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 Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter; Colt Foutz, The Sun Residents: Peter Hultman, 1410 Gilbert; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd Street; Dick Cofran, 1318 Turvey Road; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore Avenue; Judy Sidrys, 5223 Lee Avenue; Megan Schroeder, 6036 Ridge Court; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; James Cavallo, 6943 Valley View Drive; Dave Humphreys, Tourism & Events Commission, 4221 Saratoga; Red Brownson, 5904 Downers Drive; John Collins, 6024 Ridge; Clayton Shoup, 4909 Chase Staff: Code Services: Don Rosenthal, Director; Don Scheidler, Code Enforcement Officer; Deputy Police Chief Pam Church; Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti; Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jackson; Public Works: Jack Bajor, Director; Bob Schiller, Assistant Director; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager, Administration
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.
Rock Salt. Manager Ginex said staff recommends purchase of 4,200 tons in the joint purchase with the State of Illinois at a cost of $29.44 per ton, which is not an increase over last year. The Village can purchase additional salt without a penalty to a maximum of 5,460 tons.
Mayor Krajewski asked how many tons are in storage.
Bob Schiller , Assistant Director, Public Works, said it was about 2,200 tons.
Commissioner Tully asked how much salt staff thinks they will require. Mr. Bajor said he doesn’t think they will go over the 130%. An average winter they use between 5,500-6,000 tons of salt.
Commissioner Sisul asked if it would leave much of a reserve for next year, and Mr. Schiller he did not think so. Commissioner Sisul said they should keep that in mind for the budget. He said he would also like to see a review of the snow plan.
Firefighters Personal Protective Equipment. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract to Global Fire Equipment, and Environmental Safety Group for purchase of personnel protection equipment. The total expenditure would not exceed $5,000.
Commissioner Gilbert asked whether the $5,000 was in the budget or is in addition to budgeted items.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jackson responded they have the money in reserve. The expenditure would cover the wear and tear on equipment as well. In February the Council approved this, and it will continue for one year.
Commissioner Gilbert asked if the $500 clothing allowance is cumulative or if that has been rectified. Deputy Chief Jackson said that according to the contract and budget it is no longer cumulative, beginning this budget year.
Proclamation: Mayor Krajewski proclaimed October 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week in the Village of Downers Grove. He noted there was an open house on Saturday at Station 5 and asked Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti to comment.
Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti said there was a fantastic turnout. The sprinkler demonstration was spectacular. Two firefighters also repelled off the water tower, as well as a demonstration of the uniforms. Chief Ruscetti said that the rescue dogs were also in attendance. He said it was an excellent open house. He noted that the annual Silent Parade will be held on Friday, October 11, and will end up at St. Joseph’s church at approximately 8:00 p.m. This is the 8th year of the Silent Parade.
Mike McMahon – DUI Prosecution. Linda Pieczynski – Ordinance Violation Prosecution.
The Manager said staff recommends renewal of the contracts for both Mike McMahon and Linda Pieczynski. He said that the Police Department and Code Services turned in positive evaluations and recommendations for renewal of the contracts. The amounts are $20,000 for Mike McMahon and $12,862.50 for Ms. Pieczynski for six months. The hourly rate will not change for Ms. Pieczynski.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said staff will evaluate the contracts after a six-month period to determine whether this could be done in-house.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about the total fine amount, and Attorney Petrarca said the fines are assessed for each case. The violators have 1-2 years to pay. She said the tech fee is a special line item for traffic and DUI enforcement for use of the video camera.
Commissioner McConnell said the Village is paying $20,000 for DUI prosecutions, and getting $170,000. She asked how they are tracking payments. Attorney Petrarca said that all the money is collected by the Circuit Court. They need to set up a system to distinguish the DUIs from traffic violators.
Metra Agreement. The Manager said this is the updated agreement concerning the first step toward construction on the underpass. He said the Village’s obligations will center on two issues—an agreement to acquire the property, and maintenance of the bridge deck.
