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 13, 2003
_____________________________________________________________________

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, Phyllis Cossarek, Jim Crowley, David Miller, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter, Treasurer/Business Manager George Kush

 

VISITORS: See attached sheet

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 

Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Joint Meeting of the Park Board and Village Board meeting of December 3, 2002.

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

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of December 9, 2002.

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

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Administration Committee meeting of January 6, 2003.

Commissioner Carlson explained that this meeting was the annual budget workshop wherein the Board acts as the Administration Committee.

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

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

. . . Letter dated January 3, 2003 from City of Highland Park, Department of Community Services inviting a representative of the Wilmette Park District to attend a meeting regarding the Shoreline Erosion Interim IV Project.

Commissioner Carlson was appointed to attend the meeting on behalf of the District.

. . .  Letter dated December 8, 2002 from Carl W. Muhlenbruch, 4071 Fairway Drive outlining the history of efforts to install a traffic signal at Fairway Drive and Lake Avenue.

. . . Letter dated December 9, 2002 from Athena Ames, 4020 Fairway Drive supporting efforts to install a traffic signal at Fairway Drive and Lake Avenue and asking for the support of the Village and Park District in discussions with the County.

. . . Letter dated January 2, 2003 to Commissioner Crowley, Chair of the Golf Operations Committee, from Paul C. Fischer, 443 Highcrest Drive encouraging the Board to revisit the concept of allowing non-residents to participate in the golf lottery.

President Marcus referred the letter to the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee.

. . . Letter dated December 11, 2002 from Phillip E. Couri, Glenview, IL supporting Paul Fischer’s proposal to allow non residents to participate in the golf lottery.

. . . Letter dated December 8, 2002 from Allan Winick, 627 Lavergne regarding the 2002 Golf Report and golf course financial statements.

. . . Letter dated December 22, 2002 from Hugh Gaynor, 530 Lake Ave supporting the recommendation that non residents be allowed to participate in the golf lottery.

. . . Letter dated December 21, 2002 from Ray Pritchard, 4072 Bunker Lane supporting the Paul Fischer proposal that non residents be allowed to participate in the golf lottery.

. . . Letter dated December 20, 2002 from Marty Kohr supporting the Paul Fischer proposal that non residents be allowed to participate in the golf lottery.

. . . E-mail dated December 10, 2002 from Kerry Haskins, 2241 Chestnut objecting to the 2003 golf course fee increases.

It was noted that the foregoing acknowledged correspondence had already been reviewed by the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee at their December 28, 2002 meeting.

. . . Letter dated December 16, 2002 from Patrick McCourt, Loyola Academy Hockey Club expressing appreciation to Ice Manager Terry Juliar and his staff for their excellent work and cooperation on the very successful Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament held at Centennial.

 

President Marcus stated that correspondence regarding the Mallinckrodt issue would be acknowledged during the Mallinckrodt portion of the agenda.

 

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS: President Marcus recognized the following visitors:

Leila Winton, 304 Wilshire Drive West stated that she had attended the October Golf Users and regular Golf Operations Committee meeting at which time, Superintendent Grisamore had stated an interest in reducing the reserved time of the women’s leagues to two days per week.  At that meeting, it was agreed that golf staff would meet with the WGA to determine the amount of time needed per week by each league and to discuss the concept of contraction to two days per week and the ending of all reserved league play around Labor Day.  Ms. Winton stated that Golf Manager Dennis Callaghan had met with the five presidents of the leagues. However, at this time, the leagues have not been contacted or received a schedule for next season’s league play, and time is getting short for the leagues to make their plans for next season’s schedule.

 

Sue Gaynor, 530 Lake Ave. explained that she is president of the WWGA 18 Hole Thursday League.  Ms. Gaynor stated that during the meeting held with Dennis Callaghan, the leagues had been told they had two choices which were to either cut out one league day per week or to agree to start play when the season reserved time lottery starts in April and end when the weekend season reserved time ends on Labor Day weekend.  She noted that the ladies leagues have always played through the month of September.  Ms. Gaynor stated that the presidents were told at the meeting that they had to make a decision that day and they chose to cut their time down to match the lottery time.  However, they have never received a schedule.
Commissioner Crowley responded that it was his understanding that discussion regarding cutting back the league play to two days per week pertains to the 2004 golf season and it was not planned to implement it this year. The WGA’s reserved time play will coincide with the lottery time this year, beginning in April and ending Labor Day.  With regard to other concerns of the ladies leagues, Commissioner Crowley recommended that discussion be held with golf staff as the Board was not prepared to discuss these issues without staff present.

