WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING

Date: September 16, 2013 

Location: Village Training Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance:
Commissioners: Shelley, Benz, Olvany      
Staff: Bingham, Lambrecht, Wilson, Eppelheimer, Bowen, Heafey, Groves
Visitors: None
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
     a) August 26, 2013
3) Communication and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
      a) Recreation Facilities General Manager
      b) Recreation Program Manager
6) Capital Improvement Projects Review
7) Old Business
      a) Triathlon Follow Up
      b) Village of Wilmette Request: Underground Storage Tank at West Park
8) New Business
9) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made:
  
1) The meeting was called to order at 6:33 pm.

2) The Committee reviewed the minutes of August 26, 2013 and after some corrections were made to the minutes, the Committee approved them by general consent as modified.

3) Under Communications and Correspondence, the Committee reviewed an email from Jane DiCesare commenting on how lovely the prairie planting is at Centennial Park.

4) Under Managers Reports, Carol Heafey reported that staff is currently assembling budgets for her review. Preparations for Halloween Happening have already begun and it is scheduled for October 25th. The new McKenzie After School Programs have 220 enrolled. The PTA had 200 to 250 as their range in previous years. This is the shortest session so enrollment may go up as the winter season gets closer and soccer and other sports end. The only time the program does not run is when the PTA needs the school for their own purposes. A few classes did not run due to a lack on enrollment, but a second Lego class, flag football and chess were increased. Katy Bradford is the on-site supervisor. Soccer has 1,246 participants this fall and the program began on September 7th. The Women’s Soccer program originally had seven teams playing but one team dropped out. A total of 70 children auditioned for the Wizard of Oz. There are 40 roles in the cast and of that total 23 are residents. Our Dance Force has 24 participants compared to 27 last year. Auditions for The Nutcracker will be held soon and the matinee performances will be held on December 14th and 15th. This will be the first time the Park District is presenting this holiday favorite. Early Childhood has a record 160 participants in After School Recreation. Flag Football has 77 children enrolled in 4th through 7th grades and 41 in the 2nd and 3rd grade groups. The Eagle’s Football house league currently has 66 players.

Carol Heafey showed the Committee a quilt made by Jody Sherman whose children have participated in almost every one of our camps and also worked as counselors. The quilt was made up of shirts from all of our camps and staff. It will now be framed and displayed in the CRC lobby.

Jeff Groves reported that Gymnastics currently has 1,635 participants this session compared to 1,629 last year and that the problems with the foam pit had been resolved. The new pumps are in and new foam has been added. There are even a few extra bundles of foam which can be added to the pit as the material gets compressed. The Fitness Center has received six new treadmills, two steppers and a new recumbent bike and these were installed the Friday before Labor Day. However, the installation of the equipment took extra time since the pieces had not been assembled before they were delivered. It did not cause major problems due to the proximity of the holiday weekend. There are currently 1,884 members at the Fitness Center and at Mallinckrodt there are now 668 active adult members. Ruthie Brew will be attending a conference all week. The annual Shred Event will be held on Thursday, September 28th from 9 am until 1 pm. It is very popular in the community and is always well attended.

5) The Committee reviewed the Capital Improvement Projects related to Recreation and the Parks & Planning Departments. Commissioner Benz asked about the furniture and blinds at the CRC which are marked “pending”. Staff replied that the furniture is being ordered and the blinds will be installed in one particular room where the darkness is important. There was some discussion about the roofing and siding replacement for the Parks & Planning Department facility, gymnastics equipment and irrigation at Howard Park.

6) Under Old Business:

  a) Triathlon Recap: Superintendent Bingham reported that the first North Shore Triathlon was held on Sunday, September 15, without any major problems. However, staff id indicated that there some items that would need to be “tweaked” but overall everything went well. There were just over 700 participants registered and 584 finished the race. The second largest group of participants was from Wilmette. There will be a follow-up meeting with the various agencies on Thursday to go over the event and discuss the possibility of us running the event again in 2014. The Lakefront staff in particular was very active during the swimming portion of the event. There were guards in stands and some in the water tracking participants who seemed to be struggling. Commissioner Shelly complimented the Lakefront staff on how well the swimming portion went. The other Committee members concurred that the event went very well despite the rainy weather. Executive Director Wilson added that he saw no reason to not do the event again. He added that he and Superintendent Lambrecht acted as outside observers watching each phase and didn’t see any real issues. Commissioner Olvany commented he also thought the publicity for the Park District was very good. Director Wilson added that if it weren’t for the assistance from the Police, especially Commander Pat Collins, it would not have gone as well. They worked very hard to keep the residents informed and to handle traffic control. Commissioner Shelly suggested that maybe something like this could be offered for children. Staff replied that there had been discussion of a “mini” triathlon for children age 14 and under.

 b) Village of Wilmette Request: Underground Storage Tank at West Park. Staff reported that Director Wilson and Superintendent Lambrecht met with Village staff and expressed some reservations the Committee had related to moving forward with the Village’s request.  They also included concerns about the environmental impact on the park as well as the neighbors. The other items covered were the appearance of structures above-ground and inhibiting future uses of the park. The Committee expressed concern that there would be adequate compensation for loss of the site for future generations preventing construction assuming that the Village would need maintenance access in perpetuity. The Committee asked which Village committee is overseeing this project and staff replied it was the Municipal Services Committee. Director Wilson was asked to formulate a list of questions from Park Board members to submit for a Village response. Staff added that during their discussions with Village staff it was disclosed that they mix 70% fresh water with the tank contents for the dilution rate which is greater than the combined sewers in east Wilmette and which helps mitigate the odors. Commissioner Shelly says she is not opposed but just needs to have a better understanding. Superintendent Lambrecht noted that the Village Staff had offered to have their consultant meet with Park Board members to answer any questions they may have. Commissioner Olvany asked what their timeframe was for the project and Director Wilson replied that they have approved a bond sale and hope to start in the spring of 2014 with completion set for the end of the year.

After further discussion, the Committee thought it would be beneficial to have a representative from RJN answer any questions at the October Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.

7) Under New Business Superintendent Lambrecht reported the Friends of Thornwood Park had to cancel their event the day before due to weather and have asked to reschedule for September 29th. The Committee approved the request.
 
There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 7:28 pm.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht.

MINUTES APPROVED ON OCTOBER 21, 2013.