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October 23, 2001 - Workshop

Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.

Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Thomas Sisul, Michael Gilbert, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden


Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter, Colt Foutz, The Sun; Jennifer Taylor, Chicago Tribune Residents & Others in Attendance: Phil Bartnicki, 825 Oxford (St. Joseph School); Jim McAnally, 4733 (St. Joseph School); Dave Humphreys, 4221 Saratoga (Tourism & Events Commission); Marilyn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; George Swimmer, 4915 Main; David Sleeter, 5416 Maplewood (North High School) Staff: Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Denise Williamsen, Tourism & Events Commission; Amanda Browne, Planner; Bob Schiller, Traffic Manager; Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works

Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.

The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.

The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.



Traffic Sign Materials. Manager Ginex said staff has recommended that 3M be awarded all items for electrocuttable film and reflective sheetings, and Vulcan Sign be awarded a contract for hi-intensity sheeting.

Traffic Sign Blanks. The Manager said staff recommends accepting the bid from Vulcan Sign in the amount of $564.98 cumulative total of item per unit cost.

Commissioner McConnell said that the memo said Vulcan Signs has not been an approved vendor for several years, and she asked why they chose to go with them.

Bob Schiller , Traffic Manager, said they have not been competitive in their bids. However, they have changed ownership and requested to be put back on the bid list.

The Mayor said he saw that Public Works staff has been out clearing leaves from the sewers to improve water flow during the rainstorms. He said they have done a great job. Mr. Schiller said that there were almost 400 calls for service on Saturday.

Reports: Heritage Festival Annual Report & Sports Grand Prix Championships. Manager Ginex said Council has received a report on the two events and asked Commissioner Gilbert to comment on them.

Commissioner Gilbert said that the 2001 Heritage Festival was his last as Chairman. He gave a brief background of the founding of Heritage Festival. Last year was one of the most profitable and successful. He named the Committee members and staff that he has worked with over the years and thanked them for their dedication to the Festival. They are: Grace Beggs, Paul Bleuher, Ed Bunting, Dave Dahm, Sue Dunlap, Dave Humphreys, Mike Kubes, Marjie Kremer, Patti Marino, Kathy Nybo, Jim Parthun, Ellen Pendola, Pat Winter, Kristin Paulson, Student Representative; Lt. Pam Church and Sgt. Dean Kalmar, Ex-officio members; and staff members Mary Scalzetti, Denise Williamsen, Laura Kestelik, Jenny Bielawski and Audrey Priorello. He also noted the work done by many volunteers including Tom and Chris Kirk, Mary Alberts, Juli Coughlin, Patti Graf, Ellen Malak, Lisa Moroko, Pat Turner and Barbara Chechna.

Commissioner Gilbert said that the new Tourism and Events Board is being chaired by Dave Humphreys. He then named the members of that new Board, many of whom served in past years on the Festival events. He said the people involved on the Committee get very little recognition for their work. They meet monthly, and without the Board and staff, the events would not be as successful as they have been. He noted that this past year the Festival was returned to its original location, after a few years of changing the site due to construction. The Beer Garden was enlarged, and this was its best year.

Regarding the 4th of July parade, Commissioner Gilbert said it was moved to a new location this past year and was a great success. Attendance is difficult to determine; however, staff felt that this was one of the busiest festivals. The Beer Garden and ride tickets were the biggest on record.

Commissioner Gilbert said that finances covered 65% of the expenses, with total revenue of $40,238 above budget. That was more than they expected. Amusement rides alone generated $183,000 in ticket sales. He noted that they were over budget in the rental of tents by about $5,000.00, due to the expansion of the beer garden and the shortened notice in an attempt to keep the streets open for as long as possible before setting up the tents. He recommended that, regardless of the economic situation, the Festival continue to be supported by the Council. Some years will be better than others, but he believes the Festival must go on as a worthy community event. The Commissioner noted that Denise Williamsen will be leaving. She’s been involved with Heritage Festival for a long time. She began in 1994 on a part-time basis working with Lynn Saladino. He said he will be sad to see her leave as she has left her signature on the Festival. He added that now that she is moving to a new position, she’ll be able to sleep during the months of June and early July.

Commissioner Gilbert thanked the Council for the opportunity to work on the Festival. He hoped it would be approved for next year and many years after. It’s a time when families and neighbors get together and when the non-profit community organizations have an opportunity to make themselves known.

Commissioner Tully congratulated the Community Events Commission, staff and volunteers on this year’s Festival. He hopes to see it continue and expressed his appreciation to Commissioner Gilbert for his involvement over the years and his dedication and enthusiasm.

Commissioner McConnell said that the participation has increased every year. She believes the Council booth has been very helpful. One of the important parts of the Festival is the non-profit component. They get a significant portion of funding through this and that is returned to the community. She thanked the Community Events Commission and Commissioner Gilbert for their dedication and efforts.

Commissioner Schnell echoed the congratulations and thanks already expressed. She said it is one of the truly unique family events for the Village. She said that Denise’s imprint can be seen in many areas of the Festival and will continue to be seen for many years. Commissioner Schnell added that the 4th of July party was also great fun. She congratulated Commissioner Gilbert on his job in the Festival events.

The Mayor asked if the North and South High School bands are out at other events for the 4th of July. Commissioner Schnell said they were in Europe this year. The Mayor then asked about the difference in remuneration to the high school bands. Commissioner Gilbert said it depends upon what they charge. They are looked at as a mode of entertainment for the Parade.

