 of 6, E. first bullet point should state, May 23rd not June 27th. All voted yes; motion carried.

III. Communications and Correspondence

President Olvany acknowledged a thank you note from Mitzi Rogers regarding the park maintenance staff at Lockerbie Park. He thanked Ms. Rogers for her handwritten thank you note and her comments.

IV. Recognition of Visitors


V. Approval of Voucher List

Commissioner Anderson moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,210,671.60 a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting. 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Anderson, Abbott, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

VI. Executive Director’s Report

Director Wilson reported on the following topics:

  • The 3rd of July weather was ideal and all the festivities went well. The crowd was estimated at about 22,000 slightly larger than the average crowd. Director Wilson thanked the Village of Wilmette Police, Fire and Public Works Departments for their hard work. He also thanked the Pace Bus for their handling of the patrons both in and out of the park efficiently and smoothly. He recognized, the heroes in his mind, the Staff of the District who do great work planning, organizing and facilitating this event.
  • The weather has been exceptional this year for all the summer operational activities.
  • During the Lakefront Committee report there will be a discussion and a recommendation regarding the bird habitat.
  • During the Parks & Recreation Committee report there is an approval for a surplus property ordinance for football equipment for the program that the District has discontinued.

VII. Committee Reports

A. Lakefront Committee:
Commissioner Pellaton reported on the following topics:

  • The Lakefront Committee met on July 1st.
  • Heidi Natura of Living Habitats presented and discussed a comprehensive bird habitat plan totaling $318,000 which has exceeded the amount of $120,000 that was allocated for this project. $60,000 of this is a grant from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Commissioner Pellaton recommends to the full Board consideration of planting for areas 0 through 9 located in the northwest corner of the park, along Michigan avenue; currently the Wild Flower Garden. The plant budget for this is $64,585 along with the design cost of $17,950 outlined by Living Habitats. The cost out of pocket is $82,535. This does not include any services provided by the Park District for preparation, assistance in planting or maintenance. The maintenance costs should be low by using native plants which are low maintenance. There were concerns expressed in the Committee meeting regarding costs of the comprehensive plan and amount of area that was going to be covered. The Committee recommended further discussion with the full Board about the comprehensive bird habitat project.
  • The Committee discussed the beach house and the parking lot as phase 1. The Committee is looking for full Board input on how to finance and where to go next with more clarity.
  • An RFQ has been put together for the Beach House design. The Committee decided not to have a design contest but liked the idea of pushing out the submittal date to September 23rd. Each design firm will be asked to submit 2 or more concepts.

Commissioner Wolfe asked if the cost of $120,000 will cover all of the fees of the bird habitat for Beds 0 through 9. Commissioner Pellaton commented yes. Commissioner Shelly commented that volunteers from the community will reduce the cost of labor for planting.

Commissioner Pellaton moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the design of beds 0 through 9 of the bird habitat project as designed by Living Habitats and as recommended by the Lakefront Committee.

President Olvany opened the discussion up for questions and comments. Commissioner Abbott highlighted his reservations for the comprehensive plan as he feels it is too big. He commented that the cost was concerning for the comprehensive plan. He discussed his concerns about labor costs, the large scale volunteer plan and the impact to Gillson Park. He would like the project to be scaled back by one third. Commissioner Shelly commented that Living Habitats did put together a comprehensive plan for $318,000 but it is a design plan that can be used as needed. She thanked Living Habitats and Karen Glennemeier for putting together this comprehensive plan and for spearheading the volunteers for the planting project. Commissioner Pellaton stated his concerns with the comprehensive plan with which he does not feel comfortable. He commented that he thought the plan coming out of the Committee was only going to be for the $120,000 the budget amount. Commissioner Anderson concurred with Commissioner Pellaton. Commissioner Shelly stated that the direction to Living Habitats was to focus on that one section and they took the initiative and went above and beyond and gave the District a comprehensive plan to help with future planning if necessary. President Olvany commented to limit comments to beds 0 through 9 since that is what is on the table.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Anderson, Foster, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: Pellaton, Abbott. Absent: None; motion carried.

