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, AUGUST 12, 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: Vice President John Olvany; Commissioners Bryan Abbott, Gary Benz, James Brault, and Amy Wolfe; Secretary/Executive Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem. 

ABSENT: President James Crowley; Commissioner Shelley Shelly

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

VISITORS: Mary and Charlie Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue

Vice President Olvany 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 Benz moved and Commissioner Wolfe seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the July 8, 2013 Regular Board meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE

- Letter dated July 19, 2013 to Director Wilson from Lauri Harris thanking Centennial Tennis staff members Darrell Smith and Patrick Sullivan for making Pirate Tennis camp such a wonderful and safe place for her children to be this summer.

- Letter dated July 31, 2013 to Director Wilson from Nada Becker, Executive Director of the Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce, thanking the Park District for supporting their third annual Wilmette Summerfest along with special thanks to Bill Lambrecht for his efforts. Commissioner Olvany agreed and stated it was a fantastic community event and would recommend that everyone stop by next summer.

Commissioner Benz stated he received an email from the Baugher family suggesting that the Lakefront Committee check out the restroom and housing facility that is behind the lighthouse by the Evanston Park District by the lighthouse. Commissioner Benz stated he did review that area and took some photographs which he submitted to the Lakefront Committee.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS

Wilmette resident Charles Silverstein stated he was cutting back his hours at work with other municipalities and taxing bodies but hasn’t spent a lot of time in Wilmette. As a result, he was in attendance at this meeting to learn what the Wilmette Park Board had been working on. Commissioner Olvany replied the Park Board is always looking for interested people to help us in the variety of tasks that we have on our plates and he thanked Mr. Silverstein for attending the meeting.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST

Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,683,984.44, 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, and Wolfe; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioners Crowley and Shelly; Motion carried.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Director Wilson reported that we are at the tail-end of the summer season and all of our summer programs have wrapped up. This year there were over 5,400 enrollments in our summer camp program which he is sure has already grown from the date of this report since many people are looking for a place for their children to stay before school starts. Overall, it was a very successful summer and for the most part all participants had fun.

Director Wilson stated there has also been a lot of construction going on lately in the Park District and Superintendent Lambrecht will be providing updates on most of those projects during tonight’s meeting. In addition, Director Wilson stated he would provide a short update on the golf course and that staff has been posting photos on our Facebook page on a gallery called “Golf Construction Photos”. The work is progressing very quickly out at the course and Golf Manager Mike Matchen forwarded a very detailed report which indicated that the new greens and sand traps have been roughed in and most importantly, the drain lines have been installed. The construction crew will soon start manicuring and then start working back toward the clubhouse. There were also a handful of greens that are being redressed and those were killed off over the weekend. Once that work is completed, they will begin to work on the other areas of the course.

Director Wilson asked Superintendent Lambrecht to report on the District’s other projects. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that everything at this point seems to be moving along well and presented a slide show of the different projects. Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the Tennis facility reconstruction work began on April 19 and in the past four months everything has been moving along quickly. The reconstruction work began immediately after the tennis wall collapse and it is amazing to see the differences between the construction currently being done to what we had been doing in the past. Last week we installed all of the steel brackets and began attaching the purlins and rafters to the compression ring to the top of the facility. The roof has been decked and the outside wall has been reattached. Once that was done, they jacked up the center of the compression ring and then started to tie everything back together. Once everything was tied back, they took pressure off the ring, let it sit for 48 hours, and then we took measurements to make sure nothing was changing or moving and eventually we were able to start taking down the structure. The first thing they took out was the shoring under the roof on the east side and after everything else checked out they started removing the structure last week Thursday. By Saturday, everything was down and we started inventorying and taking everything out today.

Superintendent Lambrecht stated that from these photos we can see more clearly now the extent of the damage on the floor which was substantial in that module. However, the court surfacing contractor will be taking care of that when he arrives on-site. Everything is still pretty dirty but during this coming week we will start replacing the lighting, get everything ready so that the module can be painted, the new gas line can be run through the building again, and the heaters can be reinstalled. After that is done, then the new gas line will be run through the building again, the heaters will be reinstalled, and then everything will be ready for court surfacing.

Commissioner Brault asked what the outdoor pool area looks like and Superintendent Lambrecht stated the wall at the pool will remain in place for the rest of the season. The brick masons are setting up their scaffolding and will start waterproofing outside of the wall tomorrow. Once that occurs, the roof contractor is supposed to be there next week to put on the new roof and replace the soffits and fascia. This work should be completed by the time the pool closes. After that, we will tear down the wall and start replacing the entire deck.

Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the Ice Rink refrigeration project has been moving along very quickly and he showed photos of the refrigeration headers and the installation of guides for the 10 miles of tubing. The boards are now all in place and this morning they worked over the weekend to spread 42 tons of sand as a base for the refrigeration system. There will also be an access created which we had to cut through the wall for them in order to get the equipment skids in. One skid was for the refrigeration equipment and the pump system, the sub-floor heating, and for the circulation for the cooling tower. Everything was assembled in the factory and then it was slid into it. The color of the brick is now gray to match the walls and the structural members have been painted to match the roof structure. The tall walls on the south and west walls are two-tone in color.

In regard to Platform Tennis, the excavation was done fairly quickly but there were issues with water and silt. The Board also had authorized staff to bring in a mud slab which consists of about eight inches of three-inch stone and four inches of concrete on top. We also put salt underneath it in order to move the water away. The sanitary service and storm services were finished on-site and last Friday they came in to set the forms for the footings. They also pulled the forms and were going to waterproof the footings today. The plan for tomorrow is to set the forms for the foundation and hopefully pour the concrete by Thursday.

The paddle tennis contractor is planning to ship the material to the site and stockpile it. Once the foundation and walls are up, the platform contractor will have the opportunity to begin building. The whole process should take about three weeks to complete. Commissioner Olvany asked if it is conceivable that the facility could be built earlier and Superintendent Lambrecht replied maybe in September but it would be a tight schedule. Once the foundation is in they will need to have the steel ready to be installed and to have delivery of all of the windows. These are the key items right now since the rest of the work is pretty straightforward.

Commissioner Olvany asked if it was possible to obtain an occupancy permit just for the courts and Superintendent Lambrecht replied we could but we would first need to get the parking lot, the courts, the access to the courts, and then the building outside completed. The inside work should take approximately one week. Commissioner Brault asked if there had been any feedback from the neighbors and Superintendent replied there was none. Commissioner Abbott asked if the foundation drainage system had been checked out and rebuilt and Superintendent Lambrecht replied yes and that it was separate from that system.

Director Wilson thanked Superintendent Lambrecht for his presentation and added that that under the Golf Operations report there is an Exchange of Services Agreement with the Glenview Park District which relates to a reciprocal agreement with them for resident and member usage at their course while we are under construction. Likewise, when Glenview is doing their golf course reconstruction project, they will be able to use our course at those same rates.

Under the Financial Planning Committee, an amendment to our ordinances is being submitted for approval in regard to Section 2.02 (e) Alcohol Liquor. This revision is basically to allow alcohol at our new Platform Tennis facility. Also under Financial Planning, there is a Property Tax Board Appeal which is a standard procedure and we have already had a few of those already this year. Lastly, under New Business there is a resolution honoring the contributions of a retiring, long-term employee of the Park District.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Lakefront Committee – Committee Chair Benz reported the Committee met last Monday, August 5, with a full agenda and added that the Committee continues to gather information. Also reviewed was a Park Permit request for a wedding ceremony to take place at the Lakeview Center which was approved by the Committee. At the meeting, staff also presented reports that were very detailed and generated a lot of discussion. The first item reviewed was the ADA Accessibility Requirements which were extensive. Also reviewed was an analysis to see what would happen if we were to indicate that all we want to do is to repair the beach house, not replace it, and then to see what the cost ramifications were in order to help us with our decision-making plans. It was then discovered that some of the estimates for replacement were less than twice the cost of just repairing the beach house as a near-term solution. As a result, it appears a repair option would not be economically feasible.

The Committee also discussed the Lakeview Center in terms of the lost revenue that we have been experiencing due to not having enough room to accommodate interested parties for rentals. As a result, we are trying to get a sense of what the optimum size would be and that discussion will continue. Commissioner Abbott also provided the opportunity to utilize his engineering software and review a timetable to get a flavor for what we can expect and when to expect it. As discussion continued, it was felt that the scope of the master plan that we are undertaking includes the Wilmette Lakefront from the Baha’i beach in the south to Langdon Park to the north. As the Committee’s mission statement states, we feel “we must maximize the potential for enjoyment by all citizens of Wilmette and their guests without regard to their physical impairments, by being good stewards of the natural physical beauty of our lakefront while providing safe supervision of and appropriate venues for our public’s recreational activities.”

Commissioner Benz added that for the past three years we have drawn from the experience of consulting engineers who specialize in public parks along with citizen committees and public feedback. The public has spoken and we want to make it clear that the commissioners and staff have listened to the public. The Committee also feels that they are charged with the development of a final Lakefront Master Plan and with professional assistance will present a single, conceptual proposal to this Board by November 2013. Then we will obtain feedback and have plenty of time for revisions followed by a supervision of this conceptual plan and then be prepared to implement it by September 2015. 

Commissioner Brault stated that when we talked earlier in the spring, the idea of a “needs” list versus a “wants” list was discussed along with a conceptual scope of that cost. Commissioner Benz stated that the list, which is turning out to be several pages long, is hoped to be completed by next week and will then be disseminated to the commissioners so that they know exactly what is being proposed. That will then be followed by comments from the public, a decision on what will not be on the list, and then the narrowing down of everything to a one-sheet plan. Commissioner Brault asked if the Committee was going to take additional public feedback after the completion of the one-sheet plan. Commissioner Benz stated no since we there has been three years of feedback.

Commissioner Olvany stated that with all of this discussion on what the Lakefront Committee is going to do about the aspects of the plan, it will be taking place during the next few months as the Committee tries to put together one conceptual plan to bring to the full Board. As a result, we will obviously be taking feedback along the way during that process.

Facilities Operations Committee – Committee Chair Brault met earlier this evening and stated a fair amount of time was spent discussing our ice facility. The current President and Treasurer from the Wilmette Hockey Association (WHA) were in attendance to discuss a variety of ideas on how the Park District might be able to take advantage of each other’s expertise. For this coming season, the Park District is also lending its online registration system to the WHA which we think will benefit them in terms of efficiency and cost and then using that as a stepping stone for further discussion on how we might be able to integrate more elements and work together with them at Centennial. It is currently the expectation that the ice rink will be open on September 16 and in fact, the ice will be painted immediately right after Labor Day so that the facility will look great and the ice should be in good shape for this season’s hockey season.

At Centennial Pool, the season is almost over and our numbers are slightly down from last season due to the inclement weather. When looking at the budget in September the Committee will be going to take into account our experience this year compared to last year since we made some very significant adjustments to the pricing at the pool this season. As a result, the Committee and staff will be reviewing the feedback from this year and discuss what we should be done next year.

It is hoped the Paddle Tennis facility will be opening up around the first of October. To date a total of 39 people have signed up and they are equally split between men and women. Staff anticipates fielding two ladies teams in a competitive league this year and probably seven or eight men’s teams. This will be the first time we will be accepting registrations online and so far everything seems to be going well.

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee met last on July 13. The course had closed down toward the end of July due to the start of construction. So far it appears significant progress has been made on the renovation of the course. The Committee will not be meeting in August although we have signed an Exchange Agreement with the Glenview Park District share our courses over the next two years during both of our golf course reconstruction projects. The effect of this is to allow Wilmette residents to use the Glenview course during our reconstruction at Glenview resident rates and when Glenview undergoes their golf course renovation next year Glenview residents will be allowed to the use our course at resident rates as well.

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to accept the Exchange of Services Agreement between the Wilmette Park District and the Glenview Park District in regard to our respective golf course reconstruction projects.

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

Commissioner Olvany stated the Exchange Agreement was included in the packet and Director Wilson added that: beyond residents, our members will also receive an “Associate” rate at the Glenview course which is their equivalent of membership and in turn, their associates will receive the member rate at our course. In addition, their members will also receive their benefit of membership at other courses as well. 

Parks & Recreation Committee – Commissioner Benz stated the Parks & Recreation Committee did not meet in August.

Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany stated there were a few items to be brought to the Board’s attention as well as a few action items. At the July Financial Planning meeting, Superintendent Eppelheimer reviewed the annual audit process and where the District was in terms of implementing some of the recommendations from our auditing firm. After the review, the Committee members indicated they were pleased with the progress that staff has made in relation to those key points from our auditors. He also reported on the status of our outstanding water bills with the Evanston-Wilmette Community Golf Course Association (EWCGCA) which were very substantial a year ago and that we should be current with them in the next month or so. In addition, the District is lending some of our golf carts for a golf outing while our course is closed.

The major item on the agenda at the Committee meeting was the presentation from Executive Director Craig Culp of the NSSRA (North Shore Special Recreation Association). The purpose of the presentation was to address the mission as well as the capital plan for NSSRA which is a 13-member agency consisting of park districts and a few municipalities on the North Shore that have recreation departments. What we as a park district do is to pool our resources, services and transportation in order to provide services to North Shore residents with special needs. NSSRA is undergoing a fairly extensive 25-year capital plan which will be funded from private and public sources in the amount of $4.6 million. Executive Director Culp gave his presentation which was very moving and very specific about their plans. However, their main focus is that they need a new headquarters.

A few smaller issues that were discussed included an initial discussion on a $500,000 debt certificate offering which will be done sometime in the next few months and the proceeds will be used to pay for some of the improvements at the golf course which will be funded exclusively with additional fees for users of the golf course. A preliminary discussion was also held on the timing and pricing of that debt offering. Our financial results were also discussed as was the capital budget in great detail since we have a large capital budget and as well as unbudgeted capital expenditures. As a result, the committee is keeping a close eye on our expenses and figuring out how we’re going to fund everything.

Through the end of July, and despite the weather, we are still running at an operating surplus of $322,000 in the second half of the year. As some may know, when there is a lot of debt service coverage, payments are made so we are moving forward with a fairly healthy operating surplus which is something we currently need. Lastly, there are two action items on the agenda that Director Wilson mentioned earlier in the meeting.

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2013-O-5, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AN ORDINANCE REGULATING THE USE OF THE PARKS AND PROPERTY OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT (“CONDUCT ORDINANCE”) as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

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

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2013-R-12, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (3029 COUNTRY LANE).

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

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS: Commissioner Wolfe moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2013-R-13, A RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE SERVCIES OF JACQUE CRANE.

Director Wilson stated the Jacque Crane had been with the District for 22 years and 8 months and in all of that time she was behind the scenes at the CRC where she was the “engine” of that facility for a long time. He guarantees that we have all received a flyer at some point which she created on her computer and put in some small child’s backpack. Jacque was the epitome of class while working in a place consisting of close quarters, a lot of fast movement, and much anxiety and angst. However, she always stayed above the fray. She is one of the few who can be here for 22 years and without having one enemy. We are very proud of the time she has spent with us and to recognize her accomplishments tonight. Commissioner Brault then read the resolution as follows: 

 “Whereas Jacque Crane has faithfully served the Wilmette Park District for twenty-two years and eight months as an Administrative Assistant at the Park District’s Community Recreation Center performing administrative tasks and customer service, and always willing to take on additional responsibilities when requested, and;
 Whereas Jacque Crane, due to her special expertise with regard to Park District recreation programs, has been held in high esteem by her peers in the District and by the Park District patrons she has served. Having dealt with customer service, she has forged a special bond with many Park District patrons who have come to rely on her for service and special help when needed, and

 Whereas, the Board of Park Commissioners and the community-at-large wish to recognize the excellent and dedicated services that Jacque Crane has given during her tenure with the Wilmette Park District; therefore, be it 

 Resolved, that the Board of Commissioners of the Wilmette Park District, on behalf of all Wilmette residents and those users of the Wilmette Park District Community Recreation Center programs, does hereby acknowledge and pay tribute to Jacque Crane for her contributions to recreation in Wilmette, and that we express our sincere thanks and respect for her; and be it

 Further resolved, that a copy of this testimonial resolution shall be duly executed and included and preserved in the minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners of the Wilmette Park District, and that the original of this resolution shall be presented to Jacque Crane.”

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

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at  8:09 p.m.

MINUTES APPROVED ON SEPTEMBER 9, 2013