WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: February 24, 2014

Location: Village Training Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Attendance
Commissioners:  Shelley; Olvany; Benz; Crowley     
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Wilson; Eppelheimer; Bowen; Heafey; Groves

     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
     a) January 20, 2014
3) Communication and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
6) Old Business
a) Underground Storage Tank at West Park
7) New Business
8) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made:
  
1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of January 20, 2014 and approved them by general consent.

2) Commissioner Shelly reported she had received a number of comments from people relative to the outdoor ice rink at Thornwood Park and how much they enjoyed being able to use it this season. Superintendent Lambrecht stated the rinks had just reopened after last week’s thaw and the crews are currently working on rebuilding them this week. Commissioner Olvany asked when the maintenance of the ice would stop. Superintendent Lambrecht replied it would be after February 1 and added that the ice base had remained this season so the crew is just leveling off the surface. The next warm up will signal the end of outdoor ice for the year.

Commissioner Olvany reported he had received a communication from Steve Keyser regarding a sports safety program that is now available. Staff reported they had emailed the information to all of the participants in both the house and travel football teams. The program is every Wednesday at the Evanston library.

3) Under Managers Reports, Recreation Program Manager Carol Heafey reported that she had hired a new General Recreation Supervisor and her name is Lindsay Thomas. Carol received 40 resumes and several of the candidates were excellent. Lindsay will begin working on March 17.  Ms. Heafey also reported that she will be attending NRPA’s Revenue School at the Ogelbay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia, from March 9-14. Camps will begin on June 18 this summer and the schools have opted to take two days off to make up for the “snow days” experienced this winter. Staff is also reorganizing the training for counselors for June 12 and 13 and the Camp Open House will be held on June 14. To date, there are 1,789 total registered in recreation camps which is an increase of 371 from last year. To date no camps have sold out and most people are just putting down a deposit at this time. Ms. Heafey also reported that she has been meeting with school officials and PTA’s from Central, Harper and Romona Schools regarding after-school programs. They are also currently looking at options regarding the expansion of programs similar to the ones held at McKenzie into the other schools for the 2014-15 school year. Staff is currently waiting on the PTA’s to supply participation numbers for the programs currently in existence. Most of the programs are being run by outside contractors working for the PTA’s. Also, Harper School is only interested in having winter programs. Commissioner Shelly asked if any discussions have been held with Highcrest. Superintendent Bingham reported that the activities at Highcrest and Wilmette Junior High are more of a “club type” of atmosphere than what we would be involved with. Ms. Heafey went on to add that the basketball programs are winding down with just a few weeks left. There have been some issues with the schools this year in regard to cleanings due to the snows that seemed to occur every weekend.

The Daddy-Daughter dance was held this past Friday and one week ago there were only 30 couples signed up but after an email blast went out on Tuesday, the number increased to 97 couples. The Children’s Theater’s mini-production of 101 Dalmatians just finished its run. The show is only about 35 minutes long and is geared toward children age 7 to 9. A total of 1,479 tickets were sold for the six performances. Peter Pan is currently in production for the Wilmette Children’s Theatre and North Shore Theatre is currently working on How to Succeed in Business which is scheduled to open on April 25. Commissioner Shelly asked what show would be performed at the Wallace Bow this summer and Carol replied that Cinderella was the original choice but then the rights to the show were pulled back because there is still a national touring company in production. As a result, staff is currently working on coming up with a replacement show. Staff also has had a number of special activities planned for Spring Break week that are being offered at no charge.

Recreation Facilities General Manager Jeff Groves reported that Gymnastics currently has 1,732 enrolled in the current session which ends on March 30. The summer sessions currently have 38 enrolled in Session I and 44 in Session II and they will probably end up closer to 90 and 100, respectively. The team has one more regular meet and then some of the players will move on to the State meet and if anyone qualifies, they will then move on to Regionals.

Fitness has been very busy during the winter and we currently have 1,908 memberships. The “Lose to Win” program that was developed by staff ended up with 57 participants which far exceeded staff’s expectations. There are also more women than men and the highest loser among the men has lost 21 pounds. The biggest loser among women has lost 18 pounds and the average age for both men and women is 40 to 60. The participants are currently in week six of eight and staff hopes to convert some of the participants to full memberships. Staff is also developing incentives to encourage them to join the program. Currently, all but five are non-members and staff is hoping to get at least 50% of them to convert.

Also, staff is participating again in the second year of “Steps for Success” which involves teams of staff members competing against each other to reach the highest number of steps. These programs have promoted camaraderie and have helped a lot of people to keep on moving. The Active Adults programs at Mallinckrodt held their annual
 
Valentine’s Day party with 45 people in attendance. There are currently 645 members along with 180 members of the Walking Club. The center also has a very popular new class about genealogy and a new assistant has been hired to work at the facility and she will begin Thursday, February 27.

Superintendent Lambrecht reported that snow removal costs are having a large impact on the budget. To date for the various line items that have been impacted, the breakdown indicates overtime is up 194%, part time employees is up 20%, material costs are up 400% (sidewalk salt), and fuel costs are up 50% over 2013. Staff has tried to minimize the impact by splitting schedules on regular week days and having two shifts but that has meant keeping some seasonal staff on hand who would normally be gone by now. Most of the storms have occurred on the weekends and it has been difficult to keep the overtime down especially while still maintaining outdoor ice. The net increase to the budget comparatively speaking is $30,437.

4) Under Old Business, Commissioner Shelly asked about the status of the Village’s proposed sewer project at West Park. Executive Director Wilson reported that the Village is currently working on their designs. Once that is completed, our consultants will be able to refine their estimates since they will then know what they will be building on. It is also anticipated that the Village will bring something back to us sometime later in the summer. Staff will continue to monitor the progress with the Village staff and return to the Committee with any further updates.

5) Under New Business, the Committee agreed that the March meeting would be held on March 24th prior to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee Meeting.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht