Date: January 17, 2013

Place:  Park District Administration Office

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Commissioners: Committee Chair Graham, Murdock; Benz and Brault (via phone)
Absent: None
Staff: Wilson, Bowen, Lambrecht
Visitors: Bryan Abbott, Steve Triphahn  

Topics of Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Motion to Allow Participation Via Telephone
3) Recognition of Visitors
4) Communications and Correspondence
5) Bid Recommendations for the Ice/Tennis Facility:
      a) Ice Hot Water System Zamboni
      b) Ice Air Handling Units Replacement
      c) Ice Rink Refrigeration and Piping
      d) Indoor Tennis HVAC Upgrades
      e) Ice Rink Standby Generator
      f) Facility Temperature Controls
6) Adjournment


1) Chair Graham called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm.

2) Chair Graham moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to allow Commissioners Benz and Brault to participate in the meeting via telephone per Resolution No. 2010-R-7. Director/Secretary Wilson called the roll and noted that a quorum was present.

3) Recognition of Visitors: Bryan Abbott, Board Candidate; Steve Triphahn
 (W-T Engineering)

4) Under Communications and Correspondence: None

5) Bid Recommendations for the Ice/Tennis Facility: Committee Chair Graham stated the purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Centennial Ice Rink and determine if we should bid on any of the proposals. A lot of information had been exchanged recently regarding the system and its requirements and it has been helpful in better understanding the analysis and numbers involved. He also appreciates staff’s hard work in getting all of this information together since it will be useful and lead to a prudent decision. The focus of this meeting is on the cost and reliability and fit of the ice rink and refrigeration and piping system. He also stated it had been agreed that the generator can be put on hold for now. The other item we do not need to discuss would be the HVAC and dehumidification system for the Tennis facility since that can be done at a future time.

Chair Graham indicated he wanted to focus on the two large categories in terms of analyzing the bids to do a comparison of a Freon system vs. an ammonia system. He then broke that comparison down into three categories – reliability, cost and useful life.  An analysis was also done on what effect a delay would have on the financial impact of the District if we postponed a decision until next year.

Chair Graham indicated that from a reliability standpoint ammonia systems are being used throughout the country based on the statistics he has read. Also, 52% of the rinks in the United States are using some type of ammonia system. Also, the Wilmette Fire Department and our insurer have indicated they are not concerned about ammonia systems since it is also used in other types of refrigeration such as grocery stores and industrial settings. As a result, it seems that safety is not an issue but he still wants the consultants to confirm that fact.

With respect to costs, the data suggests that if you compare the ammonia system to the Freon system over a 20-year life span, the installation costs for the ammonia system over that 20-year period is approximately $220,000 which makes it less expensive than the Freon system. It also takes into consideration a present value calculation of what the cost savings are for running an ammonia system vs. a Freon system. Staff had estimated that it would cost about $35,000 per year but he would still like them to review that amount. Commissioner Murdock added that the ammonia system also has a longer useful life. Chair Graham stated he would like the consultants to tell us if it means the system has a longer useful life due to Freon possibly being outlawed or if it just generally has a longer useful life.

Chair Graham stated some rough calculations were made on what the costs would be if we delayed the project and the $300,000 figure came up. That alone would not be a reason to delay the project – although it is a factor – but when putting all of this together the ammonia system is more cost effective, has a longer life span and is equally safe when compared to a Freon system. When adding in the cost of delay, it seems that there is no reason to delay a decision at this meeting. Commissioners Benz and Brault asked if the consultants could address the cost and savings issues, the $35,000 savings, and the useful life issue.

Commissioner Benz stated he thought ammonia was a refrigerant like Freon and asked why one type of system would last longer than the other. Mr. Steve Triphahn from W-T Engineering indicated he was filling in for Tom Brady who is the consultant for this project but had been unable to attend tonight. He then replied that it has to do with operating pressures within the compressor wherein the ammonia works at 196 or 198 psi. Commissioner Benz stated he had done some research online and after talking to other people he is convinced that both an ammonia process and a Freon derivative are equally safe and reliable. Mr. Triphahn agreed with Commissioner Benz and stated that once the system is installed, staff will be trained and then the system will be equal in terms of safety.

Mr. Triphahn stated that most likely a little more than 50% of local rinks use ammonia and the other 45% use the 507 which is a type of Freon. He added that the cost of installation for the 507 system is initially less expensive. Mr. Triphahn stated that Arena Systems provided an alternate estimate for a Freon system on this project which was $250,000 less expensive than the ammonia system.
President Brault asked Mr. Triphahn to describe the difference in the physical process of the cooling between the two different systems from the perspective of why the piping is different. He also asked what the practical differences were between these systems that are causing the $250,000 difference in the piping cost. Superintendent Lambrecht stated it is not the piping but rather it is the equipment. Director Wilson added that the piping which has to replaced under the rink will be the same piping no matter what system is selected.

President Brault stated the difference in the cost of the piping is not for the piping that goes under the surface itself but is rather the piping that goes into the control room. Director Wilson stated it is the mechanicals, not the piping. Commissioner Murdock stated that the Committee has been focusing on two numbers when the project went from $2 million to $2.8 million and about $500,000 of that had to do with replacing the piping underneath the ice which will need to be done whatever system is chosen.

Mr. Triphahn stated the $500,000 difference was a misinterpretation of numbers that he put together when he had asked Mr. Brady what the package would cost. However, Mr. Brady thought he meant just the equipment skid when he actually meant the whole project. In essence, he inadvertently made mistakes on his interpretations of the numbers.

Commissioner Graham stated that we had missed the piping costs which should have been included in the proposal but regardless of what system we use, the piping needs to be included so it will be a cost which we will incur. President Brault asked if the additional cost changes the scope of the project in terms of completion and Mr. Triphahn responded no, it would not.

Commissioner Murdock stated that earlier we had talked about some potential cost numbers and that they were significant but not as much as we had thought they might be. We are also currently looking around at some different numbers. He asked what the cost would be to delay this project for one year from an operational standpoint and then what would the other side of that be in terms of construction costs on an annual basis. Also, would we expect that someone is going to do the same job next year for what they are willing to charge this year.

Mr. Triphahn replied there would be some union raises coming in April and material costs as a whole just increased by 20% so the District could expect at least a 10% increase right now based on what they are seeing with these raises in material costs which might result in another $50,000.

Director Wilson stated that as far as what the costs are related to revenue for this year and in the timeframe we will be doing the project, we are budgeting for an $80,000 loss. The question then becomes if we can recoup that $80,000 this year. It also depends on the number of ice contracts we sell and how successful we can be in putting together “on the fly” a session of skating. In summary, it could be anywhere between $80,000 and $160,000 that the District could potentially lose.

Commissioner Graham stated that it seems we are moving to a decision on whether Mr. Triphahn stands on the package cost this year or next year plus 10% which would make his decision much easier. President Brault asked if it was 10% plus, how would we recoup the revenue from this year. Commissioner Benz stated that if we delayed the project because we wanted to look at other options, we would end up with the same options that are in front of us now. President Brault stated that in aggregate by eliminating the generator and postponing the dehumidification system in Tennis it would bring the total of this proposed bid to $2.181 million compared to the budgeted amount of $2 million.

Park Board Candidate Bryan Abbott stated the rink consultant reviewed all of the bids and recommended awarding them. He also asked if these were in line with the market. Mr. Triphahn responded that for comparison purposes there is an ice rink in Oak Park and their bid results for one sheet of ice and an ammonia system came in yesterday at $1.3 million for the same type of system. Mr. Abbott asked if these bids were within what he thinks are reasonable. Mr. Triphahn responded we are waiting to see which way the District wants to go as well as whether to use the 507 or the ammonia systems.

President Brault asked both Mr. Triphahn and Superintendent Lambrecht where we could potentially be surprised during the actual execution of this project. Mr. Triphahn responded that they would need to remove part of the mechanical room wall to get the equipment and that there could be some unanticipated costs. He also believes there might be a generator panel on the wall which they would need to remove in order to get the equipment in and they may need to relocate that. Superintendent Lambrecht stated his staff could do that work in-house.

Mr. Abbott stated that the staff member at the Glenview ice ink was happy with the results when they did their project and did not run across any permafrost underneath it so the ground had been in good shape. However, this is sand, not concrete, which could also be a risk if the insulation proved to be inadequate and permafrost developed. Mr. Triphahn stated they plan to use all new sand, all new insulation and all new piping. He added that they have provided an option to receive a credit to re-use some of the sand if it is good enough to use. As a result, there may be a credit coming back from sand in the amount of approximately $1,000.

President Brault indicated we had also talked about the potential for adding an outdoor system and asked if there were any design elements that would be more flexible to incorporate those items in the future. Mr. Triphahn stated adding an outdoor system would be a completely separate compressor system.

Mr. Abbott asked if a separate compressor for an outdoor rink would be a glycol or brine distribution system and if it would be contained in a separate tank because of different temperatures. Director Wilson replied yes and added that if we ultimately wanted an outdoor rink at that point of time, it does not necessarily need to be located at Centennial.

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to accept the bids in aggregate as specifically proposed in the January 11, 2013 memo excluding the generator and HVAC system for a total of $2,180,085 with the understanding that although the Committee is approving the facility temperature controls, the intent is to rebid them.

By a voice vote, voting Yes – 4; voting No – 0. Motion carried.

Committee Chair Graham thanked staff and the consultant for all of their efforts, patience and cooperation during this process.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:28 pm.

Minutes taken by Jeffrey Bowen.