WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: August 13, 2012
Location: Park District Conference Room
Time: 7:57 pm
Attendance: Commissioners: Murdock; Benz; Crowley; Shelley; Olvany
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Bowen; Donoghue; Eppelheimer; Wilson; Groves; Heafey; Specht; Bowen
Visitors: Craig Strong, Holly Gilson
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) Old Business
7) New Business
a. Park Permit Request – St. Joseph School
1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of July 16, 2012 and approved them by general consent.
3) Under Communications and Correspondence, the Committee reviewed an email from Roy Brechlin complimenting the Sailing Beach staff.
The Committee reviewed a letter from Stasha Rosenthal requesting that more benches be added by the Community Playfield tennis courts. After some discussion, the Committee directed staff to order the benches.
4) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported it has been a hot, busy summer with over 40 days of over 90-degree temperatures. To date, the water has been closed for 12 days due to rip currents and four days because of high bacteria counts. To date, a total of 21,946 daily; 3,612 resident; and 18,334 fair-share passes have been sold. Aquatics Camp did well with three full sessions. The Junior Lifeguard program also did well with the first session being full and the second session having 14 enrolled in its first year. Group sailing lessons are complete and private lessons are still ongoing. Patrols on South Beach have been going well. Although there have been some glitches, staff has been working on keeping up with staff training. Police Chief Brian King met with staff to talk about how to handle conflict. Additional signage was added at the stone pier per staff’s request. All Sailing Beach users also received communications with reminders about the rules. The Sailing Beach closes on October 15 and boat rentals will end the weekend after Labor Day.
Carol Heafey reported the Eagles Football program began that afternoon. Riddell has been fitting players with the proper equipment which is being supplied by the Park District. Participants are required to use Park District equipment beginning this year. There are currently 104 in the travel program, 72 in the house program and 45 in flag football which staff anticipates will increase. Summer camps went well. Extension camp and a number of specialty camps are currently running. There are 146 participating in camp extension and a number of them have companions from NSSRA. The Fine Arts Department has been working on concerts for the Mallinckrodt and Wallace Bowl series. They also recently cleaned out the scenery storage areas at Howard Park and Gillson with help from the Parks staff. The costumes will be moved from the CRC to Howard Park and will be better organized. The floor was painted at Howard Park by Building Services staff to help keep the dust down.
Recreation staff is busy working on budget preparation. Soccer registration ended July 24 with 1,232 enrolled which is down 200 from last year. A total of 83 registrants will be moved off the waiting list in the near future when teams are formed. Registration for Fall Sessions 1 and 2 begins on Tuesday, August 14. The only programs that cannot be registered in Session 2 which begins on Tuesday are those skill-based programs wherein instructors need to determine where a participant should be at the end of Session 1. Superintendent Bingham added that having both sessions in one brochure will allow staff to make staffing adjustments for the second session when they have a better idea of how registration is going.
Jeff Groves reported that Fitness Manager Nick Baird has turned in his resignation as a result of accepting a position with the Bolingbrook Park District. Our staff is preparing the job posting for his replacement. CRC maintenance staff and the custodial service have been doing a thorough cleaning of the Early Childhood and Art rooms. The gymnastics “Beat-the-Heat” sessions have been very busy.
Superintendent Bingham added she is pleased with the amount of participation in the late summer program sessions that were added this year. There were many class options and one- and two-day programs offered which have proved to be popular. Carpet bids have been received for the CRC and staff is evaluating them to decide what work will be completed.
5) Under Old Business, Superintendent Bingham introduced Craig Strong and Holly Gilson from Precision Multisport who would like to partner with the District on developing a triathlon. They have met with the Wilmette Police who made a number of recommendations on routing for the running and biking portions of the event. The police suggested to the group that the route stay on Sheridan Road which would make it easier for the various suburbs to control and then the Metra tracks would not come into play. The swimming portion would take place at Gillson Park between the swimming beach and the pier which would allow up to a half-mile swim. Mr. Strong stated the bicycle route should be about 25 miles. Any distance can work as long as it is made clear ahead of registration. They anticipate there will be between 200 and 500 participants. Commissioner Murdock stated he is happy with the concept but wants to hear more details. Mr. Strong added that the event is no small undertaking since there is lot of work involved putting up and taking down barricades and traffic cones as well as operating a moonwalk to keep children entertained. The next step is to work out logistics with the other suburbs and then develop a budget which would then make it possible to determine what the revenue spilt would be between this group and the Park District.
Superintendent Bingham reiterated that the next important step is organizing with the other communities. Ms. Gilson added that they need the Park District’s permission to begin those discussions because if the support is not there, then the event could not proceed as envisioned. Superintendent Bingham added that a number of local businesses have expressed interest in sponsoring the event. Mr. Strong also stated that the goal is create a safe environment to allow the participants to have fun. Commissioner Crowley asked if it was possible for the event to continue in the future. Mr. Strong replied that there is the possibility if it is popular that it could continue. Superintendent Bingham asked if the Committee would allow the group to continue discussions so that details could be formalized and a budget could be developed. After further discussion, the Committee agreed to continue with the planning and return to the Committee with a final budget.
Commissioner Murdock stated that the issues related to soccer had been resolved so there was no further need for discussion.
The Committee next discussed paddle boards at the sailing beach. Commissioner Crowley asked if paddleboards were a fad. Ms. Specht replied that there is no way to know for sure but at one time windsurfing was a hot fad with 90 windsurfers on the beach but now there are only four. Commissioner Murdock asked that staff come back with recommendations for a new layout to make the operation safer next year. Commissioner Shelly stated she thinks the use of carry-in permits is very confusing since people don’t seem to understand why they can’t use them at Sailing. Staff replied that when the permits are sold, the user is given a copy of the rules and a map showing where they can launch. Commissioner Murdock asked about the concept of offering extra services for a fee. He would anticipate that people might pay extra to move the boats to the water’s edge and rig them if the owner called ahead of time. Staff stated that they have concerns about people doing that and then find that the boat had been sitting on the water’s edge unused for an extended period which takes away from other users who are trying to launch or land.
Commissioner Olvany asked why people would pay extra for services that staff already provides. Ms. Specht added that when a user comes down to the beach, staff would help get the boat down to the water and assist the user as long as they don’t have any other urgent priorities. Commissioner Shelly asked if it was ever determined that a parent could be on a paddle board with a child. Executive Director Wilson replied that the Coast Guard would be lenient in that situation. What they are trying to stop is the “ganging up” on the boards and overloading them. Commissioner Crowley concurred. Ms. Specht added that all boats including paddle boards have load ratings for weight and number of occupants. Her concern is that she has seen many smaller children out on the water without life jackets. After further discussion, staff was asked to come back with recommendations for 2013 with layout options and the number of boats.
6) The Committee reviewed a permit request from St. Joseph School to hold a cross country meet at Gillson Park on October 4, 2012 between 3:30 and 6:30 pm. After some discussion, the Committee approved the request.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.
Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht.
MINUTES APPROVED ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2012.