Mayor Krajewski said that the bicycle festival is becoming more popular. He noted that FOX TV plays the race several times a year. The volunteers and staff have done a tremendous job, especially during the construction. He complimented Commissioner Gilbert on his tenure as Chairman. Mr. Humphreys will have some large shoes to fill.

Commissioner Gilbert said that the Grand Prix bike race is transmitted across the country.

Rezoning – Drendel Avenue. The Manager said the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously recommended approval to rezone this property from County R-4 to Village R-4 upon annexation.

Parking & Traffic Recommendations:

File #04-01 Regulatory Control Evaluation at Main & Franklin. The Manager said that this concerns the need for a traffic signal at Main and Franklin. The Parking and Traffic Commission (P&T) negotiated with Metro Transportation Group to design traffic signal plans and specifications, and to evaluate the impact of a traffic signal on adjacent blocks. The recommendation is to include funding for the Main and Franklin traffic signal construction in 2002/03 capital improvements plan.

Commissioner Schnell said that Metro did an outstanding job on the report. She said the traffic signal will provide a means of protecting the public. She asked whether the Council will be reviewing the street striping, etc. Mr. Schiller responded that when the plans are drawn up and traffic impact analysis is performed, there will be a recommendation for the street work prior to the installation of the traffic signal. He said the comments of the residents would be taken into consideration as well.

Commissioner Gilbert noted that in 1997 the intersection plan was drawn and he recommended checking the minutes of that time regarding Forest.

George Swimmer , 4905 Main Street, commented that Commissioner Gilbert has done a wonderful job on Heritage Festival. He gave examples of how the money is returned back to the community, and congratulated Commissioner Gilbert for always arranging good weather.

Regarding Franklin and Main Street, Mr. Swimmer said his office is at that location and the traffic is a concern. There are also many children crossing at that location. He said downtown business has fallen off tremendously, and a traffic light might jeopardize what traffic is already there. On Main Street there are eight traffic lights between Ogden and the tracks. During rush hours cars are backed up well beyond Franklin for the train. He said he believes the light will do more to back the traffic up and will further jeopardize downtown business.

Phil Bartnicki , 825 Oxford, said the traffic light is warranted. He would hate to see a child killed at that intersection. He is a member of St. Joseph’s School Board and said that something is always going on at the church and school.

Commissioner Tully explained that previous traffic studies did not warrant the light; however, the more recent study shows the need. He said regarding the impact on Main Street, he believes there will be a minimal effect due to the ability to interconnect the traffic light with the existing system.

Mr. Schiller said that synchronization is important and will be done. If the signal does not function with the rest of the system, it will not be beneficial. Therefore it will be interconnected and timed with the existing signalization.

File #17-01 CBD Parking Deck Traffic Impact Study. The Manager said that the Parking and Traffic recommendation was to perform a traffic impact study for the area surrounding the proposed facility. P&T recommended approving the study.

Commissioner McConnell echoed items #7 and #8 of the study, particularly regarding the size of the parking spaces. She noted that Naperville has very small spaces. In addition they should keep in mind the westbound traffic on Maple and Main.

Commissioner Tully said that when KLOA made their presentation regarding traffic flow around the deck, there was a recommendation to eliminate some existing spaces on Washington Street. He said they should consider how the traffic flows before eliminating any parking spots on Washington Street.

Mr. Schiller said that was one of the concerns of the Commission, however, they were less adamant about the parking on Washington because of the discussion concerning the Washington Street entrance/exit. They felt there was enough roadway width to retain some angled parking in the area for the businesses along Washington Street.

Amend Certain Sections of the Municipal Code for Clarification and Compliance – Ordinance Amending Provisions of the DG Water System. The Manager said with the pending implementation of the Automated Meter Reading program, Chapter 25 of the Municipal Code was reviewed to insure that this chapter was updated and applicable for the Village-wide changes to the water metering system. Clarification of the Code was needed in specifying property owner’s responsibility, the ability of the Village to access the meter, defining water metering devices, and increasing the metering device charges. The increase in charges represents the increase in costs of metering devices with the AMR transmitting unit to be installed on all meters.

Commissioner Tully said one of the issues raised by a resident was the access to the data and the frequency at which the system would be able to collect data. There was some discussion regarding steps to be taken to ensure that information collected is only used as it should be. One benefit of the AMR system is that the system can detect an emergency quickly so residents can be notified. He suggested putting something in the ordinance regarding who is allowed access to the information.

The Mayor asked that this be referred to the Technology Committee.

Commissioner Schnell agreed with the need to review this issue.

Agreements with Versar regarding environmental remediation. The Manager asked Attorney Blondin to address this.

Attorney Dan Blondin said that the Council authorized the first of a three-phase process with Versar. This agreement is a prerequisite to the demolition of the buildings. He suggested that the Council use Versar as a general contractor to get the subcontractors to perform the work. They will also oversee the work. The work will be done at a cost not to exceed $125,000. He said this is being presented in a manner to provide the most expeditious removal of the materials.

Attorney Blondin said the plan is to close the real estate transaction December 1.

Commissioner Tully asked about Versar’s range of expertise in selecting the subcontractors.

Dave Johnson of Versar said he has been working with certain contractors since 1986. They use only licensed qualified contractors whose references have been checked. They have worked with all five contractors, and have worked with many of the individuals involved in the work in the past. The companies are Asbestos Control, Holean Asbestos Removal Company, DEN Services, Eco Source, and LVI Environmental.

Attorney Blondin asked that the Council review this at their Special Council meeting following the workshop.

The Mayor then concluded the Workshop meeting at 7:15 p.m. April K. Holden Village Clerk