WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING

Date: July 19, 2010    Place: Park District Conference Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance: 
Commissioners: Brault, Crowley, Murdock
Staff: Grisamore, Lambrecht, Bingham, Groves, Specht, Bowen, Wilson
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Managers Reports
5) Old Business
6) New Business
7) Adjourn

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The meeting was called to order at 6:15 pm.

2) The Committee approved the minutes of July 19, 2010 by general consent.

3) Under Communications and Correspondence, the Committee reviewed a permit request from Coldwell Banker for Thursday, August 19 from 4 to 7 pm to hold a company picnic with 150-200 people at in the shelter at Gillson Park. After discussion, the Committee agreed to allow the permit as long as those cars without parking permits pay for parking and that Coldwell Banker pay for use of the shelter.

The Committee reviewed a request from the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette to hold a service for about 150 people in Wallace Bowl on Sunday, September 12. In addition, they asked to use the concession patio at Lakeview Center for a family picnic after the service. Staff recommended the permit be granted only if the event was moved back a week or two in September or if it ends at noon. Last year the event was held at the same time and there were parking conflicts since the weather was the nicest of the whole summer on that day. After discussion the Committee concurred with staff’s recommendation.

4) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported that to date 26,271 swipes or daily admissions have been processed at Gillson Beach and 2,470 at Langdon Beach and that staff seem to be getting more adept at operating the hand-held scanners. Staff has been working on isolating the use of these hand-held devices for scanning purposes only. At this time a total of 446 boats are stored at the Sailing Beach with kayaks being one of the largest growing classes. Staff is still selling spaces as of today’s date. The morning sessions of Aquatics Camp are going well but the late afternoon session is not as popular. Commissioner Brault asked what the campers do on inclement weather days. Holly Specht replied that if the water is rough, they participate in beach activities and if It is raining they go inside Lakeview Center to play board games or work on arts and crafts projects. So far, staff has not had to do any inside programs this year.

Boat rentals have done very well so far this year. The Getaway boats are being used a lot and staff will begin to start replacing the fleet. These boats are used for rentals, lessons and camp programs and are out in the lake six to seven hours a day. The lesson program was greatly enhanced by the Sailing staff going through the US Sailing training program. Commissioner Crowley asked about the use of the overlook area. Staff replied the actual beach area is smaller this year but swimming in the water at the south end is still an issue. The police have been more active at the park this year but they have concentrated on citations for and confiscation of alcohol in the park. The Committee inquired about the success of the beach expansion that was done in 2009. Staff replied that it has allowed the camps to be separate from the public during the week and it has provided the public with more beach area to use on the weekends. Commissioner Murdock suggested that the Committee review the further expansion of the swimming beach. Staff is to review the situation and come back with a recommendation.

Jeff Groves reported that summer camps are in their sixth week and that efforts are being made to keep staff motivated and hydrated. Many of the camps are located where there is no air conditioning. This coming weekend is the last weekend for The Sound of Music and attendance has been very good. Fall soccer registration currently stands at 1,330 and the season begins the last weekend of August. Traditionally there are a number of late registrations which makes organizing the teams difficult. For the last couple of years there have been between 400 and 500 late registrants who have paid the $20 late penalty fee for each child. Tackle football registration to date has 27 in the house league team and 29 in the travel league team. This number is ten more than recorded last year at this time. Staff is evaluating how to encourage people to register earlier whether through a late fee like soccer or a discount on registration. Staff is hosting two open houses for the program that will take place on July 21 and July 29 in the evening at the Community Recreation Center (CRC). Staff was pleased that new registrants signed up for the program at the Wilmette Sidewalk Sale and they are also calling potential participants in the seventh and eighth grades. The travel program begins August 9 with the focus on conditioning. Commissioner Murdock asked how many are needed to field a team and staff responded that 20 are needed and teams are limited to 30 members. Commissioner Brault asked if staff had followed up with the Glencoe Park District on the Trevian football program. Executive Director Grisamore reported he had discussed the issue with Glencoe’s Executive Director. They had heard the same complaints about lowered fees for residents from Winnetka. Glencoe is in the process of decertifying the Trevian program as an affiliate since they have had other problems with the program. They have also received complaints about the Wilmette and Winnetka residents paying less for the program than Glencoe residents. After further discussion, staff stated they believe there will be enough participants to field teams in all weight classes.

5) Superintendent Lambrecht presented a report on what staff has determined are infrastructure problems at both Gillson and Langdon Parks. The report was requested by the prior Parks and Recreation Committee members. The goal was to provide a basis in which to work as the next phase of the Lakefront Plan begins. Executive Director Grisamore added that staff developed the report but it has not yet been reviewed by any professionals in regard to pricing. Staff is very knowledgeable about the sites and knows what work is needed. The Committee asked what the costs were based on. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the dimensions were taken off existing site plans and that the pricing for utilities, paving and sidewalks were based on Means Construction Data. The cost for buildings is based on square footage costs obtained from two outside sources. Commissioner Brault asked how large the beach house would be. Staff replied that it is based on the Family Aquatic Center building with smaller showers and locker areas but the Concession area would be similarly sized as would the offices and cashiers area. It would also include an indoor eating area. The Committee asked why there is a second washroom building at the overlook area. Staff replied that based on the Illinois Department of Public Health codes, washrooms have to be within a certain distance of the beach. Staff added that the distance from the sewers make the building that much more expensive because the sewage must be pumped uphill out to Michigan Avenue. The same would be true for Langdon Park. At Langdon, we are already in conflict with the code because washrooms with running water are required. After further discussion, the Committee thanked staff for the report and stated it gave them a good indication of the conditions of the park at this time.

6) Superintendent Lambrecht reported that he and the park designer had been working with some Thornwood Park neighbors regarding the planned new tot lot. The neighbors provided staff with a list of equipment they would like installed. Staff informed them of the budget for the park which is $160,000. The designers came back with a design that incorporates most of what the neighbors had wanted. When the plan was presented, they contacted Superintendent Lambrecht and asked that at least one more bucket spinner be added as well as a tire swing and a zip line. Superintendent Lambrecht informed them that the project was already coming in $12,000 over budget but that staff was willing to recommend the increase because of funds saved in another capital category. He went on to explain that it is not just a matter of adding the equipment but that it also includes more concrete curbing, more excavation and more rubber surface. After discussing the items with the designer, they tried to fit in a zip line but the one they are aware of needs almost 80 feet of space which would be difficult to fit in and very expensive. When Superintendent Lambrecht contacted the neighbors, he informed them of the problems due to size. They then clarified what they were looking for which is a track ride that is about ten feet long. The designers will try to work one in along with the tire swing and extra bucket spinner and return with a revised estimate. Once that is complete, staff’s position is that if they want everything, then they have to raise the funds to make up the budget shortfall for their additional requests. The hope is to still be able to complete the work this fall.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht

MINUTES APPROVED ON AUGUST 16, 2010.