Wilmette Park District
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, July 7, 2014
6:30 pm – Mallinckrodt Community Center

Attendees Present
Commissioners/Committee: Chair Bryan Abbott, Gary Benz, John Olvany
Commissioners: James Crowley
Staff:  Steve Wilson, Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Ken Eppelheimer, Jeff Bowen, Shelagh Donoghue, Holly Specht, Cindy Felicicchia
Attendees Absent 

I. Meeting Called to Order
Meeting called to order 6:30 pm.

II. Approval of Minutes
A. Commissioner Olvany moved to approve the minutes from the June 5, 2014 committee meeting, Benz seconded; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence
Superintendent Bingham commented on a handwritten letter from Mary Thomas regarding employee Eric Benjamin for his honesty.

Superintendent Bingham also commented on another email regarding a truthful employee which will be added to the board packet.

Director Wilson discussed the renderings that were placed in the tent on July 3rd. There were many people that came through to discuss the Lakefront Master Plan with over 95 plus percent giving very positive feedback on the plan, inquiring what will it take to get it completed.

Commissioner Olvany asked about creating a bluff vista view, with a brick wall, and benches in the north end similar to Glencoe Beach. Director Wilson stated that when we get to detailed planning we can review this option.

IV. Recognition of Visitors
Commissioner Abbott recognized Reporter, Brian Cox from the Tribune.

V. Manager’s Report
Holly Specht (Lakefront Manager) reported on the following topics:

  • Sailing lessons started today with 36 students enrolled which is capacity.
  • Aquatics Camp started today with 140 enrolled which is capacity.
  • Paddle Sports started today with 14 enrolled which is capacity.
  • Junior Lifeguard program starts next week with 20 enrolled.
  • Started a laser regatta at the sailing beach on June 18th. 6 boats participated for the race. These are held every other Wednesday at 6:00 pm.
  • Added new boat types to our sailing beach leased spaces: 2 Hobie Mirages and 1 49er. These can be stored on the beach and do not need a rack space.

542 boaters have checked in to date; 50 have not checked in. The majorities of these people already have boats on the beach but have not checked in. Commissioner Olvany asked about getting people off of the waiting list. Superintendent Bingham commented that none of the contracts that went out stated that people would lose their spot due to a waiting list. Superintendent Bingham stated that some people are more than likely just storing their boat here. Staff is continually following up with sailors that have not checked in. She recommended addressing this prior to next year’s season. Commissioner Olvany and Committee agreed.

Commissioner Olvany asked about the District’s capacity to monitor boaters sailing from our beach safely. He asked if the RIBs went out to assist struggling boaters. Holly Specht stated that they are out and doing checks continuously. Superintendent Bingham stated that the staff from the Crow’s Nest are watching and will send for assistance when needed. Holly Specht stated that every day there are two to three staff on the shore and one in the Crow’s Nest watching the area. She stated that on busier days there could be seven staff down at the shore watching.

  • A midseason BBQ was held for Superintendent Lambrecht’s staff on July 2nd as they set up for the July 3rd and 4th festivities. 
  • The staff was busy through the July 4th weekend.
  • Many events have been going on: cleaning the beach with area  schools, end of the school year picnics, church services, and several upcoming weddings.
  • Park District Camps and outside camps are all visiting the swimming beach. 
  • There were a few days of beach closures due to bacteria, fog, and rip currents. 

VI. Lakefront Master Plan
Superintendent Lambrecht reported on the pavement boring and soil boring report from GEI Consultants. The samples of soil and pavement borings on the roads and in the parking lot done at Gillson Park are in line with what Superintendent Lambrecht thought it would be. He stated the sewers were being worked on today. Depending on what the cameras show we may be able to line some sewer pipes which will be a cost savings.  Director Wilson stated that the estimate in the budget that W.B. Olson put together was 75% replacement of 18” lines.

Commissioner Abbott commented on discussions about soft costs and Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment (FF&E) costs. He handed out a side-by-side comparison of W.B. Olson and Smith Group JJR which committee discussed in detail. Commissioner Olvany asked if Superintendent Lambrecht was comfortable with what Olson stated as costs as opposed to JJR. Superintendent Lambrecht stated yes he was comfortable. Commissioner Abbott said the preliminary estimates for soft costs are $1,666,500 and $200,000 for Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment (FF&E). Commissioner Abbott stated he believes the Board is looking to the Lakefront Committee for an accurate estimate of costs and a budget. Commissioner Olvany asked if a pinpoint estimate or a range was what Commissioner Abbott was putting out there and what the high and low end cost would be for the plan. Commissioner Abbott stated $15.2 million for the high end. Commissioner Olvany stated that the low end was $13.3 million which the Board already approved. Commissioner Crowley commented that this is an advisory committee to staff. He asked what Director Wilson and staffs comments were. Director Wilson said the high end is $14.5 million. If you take the Olson estimate at $13.4 million, add $100,000 plus Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment (FF&E) $200,000 soft costs, less engineering for the beach parking lot of $388,000, and take out what is currently in the budget you are at approximately $14.5 million. He stated that this does not change the scope of work being performed.

Commissioner Olvany stated that the goal of this committee is to bring something to the full Board.  He suggested going to the full Board with a motion stating the cost of the Lakefront Master plan will be between $13.3 million and up to $15 million. Commissioner Benz seconded the motion. Commissioner Abbott said he could get behind that. After a comment by Commissioner Crowley, Commissioner Olvany talked about revising the motion to reflect that the Lakefront Committee recommends the Board revise its previous proposed conceptual master plan from the Lakefront Committee from $13.3 million to up to $15 million. He stated that it is up to the Chairman to explain to the full Board what up to $15 million means. Commissioner Crowley stated that it is up to the Financial Planning & Policy Committee to bring finances to the Board. He stated that this committee has done all their due diligence with the scope and budget recommendations for this project. Staff now has to fine tune those numbers and report to Financial Planning & Policy Committee. Commissioner Abbott stated he would like to move forward in August with a vote and push towards November ballot with all the due diligence completed.  He asked Commissioner Crowley what his recommendation would be. Commissioner Crowley stated to present to the Board on everything that was discussed at this meeting, keeping in mind that a hard cap of $14 million is already out there. Commissioner Olvany withdrew his motion in lieu of this specific recommendation. He requested that the Chairman make a presentation to the Board on Monday in the spirit of what has been discussed this evening in terms of our estimates.  We have a much better sense of what the overall cost of the project will be. Commissioner Abbott stated he will send a memo to Director Wilson outlining the meeting since he will not be present at the July Board meeting. Commissioner Olvany suggested appointing the previous Chairman Benz to present to the Board along with Commissioner Abbott’s comments. Committee agreed this is how they will proceed.
VII. Old Business

VIII. New Business
     A. Park Permit Requests:

  • St. Francis Xavier Parish – Annual Fun Run and Walk. All approved: Commissioners Olvany, Abbott, and Benz.
  • St. Joseph School – Cross Country Meet. All approved: Commissioners Olvany, Abbott, and Benz.

     B. Food Truck Vendors

Commissioner Olvany asked about getting food truck vendors during off season at Gillson Park. He stated he has attended some events where these food trucks have been present and it seems to be a dining craze phenomena going on. He stated that he does not want this to interfere with the District’s concession vendors. He stated that Evanston and Glencoe have done events with these food trucks. Superintendent Lambrecht stated he checked into the permit issue with these food trucks. He stated that it is the same as with current vendors that they need a business/food license and the truck needs to be set up in one location. Superintendent Bingham will do some research and speak to Evanston and Glencoe and report back to the committee.

IX. Adjournment
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.

Minutes taken by Cindy Felicicchia