WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Friday, July 1, 2016
9:00 a.m. – Village Hall Council Chambers
Commissioners/Committee: Chair, Ryrie Pellaton, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott
Staff: Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht
Staff: Director Wilson, Jeff Bowen
I. Meeting Called to Order
Meeting called to order at 9:00am
II. Approval of Minutes
A. Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the minutes from June 6, 2016; all voted yes, the motion carried.
III. Recognition of Visitors
Heidi Natura, Living Habitats
Karen Glennemeier presented and discussed the importance of migrating birds along Lake Michigan and their habitat. Based on this area at the lakefront there is more of a concentration of birds. She stated that bird watching/walks are the fastest growing, most popular outdoor recreational activity in America. Ms. Glennemeier commented that these types of projects are getting a lot of momentum elsewhere with improving the lakefront and its natural habitat. The goal for getting the plants planted is to have a planting weekend in September with volunteers from the community. Karen stated that in order to save the park district money, she has begun to organize volunteers to do the planting. She felt this was a great way to bring the community together in a positive way.
Commissioner Abbott introduced Cole Tussing an Eagle Scout Candidate who commented on planter bed 5. Cole would like to work on planter bed 5 for a project due to the amount of work needed and the location. Cole anticipates the project involving 20 people for 2 or 3 days worth of work.
IV. Communications and Correspondence
V. Unfinished Business
A. Bird Habitat – Living Habitats
Heidi Natura presented and discussed the evolution for the final plan for the bird habitat. She mentioned that the plan was an evolution and she worked with Park District staff and gathered input from the community to see what the potential was. Most beds are tucked under existing growth areas, adding ground layers and shrubs to fill in. She also gave consideration to active uses of the park. Commissioner Pellaton was concerned with the cost of $318,000 when the amount of grant and matching funds is only $120,000. Ms Natura mentioned that it was not the intention to bite off more than the grant amount. They advised the Park District staff that there was not enough money to address the entire park. They were advised to look at the park as a whole and decisions could then be made regarding where to spend the dollars available now. When asked about the existing wildflower garden and if that area was taken into consideration, Ms. Natura replied that yes, that is an area the birds are now and they were hoping to expand on that, recommending it is reproduced in other areas of the park. In response to Commissioner Abbott’s question on how the look of the beds will compare to the wildflower garden or the Centennial Prairie, she stated that the new areas will have a more manicured look. At Centennial, the area was seeded. The new areas in Gillson will be more shaded and the plantings will not get as tall and they will have a more groomed look.
Commissioner Shelly asked Ms. Natura and Ms. Glennemeier for their expertise and the detailed plan. When asked where the focus should be, Ms. Natura stated that beds 0-9 are the focus area for phase one and should be the least disruptive to existing park activity. This will concentrate the volunteer efforts in a smaller area where we can get a significant outcome in a short period of time. Care and watering will also be easier.
When questioned about the number of man hours, Ms. Natura stated that she was not concerned on not having enough volunteers. The project could be completed in a weekend with approximately 200 people. When asked if the soil would need to be amended, Ms. Natura stated it will not be necessary. Plants were selected to survive the existing conditions. Commissioner Pellaton commented on the $82,000 in direct costs and the timing of the planting. Ms. Natura stated that the plan is for a fall planting, and generally there is a better outcome when planting in the fall. Commissioner Pellaton asked about the lead time needed and Superintendant Lambrecht stated that we needed to place orders immediately. Ms. Natura echoed that about two months lead time is necessary to have all materials in hand. Time is also needed to organize the volunteer pool. Commissioner Pellaton replied that approval by the full board will be needed to move ahead. Commissioner Abbott commented that the project is too big. Commissioner Shelly commented that she thought it was a good plan and she was ready to move on.
Commissioner Pellaton moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to recommend to the full Board the approval of planting beds 0 through 9 with Living Habitats as designed. Commissioner Abbott feels he is in favor but feels it is too big of a project. He would like to see beds 0 through 9 reduced by 30% in size. Commissioner Pellaton and Commissioner Shelly voted yes and Commissioner Abbott voted no.
B. Lakefront RFQ
The Committee discussed the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) draft as outlined by Superintendant Lambrecht. Director Wilson stated that he wants to make sure the committee is in agreement with the process as outlined. Commissioner Shelly remarked on the submission of four concepts and would that amount deter firms from submitting. Staff and the Committee agreed that it should be a minimum of two concepts submitted. Commissioner Pellaton would like the submission process to be 60 to 90 days to allow firms more time for submitting their concepts. The Committee agreed that September 23rd would be the last day for submissions to be accepted. The review process will start October 3rd with the final selection complete by November 14th for the Board meeting. Commissioner Abbott felt the firms needed to provide an estimate of all fees in order for him to make a decision. He wanted a list of fees for the scope of services. He also felt we should have the parking lot design as a part of the request. Commissioner Shelly stated that when we select a firm, we can direct them to design to our needs.
Commissioner Pellaton moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to recommend to the full Board the changes as discussed for the Lakefront RFQ at the July Board meeting. Commissioner Pellaton and Commissioner Shelly voted yes; Commissioner Abbott voted no.
C. Lakefront Project – Discussion
Commissioner Pellaton stated that this discussion will continue with the full Board next week.
D. Updates with Daily Trail-in Numbers and Comparisons with Winnetka
E. Map of Paths for Gators
VI. New Business
VII. Manager’s Report
Superintendent Bingham reported on the following topics:
There was a brush fire at Gillson that was contained. The Junior Life Guard camp starts on July 11th.
The beach is doing well this summer. Budget numbers have exceeded budget both with resident and non-resident numbers memberships and camps.
Director Wilson commented on discussions with the Village that additional coverage for Elmwood Park is needed especially with the holiday weekend coming up.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 2nd.
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 11:02 a.m.