1. Call to Order
Mayor Brian Krajewski called the special meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 8:51 p.m. in the Committee Room of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Michael Gilbert, Commissioner Thomas Sisul, Commissioner Marilyn Schnell and Mayor Brian Krajewski Non Voting: Village Clerk April Holden Mayor Krajewski said he was presenting information to the Council regarding H.B. 180 “Scott’s Law.” He said Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood has created this legislation. The purpose is to implement laws to increase penalties for motorists who injure or kill a firefighter, police officer or other emergency roadway worker who is responding to an accident. There is a petition on-line at www.scottslaw.org.
Mayor Krajewski said that on February 7, 2001, he and Mayor Murphy of Woodridge participated in a shopping spree held at Jewel and sponsored by the DuPage County Farm Bureau to benefit the local food pantries. It was held on February 7 as this marks the day when the average earnings are equal to a resident’s annual food bill. Due to the efficiency of farmers this day moves up each year. Mayor Krajewski said he won the race this year. The Downers Grove FISH Pantry received a check in the amount of $2,200 as did the Woodridge Community Pantry.
The Manager announced that the CBD Phase II Main Street project was named Project of the Year for Historical Preservation and Restoration by the metropolitan Chicago chapter of the American Public Works Association. The award was established by the APWA to recognize outstanding public works projects. He said this project would be eligible for national competition in September. He said it was an honor for all involved in the project to receive this award.
Dave Conley, Director of Engineering, Public Works, said the award presentation will be in March. He said the competition is very tough.
The Mayor congratulated the staff, residents and Lakota Group on this award.
Mayor Krajewski said the Village is looking to acquire the properties listed on the Active Agenda item for redevelopment. They are to be used in the future development of the downtown.
He asked for comments from the audience.
1. John LeDonne, 1221 Parkway, asked if the Village has an estimate to remove the three buildings.
Manager McCurdy said he did not have an estimate at this time.
Mr. LeDonne asked about the equalized assessed value (EAV) of commercial buildings vs. residential buildings. The Mayor confirmed that the assessed value of $424,550 was for all three buildings.
Mr. LeDonne asked about the relocation expenses. The Mayor said they were for Johnson Printers and the building behind it but did not include the Mad Potter building.
2. Dave Brown, 1508 Gilbert, asked about the redevelopment plans. The Mayor said the Burlington lots are planned to be redeveloped, but there are no plans for the Main Street parcel.
Mr. Brown asked how the Village plans to make up the difference between the footprint value and the debt incurred. Mr. Brown said the Village is looking at a debt of $4.5 million which will be recovered through development.
The Mayor said the Village would like to go forward with the development of this area within the next two years. He said the lost increment would be $30,000 a year. He said the area includes the Curtiss lot, the Burlington lot and this assemblage of properties. They would be turned over to a developer to recoup the money paid to acquire the buildings and factor in the development over the life of the TIF .
Mr. Brown said the Curtiss lot displaces 100 parking spots. The Mayor said the parking deck would be built to accommodate 800 cars.
Mr. Brown asked if the redevelopment will fit within the existing codes. The Mayor said the Village is moving forward with redevelopment as proposed in the Lakota Plan.
Mr. Brown said he thought the Village should have conducted hearings on the zoning prior to incurring this debt.
The Mayor said the longer the Village waits, the more expensive it is. Additionally, the further the Village is into the TIF , the less economically feasible development becomes. He also said he does not feel that a printing company fits in the downtown area.
Mr. Brown said the Village currently has a density code and height restrictions. He said he will be disappointed if these are changed due to the debt load. The Mayor said the Council will have to make decisions at the appropriate time.
3. Ken Lerner, 4933 Whiffin, said he thought this acquisition seemed to “come out of the blue” as there was only one week notice. He asked about the history.
The Mayor said the Lakota Plan was adopted in 1996 and the Master Plan in 1997. This parcel along with many others was listed as potential development.
The Mayor said it is necessary to acquire the land first and then pursue development.
In response to Mr. Lerner, Commissioner Gilbert said the sellers approached the Village regarding this item. The Mayor said the Village may acquire other parcels.
Mr. Lerner discussed the assessed valuation vs. the fair market value. The Mayor said appraisals were done and the lots the Village currently owns will be added to this land to make a larger site.
Mr. Lerner said the Village is paying considerably more than the derived price. The Mayor said the appraisals are part of the public record. The Mayor said when property is held for a long time, the EAV is not accurate in determining the fair market value.
Mr. Lerner said the Reporter building was acquired for $2 million and the Morningside property was acquired for $1million. He said these are bigger buildings. Mr. Lerner said this is a voluntary arrangement and not a matter of condemnation; therefore, the Village has no obligation to pay other than fair market value. He asked who would bear the costs of environmental problems.
Marty Lyons, Director, Financial Services, said the Village would be responsible for clean-up costs. He said the Village was reimbursed 100% for clean-up costs on its own property.
Mr. Lerner asked about the planning process for redevelopment. The Mayor said it would be similar to the Lakota Plan and would include residents, surveys, the Downtown Management Board, etc.
Commissioner Schnell said there needs to be a clear dialogue between the Village and the residents. She said this could take place in many ways, but that what is needed is a clear exchange of ideas as to what is wanted. She said a grocery store is needed in the downtown area, but requires a spot large enough to attract this type of business. She said there are many different mechanisms to get community input.
Mr. Lerner said he was concerned about density, height and character of the community. He said he hopes the cost of the properties does not drive the Village to destroy the downtown.
Commissioner Sisul said the Council has every intention to bring the community into the discussions as the plans progress. He thanked Mr. Lerner for his comments.
The Mayor said this represents the implementation of the Lakota Plan. He said the infrastructure is being completed and the Village is now moving to the next step of redevelopment. Mr. LeDonne asked about the Village reserves.
Mr. Lyons said the corporate fund budget is approximately $31 million. The policy of the Village is not to let cash reserves fall below 33% or $10 million. He said while we have funds for this purchase, the Village does not want to draw down on its reserves. The corporate fund reserves are maintained at a constant level.
The Mayor said the recommendation is to use short-term financing.
4. Linda Kunze, Downtown Manager, thanked the Council for moving forward to the next step in the Lakota Plan. She said the Downtown Management Board has already put together a wish list of retail businesses they would like to see come into the downtown area.
Commissioner Schnell suggested that Information Services or Economic Development design an on-line survey to solicit suggestions of retail businesses people would want.
Ms. Kunze invited people to stop by her office as well.
Commissioner Sisul said Peace Manor and Peace Memorial have done surveys of their residents as to services they would like to see in the downtown.
RES00 -00369 Resolution: Real Estate Agreement – 1007 Burlington, 5117 & 5119 Main Street Sponsors: Village Attorney and Director of Redevelopment Summary of Item: Adoption of this resolution will authorize the execution of a real estate agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Ross A. and Barbara R. Johnson and Mivini & Company for the purchase of three parcels in the CBD redevelopment area. The total purchase price and relocation assistance shall be $4,460,000.00.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A REAL ESTATE AGREEMENT
RESOLUTION NO . 2001-16 The Manager read a statement prepared by Commissioner McConnell who was absent due to a pre-planned business event that could not be changed. She said that after long and thoughful consideration of the facts and alternatives, she is in support of the purchase by the Village of the select downtown properties outlined in the resolution. She said she believes this action supports facilitation of the best and highest use of the property and can and should result in long term benefit to all residents of Downers Grove. She said it is her hope, belief and expectation that this purchase and temporary ownership by the Village can be the foundation for revitalizing the downtown area. She looks forward to working with the staff, residents and others to facilitate a revitalization of the downtown in a manner that maintains and even enhances the special character and ambiance that makes Downers Grove a place people want to move to, a place we want to live long term, and a place we are proud to call our home.
Commissioner Schnell said she reviewed records of other purchases along Main Street. She said the cost per square foot of this purchase is consistent with other purchases along Main Street. She said this opportunity presented itself to the Council to work with the Lakota Plan and the Master Plan for the downtown. It represents a unique opportunity.
Mayor Krajewski said the Council will continue to move forward with the Lakota Plan adopted in 1997. A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Sisul, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Sisul, Commissioner Gilbert and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Village Property – Acquisition
Village Manager’s Report
The Manager said the Village has received informal notification of award of three grants from the Federal Surface Transportation Funds for Woodward, Dunham and Fairview projects.
Villlage Attorney’s Report
The Village Attorney said he has two items to present to the Council: 1) an ordinance abating a portion of the 2000 tax levy, and 2) a resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement with DuPage County re: 55th Street watermain.
Dane Wendell thanked the Council and the Chamber of Commerce Academy for allowing him to participate in tonight’s program.
Commissioner Schnell moved to adjourn. Commissioner Sisul seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Schnell, Sisul, Gilbert, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.