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, SEPTEMBER 8, 2003

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

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

ABSENT: Commissioner David Miller

VISITORS: Leila and Stan Winton, Tom Bonnie, Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of August 11, 2003.

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

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

. . . Letter and drawing dated September 4, 2003 from Tom Bonnie, 411 Vista offering a number of suggestions for the configuration of a new clubhouse.

. . . E-mail dated August 31, 2003 along with article from Tom Bonnie, 411 Vista regarding the use of solar energy at a new clubhouse.

. . . Letter dated August 12, 2003 from Bob & Loretta Auchinleck, 2630 Blackhawk Road recommending that the restaurant operation at the golf course resume along the previous lines with Friday Dinner and Sunday Brunch being offered.

. . . Letter dated August 18, 2003 from William P. Stewart, 1624 Washington requesting that the Terrace Restaurant be replaced with a similar facility with a similar mission.

. . . Letter dated August 14, 2003 from June Pritchard, 4072 Bunker Lane stating that there is no need for a restaurant facility at the golf course.

. . . Letter dated August 20, 2003 from Michael P. Harrington, 930 Pontiac Road encouraging the Park Board and staff to visit a number of newer clubhouses at area golf courses prior to making any plans for a new clubhouse.

President Marcus noted that visits to area clubhouses are planned as part of the process.

. . . E-mail dated August 20, 2003 from John Coghlan with a number of suggestions and recommendations for the configuration and amenities of a new clubhouse and the golf course.

. . . Letter dated August 21, 2003 from David Kritzler, Chair, Ouilmette Men’s Club Advisory Committee Re: Reconstruction of Clubhouse naming the committee members and offering a number of suggestions for the new clubhouse and recommendations on how to proceed with the process.

. . . Letter dated August 11, 2003 from Frank J. Charhut, Northfield, IL offering suggestions on how to rebuild the clubhouse.

. . . E-mail dated August 23, 2003 from Romayne Fargo, 2606 Marian Lane regarding the rebuilding of the restaurant at the golf course, and expressing concerns about making a left turn on to Lake Avenue from Fairway Drive.

. . . Letter dated August 26, 2003 from Thomas G. A. Herz, Jr. recommending that the restaurant facility be re-built as it adds an enhancement to the golf course, and that the Park District consult with restaurant management groups.

President Marcus thanked all those who wrote for taking the time to share their thoughts and suggestions. He assured them that the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee and the Park Board review all correspondence that is received and will take all recommendations and ideas into consideration.

. . . E-mail dated September 5, 2003 from Sue Lies expressing disappointment that the 18-hole women’s leagues were not allowed to continue into September of this season. She requested that the leagues play be extended through September next golf season.

President Marcus noted that the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee will discuss this issue as part of their year-end review.

. . . Letter dated September 5, 2003 from Nancy Canafax, President, Village of Wilmette regarding a request from New Trier Township to be included in the semi annual Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee meetings.

President Marcus stated that the next IGCC meeting is scheduled for November 6, 2003.

. . . Legislative Update from the Illinois Association of Park Districts regarding the Governor’s veto of Park District and Forest Preserve Initiatives.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Marcus recognized Tom Bonnie, 411 Vista Lane.

Mr. Bonnie stated that he wished to address the Board on the issue of the recent "experiment" at the golf course, wherein golfers are now beginning play on the 10th tee. He noted that there are several reasons why this approach has not worked out, citing some safety hazards for golfers, such as at the 14th green and the 6th tee due to traffic problems in these areas. Mr. Bonnie also pointed out that since the putting green is close to the first tee, it is not convenient for golfers to warm up and practice putting prior to teeing off. In his opinion, this format has failed and he requested that golfers once again start play at the 1st tee.

President Marcus reminded Mr. Bonnie that this is a temporary situation at the golf course and that there are still many issues that have to be worked out as a result of the recent fire. It is the Park District’s goal to develop a golf course for everyone’s benefit. However, It still has to be determined exactly where a new clubhouse will be and that will play a big part in the configuration of the golf course.