The Mayor asked about the Village’s reimbursement for costs. He said that before they move forward they should have METRA sign off that the fees are reasonable. He said that the County Board approved three separate ordinances regarding this today.
Commissioner Gilbert referenced Section 5A regarding the Village agreeing to acquire the needed property. He asked if that wording is sufficient or if the Village needs to outline more specifically what the plan is. Manager Ginex said they would be reviewing this. Attorney Petrarca said she felt the wording is sufficient.
Mayor Krajewski said this agreement will be sent back to Washington.
Commissioner McConnell asked when they will be getting back to the residents or the property owners. Manager Ginex said that once this agreement is signed, they can start talking to people.
Commissioner Tully asked whether the County will assume jurisdiction of Belmont Road, and the Manager said yes, that was firm. Commissioner Tully thanked both Mayor Krajewski and Manager Ginex for their work on this.
Building Code Amendments. The Manager said that the amendments include updating from the 1997 to the 2000 residential Code.
Commissioner Gilbert asked whether it was more or less restrictive than the 1997 Code.
Don Rosenthal , Director of Code Services, said it is about the same. He said he feels it is reasonable. It is used universally all over the country. He said they will continue to use the plumbing code as required in Illinois, the National Electrical Code, and the Village’s zoning code.
Heritage Festival Annual Report. Mary Scalzetti presented the report for the Festival, saying this year’s festival had the highest revenues ever. A total of 181 organizations, businesses and churches participated. Staff costs were lower by $10,000.00, in part by an effort to involve volunteers.
Dave Humphreys , Chairman of the Tourism and Events Commission, said it was a great festival and everyone appeared to have a wonderful time. He said they had a new Commission and a new Department and Director. He expressed thanks to the Tourism and Events Commission and the work of the staff.
In response to the Mayor’s question regarding grants, Mr. Humphreys said that the Downers Grove Concert Association Artists Showcase West receives funding from the Community Grants Program. On Sunday, the Village hosted the Moscow Chamber Orchestra at Downers Grove North High School. It was their only concert in the Chicago area.
Commissioner McConnell said she attended the Moscow Chamber’s concert, and it was wonderful. The Orchestra lived up to their reputation.
Commissioner Gilbert complimented the Tourism and Events staff on the fine job they did this year and thanked Dave Humphreys for taking on a new Commission.
Ms. Scalzetti said that all of the staff pitched in and did a great job.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the increase in the amount of funds received in the Friends category. Ms. Scalzetti said that the Corporate sponsors were rearranged and put together this year.
Mr. Humphreys said there are 261 days until the next Heritage Festival
Open Burning Amendments. The Manager said the present Ordinance currently does not define cooking fuel, and people can burn wood in some devices. Staff is looking to amend the Ordinance. He said that Linda Pieczynski has recommended adding burning charcoal briquettes, natural gas or propane as acceptable cooking fuel.
Commissioner Schnell said she thought this will help tighten up the Ordinance and thanked staff.
Commissioner McConnell asked what the fine would be. The Mayor responded it was between $75-750 as imposed by the judge.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, thanked the Village staff for bringing this item forward saying it would make enforcement easier and provides flexibility.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, suggested publishing information regarding this in the Village Corner and making it available on-line to get the word out to residents.
The Mayor said violators can be given a first-time warning.
Deputy Police Chief Pam Church said that they often do give a first-time warning.
John Collins , 6024 Ridge, asked about mesquite or applewood. He asked if the Ordinance could be expanded to include these items. Commissioner Tully said they can add chips to the fire. Attorney Petrarca said it would not be considered the primary fuel.
Commissioner Tully said this raises the issue of smokers, which are usually enclosed.
Commissioner Sisul said that smokers still have charcoal. Mr. Collins said it is a blend of charcoal and wood.
Commissioner Schnell said they are trying to eliminate the use of 2×4’s.
Commissioner Tully said the intent of the Ordinance should be clarified. The Mayor asked the Village Attorney to address those issues.
