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, JANUARY 12, 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: Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of December 8, 2003.

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 2, 2004 from Lawrence Raffel commending Gymnastics Supervisor Jim Scully for his immediate and outstanding personal response to Mr. Raffel’s daughter’s accident at a gymnastics party. He stated that he appreciated the way Park District staff handled the incident.

Director Porter reported that he had received a letter from the Loyola Academy Hockey Club commending Ice staff for their work on the Thanksgiving Tournament.

President Wolff noted that this tournament ran very smoothly and presented no problems with parking issues, behavior, etc.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $898,210.51, 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:

Golf/Restaurant Operations - Committee Chair Crowley reported that the Committee will be meeting on February 28. At that time, staff will bring some preliminary concepts of the clubhouse for the Committee to review.

Financial Planning & Policy - Committee Chair Miller reported that the Board, acting as the Administration Committee, had just completed the annual budget workshop and the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance is recommended for adoption.

President Wolff called to order a public hearing regarding Ordinance 2004-O-1, the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance.

There were no requests to address the Board.

President Wolff closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2004-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, 2004 ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2004.

Commissioner Carlson noted that all capital improvements originally scheduled for 2004 have been deferred until 2005. In response to an inquiry by President Wolff, Director Porter stated that among items deferred are several equipment purchases, rooftop work at Centennial, the purchase of new golf cars, bleacher seating at Centennial Ice, and the resurfacing of the tennis courts at Vattmann Park. There will be a $250,000 emergency reserve fund for unexpected major replacements or repairs.

Commissioner Cohen asked if the Park District has ever experienced such a large scale budget deferral in the past.

Director Porter responded that this is the first time in his knowledge that the Park District has deferred all capital expenditures. He noted that this is the one way the budget can be balanced and also kept slightly below the two percent tax cap. He stated that if the District can hold the line this year and not spend the $250,000 in the reserve fund, the District will be in better financial condition in 2005. He added that the community will receive the same quality services as always.

Commissioner Cohen commended the Board and staff for their fiscal responsibility.

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

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

Director Porter reported that Gewalt Hamilton, the Park District’s engineering consultant, has done a preliminary engineering and survey analysis regarding the potential conveyance of the Mallinckrodt building and some property to the Village of Wilmette to allow for the adaptive re-use of the Mallinckrodt building. The report notes that drainage issues can be resolved, and the District will be able to sell less than three acres of the property, which would consist of the 1.8 acres containing the building and approximately 1.1 acres of underground space. Director Porter noted that additional engineering services will be required as the project progresses.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the appointment of Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., Vernon Hills, IL, 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 the Mallinckrodt property.

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

Commissioner Marcus asked Director Porter to report on the status of the Mallinckrodt negotiations. Director Porter explained that the Gewalt-Hamilton report, which provides the key element for the sale of the building, has been given to the Village and they are working with their attorney on drafting an agreement with Oculus-Pickus. He noted that the four criteria which the Park District stated must be met in order to sell the building, namely: 1) Compatibility with the neighborhood; 2) Compatibility with the park land; 3) Purchase price; and 4) Park District use of portions of the building, have all been met. Director Porter added that it was originally hoped that the chapel could be used for public space. However, as it turns out, the developer needs the space for condominiums in order to make this a viable project for them. Also, since the chapel is located in the middle of the building, there are some concerns regarding access by non-residents of the building. Therefore, Oculus-Pickus has proposed that they build out the ground floor of the south wing of the building adjacent to the parking lot as a senior center for the Park District. Director Porter stated that the proposed area provides a better space for the Park District as the entrance would be closer to the parking lot and also would provide separate access for Park District patrons. In addition, this space can be subdivided to meet Park District needs. The cost of this construction will be paid by Oculus-Pickus.

Commissioner Marcus noted that this would also eliminate any separation of church and state issues that might arise.

Commissioner O’Malley stated some concerns about the loss of the chapel to the Park District. He said he is looking forward to seeing the final proposal for the project.

President Wolff explained that the Park District would not be more involved in the details of the building use. There will be no formal vote of the Board at this time. At this point, the negotiating team is looking for a consensus of the Board.

Commissioner Carlson stated that it would have been nice to save the chapel, but the important thing to remember is that the entire building could have been demolished. There will be a nice, accessible space in the building for Park District programming, and this is probably the most workable solution for all parties involved.

Commissioner Cohen stated that she is somewhat troubled by the proposed loss of the chapel. However, she understands that it is probably necessary to use that space for condominiums to maintain the affordability concept of the project.

Commissioner Miller noted that the primary goal of this project has been to save the building. It would have been nice to save the chapel, but it is understandable that the developers not only need the space, but would prefer a plan for outside groups to have access through a separate entrance.

Commissioner Crowley stated that he is in favor of the project as presented. He feels that using the south wing for a community center is an excellent proposal. It potentially gives the Park District a new facility for the senior center and keeps the main entrance of the building for unit owners access.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2004-R-1, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL FOR 2002 (BY SBC, FORMERLY KNOWN AS AMERITECH).

Director Porter explained that the Park District participates in an intergovernmental cooperative with the Village of Wilmette, New Trier High School District 203, School District 37, and School District 39 in challenging the assessment appeals of certain Wilmette property owners. He noted that each governmental unit will pay a proportionate share of the legal expense. Director Porter added that property tax assessment appeals are challenged only if the owner is requesting lowering of the assessment in excess of $100,000.

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

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2004-R-2, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL FOR 2002 (BY DENIS AND DIANE FIELD, FORMERLY KNOWN AS BURZYCH).

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

Director Porter pointed out that both of these interventions are for 2002 tax assessment appeals and both taxpayers have appealed in the past. These resolutions represent a new tax year and a change in name of both owners.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

 

Minutes approved on February 9, 2004