Mr. Bonnie added that he wished to address the issue of solar energy use at any new clubhouse facility at the golf course. He noted that he had been impressed with the article regarding the use of solar energy which he had forwarded to Director Porter. Mr. Bonne stated that if a new clubhouse is positioned to put solar panels on the west and south sides of the building, a significant amount of solar power could be generated, which would be a very efficient energy source. He recommended that this option be considered in any plans for a new clubhouse.

President Marcus thanked Mr. Bonnie for his suggestions and stated that his input is always appreciated.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,322,557.80, 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, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent - Commissioner Miller. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Parks and Recreation - Committee Chair Carlson noted that three bid approvals were included on the agenda.

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the bid of NuToys Leisure Products, LaGrange, IL in the amount of $43,484.00 to supply playground equipment and a gazebo for West Park as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Director Porter explained that as part of an August, 2001 intergovernmental agreement between the Village of Wilmette, the Wilmette Park District, and the Village of Glenview, installation of a water main through West Park was authorized. This necessitated the removal of the existing playground equipment. The agreement called for the Village of Glenview to reimburse the Park District for the replacement of the playground. equipment.

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

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the bid of Pederson Construction, Inc., Deerfield, IL to provide excavation, drainage, concrete work, a wood fiber surface, and to install all play equipment and gazebo at West Park.

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

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the bid of J & W Turf, Inc. to supply a John Deere Aercore 2000 Aerator.

Commissioner Carlson noted that this piece of equipment will be used at Mallinckrodt and other park locations to keep the grounds aerified and healthy.

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

Golf/Restaurant Operations - Committee Chair Crowley reported that the Committee held a special meeting immediately prior to the Board meeting. He stated that originally the Committee planned to discuss the public input and information which has been received regarding the clubhouse, and wanted to begin to formulate a recommendation for the Board. However the negotiations with the insurance carrier are progressing slower than hoped and at this time, the Committee is still unable to enter into discussions about the project because there is no indication as yet as to how much reimbursement will be received from the insurance company.

Commissioner Crowley further reported that the Committee discussed how the Village will interpret and enforce the building codes with regard to a new clubhouse. Director Porter noted that significant upgrades are required for both halves of the building and how much the Park District receives in the insurance settlement may depend on the Village’s interpretation. He stated that staff will be meeting with the Village on September 16th to discuss code interpretations.

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to appoint Friedman and Holtz, P.C., and as co-counsel Jack Leyhane, Esq. for legal consultation regarding the golf course clubhouse insurance reimbursement

Commissioner Cohen noted that Mr. Leyhane, who works with the Park District’s counsel, specializes in insurance claims.

President Marcus added that he has met with Mr. Leyhane and he is very confident that he will provide a valuable and productive service for the Park District in settling this claim.

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to enter into negotiations with W. B. Olson, Inc., with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, for construction manager advisor services for the golf course clubhouse project.

Commissioner Carlson explained that W. B. Olson, which provides construction advisor management services, has a long standing relationship with the Park District, and staff has been very happy with their work. W. B. Olson was the construction manager advisor for the Community Recreation Center and the Centennial Pool/Lobby construction projects. She noted that Olson has been working with the Park District on the negotiations with the insurance adjuster with respect to the clubhouse replacement.

Director Porter added that the construction manager advisor provides value engineering and is very helpful to the architect. He noted that using a construction manager advisor also is very helpful in formulating the bid packages and evaluating the bids that are received. Rather than using a general contractor, who hires sub-contractors, the various components of the project, such as plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, carpentry, etc. are bid separately, which offers the opportunity to take the lowest bid for each component.

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

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to enter into negotiations with Williams Associates Architects, with which firm the Park District has had a prior satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, to provide architectural services for the golf course clubhouse project.

Commissioner Crowley noted that Williams Associates has worked with the Park District on two major projects - the renovation of the CRC and the construction of the aquatic facility, both of which are excellent facilities. He added that Williams has also designed several golf course clubhouses.

Commissioner Crowley further stated that the Board will continue to seek input from golfers, residents, and golf course neighbors regarding what type of facility and amenities would be desired by the community. It is also planned to look at other clubhouses in the area to seek ideas for a facility.

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

Financial Planning and Policy -- Committee Chair Wolff reported that the Financial Planning & Policy Committee met on August 25th. At that time, the Committee reviewed the six month financial status of the District. Commissioner Wolff stated that 2003 is proving to be an extremely difficult year financially due to a decline in fitness membership, less demand for ice time, seasonal operations at the pool and the lakefront being severely impacted by poor weather, and the golf operation having to deal with poor spring weather, the clubhouse fire in July, and general soft economic conditions for the golf industry. Commissioner Wolff noted that the Committee and staff had discussed ways of improving revenue, such as more aggressive marketing of the fitness center and golf course as well as different policies regarding the sale and return of unused ice time and charging local organizations for field usage.

Business Manager George Kush explained that staff had anticipated a budget shortfall as early as May and took steps to minimize and offset the losses by directing staff to closely monitor their facility expenditures and labor costs. He noted that several measures have already been initiated, such as reductions in part time staff, especially at the pool and lakefront. In addition, capital items which were budgeted, but were not essential to the operation of the District, have been postponed. Commissioner Wolff noted that approximately $600,000 in budgeted capital expenditures have been deferred.

Commissioner Carlson added that the District’s yearly program of rehabilitating tennis courts at one park site and replacing tot lot equipment at one park site may have to be deferred for a year as the District tries to balance the budget.

 

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

President Marcus reported that Park District senior staff met with the Village’s staff and the prospective developer of the Mallinckrodt building, Oculus/Pickus. He stated that the Village is extremely satisfied with the responses they received from Oculus/Pickus and at this point, the Park District’s negotiating team is planning on scheduling a meeting with the developer to discuss parking lot issues and the retention of a portion of the building for community use. President Marcus noted that the Village is not involved in these issues, and the Park District plans on negotiating directly with the developer concerning these matters.

Director Porter reported that with respect to the Open Lands Trust Grant, work is proceeding. He explained that as part of the grant application, the Park District was required to do a Comprehensive Environmental Review Process, the purpose of which was to identify any cultural resources on the grant site. The District received notification from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency that two stone grottos on the property contribute to the historic landscape and in order to receive the grant, the grottos must remain on the Mallinckrodt property. Both of these grottos are in heavily wooded areas of the property, and future redevelopment plans can be completed keeping them intact. Director Porter recommended that the Board approve retention of the grottos contingent on receipt of the $2 million grant. He noted that he had received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources indicating the possibility that due to budget concerns, the $2 million grant may not be forthcoming. Director Porter stated that if the grant is not received, the Park District is under no obligation to retain the grottos.

In response to a question from Commissioner Carlson, Director Porter stated that there is no religious significance to these grottos as they do not include any religious statues or icons.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to retain two stone grottos on the Mallinckrodt property as required by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to qualify for the Open Lands Trust Grant contingent upon the receipt of the $2 million grant.

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

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter stated that he was pleased to report that even though there were some economic problems at the lakefront and the pool this summer due to poor weather, the good news is that there were no major injuries, accidents or storm damage this season. He noted that the camp programs were very successful and the poor weather did not have any impact on the summer camps. For the most part, the evaluations have been coming in with excellent reviews of the programs and staff.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2003-O-6, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SALE BY PUBLIC AUCTION OF THE NORTHWEST MUNICIPAL CONFERENCE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT.

Director Porter explained that the District has had good results in selling pieces of Park District equipment which have been declared surplus property at the Northwest Municipal Conference.

Commissioner O’Malley inquired about this organization.

Director Porter responded that the Northwest Municipal Conference is a consortium of a number of municipalities which holds an annual auction to buy and sell used equipment.

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

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

 

Minutes approved on October 13, 2003