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 & Others in Attendance: Allan Ambrose, Northern Trust, Elk Grove, IL; Ray W. Hemphill, Rest Haven Christian Services, Tinley Park, IL; D. Scott Hargadon, Lord, Bissell & Brook, 115 S. LaSalle, Chicago; Roland Gartner, Gartner Saab, 4333 Ogden, Aurora; Jeffrey R. Brown, AIA , The JRB Group Architects, 3115 N. Wilke Rd, Arlington Heights, IL; William Waldack, 1409 Willard Pl.; Ron Sandack, 4833 Linscott; Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Steve Swanson, SRS , One Oakbrook Terrace; Todd Kuciunas, 4626 Woodward; Dave Tatterson, 1240 Gilbert; Pete Folkerts, Solid Rock Dev., 551 Kowdall, Elmhurst; Staff: Deputy Village Manger Brian Pabst; Financial Services Acting Director Trisha Steele; Police Chief Bob Porter; Public Works Director Jack Bajor; Deputy Village Manager Dave Van Vooren; Village Planner Amanda Browne; Assistant to the Village Manger Mike Baker; Planning Services Director Ken Rathje; Economic Development Commission Director Steve Rockwell; Public Works Assistant Director Bob Schiller
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.
Bond Renewal: Redevelopment.
Deputy Manager Dave Van Vooren said the proceeds for this was to help secure redevelopment parcels in the CBD . The purpose for this purchase is to assist in the redevelopment of the downtown area, with the intention of placing the property on the market. The original note was set up for a two-year period with semi-annual interest payments. Currently the Village is paying 2.5% on a call due on February 1. Staff is asking for note renewal for two additional years at existing terms, to provide time to complete land use task force efforts, RFPs and hopefully, finalize transactions with a third party on the properties. He said that Northern Trust is the purchaser of the note. Fees are for the preparation of the bond ordinance by Chapman Cutler at a $10,000 fixed rate.
Commissioner Tully asked what LIBOR is?
Allan Ambrose , Northern Trust, said LIBOR is the London Interbank Offer Rate which is the bank’s cost of funds plus 65 basis points. Mr. Ambrose said the rate was at a 2.5% range for the past six months. He anticipated the next 6-8 months to be at about 2.5%.
Commissioner Tully then asked where Mr. Ambrose saw rates going in the next 6-8 months. Mr. Ambrose responded that their economists thought the rates should stabilize over the next 6-12 months.
Commissioner Tully then asked about the expectations of refinancing the bond for a two-year term with the likelihood of better terms or conditions. Deputy Manger VanVooren responded that he was told that the bank needs to make some money to finance the deal. Staff felt the 65 basic points at the 2% range was a fairly reasonable return. This is a taxable note. There are private investment situations that would affect the tax status.
Dave Tatterson , 1240 Gilbert, asked whether the Village intends to recover the principal when the property is developed, or do they intend to give the property away as they did with block 117. The Mayor responded that when the Village gets to that point they will let him know. Mr. Tatterson asked if that meant there was a possibility of selling the property for a song and having the taxpayers pick up the tab on the principal. Mayor Krajewski responded that the Village will sell the property for what they sell it for when they get to that point. He then asked whether Mr. Tatterson has looked at the return on the TIF for the Station Crossing and the $15 million worth of building under construction, the 48 condos and the retail revenue, including the tax revenues that will be generated from that over the remaining 18 years. Mr. Tatterson did not respond.
Commissioner Tully commented that the Village will seek to maximize the return on this investment, and the value received might take many different forms.
The Mayor said that the Village looks at the whole picture, including what they sell it for, what the development would be, and what the TIF would generate. They look at the entire package.
Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement.
Police Chief Bob Porter said that law enforcement has had to study how it conducts its mutual aid response since the 9/11 attack. They realize that it does not take much to overburden a local law enforcement system. The Illinois Emergency Management System has established an anti-terrorism unit and has recommended that all local law enforcement agencies participate in a state-wide mutual aid agreement which would extend beyond the existing DuPage County agreement. It is endorsed by all DuPage County Chiefs. It would provide immediately additional manpower and equipment in extreme emergency situations. Some federal funding will be assigned through this program, which could affect future equipment distribution. Chief Porter said he recommends this.
Commissioner McConnell said it sounds like a good idea as a broader approach to disaster planning. She said it sounds like the Village would remain responsible for all costs and liabilities of employees involved in another location, but would not be responsibility for any costs or liability of others coming to the Village’s aid. Chief Porter said that was correct.
Commissioner Gilbert asked about the dispatch center and whether it would be centrally located. Chief Porter said that right now it would be in each individual department and they would activate the mutual aid. He said the stricken town would become the dispatch center.
Commissioner Tully applauded the police efforts to do this, however he asked if any analysis has been done as to what the costs to the Village might be in terms of responding to other community needs. Chief Porter said there is nothing in the existing budget that itemizes the assistance to other department. He does not at this time see any changes in the status quo. He said this is a means to formalize the relationships.
Annexation of Residential Property located at 4950 Rose. The Manager said a petition for annexation was received to connect to water. The owner has opted not to rezone the property at this time.
Annual Extension of the Preliminary Site Plan Approval for Planned Development #18.
Planning Services Director Ken Rathje explained that annually for some years the representatives of the Venture shopping center at 75th and Lemont Road have requested the continuation of their approval for two outlots, which may be developed at some time or used for internal modifications.
Commissioner Gilbert asked if there was any other way to handle such matters, since this has gone on for so many years. Mr. Rathje said that he spoke to the attorneys and explained that if they sought final approval they would not lose anything since the process has been amended. He has encouraged that action. Mr. Rathje said they could also suggest a multiple year extension.
Commissioner Gilbert asked what advantages there were to the Village to do this. He’s not sure that it makes sense to continually renew for 20 years. Mr. Rathje said this gives them no advantage whatsoever. The owners have property in many municipalities where procedures differ. He indicated that the Council could deny it.
Commissioner Sisul said he would begin to miss this request if they did not have it. He said there must be some way to look at putting this off for a while and cover whatever their concerns are. Mr. Rathje said he could tell them that the Village would do this one more time and then ask them to resolve the matter.
Commissioner Schnell said she thought the last time this was discussed they recommended a multiple year extension and then recommend final approval. Mr. Rathje said that language could be included in the Ordinance.
Commissioner Tully said that they could condition the extension approval with language regarding final disposition.
Commissioner Gilbert said he also felt they should get it closed out.
Commissioner Schnell said that should be explained to the petitioner so they understand why this is being done. Mr. Rathje said that the Council can submit its wishes either through the form of language in the ordinance or by letter of explanation if they prefer.
Commissioner Sisul recommended extending it this time for two years and sending a letter of explanation to the petitioner. He said the petitioner is apparently used to doing things this way.
ZBA File MC-8-02 – Recommendation regarding a request to rezone property located at the northwest corner of Saratoga Avenue and 35th Street from R-1 to R-3. Mr. Rathje said the Zoning Board of Appeals recommended rezoning the property adjacent to the Resthaven West nursing home. The property is not part of the special use for the nursing home. It is recommended to rezoning from R-1 to R-3 residential single family. The petitioner intends to market the property to single-family development.
ZBA Recommendation: Case C-6-02. A request for a Special Use for an Automobile Repair and Service Shop. Mr. Rathje said that the Zoning Board of Appeals conducted a special meeting on December 18 for the special use request for property located at 205 and 217 Ogden Avenue. He explained that the Saab dealership intends to open a small display center and repair services business on the property in question. In the long term they would raze the existing Downers Grove Motel and build a new building. They would use the Wonder Bread Hostess facility and convert it to automobile sales and service as a temporary facility. The Hostess building was a Chevy dealership at one time, and the petitioners intend to do some modernization to the building on a minimal level. The repair facilities are described as a special use in this zoning district. He then described how the building would be redesigned to accommodate the special use, and how the parking would be distributed on the lot. Mr. Rathje said that the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously recommended granting the request for the special use.
Commissioner Sisul asked about suggestions to assure that the spaces will be provided for employees on the site so as to avoid any parking of employees on the residential streets. Mr. Rathje said that the Village could have Code Services do inspections regularly to make sure that spaces designated for special use are available and not being used to display cars. That would be the best answer to the question. He said that many dealerships will jam as many vehicles as they can on the site, without regard to customer or employee parking. He explained that the Zoning Ordinance requires one parking space for 600 square feet of office space, which would result in 11 spaces in this situation. However, often the parking does not match what is depicted on the submitted site plan.
Commissioner McConnell re-emphasized to the Saab dealership owners that they will be the new neighbors in the area and must go out of their way to be a good neighbor. She said they must be cognizant of the area, the issues raised by the neighbors regarding noise, parking, etc. Mr. Rathje said that the new owners have availed themselves of staff and are aware of neighborhood concerns.
Commissioner Schnell asked about a transitional yard between the business and the residents to the south. Mr. Rathje said that they will be occupying the same pavement and parking as has existed in the past. It is a legal non-conforming situation. When new construction begins, any existing legal nonconformity will be eliminated. Commissioner Schnell said she read that someone mentioned fencing between the neighbors. She thought she saw a chain link fence at that location presently, and would prefer to see a solid wood fence to screen themselves from the neighbors. She thought it would be advantageous to do that now and it would serve as a good neighbor gesture. In addition, she cannot imagine that a 9-car carrier would be able to maneuver in that area. Mr. Rathje said he said there is apparently plenty of room for one to get through. Commissioner Schnell said she does not want to see a carrier parked in the center lane on Ogden Avenue as they unload cars.
Commissioner Tully said that the Zoning Ordinance has four requirements for a special use request. He said this change could result in a changed traffic pattern along Ogden Avenue. He asked whether the traffic engineer has been consulted or has had any input on the impact this would have on traffic. Mr. Rathje said that has not been done at this time because of the use of an existing facility. It will be done when they proceed with the future construction which could change the access both to Ogden Avenue and to Cumnor Road.
Commissioner Tully said he understands that but this is a change of use which could have traffic implications. He would like to hear from the traffic engineer on this point. In addition the Economic Development Commission has worked on the Ogden Avenue Corridor Master Plan to improve the functions along Ogden Avenue. He asked whether they have been consulted on this request.
Mr. Rathje said the initial inquiry came through the EDC and Steve Rockwell. He said they will view green space, graphics, architectural details, etc., when they move along with their long-range plans for the site. Commissioner Tully said if there is any input from the EDC he would appreciate having that information provided to the Council.
Economic Development Commission Director Steve Rockwell said that the EDC has no thoughts on this at this time, and nothing proposed has caused any concerns to date. They are working with Mr. Gartner on this project.
Commissioner Tully asked whether there was an alley that comes off Florence Avenue south of Ogden Avenue. Mr. Rathje said there is an alley right-of-way, part of which is developed, and some of which is undeveloped.
Grant Application to the FY2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) to support the Bikeway Program. The Manager said this application is to support year three of bikeway improvements concentrating on the area beginning at the 39th Street East-West Coridor and then turning east then south at Cumnor Road past Whitlock Park. The total estimated project cost for bikeway improvements in year three of the program is $499,000. The Village is requesting $399,000 in grant support, with a 20% match of $100,000 from the Village.
Commissioner McConnell requested that close track be kept on the money required.
Grant Application to the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) to support the Parking Deck. The Manager said this grant would be for $3,958,000 in federal grant funding, with a 20% match from the Village in the amount of $990,000. CMAQ funding that is requested would help provide for 250 parking spaces in the deck for commuter use. The total estimate project cost is $4,948,000. For purposes of this grant application, “total estimated project cost” is defined as the total construction cost attributable to the expected amount of commuter spaces to be provided in the deck.
Commissioner McConnell asked if that would be over two years and would there be enough money in the TIF to cover.
Acting Financial Services Director Trisha Steele said that this is not an additional expense and the funds would be available. The grant would help to reduce the Village’s cost. She said the deck expenses are coming out of the TIF funds.
Commissioner Schnell asked if staff has any idea of the probability of receiving this. Ms. Steele said it depends upon other applications.
The Mayor asked that Grants Coordinator Sue Brassfield check to see whether this is eligible for the T3 funding. He thought this would be eligible for that funding. He said that $5.5 million has been secured by CMAQ for the Belmont underpass.
Commissioner Schnell said they need to know the probability of getting this because it could effect budgeting down the road. Ms. Steele said that the grant applications have been very strong, and it is beneficial to apply for this.
Commissioner McConnell asked also to find out the approval date.
Commissioner Tully clarified that the parking deck grant is just under $4 million. He said the total cost would be the same regardless of the funding source, and that the Council is merely being asked to approve submission of the applications for these grants. Ms. Steele said that was correct.
Mayor Krajewski asked whether the METRA contribution can be used for the Village’s contribution and Ms. Steele said she would look into that.
Grant Application to the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) to Support Traffic Flow Improvements of Ogden Avenue. The Manager said this would include the removal/consolidation of 40 curb cuts, construction of 26 side street curb cuts and installation of street and directional signs. The total would be a request for $333,000 with the Village contribution of $83,000 funding from the Ogden Avenue TIF .
Commissioner McConnell asked if this would take all of the TIF monies. Ms. Steele said they will look at this again, but they underestimated the amount of TIF money.
Commissioner Tully reiterated that this is an existing plan that would cost $416,000 without the grant. With the grant, the Village would be paying $83,000. Ms. Steele said that was correct.
Grant Application to the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) to Support a Pedestrian Way. The Manager said the Village is requesting construction of a public sidewalk that will run parallel to portions of St. Joseph Creek and link Gilbert Avenue to Gilbert Park. This project will connect the western portion of the Village south of the Burlington tracks and will create greater accessibility to the Belmont Train Station, Ellsworth Industrial Park, downtown Downers Grove, Gilbert Park and Maple Grove Forest Preserve. The total cost would be $666,000 with the Village contribution being 20% or $133,000.
Commissioner McConnell noted that the path goes around the south and west sides and asked why it is being done that way.
Jack Bajor , Director of Public Works, said it was designed that way for safety reasons and aesthetics. He said that the Village owns a portion of Gilbert Park at the baseball field.
Commissioner Tully asked where the sidewalks fall on the matrix. Mr. Bajor said he would get that information.
Commissioner Schnell asked the status of the right-of-way for the sidewalks. Mr. Bajor said it is very favorable.
Commissioner Schnell said it might help to get statements of support from other bodies, and Mr. Bajor agreed.
The Mayor asked whether the Village has received any grants on the deck yet, and Ms. Steele said not to date.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Tully said Public Services intends to meet on January 31 to discuss stormwater utilities.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting ten items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS); 2) An ordinance annexing 4950 Rose Avenue to the Village of Downers Grove; 3) An ordinance extending the preliminary site plan for Venture Planned Development #18; 4) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, passed and approved April 19, 1965, as amended, to rezone 1350 35th Street (R-1 to R-3); 5) An ordinance authorizing Special Use at Automotive Services, 205 and 217 Ogden Avenue, to permit an addition to the existing structure; 6) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (Bikeway); 7) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (Parking Deck); 8) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (Pedestrian Way); 9) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Chicago Area Transportation Study for the FY 2004 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (Ogden Avenue); and 10) An ordinance providing for the issuance of $4,500,000 taxable general obligation variable rate refunding bonds, Series 2003, of the Village of Downers Grove, DuPage County, Illinois, and providing for the security for and payment of said bonds.
Commissioner Gilbert commented on Station Crossing and asked about the cost to mitigate the soil issues on that site. He recalled that it was in excess of $500,000 which needs to be added to the cost of the property.
The Mayor agreed, saying that they need to look at everything involving the property.
Commissioner Tully thanked Public Works for their outstanding job on snow removal.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 7:36 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh