WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: May 16, 2011

Place: Park District Conference Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance: Commissioners:  Murdock; Graham; Brault
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Specht; Wilson; Bowen; Eppelheimer; Groves
Visitors: Tom Elliott
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
6) Three Day Cancer Walk Permit
7) Old Business
     a) Thornwood Ice Rink
     b) Sailing Passes
     c) Revenue Streams
8) New Business
     a) Sheridan Shores Sailing School Race
9) Adjourn

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The Committee reviewed the revised minutes of March 21, 2011. After some discussion they were approved by general consent.

 The Committee reviewed the minutes of the April 18, 2011 meeting and they were approved by general consent.

2) Under Communications and Correspondence:

• The Committee reviewed a request from Sheridan Shores Sailing School to allow them to use the Aquatics Camp beach for launching boats and trailer parking within Gillson Park. They need parking for 60 trailers, some of which are multi-boat trailers. There will be 60 to 80 entrants in the race. This is an event that has been hosted all over the country. They are using half of the Harbor parking lot for staging and management of the event. After some discussion, the Committee authorized staff to work with the group and perhaps use Picnic Area #3 as the location for parking the trailers. The group also agreed to cross-promote any Park District sailing programs.

• The Committee reviewed a communication from resident Medwin Textor regarding her having to pay non-resident rates for their daughter’s dog and children at the
Lakefront facilities. Staff explained the ramifications of making exceptions for pass
situations since it would open the door to other programs throughout the District. After further discussion, staff was asked to look at the dog beach in regard to the access issue and report back to the Committee with any recommendations.

• The Committee reviewed a communication from Kathy Hargrave who lives on Laurel Lane adjacent to Community Playfield. She was concerned about the trash being thrown into her yard and damage done to her fence by soccer players. Staff reported that it had sent e-mails to all participants and discussed the issue with the Park District coaches. They were all asked to be more diligent about cleaning up after games. Staff was asked to forward the e-mails sent to the participants and coaches to Ms. Hargrave so she would know that her letter was not being ignored.

• The Committee reviewed a communication from Luis Cohen complimenting the Park District’s production of “Hairspray”.

3) Under Manager’s Reports, Jeff Groves reported that summer camps begin in four weeks and staff has almost completed interviews and hiring. Letters will be mailed to those not being offered jobs this week. The weather has been very bad this spring for all outdoor sports. However, with the exception of only two soccer games being cancelled, all other games have been held. Kindergarten Enrichment held an open house last week for which there was a great turnout with over 50 people in attendance. Staff is hopeful that number will translate into better enrollment in the session which begins this week. An open house was also held for the Eagles Football program. All of the coaches were in attendance and they had samples of the new helmets and shoulder pads for people to look at. It appears there will be four teams again this year. The new lawn signs promoting the football program have been placed all over town. The Dance program will have three recitals this coming Saturday at Regina Dominican. There are 478 participants in the programs and there will be three performances.

Holly Specht reported that Sailing opened on May 7 and 50 people brought their boats in during the first weekend. There has been a lot of drifting of sand due to the north and northeast winds over the last week. New software was installed for the weather station at the lakefront which allows users of the swimming and sailing beaches to see current conditions. Links have also been placed on the Park District’s website which will allow the public to gain access to the information as well. The new chairs and umbrellas have been received. The storage boxes have been ordered but will not be received before Memorial Day. The Marketing department is developing signage that can be put out when there are chairs and umbrellas available for rent. The Committee asked if people could charge the rentals on their Park District ID. Staff stated that the cards are not set up to do that. Staff also plans to send an e-mail blast to beach pass holders telling them about the availability of the chairs and umbrellas.

Lakefront staff currently totals about 90 employees and orientation begins on Tuesday, May 17. Lakefront staff has met with Go Green Wilmette to discuss the possibility of putting together self-guided tours of the birds and plants at the lakefront. Sailing lessons currently have 96 participants which is 30 over last year. There are 216 in the Aquatics Camps.

4) The Committee reviewed the application from the Susan G, Komen Three Day Cancer Walk organization to use Mallinckrodt as their lunch stop again on Friday, August 5. The event will be similar to the events they have staged there for the past four years. Staff reported they had originally requested use of Thornwood Park but staff did not agree with that choice due to their staging requirements. After Superintendent Lambrecht discussed the issue with Village staff, they mutually agreed that Thornwood would not work for a variety of reasons. After further discussion, the Committee agreed to approve the permit request.

 The Committee reviewed a request from Baker Demonstration School to use the field area at Gillson on Saturday, June 8, from 9 am to 12:15 pm with 120 participants. The Committee agreed to approve the permit as long as the group follows all directives from staff regarding parking, etc.

 The Committee reviewed a request from the McGaw YMCA to hold campouts at Gillson Park. The girl’s event will be held on September 24 and the boy’s will be on October 1. There will also be a rain date of October 8 and October 15 for either event. After some discussion, the permit was approved.

5) Under Old Business, the Committee reviewed the issue of establishing an outdoor ice rink at Thornwood Park. Commissioner Graham stated that he felt there were two issues – eliminating the West Park location and establishing a rink at Thornwood. He wanted to know the benefit of moving the rink to Thornwood when Mallinckrodt is relatively close. He asked if a more cost effective solution would be to move it to the center of town. He also asked if it made economic sense to have three rinks for the amount of use they get. Staff was asked about cost reductions if a rink was eliminated. Superintendent Lambrecht responded that there would be some savings because typically one full-time and one part-time employee are assigned to each location. If a rink is eliminated, the part-time employees at two locations would be eliminated and two full-time employees would work as a team. When conditions are not optimal for ice, those full-time staff members would perform other tasks like snow removal or tree trimming.

 Commissioner Graham asked if lights are needed and staff replied it does not make sense to put in a rink without lights since it gets dark so early at that time of year. The Committee also asked about Hibbard Park and Community Playfield. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that the only water access at Community Playfield is in the center of the park and the current water can be winterized. The other issue is that it would be one more element of stress put on fields that are already over-utilized. Lights would be complicated there due to the distance to the nearest ComEd power source. Hibbard has some of the same issues but no current access to water so it would have the same sort of infrastructure costs as Thornwood.

 Commissioner Brault stated he felt the Thornwood location indicated by staff in deep center field should be relocated closer to Dartmouth. Staff stated that location was chosen due to the proximity to storm sewers and water. If the rink is located there it would also provide a second use for the electrical service at the annual Thornwood Park Concert. The Committee also discussed the issue of having dasher boards at the rink and their decision was that it would be for the same uses as other rinks – for recreational skating only – so no boards would be needed. After further discussion, staff was directed to come back to the next meeting with alternative locations and cost estimates.

 The Committee discussed the new policy of issuing photo ID’s for boat owners and up to four members of their families including partners as well as families. Staff reminded the committee that the policy of issuing passes began as a way for sailing beach users to have access to the swimming beach since swimming is not allowed at sailing because of the danger. Superintendent Bingham suggested they return to issuing a book of guest passes to each boat owner. However, there has been a lot of positive feedback from users about limiting the number of people on the sailing beach. After further discussion, the Committee directed staff to do what they felt was best for this year and then evaluate the system at the end of the summer and come back with recommendations.

 Superintendent Bingham reported that meetings have been held with managers about the possible revenue stream additions. The next step will be to take that down to the next level of supervisors and explain the incentive program.

6) Under New Business, Commissioner Murdock asked when staff would be making repairs to the worn areas at Community Playfield. Staff stated that the best time to do the work would be in early fall when the fields are relocated. In the past there have been issues with the Junior High removing fences that have been put up to protect newly sodded areas. Superintendent Lambrecht added that the spring is very difficult to do any extra projects because of the extra workload of getting the parks and facilities ready for the summer.

Commissioner Murdock asked if there had been any luck with getting the School District to park the busses somewhere other than the driveway behind the CLR. Director Wilson stated he has plans to discuss this issue with Superintendent Lechner in the near future.

 Staff asked that since the cost of the Lakeview Center roof came in so far under budget, some funds could be re-appropriated to replace the front doors at Lakeview. After some discussion, the Committee suggested the request be presented to the Financial Planning Committee at its next meeting.


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


Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht


MINUTES APPROVED ON JUNE 20, 2011.