WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013
7:30 P.M.
______________________________________________________________________ 

Written notice of said meeting was given to the Commissioners and the Wilmette Life in accordance with the Wilmette Park District Code, Section 2103, and Section 2.02 of the Open Meetings Act.

PRESENT: President James Brault; Commissioners Gary Benz, Darrell Graham, Michael Murdock, John Olvany, and Shelley Shelly; Secretary/Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem

ABSENT: Commissioner James Crowley

STAFF: Superintendents Bingham, Bowen, Eppelheimer, and Lambrecht; Communications Manager Donoghue

VISITORS:  Park Board Candidates Bryan Abbott and Amy Wolfe; Mike Boyer, Patrick Duffy, Diane Fisher

President Brault called the regularly scheduled Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:30 pm. Executive Director Wilson conducted the roll call and a quorum was established.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the February 11, 2013 Regular Board Meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Crowley; Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:

- Email from Lisa Cohen thanking the Park District for their summer programs and specifically complimenting one of our counselors.

- Director Wilson stated he received a communication this evening from the Friends of Elmwood Dunes Preserve and President Brault indicated the Board would be discussing that topic tonight.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:
Diane Fisher, 827 Elmwood Avenue, stated she was at the meeting tonight to represent the group “Friends of Elmwood Dunes” which is made up of 200 individuals in the Wilmette area and growing larger every day. They have also set up a web site as well as a Google group. In addition, they represent several Boy Scout troops who are working with them to support the restoration and preservation of the Elmwood Dunes. They have also sought input from a network of advisors who have experience with this type of project including open lands and conservation advisors, the Great Lakes Alliance, and Lake Forest Open Lands. Their group has also worked very closely with the Wilmette Village Board’s subcommittee. Their group wants to support, restore and preserve Elmwood Dunes and allow those gardeners and botanists who have offered to help with the native plantings and the cleaning up of the invasive species. There would also be fundraising efforts and some participants are interested in using Elmwood Dunes as a vehicle for education and activism. She added that the Village Board has also done a great job of studying this issue and as we move forward with this process their group hopes to work together with the Park District as well as the Village.

Commissioner Murdock asked if the Friends of Elmwood Dunes had a specific opinion about the different options that had been proposed. Ms. Fisher replied that like any group there is a wide range of opinions. However, the majority of people they have heard from want to have very minimal development of the site for a passive use and to not have any building structures, paths or open access.

President Brault stated that the Village had asked the District to contemplate whether to have an actively managed beach. Ms. Fisher replied that they would prefer a passive nature preserve with open access. Commissioner Olvany stated that the email received from Elmwood Dunes indicated you do not support the use of this property as an active use including buildings, gated entry, swimming guards, bathrooms, etc., but, the email also states your group had a number of different opinions. Ms. Fisher explained that those opinions relate to smaller details such as where the paths would be located or whether there would be a wooden platform or a bench. However, there is a consensus that we would not support an active beach.

Commissioner Murdock stated he appreciated the group’s speaking with the Board tonight and appreciates the efforts of the group. However, as a Park Board we are concerned about Elmwood degenerating into another Langdon Park which had not been controlled and as a result degenerated into something the community as a whole did not want which is one of our concerns.

Ms. Fisher stated that when meeting with the Village’s sub-committees, the Langdon Park experience was discussed numerous times. Elmwood Beach had been open all last summer and afterwards they reviewed the data of not only Elmwood but other lake shore properties as well. She added that they also created a “white paper” which explains why the decision was made to start with a nature preserve that is open, has a low profile and would have minimal impact in order to discourage large user groups which they believe is a realistic option. Ms. Fisher stated that on Saturday, April 13, from 10 am to 2 pm at the end of Elmwood Avenue, there will be several community and master gardeners at the site along with some Boy Scouts and she invited the Park Board to stop by and have a cup of coffee.

Patrick Duffy, 932 Illinois Road. stated it had been their understanding that the Village had asked the Park District for information on the operation and management of a park and they have always envisioned this issue as participation between the Park District and the Village. If the Park District operates this park it should be a fairly nominal effort and entail a crew being down there to empty garbage cans as an example. However, they are not encouraging anyone to swim or play volleyball. They also do not believe there is going to be a need for constant surveillance but maybe there could be an occasional manager or staff person there who would walk back and forth between the two beaches. The original plan was to not have a time-intensive function from the Park District.

President Brault stated that the Village’s Municipal Services Committee had asked the Park District to look at a range of issues such as cleaning up garbage and if we would play a minimal role up to an active management role. Mr. Duffy stated their group had a table at the recent Go Green Wilmette event and the number of people who came by their table indicated they would be at the Elmwood property on April 13 to help. There are also several other groups who have expressed interest including school students from Avoca and Harper and the Friends of Thornwood Park. There are also other groups who have indicated they would help with the maintenance of Elmwood if the Park District didn’t want to become involved. However, Park District support would be most welcome.

President Brault asked Mr. Duffy if his concept was to keep Elmwood open so that people could walk from Elmwood Avenue and then travel to the dune. Mr. Duffy replied that is what the general consensus has been from everyone with whom they have spoken to including people from outside their group. President Brault asked how the Park District would then address the “cooler-carrying” group of 25 who want to camp out for the day and then are joined in the afternoon by their circle of friends which is one of our biggest concerns. Mr. Duffy responded he thought that scenario would be minimal and that if there was an occasional person who abuses this park it would take the community to inform someone if anyone was acting inappropriately. One solution they had proposed was to enact the rules and apply them to Elmwood which would include closing at sunset (or earlier) and no alcohol.

President Brault added that one of the Park District’s issues is that the more Elmwood becomes beautified and more accessible the land, the more likely that area will be used especially if someone has to pay at the other two beaches. Mr. Duffy stated the feeling of their group is that they would be creating something different from Gillson and Langdon Parks in that it would not include people wanting to swim.

Mike Boyer, 934 Linden Avenue, stated the Elmwood area can be controlled by design so it would be a nature preserve which would then result in changing people’s behavior. Also, the water level is still the lowest it has been in decades and the site will change quite a bit when the water starts to rise again.

Commissioner Shelly stated her concerns are along the same lines as President Brault and feels it would be very difficult to keep people from coming down to Elmwood especially if it is clear all the way from the top of Elmwood. Also, what would stop those people who do not want to pay from coming to the “free beach”. Last summer she saw people hanging out at Elmwood Beach and they weren’t swimming. However, last year not a lot of people knew what was happening with Elmwood so she fears that as Elmwood gets cleaned up and more people know about it, she would be in favor of doing something with the beach but it would have to be controlled. She also doesn’t see how it could remain a passive piece of land.

Mr. Boyer asked if there would be opposition to trying Elmwood first and then adjusting the elements when or if needed. He added we are talking about a fear which has not yet happened. President Brault stated this topic will be brought up again later in the meeting and public comment would be allowed.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,315,838.00, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Crowley; Motion carried.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Wilson reported the deadline for season reserved times at the golf course for the upcoming season is Sunday, March 17, at 5 pm and the lottery will be held on Tuesday, March 19 at the golf course. Also for Board consideration tonight are two bids – one for the golf renovation project and one for the platform tennis project. As a result, the timing of the bids may affect our April meeting schedule. Originally, the golf renovation bids were going to be due on March 26 which is still the case. However, staff is now suggesting that we move the Golf Committee meeting up a week to review the golf course bids before the April 8th Board meeting. The platform tennis bids will be coming in on April 9 which is the day after the Board meeting. As a result, we would also need to schedule a Special Meeting or the Board to handle those bids. Director Wilson stated he is thinking we should schedule a Special Meeting for Monday night, April 15, which would be the same night as the Parks & Recreation Committee meeting. President Brault asked that if there were any objections to scheduling a Special Board meeting on April 15 and asked that the Commissioners provide their responses to Director Wilson.

Commissioner Olvany asked when our new commissioners would be seated and Director Wilson replied that would take place at the Annual Board meeting in May. Commissioner Olvany stated that would mean we would be asking our new Board members to vote on the bids for these two projects. President Brault replied that if a vote is not taken in May, then we may not meet our timing for either of these projects. Commissioner Shelly stated she felt that the commissioners who had been involved in the process all along should have the chance to vote on these projects rather than the new Board members who would be at their first Board meeting.

President Brault disagreed and stated that this type of situation happens every other year when new commissioners are elected. Commissioner Murdock stated he thought the key issue was that if we wait until May, it might be difficult to undertake these projects in 2013. Commissioner Olvany stated he felt it was odd to have a potential “lame duck” vote on these issues especially since these projects are two of the largest items we have had on the agenda in his 18 months of service.

After further discussion, President Brault tentatively set a date for a Special Meeting of the Board on April 15, 2013. Director Wilson stated he would make sure there will be a quorum and then will schedule the meeting.

Director Wilson stated the Park District is a member of the North Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) and he sits on their board by way of his position at the Park District. NSSRA is again hosting their annual event which recognizes their participants at a banquet held in Northbrook. The Park Board has also been invited and he welcomes the commissioners to join him on Friday, April 26.

Last month we established a Park District Twitter account (@wilmetteparks). Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue has also launched a Park District Facebook page which has several wonderful photos posted including the Daddy/Daughter Dance and our snowmaking contest. Staff has been enjoying our new social media efforts and hope the public does as well.

Director Wilson stated that as he reported last month in regard to the Lakefront Master Plan he had outlined who he was planning on reaching out to in terms of local community groups. Since then, he has scheduled meetings at almost all of the elementary PTA’s and both Rotary groups with most of them being held in April except for the lunchtime Rotary group who meets in Skokie in May. There is still one more PTA group he needs to contact although we may need to contact them electronically to gather input if our schedules do not permit an in-person meeting.

Commissioner Olvany stated that at the recent Go Green Event, a number of people asked him about the status of the Lakefront Plan and he told them that we were seeking feedback from PTA groups and it was unanimously accepted that this was a good step in the process.

In regard to the lakefront, Director Wilson reported that staff and the Board had talked about having a final concept at this time of the year but in order to conduct this target input we are seeking input from those demographics who may not have heard that the timing of the project has been pushed back. Because of that, we have been working on some of the requests that we previously outlined here as far as getting the costs for the absolute “must do’s” for the repair type of work vs. the incremental costs for the different options within the plans. Unfortunately, between platform tennis and the golf bids, he and Superintendent Lambrecht have been unable to start moving further into that process. In addition, the consultants had returned some plans but the plans were missing some very important pieces. As a result, Director Wilson stated he hopes to have that updated information in hand before he begins his speaking tour. After that and once we hear the rest of that additional input, we will hopefully be able to submit everything to the consultants in June and then it would take three or four months after that to combine it all down into one final concept which would result in it landing in a fall timeframe which could work out since many residents go on vacations in the summer.

Director Wilson reviewed the remaining agenda items which included a property tax appeal resolution that the Financial Planning & Policy Committee had reviewed at their last meeting and will be providing a recommendation during their report. Lastly, there is a disposal of surplus property ordinance which is required to be approved whenever we dispose of property. All of the items in this ordinance are a part of our capital replacement plan structure.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany reported Financial Planning met on February 25 and a review of the lengthy personnel policy manual was conducted. The Committee also provided direction to staff on how to provide a better framework for reviewing the document in order to move forward with it. We also received an update on our latest bond issuance which closed last week on March 5  resulting in a total of $928,000. In addition, the interest rate we achieved on our one-year securities was 0.8% on two years or 1% on three years at 1.2%. Commissioner Olvany also pointed out that the issuance of debt is in the face of our overall debt levels that continue to decline as they have over the past few years. A brief discussion was held on the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course Association (EWGCGA) and that the organization is now making progress on their outstanding water bills  which was owed to the Park District. Also discussed was the Ouilmette Foundation which has been in existence for a long time but will now be more of a park district-oriented foundation similar to School District’s 39’s foundation. The Committee is currently redrafting the bylaws of the foundation and some recommendations have been made to Director Wilson who has since asked our attorneys to work on drafting the bylaws. Superintendent Eppelheimer made a presentation on internal controls and the Committee was pleased to see how strong our controls really are and that we made the top 10 list from our external auditor. Lastly, a discussion was held on the property tax appeal and recommended approval of the motion which is on tonight’s agenda.

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to Resolution 2013-R-4, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (200 SKOKIE BLVD.) as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Crowley; Motion carried.

Parks & Recreation Committee – President Brault reported the Committee met on February 18 and discussed several items. First was the paddle tennis facility and we were provided with an update on the process of the development of the facility itself as well as the development of an operating plan, scheduling, budgeting, etc. In general, staff has made very good progress on developing an overall approach for the facility. The Committee also talked about the process involved with hiring a potential pro for the facility and the position has now been posted on several different paddle tennis sites. So far we have received four resumes and it is hoped to have that person in place within the month.

President Brault stated that the Park District went in front of the Village Zoning Board to seek several variances for the development of the facility and after some active debate the Zoning Board approved the application by a 7-0 vote. The next step is for the District to go before the Village Board for its approval and that meeting will be held tomorrow night, Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers.

Also reported was that the Committee discussed CRC traffic controls and how to slow down traffic since an incidence occurred in the parking lot in which someone almost hit one of our patrons. Staff is recommending improvements be made by way of stop signs behind the building which will be installed this season. Director Wilson added that the stop signs would be installed in conjunction with the painting of the parking lot which we do every year.

Also discussed at length was the Elmwood Avenue right-of-way and President Brault wanted to make sure the Board had seen all of the detailed information regarding the costs of various activities that the Park District might provide to the Village or to Elmwood Avenue. As a result, the Committee then passed a motion at the meeting to recommend to the Board the development of a swimming beach at Elmwood Avenue. However, the real intent of this recommendation was to solicit Board input on what should be done at Elmwood and President Brault stated he doesn’t think the overriding intent of this motion was to do anything as specific as the motion itself states but rather to stimulate discussion on this topic on whether we should or should not do this. The next step would be to gather input from the commissioners on what they feel about our involvement with Elmwood Avenue in general and if there is some way to reach some sort of consensus which could then be referred back to the Parks & Recreation Committee followed by conveying what the Board’s general direction is to the Village’s Municipal Services Committee. However, the first step should be to determine the extent to which the Village Board wants the Park District to be involved in the Elmwood Avenue Beach.

President Brault added that as a long as the Village decides that Elmwood would be an open and accessible property, it would then become a Park District issue. Also, the Park District has experience with what happens to lakefront property that has public access and although the two properties are not completely analogous, it is part of our data set in terms of what happens to an unmonitored beach. Thirdly, it is easier to start with more control and give back something than it is to start with less and then try to capture it over time. We had experience with that on the south beach which had been opened with no management and over the course of last summer, we all learned that trying to monitor something that previously had much less involvement was very difficult for staff and it was also difficult to change people’s expectations of what type of operation should be at that facility.

Commissioner Graham stated he thought the Park District should be involved in assisting with the management of Elmwood since that is our job and it would be efficient for us to monitor since it is located between Langdon and Gillson. He also strongly disagrees with the concept of making this an active swimming beach but does believe it could be a passive area of land. He also agrees that once people know it’s a free beach people will populate it which could be controlled in two ways – through design and having a patrol guard present to make sure people are not abusing it or in conflict with our ordinances. He also believes we should keep people from swimming at first but then let it revert to a more passive use once people start getting the message. However, once you open it up as a swimming beach, it completely changes the nature of that area and he believes the cost is unnecessary. Most importantly, there is no need to have another swimming beach since there are also two other swimming beaches close by.

Commissioner Murdock stated he agrees with Commissioner Graham’s thoughts and stated that this is an absolute gorgeous piece of property and he would like to have it remain accessible. He is also concerned that if we do have a more active use there, how would we deal with that. However, he would like to have a different type of park there since the reality is that this area is unlike any property we have. The walk down to the bluff is spectacular and because the lake levels are low there is a fair amount of sand space. We don’t know what it will be like in the future but he likes the idea of an observation deck and has also heard that a number of people do not want to see additional structures or buildings and he can accept that. He also strongly agrees with Commissioner Graham that we already have two beaches in this community and it may turn out that the use forces our hand to have a more active presence and therefore he would like a “go slow” approach. There clearly were problems last summer dealing with the overlook but those had developed over a number of years and we were able to correct them in a relatively short time period. As a result, he recommends experimenting this year and then determine if should move forward from there. In general, he would like to see a more passive park and is opposed to a swimming beach this year. He added that he would like to see swimming prohibited and would also like to see the same rules that our other beaches follow although these issues could be evaluated as we go through the season.

Commissioner Benz commended the Friends of Elmwood Dunes and stated that he envisions having a more natural preserve along with signage in addition to a campaign for the natural aspect of the area which would result in a wonderful asset. He added that in the long-term we should endorse and do what we can to help the Friends of the Dunes to envision their plan and guide the concept to fruition.

Commissioner Olvany stated he has first-hand experience with the story of Langdon Park. When he first moved to the neighborhood adjacent to Langdon Park, the lake levels were extremely high and over the next few years Langdon became a problem and a nuisance for all of the residents in his area with people hanging out in his front yard and parking in front of his home. However, the world changed when the Park District made changes to Langdon which turned it into one of the best community beaches in town. As a result, he does not support the recommendation of making Elmwood a swimming beach but does support a lakefront nature area. In addition, he thinks the Friends of Elmwood Dunes as well as the neighborhood needs to realize that for six weekends a year it could be a significant problem for residents as well as staff, whether it’s the police or Park District staff. He also agrees with Commissioner Graham that having a representative of the Park District there to help patrol would be similar to what we are doing at south beach. He believes there should be two representatives present and that they wear microphones as well.

Commissioner Shelly stated she would also agree with the concept of a nature preserve with possibly a bird sanctuary and also have someone picking up the beach. However, she has concerns about what could happen down there if it is not monitored so she would be in favor of Chart #2 since it is important to have the control upfront and we just worked so hard to turn around the south beach last year. As time goes by we may end up not needing any staff but to go in and start out with a guard makes sense to her. She is in favor of working together with the Village and the Friends of Elmwood Dunes but not in favor of the swimming beach.

President Brault reported so far we have three “no-swimming beach” preferences. Commissioner Murdock stated that in terms of the different charts he is not convinced we necessarily need a presence at Elmwood every day but there should definitely be a presence on the weekends as history has dictated. He also believes we want to make sure we have a sufficient presence so that we don’t have some of the same problems that occurred at south beach. He is not sure if a staff presence will be necessary but we can work through that as our staff did at the south beach.

Commissioner Shelly added there could be a staff person roaming that area to keep costs down but agreed that on the weekends there should definitely be a staff presence there.
President Brault stated one of his primary issues is that right now every person has access to the water which is the point of the purpose of a right-of-way. His fear is that if we create a usage that prohibits swimming we are taking away the primary right that we all currently have in this piece of property. As a result, he would not be in favor of creating a usage that restricts swimming because this is one of the “beauties” of our community that we do have more than one access point at our lakefront.

President Brault also stated that as a park district we would have the ability to control and monitor it as we see fit. Right now the public has a right to access the water at this point which is different. Commissioner Graham stated he thought it would depend on how you define access to water. He added that maybe he is wrong but he doesn’t see that as any different from other points along the lakefront where people have access to the water but are also prohibited from swimming. If the Elmwood Dunes easement was the only swimming area in all of Wilmette, we would have a totally different view. He added that to create an 80-foot span of swimming beach does not make sense.

President Brault stated he would rather start out with something we know we can manage in a positive way and if the use turns out to be different, then we could do battle with it at that time. But if we start prohibiting swimming we will have another south beach situation on a different scale starting on the first day when we send somebody out with a whistle.

Commissioner Olvany stated that it is the Village’s right-of-way so the Village has asked us to give them some thoughts and a recommendation on what we would do. So it is now up to the Village to decide on whether or not they want to change the ordinance on what that right-of-way is and what the Park District’s job is related to managing the property the way the Village wants us to manage it.

President Brault stated the Village has decided they were not going to sell it so because of that they asked us for some cost estimates if we were to manage it under a variety of circumstances which would depend on the level of our involvement. He added that he thinks the Village has not yet decided what they want to do but he feels the message the Village has been sending is that they want us to come up with a solution to keep it an open space and for us to manage it.

Commissioner Shelly added that most of the people she has heard from want it to be a passive use and as soon as it is turned into an active beach it will become something very different. It feels chaotic to her that Elmwood is in the middle of two other areas where swimming is allowed. She added that when people come to the water they do not necessarily expect to be able to swim there. President Brault replied that the expectation is that they will swim.

Commissioner Graham stated that earlier we used Langdon Park as an example of what we want to avoid and he had been right in the middle of that six years ago. Part of the issue was that Langdon was tucked away in a corner next to the condos and no one could really monitor it. We finally did get control of it in a constructive and useful way for the community. However, he doesn’t see Elmwood as being the same type of situation since it is right in the middle of a residential area and the right-of-way is 80 feet in size. He stated that in regard to Langdon, Superintendent Bingham made a great point when she said we need to police it, control it early on in the season, and make sure our presence is known so that people will have an expectation of what they can or cannot do and hopefully as the summer ends, things will get better happened. His only disagreement is not about the overall use of the area but that we set a tone and make sure people understand the rules which could then be followed by a passive park over time.

President Brault stated the next step should be to send this discussion back to the Parks & Recreation Committee and ask staff to develop a set of guidelines that would fall within something closer to the involvement contemplated in Chart #2 which would be a patrolled but non-swimming beach and then ask them to come up with some specifics for this type of facility use. The issue would then be presented to the Board as an agenda item for further discussion as well as receiving additional input from the public at that point. Also, before the District goes go back to the Municipal Services Committee, we should come up with a set of guidelines that are based around this concept.

Director Wilson asked when a committee meeting should be scheduled to review this issue again and President Brault replied it should be held at the Parks & Recreation Committee meeting on Monday, April 15.

President Brault stated that the Board has ended up with a good conclusion and it was the only one that fit with what the Board’s general direction had been. As a result, we will return the data to the Village as they had requested and also provide information on our direction related to the level of participation in Elmwood.

Commissioner Olvany asked what if the Village asks us to turn that area into a swimming beach. Commissioner Graham replied then maybe we would not be involved and President Brault stated this continues to be a process.

Commissioner Benz stated he doesn’t understand why we would need to go through another reiteration since it seems like everything is pretty much settled as far as data and a tentative recommendation to the Village are concerned. Commissioner Benz also stated that it appears Chart #2 is the way the Board is leaning and is what we should recommend.

President Brault replied that from our perspective we have not taken any public input on this issue which is an important element of this process and it has also not been before the Board as an agenda item to date and thinks it should be. Also, we have not yet expressed an opinion on what the Board’s direction is and now that it seems the District is headed there, it should be a part of our public process that this is something the Board is pursuing since we will most likely receive feedback on it. Commissioner Shelly added the Village would receive feedback as well.

Golf Operations Committee – Commissioner Shelly reported the Committee met on Saturday, March 9, and staff commented that a year ago the course had been opened for four or five days already with 80 degree temperatures. Also discussed was the golf lottery drawing for Season Reserved Time on Tuesday, Mach 19 and the deadline for submitting foursomes for any of the five phases of the lottery is 5 pm on Sunday, March 17 The other item discussed was the golf course renovation project and it was reported the bids would be opened on March 26. Golf staff also indicated they were working on reciprocals or deals for our members at nearby courses during the reconstruction which begins at the end of July. Golf staff is also currently working on pro shop merchandise.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met tonight before the Board meeting. Tennis reported that three out of four of Pirate Camps have sold out. Tennis also has a new camp called Scalawags which is for younger children and is similar in format to Pirate Camp. Tennis Manager Darrell Smith reported one of those camps was filled and the other is continuing to receive registrations. The Tennis Pro Shop Sale is taking place for the entire month of March and the tennis court lottery deadline is April 8.

The Ice facility will be shutting down soon for the replacement of the coils in the chiller system. There is also a new opportunity at the ice rink for children to skate in between their participation in hockey and baseball. The new drop-in, pick-up hockey consists of patrons being broken down into age groups, paying $10, and having a lot of fun. The groups consist of children in high school as well as parent/child opportunities. All of these ice times are posted on the web site and he encourages everyone to sign up at Centennial to enjoy spring skating.

The pool swimming season is not quite here yet although staff has already started preparing for it. Pass sales are up this year although staff did start selling them a bit earlier than last year.

President Brault asked about “Rat Hockey” and Commissioner Graham replied that this drop-in hockey program had just begun and involves skaters getting together for pick-up games, to shoot pucks, or to just have fun. It was also his understanding that the skaters were all wearing helmets and equipment.

President Brault asked about season pass sales at the pool and if staff had been able to determine if there have been any changes between resident and non-resident passes. Commissioner Graham replied that passes are up significantly this year for non-resident passes at approximately 25% while sales of resident passes did not increase as much. One explanation is that by increasing the daily rates there will probably be less demand from non-residents since their daily rates are so high. However, non-residents who thought they might use the pool on a regular basis bought the season passes. President Brault summarized that it is more expensive for non-residents but relatively speaking it is now a better value proposition. Commissioner Murdock stated he calculated that non-resident passes are up 25% and passes overall are up about 10% although it is still early in the process.

OLD BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS
Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2013-O-3, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, IL.

Commissioner Murdock stated he had a question about this piece of equipment which was a school bus and after talking to Director Wilson was told the bus is being sold at a good price and was also at the end of its useful life.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Crowley; Motion carried.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to adjourn to Closed Session for discussion of the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of a specific employee(s) of the District per Section 2(c)(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Graham, Murdock, and Olvany; voting No -- None. Absent – Crowley; Motion carried.

The meeting adjourned to Closed Session at 8:58 pm.

The Regular Board meeting was reconvened at 9:48 pm.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:49 pm and returned to open session.

MINUTES APPROVED ON APRIL 8, 2013.