WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2006
_____________________________________________________________________

Written notice of said meeting was given to the Commissioners and the Wilmette Life in accordance with the Wilmette Park District Code, Section 2103, and Section 2.02 of the Open Meetings Act.


 

President Miller requested a moment of silence be observed in memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.


 

President Miller called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.


 

PRESENT: President David Miller, Commissioners Jim Brault, Diana Cohen, Jim Crowley, Richard Marcus, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter


 

STAFF: Business Manager George Kush, Superintendent Grisamore, Superintendent Lambrecht


 

ABSENT: None


 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of August 14, 2006.


 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried.


 

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE: President Miller acknowledged receipt of the following:


 

… E-mail dated August 18, 2006 from Phillip Childs commending the work done on the Mallinckrodt project and recommending that the smokestack be removed as it detracts from the beauty of the park.


 

President Miller responded that this issue has been previously addressed and the smokestack will remain as part of the overall landscaping and serve as a cell tower.


 

… E-mail dated August 20, 2006 from Helmi Ludwig, 418 Skokie Court regarding the proposed skate park at Hibbard Park with an attachment of an e-mail from Fay Paras, which reported on the August 14th Board meeting and raised objections to the skate park at Hibbard.


 

President Miller referred the e-mail to the Parks & Recreation Committee.


 

… E-mail dated August 24, 2006 from Charlotte Adelman, 232 Lawndale with a copy of an e-mail sent to Elizabeth Burton, President of the Wilmette Women’s Golf Association regarding pesticides on public golf courses and harm to children.


 

President Miller referred the e-mail to the Golf Operations Committee.


 

… E-mail dated September 9, 2006 from Myrna Siegel to Park District and Village Board members regarding enforcement of the Leash Law Ordinance.


 

President Miller referred the e-mail to the Parks & Recreation Committee.


 


 

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:


 

Faye Paras, 416 Skokie Ct. stated she was representing many Wilmette residents who continue to have an interest in the plans to construct a skate park in Hibbard Park. She knows there have been three meetings held with users and designers and she is looking forward to one or more neighbor meetings. She thanked the Board in advance for providing an opportunity for the neighbors to comment and present their ideas on the proposed skate park.


 

Ty Frost, 909 Seneca Road stated he just wanted to be in attendance at tonight’s meeting for the discussion on the skate park.


 

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:


 

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,376,059.24, 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 Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried.


 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:


 

Parks and Recreation – Committee Chair Cohen reported that the Committee met on August 16. Three user meetings have been held to discuss possible design plans for the skate park and they were very productive. The last meeting was held on Thursday, August 31. Commissioner Cohen then asked Director Porter to update the Board on the proposed plans.


 

Director Porter stated that the purpose of the first meeting was to determine what the users would like to see in the skate park, the second to discuss potential plans and the third to refine the plans. At this point, there is a preliminary plan for what equipment should be included in the skate park and where the skate park should be located within Hibbard Park. The next step would be for the Board to authorize the Parks and Recreation Committee to hold a public meeting and send via first class mail a notice of the meeting to those neighbors within 250 feet of the park.


 

The whole skate park process began by looking for locations within Wilmette to place a skate park and the Hibbard Park location was then selected by the Board. Within Hibbard Park specifically, three locations were considered possibilities – on the north end next to the service station, in place of the existing mound on the east side, and on the existing blacktop south of the mound. The third location was eventually agreed upon as the best choice. For this option, some parking spaces would have to be eliminated along the northeast end of the parking lot. The reasons for this recommendation are that the area is further away from most residences and the berm and surrounding landscaping would provide screening. The berm would also serve as a spectator area. Also, the amount of additional hard surface would be greatly reduced. The area would be surrounded by a six-foot chain link fence and the gates would have latches attached.


 

The equipment would consist of “street features” with the tallest piece of equipment being five feet high. The remaining features all range from three to four feet high. There would also be two areas for different age groups – smaller equipment for novices and younger children and larger equipment for the more experienced skaters. The park will be built upon a concrete pad which is quieter than asphalt. The size of the skating area itself will be approximately 7,500 square feet. The skate park will only be for skateboards and roller blades – no bicycles will be allowed. The skate park would be considered a local community facility and not a regional destination and there would likely be no more than 20-30 skaters at one time. The cost of the project is approximately $265,000 (excluding parking). Staff will follow up on obtaining safety signage and contacting PDRMA for their recommendations.


 

Director Porter asked the Board to authorize the Committee to schedule a meeting with the user groups and neighbors for either the week of September 25 or the following week so that the Board can be informed of the results of the public meeting in time for its October 9th meeting. The next step would then be to authorize a zoning application which would include a traffic and sound study. If the Board authorizes the Committee to proceed, then first class letters will be mailed to those neighbors within 250 feet of the park and the meeting notice will be posted on the web site, at each facility, and in the newspaper.


 

Commissioner Cohen asked how the police would get into the park to check on security and Director Porter responded they would have to drive through the main entrance and continue through to the park. Director Porter also stated that Community Recreation Center staff would also be able to check on the park’s activity.


 

Commissioner O’Malley asked if the users were all in agreement on the tentative plan and Director Porter stated that the approximately 20 users in attendance were in agreement on the major details.


 

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to authorize the Parks and Recreation Committee to conduct a public meeting regarding the proposed skate park at Hibbard Park with special notice being provided via first class mail to neighbors within 250 feet of Hibbard Park on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Recreation Center.


 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried.


 

Commissioner O’Malley questioned whether any discussion had taken place at the Committee meeting regarding the problems encountered at Langdon Park this summer. Director Porter suggested that this topic be put on the agenda for the next Parks and Recreation Committee on Wednesday, September 20.