B. Facilities Operations Committee:

Commissioner Shelly reported on the following topics:

  • The Facilities Operations Committee met tonight.
  • Tennis:
    • Pirate Tennis Camp is in full swing.
    • Check out the Pro Shop for new merchandise.
  • Paddle:.
    • Currently petitioning for three new women’s teams for Series 3, 5, 6. More information will be available the end of the month.
    • The men’s teams have grown so quickly that it is hard to accommodate all of the teams for public and private facilities. Discussions are underway to best accommodate all of the men’s teams in the league which will be more beneficial for everyone. This is still in progress and more information will be forthcoming.
  • Pool:
    • Great weather. Numbers are up with 18,000 more visitors through July 10th from last year.
    • Staff is monitoring how many people have come in and out any given day.
    • Events are going well with DJ on Deck, Dive In Movie. The last Dive in Movie will be held on August 13th.
    • The Wilmette Master’s Swim program is going well with 109 registered.
  • Ice:
    • Ice contracts have gone out.
    • Little Puckers hockey camp is going well.
    • Mid-Summer Classic competition on July 9th was received with great reviews.

C. Parks & Recreation Committee:

Vice President Wolfe reported on the following topics:

  • The Parks & Recreation Committee met on June 20th.
  • Portable toilets were discussed for using at the community playfields during 7 weeks in spring and 7 weeks in the fall. This will be on a trial basis.
  • Surplus football equipment that was left over from the tackle football program will go to the new program in Wilmette and Winnetka called Junior Trevian’s.
  • An RFP for a new website designed was discussed.
  • There are over 4,000 campers this summer and camps are going strong.
  • Soccer season ended in June.
  • Wilmette Wolves travel basketball program contacted the District to see if there was an opportunity to take over their program in the future. They are having trouble finding space. Staff will review these options.

Commissioner Wolfe moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2016-O-12, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, IL. as recommended by the Parks & Recreation Committee.

Commissioner Wolfe commented that this equipment has been reconditioned and that a liability waiver provided by the District’s risk management pool was signed by Jr. Trevians, making the District not liable for any of the equipment into the future.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Anderson, Abbott, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

D. Golf Operations Committee:

Commissioner Foster reported on the following topics:

  • The Golf Operations Committee met on July 9th.
  • A golf memorial program for benches was discussed. This would replace the benches currently at each hole near the tee boxes. Preliminary pricing was discussed for about $2,000-$2,500 per bench. Staff will discuss more specifics at the next meeting.
  • Three events have been held since the last meeting; the men’s club hosted the OGC Medicare Masters, the WGA hosted a member guest day with a circus theme, and the Ouilmette Foundation held their event on June 24th with 84 participants. Are three events were successful.
  • The feedback on the course has been great.
  • Staff will continue to report about new maintenance practices for how they enhance the course.
  • The financials for the course are under budget. Staff is doing an excellent job managing costs.

E. Financial Planning & Policy Committee:

Commissioner Anderson reported on the following topics:

  • The Financial Planning & Policy Committee met on June 27th.
  • The Committee discussed health insurance along with other expenses within the District. The health insurance was the big expense that needed to be looked at first. Staff is looking into alternative employee health insurance options.  
  • The Committee discussed the 2015 tax levy. The Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) in the District went down 2.7%. The rate applied to that valuation also went down by over 5%. Tax levy is down year on year 7.6%.
  • Personal property tax overpayment by the State of Illinois was discussed. There is a potential liability of about $20,000 that would be refunded over 2017 and 2018. 
  • Options for the Lakefront funding were discussed.
  • The Committee discussed looking at used or refurbished equipment when evaluating purchases. A revised purchasing policy will be reviewed.

VIII. Unfinished Business


IX. New Business

A. Lakefront Projects

President Olvany commented that this will be a full Board discussion to see how to move forward. He highlighted the failing of the referendum and what the Board learned from that experience. President Olvany presented and discussed the survey results. He stated that the goal is to give the Lakefront Committee direction to move forward. The Board members discussed their opinions of what to focus on moving forward with the lakefront plans. The Board discussed how to pay for this project.

President Olvany stated that the consensus of the Board is to focus on the top priorities as previously outlined into two projects: 1) Beach House and Parking Lot; and 2) Roads and Sewers. The discussions will continue in regards to how to pay for these projects. President Olvany would like the Lakefront Committee to come up with strong cost estimates about what it would cost to do these projects starting in 2017.

X. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at
9:05 p.m.