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, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Daniel Blondin; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioners Michael Gilbert and Mark Zabloudil
Visitors: Press: Susie Gura, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Scott Moberg, 844 Maple, Tim Brennan, 3815 Downers Dr., Arlene Reusz, 6837 Ticonderoga Rd. (Boy Scouts of America); Ken Menzel, 953 Winslow, Glen Ellyn; Dave Tatterson, 1240 Gilbert; Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland ; Catherine Loney, Kraemer & Loney; Madeline Hood, Kraemer & Loney Staff: Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources; Jane Gerdes, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dave VanVooren, Deputy Village Manager, Administration; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Mary LaLonde, Employee Benefits Coordinator; Mary Lyons, Director Financial Services; Steve Rockwell, Director Economic Development Commission; Carol Conforti, Liquor Commission
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 cablecast 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.
The Mayor recognized the presence of Boy Scouts from Troops 367 and 89. They’re working on their citizenship badges. The scouts introduced themselves. The Mayor said that one of the questions raised to him was the location of this year’s July 4th parade. He noted that the scouts would be working with Doug Kozlowski who would assign a citizenship community project to them.
Park District buildings demolition at McCollum Park. Manager Ginex said there are five existing structures to be removed. Staff recommends awarding a bid to Environmental Cleansing in the amount of $43,487.00 with a 5% contingency.
Sewer Jetting & Cleaning. The Manager said staff is recommending renewing a contract with Kenny Industrial for sewer jetting & cleaning.
Industrial Revenue Bonds. The Manager asked Steve Rockwell, Director, Economic Development Commission, to address this item.
Steve Rockwell , Director of Economic Development Commission, said that a request has been made by Stern Brothers to purchase the Village’s bond cap which is calculated based upon population. With a population of 48,724 at $75 per resident, there is a bond cap of $3,654,000. Stern Brothers has offered to pay 1.5% of the total for an amount of $54,814.00. Mr. Rockwell said that Stern Brothers was the only offer. If the funds are not used by May 1, the funds go back to the State. The tax allows for-profit groups to borrow at lower interest rates.
Commissioner McConnell said she thought that last year the money was designated for a specific function. She asked if the funds this year would be earmarked for a specific activity. Mr. Rockwell said it would go into the general fund.
Marty Lyons , Director, Financial Services, said they will tentatively earmark the funds for the planner position, or economic development specialist.
Commissioner Tully asked for confirmation that $54,814 is what the Village will get out of the bond cap sale, and Mr. Rockwell said he asked Stern Brothers to confirm that amount.
Commissioner Tully asked if Village’s future bond capacity would be impaired if the Village cedes its bond cap to the State of Illinois. Mr. Rockwell said it would not.
Commissioner Sisul said he was surprised that Stern Brothers would be able to use it for the senior citizens project in Yorkville, as they are industrial revenue bonds. Mr. Rockwell said senior citizens housing has been determined to be an allowable expense.
Citizen Survey. The Manager asked Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager, to address this item.
Mike Baker , Assistant to the Village Manager, said that the survey has been conducted on an annual basis for the past ten years. It’s a source of valuable feedback to the Village from the residents, as it provides demographic information, resident satisfaction with the Village services, resident perception of the community, participation levels, and trend analysis. Mr. Baker said that the survey is created in-house with input from the various staff directors and Council members. Standard practice has been to alternate questions every other year. The 2001 survey contained 68 questions and was mailed to 4,187 households from addresses generated by the Water Billing department. There was a 39% response rate, which is the highest it has been in six years. Mr. Baker then reviewed statistical information obtained from the survey, as well as some of the responses to the questions posed. He noted that comments were distributed through the Village’s Trackwise system. Of 144 records generated, 118 have been closed through staff response. He said that there was a marked increase in the number of home computers from 52% in 1995 to 81.9% in 2001, with 71% having Internet access. Comparisons with previous years’ results showed an increase in resident satisfaction with Village services, an increase in the number of residents watching televised Council meetings, and a desire on the part of resident to take advantage of expanded on line services.
Dr. Liangfu Wu further reviewed the information obtained from the survey, stating that 70% of the residents are happy with the Council’s performance. In response to the question as to whether residents wanted costs reduced with fewer services, 70% of the responses indicated residents wanted things kept as they are now.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated receiving the trend information, and asked whether it was inclusive of all years. Mr. Baker said it was.
Commissioner Tully asked whether the questions referred to by Dr. Wu were discussed in previous surveys, and Mr. Baker said this is the first time those questions were used. There is no prior survey history for those questions. They would like to include those questions on future surveys.
Commissioner Tully asked how staff is responding to the 436 comments made. Mr. Baker said that the residents were asked if they wanted a response. If they did, the applicable department was asked to respond. He said that the comments were tracked so as to identify departments and when a specific inquiry was closed. In regard to comments made about other bodies, such as the Park District or other agencies, Mr. Baker said those comments would be passed along to those agencies, if they have not been done already. The Mayor said those comments are forwarded to the other agencies every year.
Commissioner Tully said it was impressive that over the years the percentage of individuals who responded to the survey have lived in the Village an average of 20 years. In excess of 92% of the respondents were satisfied with the Village as a place to live. Dr. Wu said it is more significant to determine how many rated Downers Grove as a good place to live who have lived here for five years or less.
Commissioner McConnell said that Trackwise allows staff to sort the data in many different ways, and asked for feedback from the various departments as to their responses to both positive and negative comments. This assists in determining what activities should be incorporated into the budget process. She asked whether this will be on the website. Mr. Baker said when the survey report is final it will be placed on the website. Dr. Wu said that all comments were placed in Trackwise; however, some people did not leave their names so those comments may remain open. There will have to be an administrative decision as to closing out open files.
Commissioner Schnell said she was happy to see more people watching the Council meetings on television, and also to see that it has become a more computer literate community. She asked if there was a way to expand the e-newsletter, as information on the web makes for a better-informed public. She noted that although the people feel safe in the community, they do not feel save from neighborhood crime. She asked if there is a way to better inform people about the crime prevention programs that exist. Commissioner Schnell thanked the staff for the report saying they did a great job.
Commissioner Sisul said he appreciated the work done to put this together, and appreciates the interest on the part of the public in watching the meetings.
Mayor Krajewski said that staff did a good job in putting the survey together. He said that only about 10% of those surveyed have been to a Council meeting, and only 1/3 have visited the website. He said that the majority have not taken advantage of the services that the Council has made available. He thanked the Council for attending many community events as that is a forum for gathering and disseminating information and obtaining feedback. The Mayor said that the survey provides a lot of useful information. He would be interested in getting information from Trackwise and the follow-up to comments made.
Commissioner McConnell recommended that they continue to seek ways to promote 434-CALL, as only 20% seem to know it is available.
Commissioner Tully said that 72% of those who responded agreed they were well informed on major issues in the Village. The Mayor said that the Council does spend a lot of time attending various events and providing direct information to the public through those appearances.
Commissioner McConnell said it might be good to ask what mechanisms people have to learn about Village programs and services.
Commissioner Schnell said it is nice to know that people are watching on television. The numbers are higher than they used to be. The Mayor added that the highest number is television, over the website or radio.
Plan Agreement – Kraemer Loney. The Manager asked Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources, to address this matter.
Greg Zimmerman , Director, Human Resources, said this agreement is another facet of the Village’s health plan. They are trying to find means of providing a satisfactory health plan while also saving money. The plan has grown to 500 participants. The Village is employing the financial expertise of its consultants to enable it to more accurately monitor the health insurance program. He then asked Catherine Loney to explain the program.
Catherine Loney , Kraemer and Loney, said they work with schools and municipalities in preparing employee benefit packages. She said that they have met with staff regarding refunds, stop payments and voids which need to be more closely tracked. She explained how tracking could result in savings to the medical plan. She recommends that these figures be tracked on a monthly basis.
Commissioner McConnell said she was distressed that Humana cannot take care of the issues with duplicate billing. She said they spoke about a performance guarantee with them, or else move elsewhere.
Madeline Hood , Kraemer and Loney, said that they are moving to an electronic data transmittal. All of their recovery efforts were taking place; however they are not being reflected back onto the plan. She said they have done an audit of the recovery process. Commissioner McConnell said the other reason for duplicate billing is that bills are not paid on a timely basis. Ms. Hood said that they have put guidelines into place to pay bills within 10-14 days. Commissioner McConnell added that they must look at the Privacy Act to make sure the Village is compliant.
Commissioner McConnell asked what the Village will do with the information received and who will do it. Ms. Hood responded that her office will receive the claims and compile the payments. It will then be forwarded to the Village for confirmation. She said they need to focus on eligibility. She then described the actual process that would take place regarding claims filed and payment of the claims. Mr. Lyons explained how claims are handled at the staff level.
Commissioner McConnell asked how often the Village sends eligibility information to Humana.
Mary LaLonde , Employee Benefits Coordinator, said it is sent once a month.
Commissioner Sisul said he appreciated Commissioner McConnell’s work on this issue. He asked about the refunds. Ms. Loney said they are duplicate claims or overpayment of a claim. In further response to Commissioner Sisul, Ms. Loney said they become aware of refunds in a variety of ways, one of the biggest resources being employees. She said that Humana audits also reveal overpayments, etc. She added that she is uncomfortable with the level of refunds being received by the Village. They must keep a close eye on tracking.
Mayor Krajewski said he agreed with Commissioner McConnell that Humana should be monitoring this.
The Mayor asked Ms. Loney how many employees her firm has. She responded that they have six employed. Their accounts include Glen Ellyn, Northbrook, Prospect Heights and many others. The Mayor asked Mr. Lyons if most DuPage municipalities outsource this, as it appears that they should be able to do the accounting function in-house. Mr. Lyons responded that many other communities are not self-funded. Ms. Loney said that of all of her clients, only Glen Ellyn does it in-house.
The Mayor asked about the proposed fee increase of 3.7%, and whether the Village has to go out for competitive bid since it is over 2%. Staff Attorney Petrarca said there is not a trigger amount. Mr. Lyons said a commodities bid is over 2%, but professional services are different. He said one of the biggest considerations is satisfaction with the current vendor in determining whether to go out to bid.
Ordinance to conduct an interim census in newly annexed areas. The Manager said in order to receive MFT monies, which are based upon population, the Village should conduct a census to include the newly annexed areas in the 63rd and Main Street area. This would result in an additional $25,000 in funding per year. He stated that IDOT requires that a census be conducted to verify the population figures.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether the money will be attributed to this year or next year.
Jane Gerdes , Assistant Director, Public Works, said the money comes on a monthly basis, and once the figures are submitted, the funds should be received.
Commissioner Tully asked if this is something the Village would do with any future annexations. Ms. Gerdes said it is, as $25,000 can purchase about 700 tons of asphalt.
Professional Services Agreement: Design Engineering for Fairview Avenue (55th to Ogden) STP Resurfacing. The Manager said the project is tentatively scheduled for 2003 construction. The Village would receive 70%, or approximately $507,000 of the total estimated $724,000 toward the construction costs. He said a request for Statements of Qualifications for engineering services was sent to 30 firms. Staff recommends awarding the contract to Civiltech Engineering, Inc., in an amount not-to-exceed $63,300 for the design engineering services.
In response to a question from Mayor Krajewski regarding the number of bids, Ms. Gerdes said that the four bidders were interviewed and information was then sent to IDOT for a courtesy review, and they indicated that they were appropriate. The Mayor asked about the other three firms, and Ms Gerdes named them. She said 18 firms submitted Statements of Qualifications. Ms. Gerdes said that four staff people reviewed all 18 bidders and ranked them on various criteria. Criteria are based upon staff experience with the firm, the firm’s experience, work the firm has done in the area, and the number of projects done by the firm.
The Mayor recommended that in the future they list the categories upon which the firms are interviewed and chosen. He said it seemed as though there are a number of good engineering firms in the County that might be more competitive in their pricing. Ms. Gerdes said they negotiated on man-hours anticipated. She added that they did look at competitive bidding. She added that there are laws that need to be followed regarding quality based selection, and suggested they may want to bring this issue to the Public Service Committee.
Professional Services Agreement: Design Engineering for Dunham (Lemont to Andrus) STP Improvement. The Manager said staff recommends awarding the contract for design engineering services for the Dunham Road Improvements Project to Transystems Corporation in an amount not-to-exceed $130,414.00. He said the Village would receive 70%, or $574,000 of the total estimated $820,000 construction costs. He noted that Statements of Qualifications were sent to 30 area firms resulting in 18 responses.
Mayor Krajewski asked who the other firms were as he would like to see more competition. Ms. Gerdes said that the same firms were involved in the review. She said that staff will review the procedure.
Commissioner McConnell referred to the Fairview Avenue item, and asked how the Main Street project would benefit from these projects.
Ms. Gerdes said that Main Street resurfacing between Franklin and Ogden was scheduled for this summer; however, this has been deferred to 2003, and will still make the grant window. She said this provides an opportunity to piggyback two similar projects in town. They will be able to bid the two grant projects as one contract which can result in savings in various aspects of the projects. Ms. Gerdes said John Wielebnicki of Transystems Corporation was present to answer questions.
Commissioner McConnell asked whether the price includes the economies, and Ms. Gerdes said they can anticipate a drop of perhaps between 2%-4%.
The Mayor asked Mr. Wielebnicki if neighboring communities bid their engineering services for STP funded projects.
John Wielebnicki , Transystems Corporation, said there is generally a qualifications selection process, followed by negotiation of the fee as this is a qualifications based process. He said it was commendable that staff sent the information to IDOT to serve as a check. In further response to the Mayor, Mr. Wielebnicki said the process followed here is the same as that of four other communities with whom his company has worked.
Annexation Petition: 3835, 3841 Glendenning. The Manager said the owners of the property have voluntarily submitted the request for annexation to the Village.
Commissioner Schnell asked if this was a water annexation. The Manager said this was a straight annexation, not a water annexation.
Redraft of Comedy Club License. The Manager asked Carol Conforti to discuss this item.
Carol Conforti , Liquor Commission Liaison, said that staff reviewed the Council’s comments at the previous Workshop meeting and redrafted the Ordinance for the Comedy Club Liquor License. She noted that they have revised the hours of liquor services by omitting the one-hour after a performance.
Commissioner Tully said he felt they did an excellent job in revising the ordinance. He suggested that the language regarding restrictions such as hours of operation, amateur nights, etc. should be included in the definition of the C-1 license, rather than in the definition of “comedy club.” He said one of the concerns expressed by the Council and residents was whether this would be limited to comedy performances. By restricting the sales of liquor to such a narrow time frame, he doesn’t see this being used by other types of groups.
Abatement of Water Bond Tax Levy. The Manager asked Marty Lyons to address this item.
Marty Lyons , Director, Financial Services, said that adoption of this abatement ordinance is required to prevent the levy of property taxes for the payment of the Series Water 2001A bond issue for the Automated Meter Reading system. During a preliminary review of the 2001 tax levy, staff discovered these bonds had not been abated. He said staff recommends the adoption of the ordinance.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services Committee met to discuss stormwater issues pertaining to the audit and will meet again on March 25.
Commissioner McConnell said that the second budget meeting was held last Saturday. There are a few remaining items to review. She said this will be workshopped in early April.
The Mayor thanked Public Works for the outstanding job they did in looking at areas to be annexed as well as other area projects that may need to be addressed.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting ten items to the Council: 1) An ordinance reserving volume cap in connection with private activity bond issues, and related matters; 2) a resolution authorizing execution of a plan administrator and accounting agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Kraemer & Loney, Inc.; 3) an ordinance for municipal census; 4) a resolution authorizing execution of a proposal/agreement to furnish Phase II engineering services (Fairview Avenue resurfacing) between the Village of Downers Grove and Civiltech Engineering, Inc., 5) a resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between Village of Downers Grove and Transystems Corporation for professional services (Dunham Road improvements); 6) an ordinance annexing 3835 and 3841 Glendenning Road to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 7) an ordinance creating a comedy club liquor license; 8) an ordinance abating a portion of the 2001 Tax Levy related to the General Obligation Water Bonds, Series 2001A; 9) an ordinance adopting and approving publication of the Village of Downers Grove Zoning Map; and 10) a resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Downers Grove Park District regarding the use of Village facilities and video production of Park District Board meetings.
Commissioner Sisul mentioned that Commissioner Gilbert was not present because his father is very seriously ill, and extended best wishes and prayers to him and his family.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:18 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh