Wilmette Park District
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
6:00 p.m. – Village Hall Training Room
Commissioners/Committee: Chair Bryan Abbott, Gary Benz, John Olvany
Commissioner James Crowley
Staff: Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Steve Wilson, Ken Eppelheimer, Jeff Bowen
I. Meeting Called to Order
Meeting called to order 6:00 p.m.
II. Communication and Correspondence
Commissioner Abbott stated that the purpose of the meeting tonight is to interview three Construction Management firms for the Lakefront Master Plan project.
III. Recognition of Visitors
Commissioner Abbott recognized the following visitors:
Heath Missner, 849 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette
Joe Tilson, 1144 Chestnut Avenue, Wilmette
Greg Taubeneck, 1049 Greenwood, Wilmette
Anne Taubeneck, 1049 Greenwood, Wilmette
Piper Rothschild, 1046 Elmwood, Wilmette
Tom Scanlan, 1005 Chestnut, Wilmette
Diane Fisher, 827 Elmwood, Wilmette
Mark Falanga, 1210 Greenwood, Wilmette
Mary Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette
Charlie Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue, Wilmette
Tom Scanlan addressed the committee by stating that it is clear to him that the Board has been misinformed as to the wishes of the Wilmette community regarding the Lakefront Master Plan. He wanted to get clarification on the plan. He stated that he believes over 50% of the community is unaware of the master plan. He stated that less than 2 out of 10 people are aware of the component in regards to Langdon Park and even less were aware of the $14.5 possible referendum. He stated clearly that there is a lack of communication. He stated that at the 4th of July events and soccer events, Wilmette Park District representatives randomly approached the citizens to show them the PDF of the master plan and they received overwhelming support. He stated he talked to some of the people that were approached and not one of them where aware of the Langdon component. The other issue of concern was the referendum amount. Mr. Scanlan stated the Board members indicated that the beach structure has been discussed at Langdon, which is inaccurate. The first public notice of any building on the beach was this past summer. He stated he reviewed all past minutes and no one he has spoken to is in favor of the Langdon component. He discussed many examples of people he approached who are not aware of this building going up at the beach. He stated he is hoping the Committee will reconsider the size, scope and cost of the plan, instead of waiting until the possible defeat of a referendum. He stated that if the District considers submitting the proposal as is to the community on April 7th they run the risk of having to wait another 2 years.
Commissioner Abbott asked Tom Scanlan to come to the next Lakefront Committee meeting on December 1st. Mr. Scanlan stated he would like to get a formal email from Commissioner Abbott for that meeting. Commissioner Abbott stated that this plan has been in the works for six years.
Joe Tilson, Wilmette resident agreed with Tom Scanlan’s comments and he believes there is a huge amount of public opposition in regards to Langdon beach. He stated he has yet to find one person that is in favor of this. He feels that if the Langdon project is part of the referendum that it will take down the whole referendum. The Board has approved the expenditure of approximately $900,000 in putting together master plans for engineering architectural drawings for which the public has not approved. He encourages the Board, in the strongest possible terms to reconsider linking these two projects. Commissioner Abbott commented that they have the Committees attention on this matter. He stated that the Committee will set plenty of time at the December meeting to discuss this further.
Diane Fisher, Wilmette resident commented that she dittos everything said so far. She also stated that she hopes the Committee considers not signing a contract tonight to spend more money to refine these drawings due to serious opposition within the community. Commissioner Abbott stated that no Committee can spend money. It would need full Board approval.
Mark Falanga, Wilmette resident commented that from his perspective and others he has spoken to that the architecture is uninspiring. He feels a larger variety of architectural talent could be done through competition and would not cost the District any money. He stated this would get a broader sample of the kind of architecture we can get that would be better suited and more inspirational for the entire beachfront.
IV. Lakefront Master Plan Presentations
Harbour Contractors, Inc. presented their proposal of the management of the Lakefront Master Plan that was distributed to the Committee prior to this meeting.
Prairie Forge Group presented their proposal of the management of the Lakefront Master Plan that was distributed to the Committee prior to this meeting.
W.B. Olson, Inc. presented their proposal of the management of the Lakefront Master Plan that was distributed to the Committee prior to this meeting.
Director Wilson stated that what the Staff is looking for from this Committee is to vote on a recommendation to the full Board regarding who we should engage as a construction management firm for the Lakefront Master Plan. Commissioner Abbott asked for Staff’s thoughts on these presentations. Director Wilson stated that the questions presented to Prairie Forge Group on financial stability would not persuade him to go with them. He stated that the other firms are both able to do the project. He commented that there is a large comfort factor with knowing the W.B. Olson team with a project this size and with the condensed time frame. Also, getting a professional team that we have an established relationship with and is charging less in fees than Harbour Contractors is beneficial. He stated that it is ultimately the Board’s decision.
Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a recommendation to the full Board to approve W.B. Olson, Inc. as the Construction Manager for the Lakefront Master Plan Project. All agreed.
V. Unfinished Business
VI. New Business
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.