Wilmette Park District
Minutes of Regular Meeting of the
Board of Park Commissioners
Monday, July 14, 2014
7:30 p.m. – Village Hall Council Chambers

Attendees Present:

Commissioners: President James Crowley; John Olvany, Gary Benz, James Brault and Amy Wolfe

Secretary/Executive Director Stephen Wilson

Attendees Absent:

Commissioner Bryan Abbott and Commissioner Shelley Shelly


Superintendents: Kathy Bingham, Jeff Bowen, Ken Eppelheimer and Bill Lambrecht
Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue
Executive Administrative Assistant Cindy Felicicchia

I. Meeting  Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.
     A. Roll call taken.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Benz moved to approve the minutes from the Regular Board Meeting of June 9, 2014, Commissioner Wolfe seconded; all voted yes, the motion carried.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Benz, Brault, Crowley, Olvany and Wolfe; voting No: None. Absent: Abbott and Shelly; motion carried.

Commissioner Brault stated to change Page 5, under IMRF 2013 Results second sentence. Sentence will read, this has allowed our pensions obligation to go down significantly.

III. Communications and Correspondence


IV. Recognition of Visitors

Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press.

John Bowman, 321 Washington Ave., a Wilmette resident – He would like to see information on the website in one location in regards to the Lakefront Master Plan project. He would like the information to include communication on changes, whether it is structural or engineering. Commissioner Olvany commented on a comprehensive memo from Superintendent Lambrecht to the Board last year. This memo is a public document regarding what the structural issues are. Director Wilson will send Mr. Bowman the detailed memo in regards to the project.

V. Approval of Voucher List

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,349,667.29, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Benz, Brault, Crowley, Olvany and Wolfe; voting No: None. Absent: Abbott and Shelly; motion carried.

VI. Executive Director’s Report

Director Wilson reported on the following topics:

  • The weather for July 3rd and July 4th was cooler than normal. Crowds may have been larger this year due to the weather with approximately 30,000 people joining in on the festivities.
  • On July 4th the Fun Run had over 350 adults and possibly over 500 with the newer numbers coming in. There were over 100 runners in the children’s races.
  • Director Wilson wanted to recognize with a public thank you to the Village of Wilmette for their support with the police, fire, and public works departments that they provided to the District. Also, a thank you for the Pace bus for their service they provided to patrons for this wonderful event.
  • Golf course opened this past weekend with many events taking place and very positive comments regarding the course.
  • The District is through the first month of summer activities for beach, pool, and camps with all going smoothly.
  • There are over 3,000 enrollments for summer camps which are going well. For more details refer to Superintendent Bingham’s report which is attached and gives a great summary of everything the District is involved in this summer.
  • Attached is a wavier of conflict of interest letter from the District’s attorneys regarding West Park Intergovernmental Agreement, which will be discussed later tonight.

VII. Committee Reports

A. Lakefront Committee:

Commissioner Benz reported on the following topics:
Commissioner Abbott, Chair was unable to attend this meeting but sent a report for Commissioner Benz to communicate to the Board in regards to the Lakefront Master Plan. He recapped that the Board approved the Lakefront Conceptual Master Plan with cost estimates from designers JJR for $13,280,000 for the hard costs or construction portion of the work. Lakefront Committee, Staff, and W.B. Olson (contractors and cost consultants) have worked together to determine with greater accuracy all of the costs that may be associated with the project. The Olson estimate came in at $13,461,000 very close to the design team estimate. The Olson estimate contained a major cost saving assumption; mainly that the roads could be reused to form the base for a new road overlay.  To scientifically confirm Olson’s assumption the staff directed soil, roadway and parking lot borings which confirmed this cost savings. Video of the interior of the existing storm sewers have been ordered but not complete due to the wet weather. The Committee along with staff agreed that the Olson estimate should be used moving forward. The hard costs associated with this project are not the only expenses that this project will incur. The other costs will be for design fees, regulatory issues, legal fees, and the like, which what is referred to as soft costs. The Committee along with staff agreed that the total for soft costs as a reasonable estimate would be $1,560,000. After the detailed review of hard costs by W.B. Olson, Staff and our Committee, as well as the work by Staff and Committee on soft costs are very close to the $14 million proposed previously by the Finance Committee. The level of information is now available for the Finance Committee to review again and provide their input in regard to the funding of the project.

Commissioner Olvany asked what W.B. Olson’s role is currently. Director Wilson stated that they could be a construction manager but at this time they were strictly used for verifying the numbers. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the purpose of using a construction manager in the construction process would be different than having a general contractor. The valuable part with bringing in a construction manager early is that they see the engineering and architectural drawings of design and can make changes in the early stages as they go along.

Commissioner Wolfe asked if construction managers have been used in the past for projects within the Park District. Superintendent Lambrecht stated yes.

Director Wilson stated that the process of identifying a construction manager would need to go through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Director Wilson asked if the Board would be okay with the District moving forward with the bid process and bringing results back to the Board for approval. Commissioner Olvany asked about the schematics versus the RFP. Director Wilson stated that the schematics would be taking the conceptual design and moving it closer to detailed design which is what Commissioner Benz highlighted on in Commissioner Abbott’s report. Director Wilson stated that when you start entering the schematic design that is generally where the construction manager is helping with the designs. He stated that if we are looking to start schematic designs somewhere in the near future it would probably be a wise idea to get the RFP process going. Superintendent Lambrecht stated it could take 60 days for the RFP process. Commissioner Crowley stated he was in favor of starting the RFP process and then bringing the results back to the Board. The Board agreed to start the process of the RFP.

Commissioner Crowley asked about the feedback the staff has been getting in regards to the Lakefront Master Plan rollout of renderings and information. Director Wilson stated that the District was happy with the amount of traffic that was incurred at the past few events with an overwhelmingly north of 90% well in favor of plan. The first question is always, when can we have it. Commissioner Olvany asked about more community outreach events. Director Wilson stated that discussions and plans are underway of doing open houses, French Market, displays set up throughout the facilities, updating the website, and anything else to get the word out. 

Commissioner Olvany asked about the update of the District’s website for the Lakefront Master Plan. Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue commented on the website and how to navigate through it. She stated that discussions are ongoing regarding the best way to display the information on the website. Commissioner Wolfe stated that the more information or commentary the District can give is better for keeping the residents updated.  She also asked if the District could give before and after pictures along with information regarding the project online. Commissioner Brault suggested having all the history information of the plan in one place where people do not have to go searching for the information. Shelagh Donoghue will take all of the comments and suggestions into account when updating the website.

B. Facilities Operations Committee:

Committee did not meet this month.

C. Parks & Recreation Committee:

Commissioner Wolfe reported that the Committee did not meet last month.

D. Golf Operations Committee:
     Commissioner Crowley reported on the following topics:

  • The Golf Course is now open.
  • There was a Rededication on Thursday night July 10th with many dignitaries in attendance. He thanked them for their support and participation.
  • The 1st to Play Outing for the Foundation was held on Friday, July 11th. Commissioner Wolfe was the Board’s representation and he thanked her for a job well done and great success in raising $30,000 that day.
  • The Golf Course looks spectacular with a lot of positive feedback.

Commissioner Brault commented on the fact that revenues are down due to a later opening. He mentioned that the staff has done a good job of managing expenses. Director Wilson highlighted that expenses had to be spent to get the course ready for play. Therefore, managing the expenses on the maintenance side was not an option. As far as the other operations skeleton crews were in place and expenses were carefully monitored.

E. Financial Planning Committee:

     Committee did not meet this month.

VIII. Old Business


IX. New Business

Commissioner Brault commented on the attorneys employed by the Village of Wilmette as well as the Wilmette Park District which is the same firm, Tressler LLP. Therefore, Tressler would like the District to sign a Waiver of Conflict of Interest. Tressler highlighted in their letter how they handle this situation within their firm. The two items specifically are the modification/extension of the Howard Park lease and the intergovernmental agreement in regard to the West Park sanitary tank project. Commissioner Olvany asked Director Wilson why the District should feel comfortable with the representatives being in the same law firm. Director Wilson stated that he feels that Charlene Holtz’s allegiance is always to her clients, in particular to the Wilmette Park District. Director Wilson stated he feels confident that both entities attorneys are acting in the best interests of their clients and recommends the Board to authorize him to sign the Waiver. Board agreed to authorize Director Wilson to sign the Waiver.

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to authorize Executive Director Wilson to sign the Waiver of Conflicts of Interest letter from Tressler LLP in regard to the Howard Park Lease Modification and Extension and West Park Sewer Reservoir Intergovernmental Agreement.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Benz, Brault, Crowley, Olvany and Wolfe; voting No: None. Absent: Abbott and Shelly; motion carried.

Commissioner Crowley acknowledged the District’s hard work for the past couple of weeks which entailed an enormous amount of effort for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He congratulated and thanked the staff for a job well done.

X. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at
8:15 p.m.