Wilmette Park District
Parks & Recreation Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, July 21, 2014
6:30 p.m. – Village Hall Training Room

Attendees Present:
Commissioners: Chair Amy Wolfe, Shelley Shelly, James Brault
Staff:  Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Steve Wilson, Jeff Groves
Attendees Absent:

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 6:44 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Committee approved minutes as amended below for the April 21, 2014; by general consent.

Commissioner Shelly changed the wording on page 2, bullet point 8 to reflect, it is nice to have shows that kids can participate in when its adult shows.

III. Communication and Correspondence

A. Commissioner Wolfe acknowledged an email from Gail Thomason thanking employee Tom Tricoci for his above and beyond efforts.

B. Commissioner Wolfe acknowledged an email from Libby and Reed Morris thanking the teachers and staff for a great year in the preschool and kindergarten enrichment programs.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Attorney Andrew Paine from Tressler LLP

V. Manager Reports

Jeff Groves (Facility Manager) reported on the following topics:

  • The fitness center will be closed for cleaning and maintenance from August 20 through August 22.
  • Camp Fusion had 74 attendees enrolled for Session I and there are 53 currently enrolled in Session II.
  • Gymnastics camp has 94 enrolled for Session II and 78 were enrolled for Session I. The regular recreational classes have 554 enrolled and 73 on team which is down because of summer.
  • Amy Lambrecht is the new Administrative Services Manager at the CRC.

Kathy Bingham (Supt. of Recreation) reported on the following topics:

  • The second session of camp has started. There are currently 3,487 campers which increased by 221 attendees compared to last year.
  • Annie Get Your Gun opened on July 10th. We are coming into our final weekend. We opened with about 300 in attendance which is not bad for opening day being a Thursday. Attendance numbers have been climbing.
  • The after school programs are currently being planned. We have gone from 1 school to 4 schools. Therefore, we are in the process of hiring someone to help roll it out.
  • Eagle’s football - our numbers are down. It seems to be a reoccurring theme every fall. We are not going to be able to field a heavyweight team (usually 7th and 8th graders, depending on weight restrictions). Therefore, we are collaborating with Winnetka to put together a heavyweight team. Commissioner Brault asked if numbers were down due to possible concussions. Superintendent Bingham stated that fear of concussions may play a factor. Director Wilson stated it’s a nationwide trend. Youth football has been decreasing by 10-15% every year for the past five years. Commissioner Wolfe commented on other options such as competitive flag football.
  • New this year in football is Kollege Town Sports (kollegetown.com) logo wear. This is a website where the participants can go online and buy Eagles wear. The District will get a credit back for items that are sold.
  • The District is offering 26 “Try Me Classes” for the last week in July through 1st week in August. The District is getting the word out on these classes to see what is working and possibly not working.

VI. Old Business


VII. New Business

A. West Park Intergovernmental Agreement

Director Wilson gave everyone a draft copy of the agreement from the District’s attorneys. He stated that attorney Andrew Paine is here to walk the committee through the agreement. Andrew Paine gave some history on the fact that the Village of Wilmette, their attorney Mike Zimmermann and their respective staff along with the District, their attorneys and two insurance carriers have been working on the agreement. Committee members suggested going page by page through the agreement.

Mr. Paine stated that one of the things we wanted to make sure this agreement did was to limit the Village and their abilities to use the property by adding changes for this and that. The Village of Wilmette objected to the fact that if there was a change the District had the sole discretion to determine whether it went beyond the scope of the agreement. He stated the Village and the District are working it out by making sure that the exhibits are very specific and precise so there will not be any gray areas. 

Commissioner Brault asked if in the event this sewer system changes in the future and this project gets abandoned then what happens. Mr. Paine pointed out that there has been much discussion on this topic. The Village had stated the farthest they were willing to go was at grade or above grade restorations and leave everything below the surface in place. Mr. Paine stated that this option limits the property and that it was not a good idea. This area is one that is still in flux; one of the compromises proposed by the Village is to do it in phases. So if the agreement were to be terminated they are required to come in and restore it to everything at grade and above to where it was before; rather than immediately going to removing the tank. What the Village is proposing is that it stays in place and everything around it is reinforced to make sure its structurally safe but it will sit there until some future date and if the District as some point determines that it is going to put in a recreational center then the Village at their cost, would pay to remove the tank and any clean up involved.

Commissioner Wolfe questioned the fact that if they are not using the tank and then in 20 years this structure has been underground with no maintenance, what kind of damage could be involved? Mr. Paine stated that is something we need to address and see if the District is interested in allowing this option to happen in stages, if so, then there needs to be additional language and protection included in this agreement. Director Wilson suggested we add language about continued inspection for structural and environmental reasons.

Mr. Paine stated there was some concern from PDRMA’s standpoint and they recommend the Village carry pollution insurance because there is a chance someone outside of the control of the Village or the District could dump something into the sewer or something could get into the sewer through no fault of the Village.

Mr. Paine pointed out that if parties became deadlocked during construction the wording in the agreement holds the Village to restore the District back to its original position.

Committee asked where the $1.5 million number came from. Director Wilson stated that the District had cost assessments put together by Gewalt-Hamilton which was just over 1.5 million but that was also inclusive of the money identified for the parking, design, and engineering fees.

Commissioner Brault asked about moving the tank closer to the parking lots. Director Wilson stated they have been over this with the designers and engineers and the tank only works in the current.

Mr. Paine stated that any damage done to the sports fields by the Village for repairs made to the tank will be fixed by the Village. If the repairs impact the District’s programs, the Village is required to work this out with the District beforehand. Commissioner Shelly stated that any restoration needs should be at the discretion of the District’s approval.  Mr. Paine stated he will add language to reflect an objective standard.

Committee discussed that the hard stop date should be September 15, 2015 and not April 30, 2016. The District will be out another portion of the season if the date goes to April.

Mr. Paine discussed the payment structure and how the Village will repay the District. He outlined that the agreement states that the District is solely responsible for the project and as soon as we get a bill and it’s approved, it then goes to the Village. The Village has an obligation under this agreement to pay within 14 days. The Committee agreed with this action plan.

Mr. Paine walked the committee through the odor control system chart. This is a system that would cost several hundred thousands of dollars. The Village is not sure they will need this system. The idea was that we would save the Village some cost by just having them rough it in and put in the initial framework and if there is an odor problem they could install the rest of the system. Therefore, this was broken down into stages. Commissioner Wolfe asked if they had to add the system would it take out usage of the park. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that it would not. Mr. Paine stated that we need to come up with an objective way to decide when the smell is bad enough to require action. Director Wilson stated that the smell usually comes after heavy rain. Mr. Paine asked the committee what the number of events that triggers their obligation should be. Committee suggested 3 rain events within a 12 month period or 6 cumulative. Commissioner Shelly asked about how long it would take to correct a problem. Mr. Paine stated this is a concern we are trying to address in the agreement. Mr. Paine stated that we need to figure out how many days that it has to happen (smell) before it causes them to react.  Mr. Paine asked the committee if they were willing to let that decision be solely in the hands of the Village. The committee stated no. Discussions went on about testing the smell and how to handle this. Mr. Paine stated that basically we need to clarify with the Village how long it would be between receiving a call and taking a reading. The second thing would be to decide on an agency to take and read the test so things can move along quickly. Mr. Paine suggested picking an agency so we can react quickly.

Mr. Paine next went through more details which are outlined in the agreement. Commissioner Wolfe asked about selling the property at some point; Mr. Paine and Director Wilson stated it would almost be impossible to sell this piece of land.

Director Wilsons stated that the District is hoping to take this agreement to the full Board at the August 11th board meeting.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned to Closed Session at 8:08 p.m.

IX. Reconvene Regular Meeting

The meeting was reconvened at 8:15 p.m.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at
8:16 p.m.