WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
CENTENNIAL OPERATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING
Date: May 13, 2013
Place: Park District Administration Office
Time: 6:15 p.m.
Commissioners: Committee Chair Graham, Benz, Murdock, Brault, Crowley, and Shelly
Staff: Wilson, Bowen, Flynn, Smith, Udany, Bingham, Eppelheimer, Lambrecht
Visitors: Commissioner-Elect Abbott
Topics of Discussion:
1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes:
a) April 8, 2013
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Managers Reports
6) Old Business
7) New Business
1) Chair Graham called the meeting to order at 6:15 pm.
2) The Committee approved the minutes of April 8, 2013 by General Consent.
3) Under Communications and Correspondence, Committee Chair Graham stated that a number of emails had been received including a letter from the Ohio Aquatic Council regarding Mark Stansfield’s perfect score on the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Certified Pool/Spa Operator’s course. There is also an email from Joann Ori along with Superintendent Bowen’s response in regard to overcrowding at the pool. Chair Graham also pointed out that an important point to remember is that the rates were not raised to keep people away from the pool but rather to cover the cost of the pool and to better allocate the share of the expense of the operations between residents who pay taxes and non-residents who do not. Chair Graham indicated the second part of Ms. Ori’s email was her concern that when a patron comes into the pool and states her or his name, there should then be an attendant there to check to see what that person looks like on the screen and if they don’t match up, then that person should not be permitted to enter the facility.
Also included in the packet was an email from Christine Hutchinson to Vickie Tassone which included very positive comments on this year’s Ice Show. There was also a series of communications regarding the delayed pool opening and what the Park District was going to do in response to this delay. Chair Graham then asked Superintendent Bowen to provide an update on the status of the Centennial facility.
Superintendent Bowen stated that what staff has done so far is to offer to pool patrons the use of Gillson Beach on those two weekends. In a similar fashion when the beach is closed for bacteria, etc., those beach patrons are given use of their beach passes for the pool. Chair Graham asked what do we do for those people who have both a pool permit and a beach pass. Superintendent Bowen replied that staff had not yet made any accommodations for that situation. Chair Graham asked if anyone looked at the list to determine how many people are residents and how many are non-residents. Director Wilson replied that of the 13 emails received, nine of them were non-residents. Chair Graham asked how many were also beach passholders and Director Wilson replied he did not have that information at the moment.
Director Wilson stated staff sent out 2,500 emails and only 12 responses were received so it seems that for the most part people have understood the circumstances. Director Wilson added that staff did look into business interruption insurance to determine if a credit was issued would it be included in the business interruption claim.
4) Recognition of Visitors: None
5) Under Managers Reports, Ice Manager Sean Flynn stated that the ice rink has been shut down right now due to the ice reconstruction project. Construction is also ongoing in the mechanical room and everything has been cleared out. The crew is also working on the piping for the main and studio rinks, the plumbing is being taken care of, and the cooling tower was removed. A total of 1,991 tickets were sold for this year’s Ice Show compared to 2,200 in 2012. Staff has been working on the ice schedules that will go out within the next few days. In addition, some minor tweaks are being done to ensure consistency with all of the schedules. Sean stated that in the past, the District has allowed the users to pick and chose times which left gaps in the schedule. For example, he stated a group may ask for a specific time across the 26-week season but opt out for six of those weeks. This creates times where it may be difficult, if not impossible, to sell the six individual odd time slots. He stated that requiring the group to take all of the times during the period would produce a more efficient revenue stream for the facility.
Superintendent Bowen stated that if the facility could sell blocks of time and produce a more consistent schedule, it would help contribute to the bottom line of the facility and assist in contributing the facility’s share to capital improvements. He stated that adopting this change may result in the District receiving some complaints. However, in most situations staff is not talking about a lot of time although it does add up. Staff will soon be sending the contracts out for the groups to review so we will see what their reaction is and how we can move on from there.
After some discussion, the committee agreed with the recommendation and directed staff to move forward.
Sean also reported that he and Superintendent Bowen have been meeting with the Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) and a meeting was held with them this morning. The topics of the meetings have centered on how we could form a better partnership with the organization. The first step in this process was that the Park District will be processing WHA’s fall registrations which results in an approximate savings of $16,000 for the group. Earlier this year they again approached us about taking over some of their other skilled group classes which we are currently looking at and in addition they also mentioned the house leagues at some point. This subject matter is still in the discussion phase but we did have a very good meeting with them and continue to build a much better working relationship.
Sean also reported that staff is looking into the possibility of adding a fourth Ice Show performance in 2014. He stated this would depend on if we believe we could attract more public interest for the show. He said staff has discussed increasing the number of soloists and the number of times they perform across all shows. He added that this topic is still in the discussion phase and that he would report back with further information at a later date.
