WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING

Date: February 21, 2012   

Place: Village Training Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance:
Commissioners: Murdock, Crowley, Graham, Benz, Brault, Shelly
Staff: Bingham, Bowen, Specht, Groves, Wilson, Eppelheimer
Visitors: Rich DeLeo
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Permits
     a) Baha’i House of Worship
     b) A Sister’s Hope Pink Moon Run and Walk
     c) Wilmette “Y” Guides Camping Permit
6) Manager’s Reports
     a) Lakefront
     b) Recreation
7) Old Business
     a) Paddle Tennis
8) New Business
     a) Lakefront Aquatics Boat
     b) Food on Beach
     c) Soccer Program Changes
     d) Wilmette Harbor Update
9) Adjourn


Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of January 16, 2012 and they were approved by general consent.

2) There were no communications or correspondence to report.

3) Under permits, the Committee reviewed the request from the Baha’i House of Worship to use the lakefront parking lot for overflow parking on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The Baha’i’s are holding a day of worship in honor of the 100th anniversary of the cornerstone of the temple. After discussion, the Committee approved the request by general consent.

 The Committee reviewed a permit request by Cathy Seabaugh for a run/walk event on May 5, 2012. This race will start and end at Plaza De Lago and they are requesting to pass through Gillson Park.  After discussion, the Committee approved the request by general consent.

 The third permit request was from the Wilmette “Y” Guides for a campout at Gillson Park Saturday, September 15 and Saturday, September 29, 2012. After some discussion, the dates were changed to September 29 and October 6 and approved by general consent.

4) The Committee reviewed the information staff provided on paddle tennis.  Superintendent Bowen reviewed his memo on paddle tennis facilities in the surrounding area. He reported there are currently at least 12 facilities within 8.6 miles of 1200 Wilmette Avenue with two others soon to be built. In addition, there are four public facilities in Illinois, three of them in the Chicago area – Lake Bluff, Hinsdale and Winnetka. Of those three, Lake Bluff is the only one that does not have a paddle tennis association. A spreadsheet of locations was provided in the updated Paddle Tennis report and Superintendent Bowen provided budgets from the four public facilities.

Superintendent Bowen explained the financials were made available to us by the public courses. He mentioned that Hinsdale offered a lifetime membership while the facility was being built and 355 out of their 666 members purchased such a membership.  Superintendent Bowen was asked to bring the cost for lifetime vs. annual memberships to the next Parks and Recreation meeting. In addition, a spreadsheet of possible locations was provided to the Committee but it was felt it was too early in the discussion to consider specific locations.

Rich DeLeo was asked to provide his input on the Wilmette Park District building a paddle tennis facility. Mr. DeLeo thought it would be a great addition to the Village and would be heavily used. He is currently playing at several locations and he would love the opportunity to play in his hometown. He felt that the hut was a necessary part of the game but a trailer could be used as has been the case at other locations and Commissioner Brault agreed. Staff was asked to look into the cost of trailers similar to what was used at the golf course after the fire.

Commissioner Shelly agreed that people would play at a Wilmette facility since the sport continues to grow with new levels added on an annual basis. Mr. DeLeo mentioned that many paddle tennis facilities are offering youth programs to encourage younger players to learn the sport. Commissioners Murdock, Brault and Shelly agreed that it is an easy sport to learn and appealing for all levels of play.

Commissioner Crowley stated he has had a reversal of opinion of this topic after talking with many residents who agree that a paddle tennis facility would be a wonderful addition to Wilmette and the Park District.

Commissioner Graham asked if we have heard from a representative from the American Paddle Tennis Association. Commissioner Brault mentioned that a representative had planned to attend but was unable to do so because of his attending to a sick child. Commissioner Graham suggested we invite him to the next Parks and Recreation meeting. He would also like staff to research the number of clubs that are at full capacity for league play.

Commissioner Murdock asked staff to come up with pro-forma financial statements estimating where the breakeven point would be and how many members would be needed to get to that point.  
 
5) Under Manager’s Reports, Manager of Recreation Services Jeff Groves reported that the winter Daddy/Daughter Dance was a huge hit at the new location of the Wilmette Golf Course restaurant. There were 130 dads and daughters in attendance and there were still 30 on the waiting list. A third event will be offered in September and General Recreation Supervisor Carol Heafey has secured the Wilmette Woman’s Club to serve as the new location since up to 200 participants can be accommodated.

The Wilmette Arts Guild held a student art show at the Community Recreation Center where students from area high schools as well as Wilmette Junior High had their work displayed.

The Wilmette Children’s Theatre production of Music Man Jr. is in rehearsals and will open March 9.  A total of 89 children auditioned and 40 were cast. The North Shore Theater of Wilmette is also in rehearsals for the production of Guys and Dolls which opens on April 13.

The basketball leagues are winding down and spring soccer is fast approaching.  Registration is ongoing with a deadline of March 1.

Lakefront Manager Holly Specht reported that with the sailing lottery approaching, staff has spent a great deal of time contacting previous boaters and reminding them of the approaching deadline for contracts to be returned. The deadline is February 24 and the lottery will take place March 3. At this time we have received 124 returned contracts of which 27 were renewed online. The Aquatics Camp is doing well to date with 164 enrolled and sailing lessons currently have 81 enrolled. New sessions have been added for the 2012 offerings.

Staff has been ordering new boats for the lesson program along with new buoys and supplies. The Parks and Planning Department staff has built new racks for the paddleboards and kayaks. 

6) Under New Business, Superintendent Bingham discussed the replacement plan for the former rescue boat for the sailing beach. It had previously been decided that for the upcoming sailing season the rescue operation would no longer be offered. With the Coast Guard located on the lakefront, it is not necessary and lakefront staff would have needed additional training to run an official rescue operation. Once that decision was made, staff researched what the best option would be to replace our large rescue boat. Since the majority of the time, the boat was in use for the Aquatics Camp and sailing lessons as well as support for the rental program. As a result, staff looked at a smaller vessel, specifically a ridged hull inflatable boat (RIB). Staff originally budgeted for a replacement aquatics boat and two jet skis and planned to use the budgeted dollars to purchase two RIBs and no new jet skis. Staff then shared photos of the boats. 

While this purchase put us $1,250 over our budgeted amount, staff felt this was a good investment and that we should have these vessels for many years. There was some discussion and the Board agreed to approve the purchase.

7) Commissioner Murdock requested we defer the discussion of allowing food on the swimming beach to the next meeting. 


8) Staff discussed upcoming changes in the soccer league starting in the fall of 2012.  Participants will now be able to register for both the fall and spring leagues at the same time. However, there will still be the single season option if parents prefer. There will be an early bird registration deadline and a final deadline which will be significantly later than in the past. Staff is also reducing the time reserved for forming the teams, ordering uniforms and recruiting coaches. They are eliminating team requests as well as buddy requests. Staff will place children of parents co-coaching on the same team.  Lastly, we are returning to the practice of creating mixed school teams in grades 3 and 4.  Beginning in the fall, Grades 1-2 will be arranged by schools and grades 3-8 will be mixed school teams.

9) Director Wilson reported that he, President Brault and Vice President Graham attended the annual meeting of the Wilmette Harbor Association and spoke to their membership.  They felt that there was good dialogue during the more than two hours of discussion.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 pm

Minutes taken by Kathy Bingham.

MINUTES APPROVED ON MARCH 19, 2012.