WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: May 21, 2012
Location: Park District Conference Room
Time: 6:30 pm
Commissioners: Murdock; Crowley; Graham; Shelley; Benz; Olvany
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Specht; Groves; Wilson; Eppelheimer
Visitors: Peter Baugher
Topics for Discussion:
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Communications and Correspondence
a) Peter Baugher (Sand management at Langdon Park)
b) Bob Levi regarding North Shore Theatre’s Guys and Dolls.
c) Julie Ressler from Wilmette Arts Guild thanking C.R.C. staff for their cooperation
5) Manager’s Reports
6) Old Business
a) Paddle Tennis
b) Lakefront Staffing
7) New Business
a) Park Permit Requests
b) Gillson Ice Rink
a) Needs Assessment
1) The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.
2) The Committee reviewed the minutes of April 16, 2012 which were approved by general consent.
3) Recognition of Visitors: Peter Baugher, 1310 Sheridan Road
4) Under Communications and Correspondence, Peter Baugher informed the Committee they have been doing a lot of work on their property. He also thanked the Park District for having their contractor grade the Langdon Beach as well as cut down some of the sand build-up. In addition, they have purchased 680 plugs of dunes grass that they are willing to use to help keep the sand from blowing on to their property and would like to work in cooperation with the Park District. The Committee asked that the staff develop a plan to plant dunes grasses on Langdon Park.
Superintendent Lambrecht reported that staff has taken measurements and based on the knowledge gained at Gillson, they will determine the species and quantity of plants to purchase. The materials will have to be watered when initially planted. Mr. Baugher stated there will have to be some protection put up as well until the plants are established. The Committee asked why the one dune which exists was left when the grading was complete. Mr. Baugher replied that the Park District staff decided to leave it even though it is not a preferred material growing there. Staff was asked to put together a cost estimate and present it to the Committee by the June Park Board meeting.
The Committee reviewed an e-mail communication from Bob Levi complimenting the North Shore Theatre on their presentation of Guys and Dolls.
The Committee reviewed an e-mail communication from Julie Ressler of the Wilmette Arts Guild thanking the CRC staff for the extraordinary help they have provided over the years when the Guild has hosted events there.
The Committee reviewed a communication from Charles Jameson stating that staff is not wrong in their pursuit of keeping people off the pier at Gillson Park.
5) Under Manager’s Reports, Jeff Groves reported there has been some transitioning of staff into new positions during the restructuring of the organization of the CRC. Jeff is now overseeing the CRC Building Maintenance and Front Desk Staff as well as Fitness, Gymnastics and the Mallinckrodt Community Center. Nick Baird is currently accepting resumes for a new Assistant Fitness Manager and preparing for Camp Fusion which has a current registration of 63 in the first session. They are also trying to coordinate indoor space for Camp Fusion at District 39 on rainy days. There are currently 1,846 Fitness Center members.
The Senior Center currently has close to 700 members and Manager Ruthie Brew has been actively working to program more rentals into the space at Mallinckrodt.
There are currently 1,457 enrolled in Gymnastics classes. When adding the parties, Gym and Art, and other special events there are approximately 1,600 to 1,700 gymnasts going through the facility on a weekly basis. Commissioner Crowley stated he has been very impressed with the Gymnastics staff when he has been in attendance at classes. The staff at CRC is getting ready for Summer Camps that begin in a couple of weeks.
Superintendent Bingham stated that as part of the CRC reorganization, they have been able to reduce the full-time maintenance staff and will fill those times with part-time staff.
Carol Heafey, newly appointed Recreation Program Manager, stated she is currently interviewing candidates for the General Recreation Supervisor position and has received 63 resumes. She has also been meeting with staff to get up to speed on what their departments are doing. Camp is the big focus currently and registrations are going well. Currently they are as follows:
2012 2011 (by end of camp)
Great Gillson - 220 236
Junior Day - 232 248
Wiggleworms - 101 81
Sports Camp - 191 147
Arts in the Parks Camp is once again almost full.
Superintendent Bingham added that since prorating was eliminated this year and most camps now have two four-week sessions as options, there has been minimal impact on registrations. Commissioner Graham asked why some camp enrollments appear to be down. Staff replied that by the time camps begin, it is anticipated the numbers to be equal to last year. Commissioner Murdock asked what would happen to the bus situation this year with both School Districts contracting transportation next year. Jeff Groves replied that District 39 has promised three buses for this year but beginning next year staff will have to look for alternatives.
