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, JULY 8, 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 Crowley; Commissioners John Olvany, Gary Benz, James Brault, Shelley Shelly, and Amy Wolfe; Secretary/Executive Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem. 

ABSENT: Commissioner Bryan Abbott

STAFF: Superintendents Bingham, Bowen, Eppelheimer, and Bill Lambrecht.

VISITORS: Maggie and Molly Maloney, 411 Sheridan Road; Roni Crystal, 250 Vista Court

President Crowley called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:30 p.m. Director Wilson conducted the roll call and a quorum was established.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Shelley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the June 10, 2013 Regular Board meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:

- A letter was received on June 27, 2013 from Maggie Parmelee thanking the Park District for allowing their New Trier Relay for Life event to be held at the Wallace Bowl. President Crowley added that the proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to fight cancer in our community and that the Park District is always willing to participate in events such as this.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:  President Crowley stated that at the meeting tonight there are some “guardian angels” in attendance and they’re our Park District lakefront staff members. On July 4, there was an incident wherein a sailor suffered a heart attack and the four people here tonight used their training and courage to save a man’s life. This was a wonderful thing to do and we are very proud of our staff. As a result, the Board wanted to extend their “kudos” to each person.

Director Wilson stated the events that took place on July 4, 2013 began at approximately 6:30 pm near the sailing shack when one of our sailors witnessed another sailor, Steve Balz, collapse near his car. Mrs. Urrutia saw Mr. Balz fall and screamed for help. Also present was another sailor, Phil Andrews, who assisted and when sailing staff arrived at the scene, Mr. Andrews was administering CPR to Mr. Balz. Sailing staff called 911 and called for assistance from the beach house. Beach house supervisor Adam Price was the first on the scene followed by lifeguard Billy Maloney. Adam started rescue breathing immediately upon arrival while Mr. Andrews continued chest compressions. Lakefront Assistant Manager Tim Amorella arrived on the scene followed by Lakefront Operations Supervisor Katy Bradford who carried the AED and oxygen kit. Katy assisted Adam, setting up the AED and applying pads to Mr. Balz. Staff reported that his skin tone was purple at that time. The device called for a shock to be administered which Adam Price quickly delivered. According to Katy Bradford, the device also called for continuation of CPR. Billy Maloney administered oxygen while Katy and Adam continued with chest compressions and rescue breathing until the Wilmette Fire Department paramedics arrived on the scene. Katy reported that as the paramedics arrived, Mr. Balz appeared to regain consciousness. Assistant Manager Tim Amorella was also at the scene overseeing the rescue.

Director Wilson then turned over the presentation to Deputy Fire Chief Mike McGrill who stated he was very proud to recognize these outstanding Park District employees. He stated that today you cannot turn on the TV or computer and not hear about ordinary people being put through extraordinary circumstances. Most people would say to themselves what would I have done in that situation and once you experience something such as this words cannot accurately reflect the stress of the situation. The actions they had taken impressed his crew very much and not only was the man still alive, he was able to stand up. All of the training staff has had and the purchasing of lifesaving equipment is impressive. He then read from a statement as follows: “It is the Wilmette Fire Department’s honor to recognize the following heroes when on July 4 a man suffered a cardiac arrest at the Wilmette Sailing Beach. These actions resulted in restarting the man’s heart with CPR and an AED and he was then awake and could talk to the paramedics.” The Deputy Fire Chief then distributed certificates to the following staff: Katy Bradford, Adam Price, Billy Maloney, and Bill Langill. President Crowley added that it was Billy Maloney’s first day in the lifeguard stand and he did a good job.

Commissioner Wolfe stated she also wanted to thank the staff as well and that they all did an amazing job on July 4. She read her statement which included that their “prompt response and quick thinking saved the life of Mr. Balz. Had it not been for your training and staying calm, we would not have had the outcome that we did. Adam, your immediate CPR actions started a cascade of events that led to saving a life. Katy, your knowledge of the AED brought Mr. Balz back to life. Billy your continued CPR efforts sustained the entire process and Tim, because of the training and supervision that you have given your employees Mr. Balz is alive today. I commend you all. Not only did you save Mr. Balz that day but you also saved his family. The impact of your actions go far beyond one man. You allowed a dad to see his children grow up, a wife to have a husband to grow older with, and a community to have an active resident. Your actions impacted us all. We live in an amazing town where people look out for their neighbors and come to their aid when in need. I think this is especially true at the sailing beach whether it’s pulling a boat to the water or helping to put away gear there is always someone to lend a hand. In this situation the responses from fellow sailors was even more significant. Had it not been for the heroic action of Marilyn Urrutia alerting the staff to Mr. Balz’ side and Phil Andrew who began CPR, the outcome could have been very different. It was because they took a risk to help somebody out that the staff was able to put their training into action and save a life. We are so fortunate to have Adam Price, Billy Maloney, Katy Bradford and Tim Amorella on our staff. Without them and the rest of the beach staff we would not have been able to enjoy our lakefront as much as we do. Thank you for all you do each and every day. We know you are all committed to our safety.”