 

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $959,222.23, 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, Cossarek, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, Wolff; voting No -- None.  Motion carried.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Financial Planning & Policy --President Marcus called to order a public hearing regarding the Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance. There were no requests to comment. President Marcus closed the public hearing.

 

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2003-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, 2003 AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2003.

Director Porter noted that the Board met as the Administration Committee on January 6, 2003 to review the consolidated budget.  This document represents the final approved budget which reflects the discussion which was held.

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

 

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2003-O-2, AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUE OF $5,925,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION REFUNDING PARK BONDS, SERIES 2003, OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS.

Financial Advisor Jane Spirgel explained that this ordinance provides for the refunding of the 1994 General Obligation Bonds and the 1994 installment contract related to the acquisition and development of the Community Recreation Center, and provides  for the issuance of approximately $5.9 million in General Obligation Bonds. Ms. Spirgel stated that the last payment for this series of General Obligation Bonds will be consistent with the maturity of the installment contract. She noted that the purpose of this refunding bond issue is to take advantage of the current low interest rates, and to lock in a fixed rate, which will average approximately 2.99%, for the duration of the bond issue. It also eliminates the need for an annual rollover bond issue, which would be subject to issuance fees and variations in interest rates annually.  Overall, the anticipated savings to the District will be approximately $310,000 over the life of the issue.

Ms. Spirgel reported that Moody’s Investor Service has once again upgraded the Park District’s rating.  It is now Aa3, which is among the highest ratings for an Illinois park district.  In their latest report, Moody’s expressed approval of the District’s financial stability, citing the progress made in establishing permanent fund balances, and the elimination of the rollover bond issue to repay the Community Recreation Center installment contract.  Ms. Spirgel congratulated the Park District on these financial accomplishments.

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

 

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2003-O-3, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE EXECUTION OF AN ESCROW AGREEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE REFUNDING OF OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS.

Mr. Eric Anderson, Vice President of Harris Bank, explained that this ordinance establishes  an escrow account for the proceeds of the bond issue, which will be invested in U.S. Treasury Securities. The escrow account will be held by the LaSalle National Bank as Trustee until the 1994 General Obligation Bonds and Installment Purchase Contracts can be redeemed and paid in full.

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

 

Golf/Restaurant Operations --  Committee Chair Crowley reported that the Committee met on December 28th.  At that time there was a great deal of discussion regarding the increase in Unlimited Play golf fees. After hearing from several residents and reviewing correspondence, the Committee agreed to recommend a reduction of $100.00 from the previously approved increases for the resident and non-resident unlimited play fees.  It was also agreed that if the decrease in the proposed fees was approved by the Board, there would be a 70 round cap placed on the number of rounds allowed during the period of May 1st or the beginning of lottery times, through October 15th.  The Committee also agreed that rounds played in early April and after October 15th will not count as part of the 70 round limit.  Rounds played over the 70 round limit will be charged at the member rate.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to approve the fiscal year 2003 golf fees as amended.

President Marcus thanked Tom Bonnie and Tom Kelly for their input on this issue and working with the Committee to arrive at an acceptable economic solution for both the Park District and golf course patrons.  He also complimented and thanked the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee for the time and effort they had put into this issue.

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

Commissioner Crowley reported that there was also discussion regarding allowing former residents who are golf course members to participate in the golf lottery, which was recommended in a letter from Paul Fischer and supported by several other golfers.  It was noted that going back to 1985, comments heard from residents were always strongly in support of preference being given to residents for access to the golf course.  Once a person moves out of Wilmette, their contribution via property taxes for the Park District and its facility operations no longer exists.  Commissioner Crowley stated that although the Park Board is grateful to former residents for their continued support, it is felt that access to the facility should remain under the current system.
Commissioner Crowley further reported that at the meeting, Golf Course Superintendent Matchen reported on winter work underway at the course.  Trees are being trimmed, all small equipment has been serviced, tee/green/deck mowers are being serviced and painted, and the shop area is being cleaned. Also, Superintendent Grisamore referred to the letter received from Carl Muhlenbruch regarding a traffic signal at the intersection of Lake and Fairway Drive,  and reported on a meeting held with the Village of Wilmette on December 27th regarding the Lake Avenue/Fairway Drive intersection.  Staff will be trained to take traffic counts using Village supplied equipment in the hope of meeting county requirements which will lead to a traffic light at that intersection.
 
MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY: President Marcus acknowledged the following correspondence:

. . . Letter dated December 23, 2002 from Brent Manning, Director, Illinois Department of Natural Resources advising of a grant award for the development of park land at Mallinckrodt in the amount of $2 million.

President Marcus thanked State Senator Schoenberg and State Representative Coulson for their support of the Mallinckrodt project and help in obtaining this grant.  President Marcus also thanked Commissioner Miller, Director Porter, the Department Heads, and Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue for all their extra efforts on this project.

. . . Copy of letter dated December 17, 2002 from Charlene Holtz, Friedman & Holtz to Darryl R. Davidson, Ross & Hardies advising of an Attorney General’s Opinion regarding a referendum.  Attorney Holtz responded to Mr. Davidson that this opinion had no relevance to the Mallinckrodt issue.

. . . Copy of letter dated December 10, 2002 to Village Manager Michael Earl from Harold D. Rider, President, Harold D. Rider & Associates requesting the opportunity to re-submit an amended proposal for Mallinckrodt.

President Marcus noted that Mr. Rider had been granted the opportunity to submit the amended proposal.

. . . Letter dated December 6, 2002 from Bernice Friedman objecting to the Park District’s acquisition of the Mallinckrodt property.

. . . Letter dated December 12, 2002 from Sharon Wallin, 1715 Walnut Ave. supporting the re-use of the Mallinckrodt building for affordable housing for seniors and others.

. . . E-mail dated December 17, 2002 from Gail Schecter, 2233 Lake Ave. regarding the possibility of Kendall College moving into the Mallinckrodt building through the Linden Realty proposal, noting financial problems of Kendall College, and expressing support for affordable senior housing in the building.

. . . E-mail dated December 15, 2002 from Stuart Sondheimer, 2035 Hollywood Court objecting to any high density usage of the Mallinckrodt property.

. . . E-mail dated December 12, 2002 from William Gram urging the Board not to sell the Mallinckrodt property to private developers.

. . . E-mail dated December 13, 2002 from Rux Currin, 2245 Birchwood expressing concerns about the use of the Mallinckrodt Building for affordable or multi-family housing.

. . . E-mail dated January 3, 2003 from Karen Dexter Rolison thanking the Park Board and Village Board for their work on the Mallinckrodt property and supporting retaining the building for re-use.

. . . E-mail dated December 30, 2002 from Mary Beth Kovacic, 2041 Chestnut expressing concerns that the Mallinckrodt property will be too densely populated.

. . . E-mail dated January 6, 2003 from Liza Madden expressing strong preference for the Linden Realty Proposal for the re-use of the Mallinckrodt Building.

 

President Marcus recognized the following visitors:

Karen Currin, 2245 Beechwood asked at what point is the Park District in the process   of discussions regarding the use of the Mallinckrodt Building.  She stated that she was also interested in learning the Board’s position on the use of the Mallinckrodt property in perpetuity, and she would like to know if the building is used for senior and/or affordable housing, will Wilmette residents be given preferred status and what would be the procedure.  Ms. Currin added that less than ten percent of the population in Wilmette would qualify for low income senior housing.

President Marcus noted that he would be reading a press release shortly regarding the status of the Mallinckrodt project , which should answer some of Ms. Currin’s questions.

 

Jane Bentham, 1701 Highland thanked the Board for all their work in attempting to retain the Mallinckrodt Building.  She feels that the building gives the park privacy and keeps a lot of outside noise out of the area.  She also feels that it is important to keep the chapel because of its beauty and its excellent acoustics.  All in all, Ms. Bentham  feels that the Mallinckrodt property, including the building, is a wonderful asset to Wilmette and has much historical value for the Village.  She requested that when considering the redevelopment of the property and the building, serious consideration be given to the impact of vehicular traffic in the neighborhood.  Ms. Bentham noted that there are 12 standards which must be followed to qualify as a historical rehabilitation project.  She gave Director Porter a document regarding this issue.  Director Porter stated that he would distribute copies to all Board members.

 

President Marcus thanked Ms. Currin and Ms. Bentham for addressing the Board.  He then read a news release dated January 13, 2003 which stated that “the Village of Wilmette and the Wilmette Park District have determined that five of the proposals submitted for the adaptive reuse of the Mallinckrodt College Building might be acceptable to the Village, Park District, and the community.  The developers who submitted these proposals will be invited for a second round of interviews.  All five of the proposals feature senior housing.   They include one market rate condominium proposal submitted by Oculus Development, LLC/The Pickus Companies; one market rate rental proposal submitted by Active Living of Wilmette, LLC; two affordable rental proposals submitted separately by LR Development Company, LLC and Senior Lifestyle Corporation; and one assisted living proposal submitted by Mallinckrodt Limited Partnership/Associated Ventures LLC, an affiliate of Pathway Senior Living.”

President Marcus noted that there had been a total of thirteen developers who submitted proposals and that ten developers had been interviewed by a team from the Village and the Park District.   The same team will conduct a second round of interviews with the five developers who will be called back.  He assured Ms. Currin that as the process continues, more information will be available to the public and there will be discussions in open session at Board meetings.  He noted that the Village and the Park District have been working very cooperatively on this matter and he feels that  basically, both boards are “on the same page” with regard to the future of the Mallinckrodt Building, and whatever determination is made for the future of the building will be in the best interests of the citizens of Wilmette.  In answer to one of Ms. Currin’s questions, President Marcus assured her that both the Village and the Park District are committed to making sure that there is a permanent, long term use for the property and the building.

 

Commissioner Carlson stated that she applauds the interview teams of both the Park District and the Village for how well they have worked together.  She feels that this is truly intergovernmental cooperation at its best.

 

Commissioner Cohen stated that she would like to reiterate her comments from the last Board meeting when she stated that it is important that there be a long term commitment on the part of the developer and that the use of the chapel, the issue of ingress and egress to the area, protection of the historical value of the building, and parking are all of great concern and must be top priorities in choosing a developer.  Also,  it is important when evaluating the proposals to take into consideration whatever development will have the least impact on density in the community.

 

President Marcus noted that both interview teams had registered the same concerns expressed by Commissioner Cohen and these issues are of great significance in evaluating the proposals.

 

Director Porter pointed out that any developer will have to go through the zoning process, which will also address the issues of density, long term commitment, traffic, parking, etc.

 

President Marcus noted that it will be necessary for the interview teams to have a financial consultant to assist in evaluating the financial viability of the developers and their projects.  He stated that it had been planned to appoint a financial consultant at tonight’s meeting.  However, at this time, no recommendation is available.

Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to table a motion  to appoint a financial consultant for the Mallinckrodt Project.

By a voice vote, voting Yes – All.; voting No -- None.  Motion carried.

 

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that due to a problem with a ruptured water main, over 1,200 homes in the Evanston/Wilmette area have been without natural gas for several days.  In Wilmette, approximately 200 homes have been affected.  Nicor has been working 24 hours a day to restore service, but it is a tedious process.  When the break occurred last Friday, the Community Recreation Center was offered as a temporary shelter for Friday and Saturday nights.  Staff agreed to stay all night, however, nobody took advantage of the offer.  The Park District met with representatives of Nicor and the Fire Chief and the Park District agreed to allow Nicor to use Lakeview Center as its headquarters while working on restoring natural gas to all the affected homes. 

Director Porter further reported that Parks crew is currently working on building outdoor ice at Gillson Park and West Park.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

President Marcus noted that the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association Board would very much like to increase awareness to the member park district boards.  John McGovern, Executive Director of NSSRA, has recommended the establishment of a Board liaison to NSSRA.  This individual would be a member of the Park District Board and would receive a copy of the NSSRA Board Meeting packet and also would be invited to attend the annual meeting with Director Porter, who is the NSSRA Board member.  President Marcus recommended that the Board designate the Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee to serve as the Board liaison since NSSRA activities are most appropriately within the scope of the Parks and Recreation Committee’s responsibilities.  President Marcus noted that Vice President Wolff is currently Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee and asked that he serve as the Board NSSRA Liaison at this time.  Commissioner Wolff agreed to serve as NSSRA liaison during his term as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:54 p.m.

 

      Minutes approved February 10, 2003