Wilmette Park District
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, August 25, 2014
6:30 p.m. – Park District Administration Office

Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair Bryan Abbott, Gary Benz, John Olvany
Staff:  Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Ken Eppelheimer, Shelagh Donoghue, Cindy Felicicchia

Attendees Absent 


I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 8:00 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Benz moved to approve the minutes from the August 4, 2014 committee meeting, Commissioner Olvany seconded; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. New Business


IV. Visitors

Beth Beucher, 1420 Sheridan Road, Wilmette

V. Communication and Correspondence

Commissioner Olvany commented on the signage with the renderings of the Lakefront Master plan and the positive feedback he was getting. Committee discussed some other ideas for presenting displays in high traffic areas. Committee discussed some freestanding displays as some options.

Superintendent Bingham reported on getting food truck vendors for the Triathlon event in September. She is working to set some vendors up for the event. Currently there are over 500 people enrolled in the event.

VI. Manager’s Report

Superintendent Bingham reported that the season is getting ready to wrap up. All the classes and camps have come to an end. There was a slower start to the boat rentals due to the cooler water temperatures.

VII. Lakefront Master Plan

Commissioner Abbott updated the committee with a recap of what happened at the last meeting. The sewers came back looking pretty good. There is an estimate that the staff has put together with regard to Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment (FF&E), soft costs and the Olson estimate. He would recommend either this committee or Financial Planning & Policy Committee send that budget to the full Board. The full board has basically voted on and agreed to a scope and the full Board should be given the opportunity to approve a budget and ultimately a schedule. He stated that he believed no formal budget has been approved. Commissioner Olvany asked Commissioner Abbott for clarification on what he was asking. Commissioner Abbott stated that we have an estimate from staff for the Lakefront Master Plan project for $14.4 million which includes all the components. This is an estimate which then becomes a budget after managers approve that. He would recommend that the full Board provide that approval. Commissioner Olvany stated that the full Board already approved a budget. Commissioner Benz stated he sees Commissioner Abbott wants to make the distinction between an estimate and a budget. Commissioner Olvany stated that he disagrees. Commissioner Benz commented that this committee should start with a schedule calendar since there is enough information on the budget. Commissioner Olvany stated that he sees no reason for a further discussion on budget at this point, it has already been sent to Financial Planning and we have all the information that we need right now. He stated that we should not spend any more time and effort discussing what the budget is at this point.

Commissioner Olvany agreed that laying out a schedule is very helpful and should be pursued. The Committee reviewed a schedule prepared by Superintendent Lambrecht that was presented at the last meeting. He stated that now we have a good idea that we want to go to referendum in April. The focus with that time line, should be deciding when can we have shovels in the ground and what do we have to do between now and then. Commissioner Olvany commented that this committee should not be debating the difference between a budget and an estimate right now. Commissioner Abbott stated that he could agree to that as long as the committee agrees that the estimate is the budget. He stated that a project is designed by three things the scope, the budget and a schedule. Commissioner Olvany stated that we don’t have a project approval yet from the voters and the only way we are going to get that is by going to the voters with an estimate. He stated that he does not see any reason to go to the full Board for an approval clarifying estimate with budget. Commissioner Olvany asked Commissioner Abbott why he needed to make a distinction between estimate and budget. Commissioner Abbott stated because estimates change. Commissioner Benz asked if we can call the estimate the budget which he felt always was the budget. Commissioner Abbott stated that he cannot call a budget a budget until the owner has approved that and when they approve it then it is called a budget. Commissioner Abbott stated he has a strong opinion about the scope and the budget.

Commissioner Abbot indicated he understands the pros and cons of either construction schedule but does not have a strong opinion on whether we build in 2015-2016 or defer to 2016-2017. Either of these decisions have pros and cons in them.  He stated that Commissioner Benz said if we defer to 2016-2017 we will incur another year of escalation. Commissioner Abbott stated that escalation is a much more unpredictable than cost of living. Commissioner Olvany asked Commissioner Abbott what the question is. Commissioner Abbott stated that the concern is that it may cost a lot more to do the construction in 2016/2017 versus 2015/2016. Commissioner Olvany asked what the question is to this committee. Commissioner Abbott stated whether or not we would recommend we go for 2015/2016 or defer a year and go to 2016/2017 construction. Commissioner Olvany stated he sees no reason why we would want to defer this any longer than we currently are. Commissioner Abbott stated that the drawback would be that we would have to release approval for design work. Superintendent Bingham asked if the direction was for staff to pursue Phase I of this project in September. There are funds in the 2014 budget to pay for the design development. Commissioner Abbott stated that the ramifications are we would have to hire and release the designs. Commissioner Olvany stated that if staff is going to give the committee a recommendation of three construction managers he does not see this as a problem moving ahead with Phase I. Commissioner Abbott stated that we have to be definitive with the construction manager and our dealings with them on $14.4 and make sure they are clear on the scope.

Superintendent Lambrecht stated that he has been working with the attorney to draft contracts with the design teams. He stated there will be wording in the contract that states if the referendum does not pass the contract terminates and fees stop. Commissioner Olvany commented that we should use whatever template we have used in the past for these types of projects. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that is what he is doing. He is hoping to have the proposals for approval at the September Park Board meeting. Commissioner Abbott agreed with staffs support to the contracts and said we will call a Lakefront Committee meeting when we are prepared to move forward with a construction manager proposal. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that staff will review the proposals for the construction manager and set up interviews with the firms. There are six proposals which will be dwindled down to three. Commissioner Abbott stated that he will have a lot of questions but does not want to hold this process up. He stated Superintendent Lambrecht had the questions he wanted addressed.

Committee agreed the next meeting will be October 6th.

VIII. Unfinished Business

Superintendent Bingham updated committee on the Giving Rocks Foundation event, September 14th. The event will be held in the shelter with some amplification at a minimal volume. She reported that had the District known the size of this event and how it has grown; the District never would have agreed to put it on the same day as another big event. Commissioner Olvany asked if we could give the neighbors a special heads up on the event. Superintendent Bingham will follow up with the foundation to get a notification out to the neighbors about this event.

IX. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.