Roni Crystal, 250 Visa Drive, stated he is a passionate sailor at the Wilmette Sailing Beach and he was present tonight to specifically thank staff for the indescribable job that they did. He added there are not enough words to express how grateful everyone is. He also wants to thank the person or persons who are involved in setting up the policies and then implementing them. He also thanked Kathy Bingham, Tim Amorella and Holly Specht as well as everyone else who had helped.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:
Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,560,567.04, 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, Crowley, Olvany, Shelly, and Wolfe; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Abbott; Motion carried.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Director Wilson reported that prior to the incident just discussed we also celebrated the July 3 and 4th Independence Day festival. Due to questionable weather throughout the day on Wednesday, July 3, there was a smaller crowd in attendance for the fireworks which was estimated at 12,000 people. Of significance is that there were 15,000 people in attendance last year because of the heat. However, the cooler weather this year did help with the 4-mile run since it was estimated to be our largest number of participants ever with 400 people in the adult race alone. Director Wilson then thanked everyone for all the help we received from the different units of local government that include Village of Wilmette, Police, Fire, Public Works, and the Health Department who conducted food inspections. All of these entities made sure it was a fun, safe and smoothly run event for everyone. Without them it wouldn’t happen and the Village’s help is especially critical in making this event happen. Pace Bus is also crucial to the event as they safely transport the masses to and from the park.

Director Wilson stated that included in tonight’s meeting packets there was an engineering report from Klein and Hoffman in regard to the evaluation of the entire tennis club facility. Primarily it outlines that we still have some more work to do beyond fixing the collapsed wall on 3 and 4 and the north wall of courts 7 and 8. They also provided some specifications to Olson, who is currently our contractor on the job, and they gave us a price estimate of $264,000 in additional costs that we will need to incur this year in order to continue remediating all of the walls to make sure they are safe. This $264,000 is similar to the $203,000 which had been estimated for the north wall of courts 7 and 8 and which would also not be covered by insurance so it would be an additional cost that the District will need to absorb in the budget.

The rest of our summer activities are off and running although they have been impacted by our questionable weather this season. The golf course, beach, pool and camps are currently running and there are over 4,000 children enrolled in our summer camps which is a larger number from previous years. A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the new Platform Tennis facility and our contractors will be doing the actual groundbreaking sometime this week weather permitting.

On tonight’s agenda under Golf Operations there is a lease for Open Kitchens who is our current contractor at the golf course restaurant and the full lease was in your meeting packets. Under Parks & Recreation, there has been modification to the fitness equipment bid that was approved last month. Staff had incurred some mechanical issues with a couple of pieces of equipment so we are actually swapping out the elliptical machines with stair climbers. The new bid amount is slightly higher by about $3,000 but it is still under the $50,000 budgeted amount. Staff felt it was important that both the Committee and the full Board review the new numbers.

Under Financial Planning, there is a property tax appeal which the Committee is recommending for approval tonight. Commissioner Olvany stated he read somewhere in the Board packet the Committee was recommending that part of the work at Centennial will be done in 2013 or 2014. However, he read that the $264,000 was just for 2013. Director Wilson replied that this amount would cover all of the work but does not involve spreading the work over two years. The work that could go to 2014 was actually a small part of the work in one of the modules that would have cost more money over time.

Commissioner Olvany commented that for the first time in 24 years that he has lived in Wilmette, he participated in the Fun Run. He added it was amazing to see everyone in this room tonight who were also volunteering at the event and was amazed by the number of employees who were working at the event. As he explained to his family, this was one of the reasons why they live in Wilmette. It was an amazing effort on the part of everyone on the staff from Steve all the way down to our newest employees. It’s a fantastic event but to experience the Fun Run first-hand was not as much fun. Director Wilson stated there was also an army of counselors with red shirts in attendance who were there as part of their employment. However, they do get to choose whether they want to work the fireworks or the race in the morning. Without all of our staff we wouldn’t be able to do this event.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Lakefront Committee – Committee Chair Benz reported the Lakefront Committee met for the second time on July 1 and discussion centered on moving forward with the Lakefront Master Plan. The first item of business was the granting of the permit for the St. Joseph School Cross Country event to be held at the lakefront in early October and the Committee approved their request. We then discussed the various additional questions that came out of our first meeting and those have yielded even more questions which will be reviewed at our next meeting on August 5, 2013. Some of the questions to be reviewed include what kind of lost revenue we thought the Lakeview Center sustained because of its size and whether there would be enough material for some kind of cost analysis to determine if there was an ideal configuration there.

