WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, April 7, 2014
6:30 p.m. – Mallinckrodt Community Center
Commissioners: Chair Benz, Abbott, Olvany, Brault
Staff: Wilson, Bingham, Bowen, Eppelheimer, Lambrecht, Specht
Visitors: Charlie and Mary Shea
I. Meeting Called to Order
Meeting called to order 6:30 p.m.
II. Approval of Minutes
A. Committee approved minutes from March 6, 2014; by general consent.
III. Communication and Correspondence
The Committee reviewed an email from Steve Later addressed to Superintendent Bingham regarding the memorial markers at Gillson Park. Director Wilson commented that the concept the District is pursuing is similar to what Mr. Later proposes, which is to move the memorial markers to one centralized location.
The Committee reviewed an email sent to Susan Gottlieb from Superintendent Bingham regarding Susan’s original email on the sailing lottery and the lack of available spaces.
Commissioner Olvany suggested adding the letter that Margrit Kuehn sent regarding Langdon to the Board packet for the next meeting. Commissioner Bingham will make sure this is presented to the Board.
Director Wilson commented on a phone call he received from Jim Egan who is on the District’s Foundation Board. Mr. Egan addressed the bike lanes in the master plan. Commissioner Abbott commented that he went through the park with Mr. and Mrs. Egan to get their thoughts. Mrs. Egan is the President of the Bicycle Club in Evanston. Mr. Egan would like to see the bike lanes going in the same direction as the traffic. They would like two way bicycle traffic lanes. Commissioner Abbott agreed with two way bike lanes. He commented that it is too early to design the specifics. Commissioner Olvany agreed to discuss the specifics stated at a later time. Director Wilson commented that he invited Mr. Egan to come to any of these meetings and that he would keep him informed when we get down to specifics.
Commissioner Benz received a letter from Mary Shea regarding the fact that she and Charlie Shea have been unmoved by most of the District’s recommendations in the Lakefront Master plan. Mary Shea commented that she wanted clarification on her concerns, which are: (1) is the project moving forward with Smith Group JJR and Williams Architects or is the bidding process open. She emphasized wanting to see more creativity in the design process; (2) she feels there is no detail to the landscape master plan; only conceptual. Mary and Charlie both commentated they want to see more specifics.
Commissioner Olvany would like to have a discussion on how the staff handles the bidding process. Superintendent Lambrecht commented that since we have been using Smith Group JJR and Williams Architects through the initial design process, we should continue with them for the final design plan. Otherwise, we are losing a lot of time and money by starting from scratch again. Superintendent Lambrecht does not see any value in changing firms at this point. He commented that the District has had great success with them over the years and they will work with the District and make necessary changes to the plan. Superintendent Lambrecht commented on the landscape plan which is only conceptual at this point, as we move forward we will have a specific detailed plan. He strongly recommends we move forward with JJR or go through the request for proposal process all over again. He stated we are not contractually obligated to them. Director Wilson stated that all bids, however divided up by project must be presented and approved by the Board. Commissioner Abbott stated right now we have a conceptual plan and a price tag. Our next step is to see how to pay for the Lakefront Master plan. He commented that he would like to be sold on the firm/firms handling the project. Procurement of the design is a critical piece of management’s decision.
IV. Recognition of Visitors
Mary Shea asked if JJR was a part of the golf course project and was told that the District worked with Williams Architects only. Superintendent Lambrecht commented that they have designed the golf course, pool, Mallinckrodt, platform tennis, and interior renovations of the community recreation center. She commented on the fact that the conceptual plan is complete. She feels that giving these plans and designs to someone else will not break the bank and is the responsible thing to do. Charlie Shea commented that this is a 50 year plan. He went on to state that we don’t have to be committed to these engineers and architects since we have time.
Commissioner Olvany commented that when he became a Board member, he also viewed this as a long term 30 year plan. He commented that the District may wish to consider looking at other firms for bids. He is concerned that the consultant relationships with the District may be viewed as too comfortable and that we should have some checks and balances in place as publically-elected commissioners. He would like to keep open bids as part of the ongoing discussions. Director Wilson commented that this has been the way for every project; the committee discusses bids and then recommendations are made to the full Board. The full Board makes the final determination. Director Wilson commented that 6 bids were submitted for this plan and Smith Group JJR and Williams Architects were selected by the Board for the Lakefront Master Plan.
Commissioner Abbott commented that the plan does address the next 50 years but does not evolve. So much is about replacement of old, worn infrastructure and facilities. Commissioner Benz commented that we moved on this because of the deterioration of what is currently standing. He remarked by moving forward with the conceptual plan we will either generate applauds or grumbles.
V. Manager’s Report
Holly Specht (Lakefront Manager) reported on the following:
o Ice gone from lakefront.
o Clean up currently going on.
o Purchased 4 new stand-up paddleboards (SUP) for rental.
o Purchased staff uniforms.
o Camp lessons and registration are good.
o 339 aquatics campers up from 291 in 2013.
o Junior life guard program is higher than last year.
o Gillson campout has 35 enrolled.
o Picnic permits were issued in January, currently have 53 permits.
o Special use permits for May approved and issued.
o Sailing lottery was March 2. We are in the process of figuring out ways to accommodate people on the waiting list.
o Lakeview center had 11 rentals in March up from 9 in 2013.
Commissioner Olvany asked how many rental vessels we currently have. Holly stated: 5 Hobie Getaways, 4 Hobie Waves, 7 Sunfish, 8 Kayaks, and 8 SUPs.
VI. Lakefront Master Plan
Commissioner Benz stated that the Board passed the Lakefront redevelopment plan. He suggested that materials need to be brought together for public presentation and renderings that can communicate the plan to the public. Director Wilson commented on a digital format illustration. Director Wilson also spoke with Kathy Tinker from Columbian Model & Exhibit Works. He stated that a 3D model could range in price from $7,000 to $20,000 depending on the model. Director Wilson reminded the committee that the Financial Planning Committee has been tasked with looking at possible funding options.
Commissioner Olvany wanted to know what staff’s plans are for creating awareness and dialogue within the community. Director Wilson stated that meetings are set up for next week to go through the process of getting renderings together. Commissioner Olvany suggested putting together a press release email blast to create dialogue with community. Director Wilson stated that he and Superintendent Lambrecht are working on a stand-alone document using the same presentation that was presented to the Board. Director Wilson commented that he will have a better outline with renderings and details shortly. Commissioner Benz stated that he would like this to be an agenda item at the next meeting.
VII. Old Business
A. Sailing Beach – Superintendent Bingham addressed the issues of capacity and ways to increase capacity. She stated some research has been done to compare what others are doing and where we could grow. The District’s numbers for vessels on the beach in 2009 were 437, in 2013 there were 496, and in 2014 there were 549. She stated staff will evaluate this summer very closely and monitor the capacity carefully. Superintendent Bingham reiterated that their recommendation is to add 20 spaces for SUPs and 18 for monohulls which will clear up part of the waiting list. Superintendent Bingham stated that with the size of the beach we currently have, we feel we are at our capacity.
Superintendent Bingham recommended that the waiting list should be ongoing and that it should continue into next year. Commissioner Benz addressed his concern that last year was a cool season and was not a good test for beach activities. Superintendent Bingham addressed his concern stating that staff will be added if need be. Commissioner Olvany stated that staff has put a lot of thought into the process and suggests the recommendations stated go forward. He agreed that the waiting list should be kept intact each year.
Commissioner Olvany commented that the sailing beach should be used for people with vessels. He would like to see staff come up with a procedure for those not using the space for that purpose. Superintendent Bingham commented that their procedure now with boats is to make sure sailors do not get their passes until they bring in their boat. Now the issue is some people are holding spaces but never checking in a boat. Superintendent Bingham stated that for this upcoming season, we will be verifying that all vessels are checked in and give boaters a deadline. Sailors not checking in vessels will lose their slip. There were 58 vessels not checked in last year.
VIII. New Business
Superintendent Bingham reported on the following:
o New Trier High School – Sunrise gathering of New Trier Class of 2014 Graduates. All approved: Commissioners Olvany, Abbott, and Benz.
o Baker Demonstration School – Annual 5K. All approved: Commissioners Olvany, Abbott, and Benz.
o Teacher Retirement Party at Michigan Shores would like to use parking on Wednesday 5/7 – All approved: Commissioner Olvany, Abbott, and Benz.
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:28 p.m.
Minutes taken by Cindy Felicicchia