 

Commissioner Marcus suggested combining the public skate park meeting with the regular Parks and Recreation Committee meeting. Commissioner Brault felt that combining the two meetings would not provide adequate time for public comment on the skate park. After Board discussion, it was decided to hold the skate park meeting separately from the regular Committee meeting.


 

Golf Operations – Committee Chair O’Malley reported that the Committee did not meet in August. He stated that the number of rounds is still higher than a year ago and it has been a good season. Commissioner Miller asked how well the driving range was doing. Commissioner O’Malley responded that the range has been generally crowded and Director Porter stated that if the weather cooperates the budget figures should be met.


 

Commissioner Brault noted that the park district paid $9 million for the new golf facility and it is greatly improved. While resident taxes were used to partially fund the improvements, non-residents rates remained the same. At this point, 40% of rounds are non-resident users. Commissioner Brault felt that we should take this into consideration when budgeting for next year. Commissioner Miller stated he was not aware that residents were having difficulty golfing at the course and he personally has not had any problems making reservations. Commissioner Brault stated that he just wanted to make sure that the current or future costs of running the facility were not being disproportionately placed on the residents and taxpayers of Wilmette. Commissioner Miller felt that if we raise non-resident rates, they may not return to the course.


 

Commissioner Marcus stated he did not want to push the non-residents away and that other golf courses should be surveyed to see what they charge for rounds. Commissioner O’Malley stated that the Golf Operations Committee will review this issue during the budget process.


 

Commissioner O’Malley commented that there are less than 200 ash trees on the golf course which is 20% of the total tree population. So far these trees have not been affected by the ash borer.


 

Commissioner Marcus asked about the missing deposit at the golf course which was reported in the newspaper. Director Porter explained that the money was discovered missing about a week ago and that the police are investigating.


 

Commissioner Cohen asked if there were any white oak trees on the course. Superintendent Lambrecht responded there are white oak trees at the course and these trees, along with some other varieties, have been stressed for the last four to five years and especially from last year’s drought.


 

Director Porter stated that a food service survey was sent to golf members and several responses have been received. The two most common comments concerned speed of service and the training of wait staff. The results of the survey were mixed and no real conclusions could be made at this time. The responses ran the gamut from the point of view the facility should be a fine dining establishment to an informal sandwich café. The information received will be presented to the Committee and its next meeting.


 

The proposal for privatizing the food service area was published in the Pioneer Press. Proposes were also mailed to interested catering companies and a couple of them have visited the course. Proposals will be opened on Thursday, September 21.


 

Centennial Operations – Commissioner O’Malley reported on the meeting which was held on August 14. He reported that utility rates are projected to increase by 25-30% which could, unfortunately, increase fees at the ice rinks. The user groups have been made aware of this issue.


 

The resurfacing of the indoor tennis courts has been completed.


 

Requests from hockey users to have co-ed locker rooms resulted in an agreement wherein the decision to use either one locker room for both girls and boys or to have two separate rooms is made by the group renting the ice if space is available.


 

Financial Planning & Policy – Committee Chair Brault reported that the Committee met this evening to interview two internal audit firms who would conduct an audit of our financial controls. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Board at its October meeting. The initial cost for such an internal audit would be approximately $15,000.


 

Commissioner Brault stated the purpose of the internal audit was to identify and minimize any potential risks, to help improve the delivery of services, and to move forward with the addition of new systems, etc. He further stated that such a review was not intended to be a criticism of current practices and there have not been any problems with our current operations.


 

Commissioner Brault also stated the Committee met last month to discuss the audit engagement letter with KPMG and recommended that the Board approve the engagement for a fee of $45,000. Commissioner Marcus asked what we paid for the audit last year. Commissioner Brault stated we just paid the fee of $41,000 and it is included in the voucher list.


 

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the engagement of KPMG LLC for audit services to the Wilmette Park District for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2006 for a fee of $45,000 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.


 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

MALLINCKRODT:


 

Director Porter reported that construction has begun on the interior space of the building. Staff has met with engineers and the landscape architect on the park land. Staff anticipates opening the bids in late November with Board approval of the various bid packages at the December meeting, so that work can begin in late winter or early spring on the outdoor space.


 

Staff has met with one telecommunications company who has shown interest in using the smoke stack as a cell tower. A couple of other cellular companies have also shown interest. Commissioner Brault asked how much these companies would pay to use the smoke stack. Director Porter stated that the Village receives $100,000 per year from four cellular companies that use their tower.


 

Commissioner O’Malley asked if the park would be flooded for an ice skating rink this year. Director Porter answered it would not be flooded this year due to construction, but will be a year from now.


 

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:


 

Fall programs are underway. There are currently 1,750 children enrolled in soccer this season. Several years ago, the boys and girls were combined on teams and the program had approximately 585 boys and 17 girls. The decision was made to separate the boys and girls and now this year there are 900 girls participating. The program also has gained enrollment from the junior high grade levels indicating that the older children are returning. Two other popular programs are LaCrosse and Chess.


 

NEW BUSINESS:


 

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2006-O-7, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, IL.


 

Director Porter explained that the disposition of surplus property at the municipal auction will take place on Saturday, September 16, at the Winnetka Public Works facility. Three pieces of equipment ranging in age from 12 to 21 years are proposed for sale. The District takes good care of the equipment, but these pieces have outlived their useful lives.


 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried


 

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to Executive Session for discussion of the performance of a specific employee of the District in accordance with Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act.


 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No – None. Absent – None. Motion carried.


 

The Board adjourned to Executive Session at 8:22 p.m.


 

The regular meeting reconvened at 8:55 p.m.


 

There being no further business to conduct, the regular meeting was adjourned at


 


 

MINUTES APPROVED ON OCTOBER 9, 2006