Holly Specht reported the Sailing Beach has opened and they have been very busy. The rental fleet has been put on the beach for the season and the beach is full except for nine catamaran spaces. As a result, staff is maintaining a waiting list. The Beach House has been opened and cleaned up. The new Food Service contractor has been working on getting set up and acclimated. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation held their event at Gillson with about 500 in attendance, 200 more than the anticipated 300 participants. The group also did a great job of cleaning up after themselves. There have been more issues with dogs off-leash in the park than in the past. Staff is concerned about this issue with the beach season coming soon and dogs not being allowed on the swimming beaches. As a result, staff will step up enforcement as the summer staff arrives. The lifeguards are currently going through their training. There have already been some very busy days at the park as if it was the middle of summer. Superintendent Lambrecht added that the clean-up has been incredible considering the time of year. Ms. Specht added that rentals at Lakeview have been good.
Superintendent Bingham added that staff is preparing for the start of the summer season on Memorial Day weekend and will be distributing fliers at the car gates that explain the rules for the park. Staff decided that patrons would be able to wade up to their ankles on the overlook. However, if they go past that level, they will be asked to leave the water. Commissioner Murdock asked how late the guards are on duty at the beach and Superintendent Bingham replied they are on duty until 8 pm. The security at the overlook will be on the same schedule. Commissioner Shelly asked what precautions are being made at the pier. Ms. Specht replied the Park District will be keeping people off the rocks despite the fact that the pier is the responsibility of the Wilmette Harbor Association. Superintendent Bingham added they are still working to fill all of the positions for the park patrol and overlook security and some of them have already backed out.
6) The Committee began discussion on Platform Tennis. Executive Director Wilson reported that staff is recommending two hearings be held. The first one would be held at the CRC on June 18 and the second one would be held at the Village Hall on June 25. After some discussion, the Committee concurred with the dates and would like to get the hearings done before a preponderance of people leave for vacation.
7) The Committee reviewed a request from Central School for their fourth grade picnic at Gillson Park and the Committee unanimously approved the request.
The Committee reviewed a request from Baker Demonstration School for their Field Day to be held at Gillson Park on Wednesday, June 6. After some discussion, the Committee unanimously approved the request.
The Committee reviewed a request for the New Trier Relay for Life event to be held at the CRC on June 22. Staff reported they needed move the location from New Trier due to field construction. They were originally scheduled to move to the Glencoe Community Center but missed the application deadline. As a result, they came to us and asked to hold the event at Gillson Park on June 15 and staff went ahead and staff had worked out the logistics of doing in the beach parking lot on that date. The date then changed to June 22 which conflicted with a very popular Wallace Bowl performance. After some discussion, the Committee approved the permit for the June 22nd event.
The Committee reviewed a request from Cameron Smith for a wedding at Gillson Park. It would be late afternoon and will not be an issue after the beach season unless it is hot. The Committee agreed to let them use the shelter after 4 pm.
The Committee reviewed a request from Nideer Kahn for an event on June 9 for 120 people at Gillson Park. Staff recommends the permit not be granted due to the time of year. The Committee voted unanimously against the permit.
8) Commissioner Murdock asked that the Committee discuss the possibility of having specific hockey hours at the Gillson Park ice rink or a second rink like had been proposed at Thornwood Park. Director Wilson responded that staff would like to wait to see how that works at Thornwood before the practice is expanded to other locations due to the lack of ice during the 2011-12 season. He added if it does work and the Committee decides to proceed, the times could be inverted. Commissioner Murdock asked about the possibility of using liners at the Park District rinks. Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the cost to purchase the liners and the edging materials would be very high due to the size of the rinks. He went on to add that it had been tried in the past but the liners were sliced when people walked on them with their skates after the ice thawed. Commissioner Olvany agreed that liners work in a backyard but not as well in an uncontrolled application. Superintendent Lambrecht added that with the raised rink, staff would not be able to use the trucks to plow the rinks and it would always have to be done with snow blowers and rotary brooms. After further discussion, the Committee decided to deter the hockey use at Gillson and not purchase the liners.
9) The Committee discussed the possibility of performing a needs assessment of the Village residents to see if the District is providing all of the recreational opportunities they would like. Commissioner Murdock stated he had been thinking about this for awhile. Superintendent Bingham stated staff had done some research on this in the past for hiring a professional survey company do the work. The costs would range from $7,000 up to $25,000 depending on the scope of work involved and whether it would be followed up with phone calls. Commissioner Murdock added he believed it would be money well spent. Superintendent Bingham added that other Park Districts have performed this kind of research as part of a Strategic Plan. Director Wilson stated that if surveys are done, you have to be willing to work with the results you get. Staff added that the survey is not in this year’s budget but could be added in the future. If the survey proceeds in the future, staff would need to prepare a Request for Proposal in the future. Director Wilson stated if this would proceed, we would need to let the consultant write the questions. The Committee concurred and agreed to discuss it at budget time.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm.
Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht.
MINUTES APPROVED ON JUNE 18, 2012.