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 9, 2004

 

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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: Leila Winton, Nell Cunningham (Marie Murphy Jr. High), Jane Jacobson Brown (League of Women Voters), Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht, Student Government Participants

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Administration Committee Meeting of January 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 Marcus seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the January 12, 2004 Regular Board Meeting.

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:

. . . E-mail dated February 1, 2004 from Olga Domchenko, 2034 Elmwood urging the Board to save the chapel at Mallinckrodt.

. . . E-mail dated February 4, 2004 from Peg Randall, 834 17th Street stating that the chapel in the Mallinckrodt building is a badly needed resource for the community.

President Wolff referred both e-mails to the Mallinckrodt negotiating team.

. . . Letter dated January 27, 2004 from Ted Flickinger, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Park Districts regarding the IAPD’s role in working with Illinois park districts.

Commissioner Cohen reported that Leila Winton had inquired whether heaters could be installed at the tennis courts during the cold weather. She stated that she referred Ms. Winton’s request to staff.

Commissioner Marcus reported that he was contacted by residents who suggested that the Park District put an indoor soccer field at Mallinckrodt. He recommended that they participate in the public hearings regarding development of the open land at Mallinckrodt when they are held.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Wolff noted that this is the kickoff of the 2004 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 one of the goals of the League of Women Voters is to encourage community participation in government at all levels. She stated that this program has been very successful in giving students the opportunity to learn about how their local governments operate. 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 stated that she looks forward to seeing everyone at the Student Government Program Breakfast.

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 Avoca School District #37 Marie Murphy Junior High School. He noted that this program has evolved over the years to a full fledged academic program for the students who participate. He also noted that several of the student projects have actually come to fruition, notably the aquatic park at Centennial. He also recognized the special efforts of Nell Cunningham in contributing to the success of the program.

Ms. Cunningham thanked the League of Women Voters for sponsoring this excellent program and the Park District 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 2004 Student Government Program participants representing the Park District.

Elected Officials:

Board President Evan Butler; Commissioner Yusef Seymens; Board Vice President Anum Qadri; Commissioner Justin Mozer; Commissioner Marta Lazic; Commissioner Felice Resnik; Commissioner Sarah Johnson

Appointed Officials:

Director of Parks and Recreation Chuck Rose; Superintendent of Leisure Services Natalie Wolosozicz; Business Manager Jessica Heyworth; Superintendent of Parks & Panning Lydia Lindenberg; Golf Manager Steven Resnik; Community Center Director Lisa Hahn; Lakefront Director Ellen French; Ice/Pool Manager Tracy Stewart

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

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $981,221.00, 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 Carlson reported that the Committee did not meet in January. A meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 16th at 6:15 p.m.

Golf/Restaurant Operations - Committee Chair Crowley reported that the next committee meeting is scheduled for February 28th at 8:30 a.m. at the golf course. He noted that the March meeting is scheduled during the week of spring break and recommended that the meeting be rescheduled. It was agreed to hold the March meeting on March 20th, which is a week prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.

Commissioner Crowley asked Director Porter to report on the status of the clubhouse. Director Porter stated that copies of schematic plans and preliminary estimates for repairs to the golf clubhouse have been received. He noted that Superintendent Lambrecht had gone through the information provided and identified a number of items which were not included in the architect’s estimates. Director Porter also explained that the first estimate from the adjuster omitted a number of areas in the pricing. In addition, cost estimates for required code upgrades have not yet been submitted, but it has been promised that they will be forthcoming soon. At that time, the Park District will be in a position to begin final negotiations for a settlement price. Director Porter stated that once a price is agreed upon, the District will have the option of repairing what is left, or using the insurance proceeds towards constructing a new clubhouse. He pointed out that the insurance carrier’s responsibility is to provide sufficient funds to replace what was lost and to provide for mandated code upgrades. Director Porter stated that at this time, no decisions have been made as to whether to repair or replace the clubhouse. In the meantime, however, staff is working with Williams Associates Architects to identify critical elements for a repaired or replacement clubhouse, and also to establish square foot requirements for the critical elements.

During discussion, Director Porter indicated that staff hopes to have a clubhouse in place for the 2005 golf season. He stated that staff had done an outstanding job in getting the golf course up and running almost immediately after the devastating fire in July and kept it operating very well through the rest of the season. However, since the permanent clubhouse will not be available for 2004, staff is looking at providing better amenities for the golfers such as a trailer for food service and some type of locker room facilities.

Centennial Operations - Committee Chair Cohen reported that the Committee met prior to tonight’s meeting. She will have a report at the March Board meeting.

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

President Wolff asked negotiating team member David Miller to update the Board on the status of the sale of the Mallinckrodt building. Commissioner Miller explained that the process began over a year ago when 13 developers submitted proposals to the Park District and the Village, ten of which were for the adaptive re-use of the building ranging from market rate apartments, assisted living facilities, condominiums for seniors, condominiums for all age groups, and a community center for the arts. Three proposals seeking demolition of the existing structure or additional construction were immediately rejected. The Village’s Housing Commission stated the need for more senior housing, preferably condominiums, in the Village and recommended that the building be used for that purpose. After public hearings, extensive discussion and community input, three finalists were chosen for consideration by the Park District and the Village, and it was determined that the Oculus-Pickus proposal for senior citizen condominium units to be sold at a mix of market and affordable rates was the most viable plan. The proposal basically maintains the facade of the building and qualifies for a historical façade easement which meets the Village’s criteria. The proposal also meets the Park District’s criteria of compatibility with the neighborhood and the park land, purchase price, and offering space for community use.

Commissioner Miller noted that Oculus-Pickus responded to community requests and considered the possibility of giving the chapel back to the Park District for public use. However, based on studies and evaluations done by both the developer and the Park District, it is felt that the chapel is not the best fit for Park District use. There would be security issues as people would have to go through the center of the building to get to the area. Other concerns are that there are religious symbols in the chapel which could not be eliminated, and the configuration of the chapel would limit programming opportunities. Oculus-Pickus also determined that use of the chapel area for condominiums is necessary for them to configure the building in a way that would afford the best use of the space to make it financially worthwhile for them to proceed with the project. If the Park District kept the chapel space for programming, the purchase price of the building would have to be significantly reduced. Commissioner Miller stated that for all these reasons, the Park District has agreed that it is not feasible to retain the chapel for Park District use. Therefore, the developer proposes to build out space on the lower level, which is directly adjacent to the parking lot, for Park District use.

Director Porter noted that the space the developer has agreed to provide to the Park District offers much more flexibility with regard to the District’s uses. He pointed out that the proposal also leaves the Park District with a total of 15 acres out of the original 17 acres purchased to be used for park land since the building sits on slightly less than two acres of land. He further noted that the Park District will receive between $3 to 4 million for the building through the sale to the developer, a $2 million State of Illinois Open Lands Trust Grant, and there will be a savings of approximately $2 million in demolition expenses. In addition, the building will go on the tax rolls for the first time, which would result in between $300,000 to $400,000 in additional real estate tax proceeds per year, seven percent of which will be received by the Park District.

During discussion, Commissioner Miller explained that the Village is in the process of preparing a sale contract, and Oculus-Pickus will then have to begin the zoning process. It was pointed out that the taxable debt certificates come due in early 2005, and there will have to be a decision made by late fall of this year regarding the reissuance or conversion of these debt certificates to general obligation debt if a sale is not completed. Commissioner Marcus, who serves on the negotiating team, assured the Board that any contract with Oculus-Pickus will be reviewed by the entire Board and if any changes are requested, the negotiating team will undertake further discussion with the Village and the developer.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

 

 

Minutes approved March 8, 2004