Commissioner Graham stated he hopes the drop-in hockey program will continue next year and that he believes this program is something which will grow in popularity. Sean added he was also very pleased with how well the program went.
Pool Manager Brian Udany reported there is now water in the main pool and diving well and that the systems will be started up on Tuesday morning, May 14. The chemicals, heaters, and pumps are ready to go and if all goes well staff will begin training next Saturday and Sunday. Lifeguard classes will then begin the following week. Staff is still waiting for word on the wading pool which has been delayed due to the construction of the tennis wall next to the pool. Brian reported that the number of passes sold currently totals 2,810 non-resident and 6,617 resident passes for a total of 9,427 passes which is down 433 non-residents passes but up 111 resident passes from last year. So we’re net down in actual pass numbers of 322 which results in our revenue being up in the amount of $37,747.
Tennis Manager Darrell Smith reported it has been a real challenge keeping the Tennis program moving along since the wall collapsed. Bill Lambrecht has been amazing throughout this whole ordeal with the tennis facility. On April 18 through 26, all of the permanent court time was cancelled until we were able to find out what we would be able to do and then move back into the facility. On April 23 we moved all of the Adult lesson, Drills and Junior Excellence students to the outdoor courts and all of Junior Basic level classes were cancelled from April 22 through 26. It also rained during that time. Darrell also had to prepare all of the outdoor courts for lessons while his two remaining staff members were left behind to move close to 500 students outside with their instructors. We are now teaching the majority of the lessons at Locust Park in addition to Thornwood Park, CRC, and Gillson at night. The Tennis Club reopened on April 27 and permanent court time resumed on six courts. However, that number of courts went down to four after problems were discovered on courts 7 and 8. Basic Level classes resumed indoors on Monday, April 29 and some of the classes with the older children are being held at the CRC. The credits issued for missing classes totaled $13,500. Some of the group class participants chose to extend their court time instead of receiving a refund. A total of 181 court times were lost and as of last week Friday, we had refunded 104 court times totaling $9,128. A total of 32 permanent court time players have also opted to choose the court time extension to the end of this season rather than receiving a refund. Overall, most of the customers have been very supportive and understanding of our situation. Staff has also been very patient and cooperative.
Superintendent Lambrecht explained that the contractors are currently stripping the roof and the contractors are setting the mats onto the pool deck so that the machinery can be moved in which will be used to install the sheeting. This process will take two days and they will then return to do the grout retention. The next step is to excavate and pour the new foundation. Everything else that needs to be done can be done indoors over the course of the summer. The structural engineers are developing the plans and it is hoped to receive those this week.
Commissioner Graham asked if there were any issues regarding insurance. Director Wilson replied that staff is working closely with PDRMA to make sure that each step is approved before any work is completed. Superintendent Lambrecht added that we are also working on the retention system for courts 7 and 8 and a trench is being dug 30-feet off of the north wall of courts 7 and 8. Staff is also looking at that same option for the other walls as well. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the north wall is estimated to cost about $75,000 to repair but the details still need to be worked out.
6) Under Old Business, discussion took place on the updated costs of the ice rink improvement project. Commissioner Graham asked about the correction made on the last page of the bid proposal for electrostatic painting on the lockers in the amount of $12,500. Director Wilson stated that when looking at the top portion of the bid, there is miscellaneous work in the amount of $150,000 which constitutes the budgetary placeholder to be compared with the $241,000 figure that has a delineation of $80,000 related to ADA and which gets paid for out of our Recreation Handicapped fund. As a result, when we take $80,000 out of $241,000, we are down to the $161,000 figure as opposed to the $150,000.
Commissioner Murdock asked that on the third bid recommendation there were only two bids and in addition, there were two firms that did not bid at all. There was also quite a wide range between the two. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that this was an abnormal time schedule for this project since the timeframe was very tight which discouraged some bidders. Commissioner Graham asked when the last time the flooring was replaced and Superintendent Lambrecht estimated it was about eight years ago and most of it was for carpeting. Commissioner Graham also asked how the low bid of $82,577 compared to what we had done in the past and Superintendent Lambrecht replied the last time it was replaced the amount was $98,000 or $99,000.
Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to recommend the approval of additional Centennial Ice Rink work in the amount of four bids totaling $241,277.
By a voice vote, voting Yes – All; voting No – None. Motion carried.
7) New Business: None
8) The regular Committee meeting adjourned to Closed Session at 6:30 pm.
9) The regular Committee meeting reconvened at 7:05 pm and the Committee returned to Open Session.
10) Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to recommend approval of the April 8, 2013 Closed Session minutes.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:06 pm.
Minutes taken by Jeffrey Bowen.
MINUTES APPROVED ON JUNE 10, 2013.