WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2005
_____________________________________________________________________

 

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 Wolff called the meeting to order at  7:30 p.m.

PRESENT: President Henry Wolff, Commissioners Cecelia Carlson, Diana Cohen,  Jim Crowley, Richard Marcus, David Miller, Dennis O’Malley, Secretary/Director Terry Porter, Treasurer/Business Manager George Kush

VISITORS: Superintendents Lambrecht and Grisamore, Terry Juliar, Kathy Bingham, Ray Bachmann, Betty Duguid, Georgia Gebhardt, Graham Crosh, Nell Cunningham, Jane Jacobson Brown, Student Government Participants

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of January 10, 2005.

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

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Administration Committee Meeting of January 24, 2005.

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

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

. . .  Letter dated January 14, 2005 from Brett Davis, PDRMA Risk Management Services Manager advising that the Wilmette Park District has achieved the Park District Risk Management Agency’s highest loss control award of Accreditation which brings an award of $1,500.

Commissioner Miller inquired as to how the award money would be used.
Director Porter explained that the money would be used to fund risk management related projects.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Wolff announced that tonight is the kickoff of the 2005 Student Government Program.  He stated that the Park District is pleased to once again be represented by Marie Murphy Junior High.  He introduced Jane Jacobson Brown of the Wilmette League of Women Voters.

Ms. Jacobson thanked the Park Board and Park District staff for their continuing support of the Student Government Program. She noted that this is the 34th year of this very successful program which gives 8th grade students in the community the opportunity to see first hand how local government operates.  Ms. Jacobson stated that it is her understanding that there are currently Wilmette residents who are on local government boards and commissions who participated in the Student Government Program when they were in Junior High.

Ms. Jacobson noted that Nell Cunningham, who is the teacher in charge of the program at the Marie Murphy Junior High, has devoted many hours to this project and always has the students well prepared.  She thanked Ms. Cunningham for her excellent work and asked her to introduce this year’s participants. Ms. Cunningham thanked the League of Women Voters for sponsoring this excellent program and the Park District Board and staff for their cooperation and support.  She added that she appreciates the outstanding help received by Director Porter and his staff in organizing the program and working with the students to formulate their projects. Ms. Cunningham introduced the Marie Murphy Junior High students who are the 2005 Student Government Program participants representing the Park District.

Elected Officials:
Board President  Jilian Seiler

Board Vice President Ashar Qadri

Commissioner Marlee Stein
Commissioner Coty Kenneth
Commissioner  Jeff Lale

Commissioner Lauren Riley
Commissioner  Alexis Kafkis

Appointed Officials:
Director of Parks and Recreation  Lauren Vogelstein
Superintendent of Leisure Services Zach Wadleigh
Business Manager     Sam Shiner
Superintendent of Parks & Panning Sara Dorn
Community Center Manager  Brian Schroeder
Lakefront Manager    John Choi
Ice/Pool Manager    Alex Krevitz
Tennis Manager    Marco Alvarado

President Wolff administered the oath of office to the students.  He congratulated them and wished them well in the program.

Director Porter thanked the League of Women Voters for once again sponsoring this very worthwhile and educational program and stated that the Park District is pleased to  again be represented by students from Marie Murphy Junior High School.   He also thanked Nell Cunningham for her excellent work on this program.  Director Porter noted that the first workshop for the students working with Park District staff is scheduled for February 10th, and that there will be a second workshop scheduled prior to the mock Board meeting, which will be held in mid March. He encouraged Board members to attend the Student Government Breakfast scheduled for February 24th.

President Wolff recognized Graham Crosh, 2239 Thornwood, who had some comments regarding the skate park issue.  Mr. Crosh said that he had looked at several skate parks and the majority are in the 15,000 to 25,000 square foot range.  In his opinion, a skate park at Howard Park would be in the range of 8,000 square feet, which is too small.  He also noted that a square configuration would be inappropriate for a skate park.

During discussion, Commissioner Crowley stated that the District is not focusing solely on Howard Park for a skate park.  Commissioner Marcus noted that at the last Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, several skate board enthusiasts, including teenagers and adults, were in attendance, and after reviewing the issue with the visitors, the Committee felt that it is necessary to obtain some outside assistance in evaluating potential sites in Wilmette for a skate park.  The Committee directed staff to retain 3-D Design Studio to do a site evaluation report and gather information about  skate parks in the area.  Commissioner Marcus noted that the Committee is anticipating a report at the April 18th Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, and he invited Mr. Crosh to attend the meeting.  Commissioner Miller noted that there is a resident committee related to the skate park issue.  At this point, there are three members – two adults and one youth.  The committee is open to additional members if anyone is interested in joining.

Director Porter added that the general feeling is that an ideal skate park is 10,000 to 15,000 square feet in size.  He explained that the District is looking at sites where a skate park would not exceed ten percent of the total acreage of the park.  Therefore, the design firm has been directed to evaluate all park sites that exceed four acres in total, which include Community Playfield, Centennial Park, Gillson Park, Hibbard Park, Howard Park, Mallinckrodt Park, Thornwood Park, Vattmann Park, and West Park.
APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve  the Voucher List in the amount of $5,867,996.57, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

Director Porter pointed out that this voucher list includes the repayment of the $4,875,000 debt certificate used for the Mallinckrodt purchase.

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

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Parks and Recreation – Committee Chair Marcus reported that the Committee met on January 17th.  At that time, Mr. Tom Finks, representing the Pro Sports Experience, requested that this group be allowed to offer a Chicago Bears Football Camp this summer at Community Playfield.  He explained that he had been in contact with Park District staff and had been notified that there would be a charge of thirty percent of the gross revenue as a fee for park use. He was told that this fee covers not only field use, but also marketing, registration costs, and collection of fees.  Mr. Finks asked the Committee to reduce the fee.  After discussion with staff and further discussion with Mr. Finks, the Committee declined to reduce the fee and recommended that Mr. Finks seek space for the program at a different location, such as Loyola or New Trier.

Commissioner Marcus further reported that Mr. Steve Later attended the meeting with reference to a letter he had written regarding vehicle access on the road to the dog beach area at the south end of Gillson Park.  Mr. Later stated that despite the Do Not Enter sign, vehicles are routinely using the service drive to go to the dog beach.  He suggested that a physical barrier be placed at the entrance to the drive to prevent vehicles from gaining access. The Committee suggested that the Police Department ticket cars in the area.  After further discussion, the Committee asked that staff review the situation and see if some form of moveable barrier could be used at the location.

Commissioner Marcus noted that as referred to earlier in the meeting, there had been a number of residents, both adults and youths, in attendance at the meeting to discuss the issue of constructing a skate park in Wilmette.  He reported that Michael Rushmore addressed the Committee regarding the lack of a facility in Wilmette.  Mr. Rushmore outlined the advantages of offering a skate park in Wilmette, such as the fact that skaters/skateboarders are less likely to be injured in a designated area than on a public sidewalk.  He also pointed out that skate park users are less likely to use drugs.  During discussion, it was noted that the support group for a skate park in Wilmette has established a website, which has information on other skate parks and potential sites in Wilmette.  In addition, Mr. Tim Frost addressed the Committee and commended Michael Rushmore and the other young people in attendance for their involvement.  He evaluated skate parks in neighboring communities and recommended that there be separate areas offered at the facility for expert users and beginners.  He also stated that a certain amount of parking should be provided.  Mr. Don Harkins also addressed the Committee and offered his support for a skate park and stated that a park similar in size to the one in Glenview, which is 10,000 square feet, would be the best choice for Wilmette.  Commissioner Marcus stated that he had thanked those in attendance, and encouraged them to stay involved in the process.

Commissioner Marcus concluded his report by stating that Recreation General Manager Kathy Bingham reported at the meeting that the Center Fitness Club finished the year very well, and it had recently been discovered that there was a problem with the software tracking memberships.  Ms. Bingham also reported that a new General Recreation Supervisor had been hired to start on February 1st and that he has a great deal of teen experience.

Golf Operations – Committee Chair Crowley reported that the Committee did not meet in January.  He asked Superintendent Bill Lambrecht to update the Board on the golf clubhouse project.

Superintendent Lambrecht reported that  the weather continues to be a major problem.  He noted that to date, fifteen days of work have been lost due to weather, and that January saw sub-zero temperatures when no one could work, and there was heavy snow and a major thaw with heavy rain.  Due to the masonry contractor setting up for winter conditions, they were able to work through a heavy snowstorm.  He stated that the biggest problem encountered was the big thaw followed by the heavy rains, which caused two feet of water in the entire excavation.  Park District staff and the contractor’s personnel worked late into the evening in severe cold pumping out the basement to prevent the water from freezing down there which would have shut down the project for an undetermined length of time.

Superintendent Lambrecht noted that despite the weather continuing to hamper progress, a few important milestones in construction were achieved in January. The main foundation was completed in the southwest corner, and the mason completed all of the structural walls in the basement level. They also completed construction of a shear wall in the middle of the building and the stairway enclosures. Heated tents were provided in these two areas so work could continue.   The precast deck was installed and grouted late in the month.  Superintendent Lambrecht explained that he authorized winter protection in sections of the foundation so that the water around the footings could be thawed and pumped out, which allowed the plumber to install drainage and the waterproofer to coat the foundation.  Forty-foot sections were done at a time. He noted that once the concrete deck was put in place, the electricians were able to install temporary lighting in the basement and have begun installing conduit.  Also, now that the precast deck is in place, the foundation can be backfilled.  The contractor has been placing gravel and has excavated for the north and east porches.  The concrete contractor is setting forms for the footings for these two areas, and working on the balance of the kitchen foundations. Also, the carpentry contractor has begun to frame the walls.

In response to a question from Commissioner Carlson regarding the quality of the lumber, Superintendent Lambrecht explained that the treated lumber which was received was correct.  However, all of the wall studs were the wrong materials.  He had the framed walls taken apart and the material thrown in the dumpster.  The vendor has been informed of the problems and the material will be replaced.

Superintendent Lambrecht further reported that Com Ed has set a new pole on the south side of Fairway Drive for the new electric service and has also pulled the cable from the pole to the transformer pad on the north side of the parking lot, and the transformer has been set.  He noted that he had requested a delay in switching the three-phase power from overhead to underground until the new switchgear has been installed in the basement. He explained that this timing will enable Com Ed to simultaneously liven the transformer, redirect the power serving the irrigation system and the maintenance building and liven the power in the new building.  Superintendent Lambrecht also noted that Nicor is scheduled to be on site within two weeks to install the new gas service, which will heat the basement. He explained that as soon as the frost is totally removed from the ground, the area can be graded, underground work can be finished and the concrete slab can be poured.

Superintendent Lambrecht further reported that all of the contracts for the second phase of construction have been completed and are being distributed.  Submittals from the numerous contractors for review have already been given to the architect and Park District staff, and after numerous revisions, the Village has  authorized Phase Two work.  He noted that the sanitary sewer cannot be tied in until permits are received from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which he hopes will be within the next two weeks.

In response to a question from Director Porter regarding parking, Superintendent Lambrecht reported that he is hoping to be in a situation by the end of March to get the curbs poured.  At the present time, there are about 80 marked spaces and an additional 20 to 30 spots will be added so that there will be 100 to 110 parking spaces available at the start of  the golf season.

Centennial Operations –  Commissioner O’Malley reported that the Committee met on January 10th.  At that time, Ice Manager Terry Juliar and Assistant Manager Brian Udany reviewed a proposal for placing an information board at the ice facility.  The information board would be provided by Sports Displays, Inc. at no charge and the District would also receive ten percent of the revenue generated by advertising sales displayed on the board up to $1,000 per year.  After studying pictures of the displays, the Committee concurred with staff’s recommendation to continue discussions with the supplier and proceed if feasible.

Commissioner O’Malley further reported that the Committee had discussion regarding the possibility of performing photo ID checks on the computer at the pool for people who did not have their pool passes with them.  Superintendent Grisamore reported that Business Manager George Kush identified costs associated with required remote registers/terminals (12 district wide) and related software and communications upgrades, and the preliminary figures indicate a cost of approximately $40,000 to $50,000.  It was agreed that such an expenditure would not be feasible.

Commissioner O’Malley noted that the Centennial Operations Committee also met prior to tonight’s Board meeting.  He stated that at that time, the Committee agreed to waive the pool pass look-up fee for this summer on a trial basis.  Patrons without their photo ID’s will have to wait until daily admission and pass customers have been served and they will then be helped by a manager.  He also noted that additional software will be installed so that the number of times an individual or family uses the look up service can be tracked.

Commissioner O’Malley also reported that staff recommended that two 15 minute breaks per day be taken at the pool. One break would be at 3:20 p.m. and the second break would be at 7:00 p.m. in lieu of the ten minute breaks currently taken every hour  Patrons would clear the pools and be encouraged to take the younger swimmers to the restrooms in an attempt to cut down on fecal incidents.  During the 15 minute breaks, staff will use the pools for guard training, allowing patrons to observe training procedures.

Financial Planning & Policy – Committee Chair Miller reported that a meeting has been scheduled for February 23rd.

President Wolff called to order a public hearing regarding Ordinance 2005-O-1, the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance.

There were no requests to comment.

President Wolff closed the hearing.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2005-O-1, AN ORDINANCE MAKING A COMBINED ANNUAL BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2005 AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2005 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

Commissioner Marcus commented that he had found the Budget Workshop, which was held on January 24th, to be extremely interesting and the in depth review and  discussion of the budget was very helpful in making budget decisions.  He commended Director Porter and his staff for their excellent presentation.

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

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that the North Shore Theater and the Children’s Theater had put together an event to raise money for the Tsunami relief effort and had raised about $1,700, which was donated to the American Red Cross.  He commended Bob Bierie, the Park District Performing Arts Supervisor, who coordinated the event.

Director Porter also reported that on January 25th, the State of Illinois and the Department of Natural Resources hosted a workshop at Lakeview Center to initiate discussion about Illinois possibly joining the Coastal Management Program. He explained that in 1972, the Federal Government adopted the Coastal Zone Management Act, which affected those states with large coastlines.  Since the inception of this program, 33 of the 34 eligible states have joined.  Illinois is the only eligible state which does not participate.  When the program was first announced, there was wide spread resistance along the Lake Michigan shoreline, especially in the North Shore suburbs, because of fear that the program would take away local control and would have a negative impact on private property owners.  Director Porter explained that since that time, the program has evolved into primarily a grant and research program and only affects public properties.   He noted that the advantages of joining would be possible access to a share of Federal funding administered through the State of Illinois and possible research through the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). Director Porter explained that part of the process includes community meetings to discuss State participation, and that the Park District has offered to make Lakeview Center available for any of these meetings.

After discussion, it was agreed that the Park District should be an active participant in the dialogue, and that Director Porter would continue to monitor the situation closely.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to appoint Jack Rasof to the North Shore Theater of Wilmette Advisory Board for a two year term expiring March 31, 2007.

Director Porter stated that Mr. Rasof is a Wilmette resident.  He also noted that the North Shore Theater Board members and Park District staff are in the process of evaluating changes to the structure of the North Shore Theater Board, possibly opting to convert to a more informal format. 

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

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


MINUTES APPROVED ON MARCH 14, 2005