Stormwater Presentation. The Manager asked Jack Bajor, Director of Public Works to address this issue.
Jack Bajor , Director, Public Works, said that staff has been reviewing the Stormwater Review process. He said this affects a great number of residents. He noted that Jon Hall has been named the Stormwater Administrator. In the past year they reviewed 308 permits, with the large projects reviewed by Chris Lavoie. He said that with the low interest loans available, a great number of permits have been taken out. Staff wants to turn these around as quickly and as accurately as possible.
Mr. Bajor said that staff has put together a matrix of the reviews. He said he, Jon Hall and the three administrative technicians all respond to the residents’ calls. He reiterated the review process. He said turnaround time is 3-4 weeks in-house and ten working days by Chris Lavoie.
Mr. Bajor said that with regard to bond refunds, the contractors would like to receive them as quickly as possible. A new engineer will begin in one week enabling staff to provide better and more timely service. He said the matrix has been very helpful.
The Mayor said that one of the biggest issues has been the length of time it takes to process an application. He said that they need to clean up the old cases as well. He said staff should tell people it will be 4-5 weeks or do not offer a time period at all so as not to aggravate the situation.
Commissioner Gilbert asked what the time period is from start to finish for an application for a new home permit. Mr. Bajor said about five weeks depending upon the difficulty of the project.
Commissioner Gilbert thanked staff for the report.
Mr. Bajor said staff is committing its resources to getting back to the residents. He said the reviews must be done correctly, deliberately and carefully. They are seeing a crest in cases right now, and they hope it will subside by November and December.
The Mayor asked how much time is spent on calls for projects done a number of years ago that now present flooding problems. Mr. Bajor said there are at least nine at this time that are classic, and four or five that are minor cases.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, asked about the current status of the development between Middaugh and Brookbank south of 59th Street. The Mayor the reason the Village was put on probation was because of approval of a permit that was in violation of the County Ordinance. The application must meet the County requirements, and when the County approves the plan, the contractor can begin.
Dr. Goodman asked if there is a timetable when the eyesore will be changed, and the Mayor said the Village cannot approve a permit that the County will not approve.
Lacey Creek Project:
Landscape Management Agreement. Restoration Agreement (Phase II). The Manager asked Mike Baker to address this matter.
Assistant to the Manager Mike Baker said they are seeking to approve two contracts for work to complete the Lacey Creek project. The first is for $11,741 for landscape management including invasive weed control and a controlled burn, and the second for $11,382.32 for the phase two restoration implementation. He said all of the work has been fully permitted but does not represent the final completion of the project. Mr. Baker said staff is still working on a permit for the excavation of the east pond. They anticipate four additional years for the project and are looking for other opportunities to fund the project.
Commissioner Schnell asked if they still maintain a list of the people who are allergic to controlled burns, and whether those people can be notified as it is a health issue. Mr. Baker said he will talk to the environmental contractor to see what has been done or can be done.
Commissioner Tully said Area 9 of the project involves the Innisbrook Homeowners’ Association, and involves a deep culvert, a portion of which remains unimproved. He said there are potential safety concerns; however, apparently funds are unavailable to complete the project. The Mayor said this was brought up a couple of years ago, and they were told it would be taken care of as part of the project. He asked Manager Ginex to review it further.
An Ordinance Amending Fines for Bicycle, Skateboarding, and Skating Violations. The Manager said that there has been increased damage and vandalism to Village and private property caused by bicycling, skateboarding and in-line skating. Staff has met with local businesses and the Downtown Management Board. He said that over several months 200 hours of foot or bicycle patrol were dedicated to the downtown area. There were 97 skateboard citations, 45 bicycle citations, 7 tobacco citations and 60 verbal warnings to juveniles under the age of 13. He said the present fine is $10.00, while other towns have fees of $75.00. When the citations are written, letters are also sent to the parents. He then showed photographs of some of the damage and garbage left on the property. The Manger said staff recommends increasing the fine from $10.00 to $75.00.
The Mayor asked if these are repeat offenders, and the Manager said he did not have that information but would look into it.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked how the process of citations works. Deputy Police Chief Church said that normally violators are given warnings; however as the problems progressed, they were ticketed without a warning. She said that the child gets a citation and the parents get a letter. Officer Church, in response to Commissioner Zabloudil, said that Naperville’s fine of $75.00 was the steepest of the communities surveyed.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether the child could be held at the Police Department so the parents would have to pick them up. Deputy Chief Church said she didn’t believe that was possible for the administrative citations. Officer Church said bringing the violator to the Police Department could tie up an officer’s time for a few hours.
The Mayor asked about progressive fines. Attorney Petrarca said there is a problem to issue the first ticket at $10.00 and then progressively increase the fine and track those fines.
The Mayor recommended sending the ticket in the mail, and he asked whether the vandalism has increased. Deputy Chief Church said she believes it has based upon reports. She noted that skateboards have been confiscated in some instances.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether it would be possible to impose community service on the violator rather than a fine. Deputy Chief Church said that would be the judge’s decision. Attorney Petrarca said these are administrative procedures and do not go before a judge. She added it would be difficult to track for repeat offenders.
Manager Ginex said many of the children are not from Downers Grove.
Commissioner McConnell said she thought going to $75.00 is a good next step and asked whether this could be tied to the teen jury. Attorney Petrarca said this was discussed with Sgt. Niehls, and he will discuss it with the teen jury. Commissioner McConnell said that the downtown is really beautiful, but there are a lot of black marks and damage as the photographs show.
Belmont Road Grade Separation Project Addition Traffic and Parking Analysis. The Manager said* * Metra is finalizing the design. Issues were brought to Metra regarding the parking lot locations, temporary roadways and the traffic flow. The Manager said they found they could move the parking lot on the northwest side in a southerly direction, but it would add $372,000 to the project cost. He said Skuddlebutts would not be taken for the project, but they will purchase 1970 Hitchcock. The Mayor asked if this has been discussed with the residents, and the Manager said he was not sure but would find out.
Manager Ginex said they did a traffic study and felt a traffic signal was not warranted. The Mayor asked if a traffic study was actually done. The Manager said he would inquire about this with Metra. The Manager said Metra is asking the Village to review the design they would prefer, and he noted the Council has two exhibits, one with the northwest corner parking lot moved southerly, and the second exhibit with the parking lot moved along Haddow Avenue.
There was general discussion concerning the placement of the parking lot, and the location of the by-pass road, since Metra would not be taking Skuddlebutt’s. In regard to Exhibit 1, the Mayor said if the Village wanted Exhibit 1, it would have to pay the $372,000. He then asked when the County would vote on the transfer of the road. After further discussion, the Council agreed to Exhibit 2 as it appeared there was only one option, unless the Council chose to spend the $372,000 for Option 1.
Clayton Shoup , 4909 Chase, said he was the President of Puffer-Hefty’s School Board, and noted that no mention has been made about a traffic signal at Haddow and Belmont. He said that the School Superintendent received a letter from Metra stating that they would recommend a traffic light. The School’s concern is not the parking lot as much as the increase in traffic in the area during school hours. They would appreciate police support to strictly enforce school zone speed limits in that area.
The Mayor said that the Village will take jurisdiction of the parking lot which will be a commuter parking lot between 6-8 a.m. and 4:30-6:00 p.m. Mr. Shoop said he understood that, but there will be traffic at the same time buses and parent traffic are moving, including the athletic events and after-school program.
Manager Ginex said he does not think that traffic signal is definitely out. He believes they responded to the traffic analysis, and he would check on that issue and confirm it.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Tully said the Public Services Committee met and discussed stormwater, and how to make the program successful to get the Village off probation and then successfully continue the program beyond probation. Discussion included permitting issues, the overall maintenance of the system, flooding and drainage issues, and steps needed to meet clean water act requirements. He reviewed the Committee’s discussion concerning the Village’s status as a partial waiver or full waiver status community, and the advantages of one over the other to the Village.
Concerning probation, Commissioner Tully said this is an issue of resources. He said that having outside consultants is a very expensive option. He said that it would be prudent for the Village to contact the County in mid-November for a status report. Regarding Village resources, an engineer has been hired and will be starting soon to assist Mr. Hall with the program. He said it would be ideal to dedicate two full-time inspectors to the stormwater issues. They also would need one full-time administrative secretarial staff person to assure proper record keeping.
Commissioner Tully said that the stormwater permitting fees have not been reviewed for some time, and it was recommended to review the fees charged by surrounding communities. In addition, the potential for finding other funding sources was also discussed, such as a stormwater utility system whereby stormwater is treated as a user-based system which would result in dedicated funds to be used for the system.
Commissioner Tully said the Committee also discussed the fact that in March 2003 all operators of municipal water systems must comply with the Clean Water Act. DuPage County has actively worked with municipalities towards permitting and other methods to save municipalities money. He said that compliance can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and would be a five-year process. He stated that notice of intent is due in March 2003 with a plan to meet the requirements of the Act.
Commissioner Schnell said the costs would not be incurred until the second year and future years.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Petrarca said she was presenting ten items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for legal services with Michael F. McMahon; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for legal services with Linda S. Pieczynski; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement (Belmont Road Grade Separation Project); 4) An ordinance adopting the 2000 International Residential Code; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Conservation Land Stewardship; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Conservation Land Stewardship (Phase II); 7) An ordinance amending fines for bicycle, skateboards, and skating violations; 8) An ordinance amending open burning provisions; 9) A resolution authorizing execution of annexation agreements for the properties located at 2050 59th Street, 2525 College Road, 5904 Janes Avenue, 5996 Leonard, 5636 Lomond Avenue, 2611 Maple Avenue, 2621 Maple Avenue, 5908 Pershing Avenue, 5908 Plymouth Street, 6014 Sherman Avenue, 5897 Walnut Avenue, 5905 Woodward Avenue, and 5915 Woodward Avenue; and 10) An ordinance amending flag lot provisions.
Ms. Petrarca said the new Staff Attorney, Ann Marie Lampariello-Perez, started Monday, October 7. She will be in attendance at the next Council meeting.
Red Brownson, 5904 Downers Drive, thanked Commissioner Sisul for responding to him. He said that on Sunday he placed campaign signs on private property at Main Street and Washington Street. The owners of the property were contacted by Code Services that the signs were too large and that there were too many signs. He said he found it interesting that Code Services responded one day after the signs were placed, while other signs have been up for three weeks in violation and were not removed. The Mayor responded that Code Enforcement officers go out on calls or complaints made by residents.
Mr. Bronson said the particular resident gave his permission to place the signs on his property. He has put signs in other areas and they were 12 square feet per sign. He said he called staff for the ordinance to make sure he was in compliance. Mr. Bronson said that all other signs are on the property of white property owners, and this sign is on the property of a black owner. Manager Ginex said that the complaint made to Code Enforcement was due to a tree, and the officer then noticed the signs and told the owner they were to be removed because they were not in compliance.
Peter Hultman , 1410 Gilbert, expressed his concern about public safety and the stairway issue that has been discussed with the Council at other Workshops. The Mayor asked if Mr. Hultman thought the Village has violated a Code. Mr. Hultman said that any stair that varies the risers 2”-11” does not meet any Code. The Mayor asked where that is said in the Village Code. The Mayor said that stairs were built 20 years ago and are under maintenance. He said the discussion on the stairs was finished.
Mr. Hultman then submitted photos of Forest and Burlington, and Forest and Warren, saying he has asked to meet with the Village Manager to discuss the safety factors on these streets and was rejected. The Mayor asked Mr. Bajor to review this.
Mayor Krajewski said that he received the 6th report of the Annual Innovation Commission which presents awards for six different categories. He said that the Village was the winner in the service delivery for citizens survey.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh