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, MAY 10, 2004

_____________________________________________________________________

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: 

Superintendent Bill Lambrecht, Superintendent Tom Grisamore, CRC General Manager Kathy Bingham, Golf Operations Manager/Superintendent Mike Matchen

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of April 12, 2004.

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Annual Meeting of April 12, 2004.

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 April 13, 2004 from John McGovern, NSSRA Executive Director expressing appreciation for the opportunity to update the Board at the April Board meeting on the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association.

. . . Letter received May 5, 2004 to President Wolff from ”A Mother and Regular Patron of Your Fine Classes” advising that Paul Brewer, a sports coach for the Park District, is a famous artist, portrait painter, and teacher who teaches sports and sportsmanship.

. . . Letter dated April 27, 2004 from David Guggenheim, 931 Harvard Lane requesting that an opening in the wall at Mallinckrodt be provided so that children in the area would have easier access to the park.
 Director Porter stated that he had sent a letter to Mr. Guggenheim noting that there will be public hearings on the park land and encouraging him to participate in the process.

. . . Letter dated May 4, 2004 from James W. Ford, 1630 Sheridan Road expressing disappointment with the plans for the new golf course clubhouse.

President Wolff referred the letter to the Golf Operations Committee.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,655,359,41, 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 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 April 10th.  He noted that the Committee reviewed correspondence from Gale Teschendorf regarding allowing dogs in the parks.  A letter from Mary O’Reilly regarding the lack of enforcement of the no swimming area along the overlook at Gillson Park was discussed and staff explained that there is a concerted effort to keep people out of the water in the area and the area is patrolled on jet ski and on foot.  However, the people return to the water as soon as staff moves on.  The Committee asked staff to inform Ms. O’Reilly that only the police have the authority to ticket the violators.  

Commissioner Marcus further reported that the Committee reviewed a letter from Elmer Walsh, Jr. regarding the Wilmette Harbor and that Mr. Walsh was in attendance at the meeting.  In his letter, Mr. Walsh asked that the Park District consider assuming control of the Harbor when the Harbor Association’s lease with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District expires in 2012.   Mr. Walsh explained that the Association does not have funds sufficient to pay for significant repairs that the Harbor will need in the near future. Commissioner Marcus stated that after discussion, the Committee explained that the Park District is not in a position at present to look at the possibility of taking over control of the Harbor, but they did leave open the possibility of reviewing the situation in the future.

Commissioner Marcus stated that during Manager Reports, CRC Manager Kathy Bingham reported that spring registration went very well and noted that fitness memberships are slowly increasing.  Ms. Bingham also reported on activities at the community center and noted that the new Counselor In Training program has gained a lot of interest.  This is a program for teenagers 13 to 15 years of age who work at the camps with some of the better counselors three days a week, spend a day in training and use one day a week for the camp activity of their choosing.  Lakefront Manager Betty Duguid reported on activities at Gillson Park and noted that the Dog Beach is being well used and that she has heard many positive comments about the facility.  Ms. Duguid also reported that the Assistant Lakefront Manager position has been filled by Bill Miller, who has a background in parks and recreation.

Commissioner Marcus concluded his report by explaining that staff is in the process of evaluating changes to the ordinance regarding dogs in the parks.  Staff told the Committee that if the current ordinance regarding dogs in the parks is changed to match the Village ordinance, it will be easier to enforce the rules. In discussions with the  Police Department, it was indicated that the police would respond to calls regarding enforcement of rules if the Park District’s ordinance matched the Village’s ordinance.  The Committee asked staff to gather more information and have a recommendation at the next committee meeting.

Golf Operations  -- Committee Chair Crowley stated that staff has been working very closely with the Park District’s insurer regarding a settlement for the clubhouse which was destroyed by fire in July of 2003. He added that he was pleased that a settlement for replacement of the building has been reached. Commissioner Crowley asked Director Porter and Superintendent Lambrecht to update the Board on the current status of the clubhouse replacement and plans for improvements to the golf course.

Director Porter reported that after nine months of negotiations and preliminary planning, the Park District is in a position to move forward on replacement of the golf course clubhouse.   He stated that the settlement price agreed upon for replacement of the clubhouse is $2,190,836.  He noted that a settlement of approximately $377,000 for building contents was arrived at shortly after the fire, and that it looks like the District will receive approximately $600,000 for the business interruption/extra expense portion of the claim.  Director Porter stated that the goal is to have a new clubhouse open in May or June of 2005.  However, in order to meet this target, it will be necessary to act quickly and begin the process as soon as possible. 

Director Porter noted that immediately following the fire, the Golf Operations Committee scheduled meetings with neighbors and golfers to obtain input on what the community desired in a replacement clubhouse.  Subsequently, the Golf Operations Committee met to discuss a replacement facility.  The Committee agreed on four guiding principles for the replacement of the clubhouse:

1) The decision of what to build and what to include in a replacement facility is a decision that will affect the golf course for approximately 50 years.

2) The primary purpose of the replacement clubhouse will be golf related.  Other areas of the building should be focused on providing support to the golf operation.  The food service operation will no longer be a stand-alone operation, but will exist as a service to the golf facility.

3) The impact area as a result of the clubhouse replacement includes the building, the parking lot, the 18th green, the practice green, and the teaching area of the practice range.

4) The clubhouse and course improvements should reflect the nature of the community and should be better than the average municipal golf course. 

Based on input from users, the Committee agreed that the new facility should include the following amenities:

• Pro Shop
• Locker Rooms with day lockers
• Seasonal club storage
• Grill Room with normal seating for 100, expandable to 150 for golf outings
• Kitchen designed to support a grill-type operation. 
• Outside Patio overlooking the golf course
• Lower level cart storage for 70 electric carts
• Outside access to food service between the nine’s
• Exterior entrance to washroom facilities between the nine’s
• Staff offices
• Small conference room/meeting room

Director Porter noted that the ability to expand the grill room to seat up to 150 will be sufficient for golf outing dinners as that is usually the maximum number of people who attend these events.  It was also noted that the food service facilities may be available for rental to private groups during the off season.

Director Porter stated that staff has been working with the District’s Financial Advisor, Harris Bank, to identify possible financing options for the project.  The Financial Planning Committee met immediately prior to the Board meeting to begin the process of formulating a financial plan. He explained that based on current estimates, a one story brick building with a total square footage of approximately 20,000 square feet, will cost approximately $220 per square foot.  Including architectural fees and contingency, the total building cost is estimated to be approximately $5 million. Director Porter stated that regardless of what the final clubhouse looks like, there will be a funding gap between the insurance reimbursement and what a new clubhouse will cost.   

Director Porter called upon Superintendent Lambrecht to discuss the plans for the clubhouse. 

Superintendent Lambrecht displayed drawings of proposed plans for a new clubhouse.  He stated that the architect had submitted drawings of an English Tudor style and a Georgian style of architecture for the building.  At this time, it appears that the English Tudor style is preferred.  He noted that in reviewing the building options, the Committee concluded that a slightly elevated one story building would best serve the needs of the golfers in the most cost effective manner.  He explained that the footprint of the building will be between 10,000-12,000 square feet with an additional 8,000-10,000 square feet below grade.  Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the lower level will have storage for 70 electric golf carts and possibly two permanent indoor teaching stations for winter golf lessons.  All the utilities will be placed underground, which is something that the electric company has been eager to do for a long time, and will also have an aesthetic value.  It was also noted that the outdoor patio will be facing the golf course and the slight elevation will enable the golfers to have an unobstructed view of the course.  Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the goal would be to begin outside work on the parking lot and foundation of the building shortly after Labor Day so that the interior work on the building could be done during the winter months.  In order to accomplish these goals, the process will have to begin as soon as possible.

Director Porter stated that the Golf Operations Committee also reviewed other areas that have been identified in the Five Year Capital Plan as being in need of replacement or repair.  He explained that as a result of the location of the new facility, there will be a need to revise the traffic flow of golfers on the east side of the clubhouse. It was agreed that improvements should be made to the 18th green and to the practice green.  Therefore, the preliminary cost estimates for the project include  a replacement parking lot, enhanced landscaping to improve the appearance from the Fairway Drive entrance, relocation of the 18th green and putting green, new cart paths east of the clubhouse, and an enhanced teaching tee and range storage building. Director Porter added that the Board will be requested to authorize golf course architect, Nugent Golf, Inc., to finalize design plans and construction drawings for course improvements on the east side of the clubhouse.  It was noted that the reconfiguration of the 18th green and putting green should alleviate some existing safety concerns and help traffic flow on the course.

Director Porter stated that staff recommends that the replacement of the golf course irrigation system be considered at this time.  He explained that this is a large expenditure which has been included in the Five Year Capital Plan for several years.  In the past, the District has not found a way to fund this expenditure, which is estimated to be approximately $800,000. However, it is felt that it is likely that the District will be borrowing money to fund the clubhouse replacement and parking lot improvements. Staff recommends that the District take advantage of the current favorable interest rates and consider including the irrigation system in this funding package

Director Porter also noted that in keeping with the plan to enhance the image of the facility, it is recommended that the name of the golf course be changed from the Wilmette Golf Course to the Wilmette Golf Club. He explained that all golf course literature would still clearly state that the golf course is a facility of the Wilmette Park District.  After doing a survey of municipal golf courses in the area, it was noted that a majority of these courses are now using the word Club in their titles. He stated that in light of the fact that the former Terrace Restaurant no longer exists and there are no plans to re-establish a full scale banquet and brunch operation, the “Terrace Restaurant” name will be discontinued.

Director Porter concluded the report by stating that the fire, while devastating, presents an opportunity for the Park District to provide a top notch facility for the community.  He stated that the fact that Wilmette has a quality golf facility and clubhouse will prove to be an asset to all Wilmette residents regardless of whether they are golfers. 

There was Board discussion regarding the building and the improvements to the golf course.  Commissioner Cohen made some suggestions regarding colors.  The consensus was that the preliminary plans look very good and the new building and golf course improvements should be well received by the golfers and the community in general.

Commissioner O’Malley commended Director Porter and Superintendent Lambrecht for an excellent presentation and for all their work on the insurance settlement issue.

Director Porter noted that Superintendent Grisamore, Business Manager Kush, Golf Operations Manager Mike Matchen and Golf Course staff, and Risk Manager Jeff Bowen had also been a part of the settlement process.  He added that he feels it is a very fair settlement.

Commissioner Marcus commended Commissioner Crowley, Chair of the Golf Operations Committee and the members of the Golf Operations Committee who had put in a great deal of effort on this issue.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to:

Approve the insurance settlement amount of $2,190,836 for the loss of the clubhouse at the golf course and to authorize the Director to sign the necessary documents subject to review by Park District counsel.

Approve the scope of the proposed clubhouse replacement and improvements to the golf course site as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee.

Authorize golf course architect, Nugent Golf, Inc., with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, to finalize plans and construction drawings for course improvements on the east side of the clubhouse as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee.

Approve Gewalt-Hamilton, Inc., with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, to provide engineering services for parking lot and site improvements at the golf course.

Approve A.S. Altum, Carmel, IN, with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, to prepare bid documents for a replacement irrigation system at the golf course at a cost not to exceed $5,000.

Authorize the Golf Operations Committee to conduct a neighborhood meeting on behalf of the Board in early June to review the scope and exterior plans for the clubhouse replacement.

Approve the renaming of the Wilmette Golf Course to the Wilmette Golf Club as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee.

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

Financial Planning & Policy – Committee Chair Miller reported that the Committee met prior to the Board meeting.  At that time, the Committee reviewed the financing options for the new golf clubhouse and golf course improvements.  After discussion with Eric Anderson, the financial advisor from Harris Public Finance, it was agreed that the Park District could afford to borrow between $4 to $5 million, which is the approximate difference between the insurance proceeds and the cost of constructing a new clubhouse and completing other proposed golf projects.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Harris Bank Public Finance Division, with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, as Financial Advisor/Underwriter for any debt instrument used to finance the golf course and clubhouse improvement project.

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

MALLINCKRODT BUILDING:

Director Porter reported that contract discussions are ongoing between the Village of Wilmette and Oculus/Pickus.  He noted that as of this time, there is nothing new to report.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2004-O-2, AN ETHICS ORDINANCE GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF UNITS OF GOVERNMENT IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.

Director Porter explained that the State has mandated that this ordinance be adopted by May 19, 2004.  He noted that the model ordinance was drafted by the State Attorney General and amended by Friedman and Holtz to fit the Park District.  After the ordinance is adopted, it is recommended that the President appoint an ethics commission.  Director Porter stated that this can be done at a later date.

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to adjourn to executive session for the purpose of the semi annual review of executive session minutes in accordance with Section 2(c)(21) of the Open Meetings Act.

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

The meeting was adjourned to executive session at 8:50 p.m.

The regular meeting was reconvened at 9:04 p.m.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to release to the public the executive session minutes of March 10, 2003, November 10, 2003, and March 8, 2004.

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 9:05 p.m.

 

MINUTES APPROVED ON JUNE 14, 2004