We also wanted to determine what the ADA requirements would be and the cost analysis of that to bring the lakefront into compliance with ADA. As we looked at the various deteriorating features of the lakefront we knew there would be costs associated with not proceeding and we also knew that as we presented and pulled together the program one of the questions from the community would be “what if we do nothing”. As a result, the Committee asked for an analysis of some of those numbers to get a handle on the actual dollar amounts. We also wanted to assemble a reasonable timetable moving forward so that we could report back to the Board on what kind of timeline to expect. Also as the project unfolds, the Committee felt our short-term goal was to pull together all of the input we have received from the community into a single plan which would be available for public comment and which would demonstrate that we have heard what the community wants at the lakefront.

Facilities Operations Committee – Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee met this evening and once again this committee now includes tennis, ice, pool and paddle tennis. He is also pleased to announce that the paddle tennis facility broke ground and that we hired a Paddle Tennis pro named Brad Smith who comes to us from the Onwentsia and Lake Forest Country Clubs. He is also one of the top-ranked players in the country and we think he will be fantastic based on what we’ve seen so far. The marketing effort will begin within the next week or so and we reviewed a very detailed marketing plan in terms of media exposure and how we’re going to interface with our community. We do expect that the facility will be open by about September 1 and we are anticipating we will have both the men’s and ladies league play this year although some of that will depend on how many players sign up. He added that anyone who would like to register for Paddle Tennis can now do so at all of our facilities.
Due to the inclement weather, the numbers at the pool are down fairly substantially and we’re also down about $76,000 in revenue overall. We think we’ll be able to make up a small amount of that somewhere in the $5,000 or $6,000 range by eliminating some of our expenses moving forward. The Flick and Float event has been rescheduled for this Saturday, July 13.

At the ice rink, the facility is currently being renovated with a new refrigeration system and it appears that project is on schedule and on budget. So far we have not experienced any setbacks so it is anticipated the facility will likely reopen on approximately September 15. Ice contracts will be going out this week with a revised schedule which is actually fairly close to last year’s schedule. At the tennis courts, the renovation also continues there as well. In addition, the wall is back up on courts 7 and 8 although we are a little behind schedule as a result of the improvements we have been making. In the fall, there will be a three-week delay in opening and a four-week delay in our junior classes but the roof work will be started in about a week.

President Crowley asked if the $76,000 revenue shortfall year-to-date was associated with the weather. Commissioner Brault stated that it was difficult to explain why. He added that in regard to the annual passes, if the weather is inclement at the start of the season, the number of annual passes are also down. We did change some of the pricing structure so this year will be a test case in regard to pricing. We also asked staff for the next budget cycle in September to do an analysis of daily use based on the temperature on that day and then looking back at the past several years to determine if it was pricing or weather-related. We may never know for sure but it will give us some guideposts when we’re planning for next year. President Crowley stated he hopes we will be able to analyze that in conjunction with resident and non-resident usage. Also, of the $76,000 that we’re down $30,000 of that came from non-resident annual passes.

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee did not meet between our last meeting and this meeting although we do have some additional data that Superintendent Bowen would like to provide to us.

Superintendent Bowen reported that golf rounds currently total slightly over 14,000 at the beginning of June which is also where we were in 2011. However, last year there was a significant amount of play due to the warmer weather experienced in March which added to last year’s revenue of approximately 4,000-5,000 more rounds than the previous year. To date financially we are very close to budget at 7,000 rounds which indicates that we’re having the year we expected to experience. The numbers for June are where they were last year. Once we get to the warmer summer months, play is pretty much similar.

The Al McLean Golf Championship was held a couple of weeks ago with 155 participants. This was the second year we have outsourced this event to the Illinois Junior Golf Association (IJGA) and it has resulted in it being a better event and provides more access to marketing. In general, our partnership with the IJGA is a very good one.

The Ouilmette Golf Club was victorious in their interclub play with the Glenview Men’s Club with a score of 15-13 in the “Go Cup” event. They also defeated the Mt. Prospect Men’s Club 24-23 and they won a very nice trophy. Junior Golf participation continues to see some very fine young golfers and there is currently a total of 283 junior golfers. As a result, our program revenue is up this year to almost $62,000. On the maintenance side the course recently has had some good weather for growing turf which is in very good condition. However, there was some slight damage from flooding but once again we didn’t experience the excessive heat that results in damage to the turf.

Commissioner Olvany asked if there was a timetable for starting construction. Superintendent Bowen replied that the course will close on Sunday, July 18, and we will have our first pre-construction meeting on Friday to get everything set. Director Wilson added that the last day of play will be Sunday, July 28 and the course will close on July 29.

Commissioner Brault stated that our lease with Open Kitchens expires at the end of this year and that in March the Golf Operations Committee had made a unanimous recommendation that the Board approve the revised agreement.

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the five-year Golf Course Food Service License Agreement with Open Kitchens at the Wilmette Golf Club in the amounts of $30,000 in 2013; $40,000 in 2014; $54,500 in 2015; and increased by the CPI-U in 2016 and 2017.

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

Parks & Recreation Committee – Committee Chair Shelly reported the Committee met on June 17. One of the main issues discussed was a ladies soccer league and several women from nearby communities were in attendance. The group stated they have been involved in a soccer league for the past four years and there are currently 190 women making up nine teams who are very interested in having the Park District take over the program. Commissioner Shelly added that this group is very organized and they had a great presentation. She also stated that staff is currently working on the numbers but it really comes down to availability of the fields. The proposal looks fairly positive for them in the fall but in the spring there may be conflicts with baseball. The Committee will continue discussions in the meantime although it currently looks favorable.

Camps are in their fourth week and the new sessions start next week. At the CRC there are over 2,200 campers and everything has been very positive for the first official session of the summer. The Starlight Theater’s production of Seussical begins this weekend and the shows will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three weekends.

The Committee also held a brief discussion on the Wilmette Eagles. The newly formed parent committee has met for a second time and there is a coaches meeting coming up this week. In addition, all of the coaches this year will be certified through USA Football. Lastly, the Committee discussed the change made in the fitness center equipment bid and that staff had indicated they would prefer purchasing the climb mills instead of the elliptical machines.

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to accept the modified bid to purchase fitness equipment which removes 2 Cross Trainers and adds the purchase of 2 Climb Mills in the total amount of $49,051.00 as recommended by the Parks & Recreation Committee.

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

Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany stated that on Saturday night one of Wilmette’s own, Chad Bernstein, who grew up across the street from the Wallace Bowl was part of a group of musicians from Miami who performed at the Wallace Bowl. He was amazed at the quality of the performers that the District is bringing in thanks to the efforts of Superintendent Bingham and her staff. Mr. Bernstein had indicated he was interest in coming to Wilmette and bringing his friends. He would also perform at a substantially lower price than usual. It turned out to be an amazing event and the highlight for Commissioner Olvany was when Chad picked up a conch shell and played it with multiple hands. As a result, he was very pleased that staff had worked with him so well and was able to bring in new equipment which we don’t normally see. Hopefully, he can do this again for us next year and with increased attendance.

At the Committee meeting, a number of items were reviewed including the tax levy which will only be increased  by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and which is currently very low so he believes this is a good example of how we’re going to have to tightly budget ourselves for the coming year. There was also a step-by-step discussion of some of the action items that Director Wilson, Superintendent Eppelheimer and their staff have done to comply with the points mentioned by our auditors in their management letter. Staff is also looking to hire temporary help for some of our other action items mentioned at the meeting. Time at the meeting was also spent on talking about the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course Association (EWCGCA) and that as neighbors and partners we are working closely with them as they welcome their new staff and new board. We are also happy to report that they continue to pay their outstanding water bills on time and hopefully that will be under control within the next couple of months.

The final item reviewed was the capital budget. As we have previously discussed, there have been some weather-related expenditures that had not been budgeted. Also, staff had already deferred a number of projects and thus far we have spent $203,000 as of this report. As Director Wilson mentioned previously, we are in the process of spending another $264,000 which will bring us to half a million dollars in terms of unbudgeted expenses. As everyone knows, we have three major ongoing projects – Golf, Tennis and Ice – so the Committee is taking a line-by-line approach to reviewing the projects in the capital plan. As a result, we are currently deferring $643,000 in projects so far and we will continue to take a close look at our numbers in order to have an appropriate budget, especially for the second half of the year. He added that in terms of the tennis facility, the amount of the repairs that are covered by our insurance is almost $2 million which means our insurance partner – PDRMA – has done a good job in terms of working with the District. The plan now is to keep a very close eye on how the budget is doing and determine if we need to make any recommendations to the full Board for deferring any other projects.

Director Wilson stated that on the insurance side of things, we received money from PDRMA which was an advance payment on the insurance claim, or in other words a progressive payment, in the amount of $725,000.

Commissioner Olvany stated that for all the discussion on how difficult it has been financially from a weather-perspective, included in the meeting packet was a review of where the District currently stands which indicated that despite what is happening at the pool and tennis facilities, the fee revenues mainly associated with our camps is up over 6% because of how well everything is going with the camps and our rental facilities. Fee revenues mainly associated with camps is up over 6% which is a large budget item for the District. Overall, we are currently above budget year-to-date by over $1 million and some of that is due to the timing of the taxes. However, as far as our operations are concerned, the strength of our programs is helping us from a financial perspective at the current time.

Move to Resolution 2013-R-11, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (1131-1147) accept the modified bid to purchase fitness equipment.

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

OLD BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS: None

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at  8:26 pm.

MINUTES APPROVED ON AUGUST 12, 2013.