Wilmette Park District
Financial Planning & Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
6:30 p.m. – Village Hall Training Room


Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair Olvany, Benz, Brault
Commissioners: Crowley, Abbott
Staff:  Wilson, Bingham, Bowen, Eppelheimer, Donoghue, Felicicchia

Attendees Absent



John Jacoby, Wilmette Beacon

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 6:30 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

Brault moved to approve the minutes from June 5, 2014, seconded by Benz; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence


IV. Recognition of Visitors

John Jacoby, Wilmette Beacon

V. Old Business

A. Financing Options – Lakefront Master Plan
Director Wilson highlighted on the Lakefront Project Cost Estimate Combined Hard and Soft Costs handout. He stated that after researching and confirming numbers this is project estimate is today; $14.4 million with construction costs, taking advantage of cost savings with using the existing roads instead of full removal and replacement and it was verified by core samples.  

Director Wilson commented that a 5% reduction in contingency costs would result in a $519,000 reduction to cost estimate. This would bring the contingency amount to 15% of the project costs. According to W.B. Olson they would not argue with the reduction but they would caution against it at this point because of the unknowns and the direction construction costs are moving.

Commissioner Brault asked how much of the project has been paid for so far. Director Wilson stated $7,500 with cost consulting that was done by W.B. Olson. He stated that we would net this against the 2014 budget of the $320,000. 

Commissioner Brault asked Director Wilson to walk through the original budget process and W.B. Olson’s role. Director Wilson stated that the initial budget was created by Smith Group JJR in conjunction with the District staff. Next, the District checked the validity with a second review and see if there were any other alternative construction methods that could be employed to save capital costs.  The District engaged W.B. Olson who worked with JJR and staff for a week applying their construction expertise. Although some of the parts went up, and some down, the net results were very similar with totals between $13.3 million and $13.4 million. Commissioner Brault asked if staff was recommending any additional changes or are they satisfied with JJR and W.B. Olson estimates falling within the range of predictability. Director Wilson stated yes, staff was satisfied. Commissioner Olvany stated that based on the additional analysis we have a very fair estimate of the total project costs at $14.4 million. Commissioner Brault stated that he agreed and that this document reflects the scope of the project with both hard and soft costs.

Superintendent Eppelheimer commented on a chart reflecting Calculation of Lakefront Master Plan Costs to the “Average Taxpayer.” The chart shows Wilmette taxpayers with a total tax bill between $1,000 and $25,000. The cost was calculated per $1,000 of assessment and equalized assessed values (EAV) based on either a $14 million issuance or a $15 million issuance over 16 years at current interest rates. Although there is no planned increase in taxes, there is a cost that keeps the real estate taxes approximately level throughout the retirement of the bond issue.

Commissioner Brault stated that this data is what the taxpayers need to see but also an analysis regarding escalating maintenance costs. Director Wilson stated that the consistent terminology that most people will be able to follow is going to be cost per $1,000 of assessed value or their total tax bill. Commissioner Brault summarized that the debt alone is exclusive of any escalating cost to maintain the existing infrastructure.

Commissioner Olvany commented that this Committee now has a reasonable estimate of the total cost of the project being $14.4 million and is the Committee ready to make a recommendation to the full Board as to the amount of debt the referendum should ask.  Commissioner Olvany stated that there is more certainty behind the overall cost now, but is it prudent to ask for $15 million. Director Wilson stated that the wording should be “up to.”  Discussion ensued that Committee agreed with $14.5 million. Chair Olvany made a motion that the Committee’s recommendation to the full Board would be that if the Board decides to go forward with the referendum that the amount to ask for should be $14.5 million based on the improved cost analysis. Commissioner Brault seconded the motion. All agreed. Director Wilson stated that the District will go back and get documents with numbers that reflect the $14.5 million recommendation.

B. Non-Tax Revenue, Advertising on WPD Property - Deferred

VI. New Business

A. 2013 Tax Levy Results
Superintendent Eppelheimer commented on the Tax Levy Recap chart. He highlighted that the EAV dropped another 10%, through the triennial reassessment, causing the Special Recreation Fund to be reduced by over $50,000 from the tax levy ordinance as the tax rate was above the established ceiling rate of $0.04 per $100 of EAV. The tax levy overall dropped by 0.09% and therefore, slightly less than the 2012 tax levy.  There was also discussion on the estimated 2014 tax levy if there were no actions on either debt restructuring or referendum debt issuance.

B. 2014 Budget Calendar
Superintendent Eppelheimer reflected on the memo regarding the 2014 Budget Calendar. These are key events during the budget process for the Operational Committees to discuss budgets at their meetings. Golf Operations and Lakefront Committee will probably be moved to the November time frame since they have early November meetings. Director Wilson asked Commissioners to review their schedule to see if the tentative Committee of the Whole date works for December 10th.

C. Second Quarter Financial Results
Commissioner Brault inquired about software updates for projection information. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated he had a long conversation with Tyler and he is working with them to develop the next generation of their projection module. The module could take 6-8 months before it is up and running, but it looks promising. Commissioner Olvany asked if there were any surprises. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated that staff is swapping some capital projects out for other projects but will keep within the budgeted cost. Commissioner Brault asked if the total project estimate cost was up to date. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated yes; as of the end of June. Director Wilson and Superintendent Eppelheimer stated they have not seen anything that would cause an escalation in capital spending.

D. Surplus Equipment Ordinance 2014-O-4
Superintendent Eppelheimer discussed Ordinance 2014-O-4 requesting the Committee to recommend to the full Board disposal of surplus property.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to recommend to the full Board approving Ordinance 2014-O-4, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS.  All agreed.

VII. Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for August 25, 2014, but may be moved depending on Committee member availability.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 p.m.