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April 08, 2003

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; Laura Taylor, DG Sun Residents: Den 4, Troop 86 Cub Scouts; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Mark Janis and Jim Russ (Heartland); M.E. Murphy, 5824 Lee; Ann Muniz, 5617 Pershing; Rick Britton, 6299 Woodward; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Ross Johnson, Downtown Management Corp.; 1311 Gilbert; Tom Radja, 5947 Pershing; Claudia Verdone, 2232 College Rd; Ray Kristuffil, 5503 Belmont; Marjorie Schumacher, 6295 Woodward; Bob Balla (Cheerleaders); David & Joy Brockway, 5804 Aubrey Terrace; Terri Gilbert, 4617 Highland; Ron Sandack, 5833 Linscott Staff: Jonathan Hall, Stormwater Administrator, Public Works; Michael D. Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Bob Schiller, Assistant Director, Public Works; Kathy DesMarteau, Redevelopment; Kerstin G. von der Heide, Forester, Public Works; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager, Administration; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Joe Skach, Director, Redevelopment; Ken Rathje, Director, Planning Services; Amanda Browne, Planner; Pam Church, Deputy Police Chief; Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works; Steve Rockwell, Director, Economic Development

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.

Special Guests:

The Mayor introduced members of Troop 86 from Lester School and wished them well on earning their citizenship badges.


Mayor Krajewski proclaimed Tuesday, April 8 as Downers Grove South Co-ed Varsity Cheerleading Team Day for their accomplishment in winning the State Championship. He introduced the Coach and team and wished them well next year.



Contract for Police Uniforms FY 2003 /04. The Manager said staff recommends awarding the uniform bid to Ray O’Herron and to Constable Supply Company for police equipment. Neither company has increased their prices from last year’s contract.

Municipal Turf Maintenance Contract. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract to Sebert Landscaping who had the lowest of seven bids at a cost of $21,944.

The Mayor asked whether they have done any work for the Village before.

Kristen von der Heide , Village Forester, said they have not worked for the Village, but have worked for other municipalities. She has seen them around the area.

Supply of Crushed Limestone. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract extension at an increase of 2% to Boughton Trucking.

Demand Tree Pruning Contract. The Manager said Bergquist Tree Experts has had the current Demand Tree Pruning contract for two years. Bergquist has agreed to extend the contract for a third year with the third year with prices increasing less than 2% from the second year. Staff recommends awarding a contract to Bergquist Tree at a cost of $15,135.

Commissioner Tully asked about the emergency hourly rate total. Ms. von der Heide said that she chose a midpoint cost since most of their work will be at a regularly hourly rate. The emergency rate comes into play for any damage after storms.

Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said he was concerned about this bid and the next bid since they are items out of the contract component of the Forestry budget that has been cut back substantially. He said that in the last few years the budget amount has been substantially less than the amount expended. He asked how that difference is handled if the contract cost exceeds the budget.

The Mayor said the Village must provide the necessary service in any emergency. There are cash reserves for those purposes.

Manager Ginex said the Directors have the flexibility to use other funds in their budgets if necessary. If necessary they would have to go into the General Fund.

Dr. Goodman said he would like to see a bid for tree planting. The tree pruning and next bid take up more than half of the budget.

Ms. von der Heide said that tree supply and planting services are part of the Suburban Tree Consortium and if they do planting, it would be a fall planting. They will be cautious and wait to see what occurs during the summer.

Tree & Stump Removal. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract to Homer Tree at a price increase of 2% over last year.

Commissioner Schnell asked how tree removal is determined. Ms. von der Heide said there are trees that are half dead that have not yet been removed. They are could break apart in a storm quicker than the healthier trees. She had to remove those that were dangerous or had Dutch Elm Disease. Commissioner Schnell asked if the stump is always removed with the parkway tree. Ms. von der Heide said in some occasions they do, if it is in the middle of the lawn. If it is in the way for mowing they are removed. In the wooded areas, sometimes they are not removed, as it would affect adjacent trees.

Commissioner Schnell then asked what is done when a tree is removed and there is no replacement tree available. Ms. von der Heide said they remove the tree and stump and then fill in the area and re-seed it.

The Mayor referenced the Partnership Program for tree planting. Ms. von der Heide said she has looked into that.

Commissioner McConnell said a resident suggested investigating a community-wide program to put up trees in memory of soldiers who have lost their lives in the Middle East.

Dr. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said that although he knows staff is trying to control costs, the contract being approved is for $70,000, while the estimated amount of work was $93,000. He said it seems that the Village has exposure to needing more money in the Forestry Program.

The Mayor noted that every Director in the Village provided a “Wish List,” and if they met all of the wishes it would mean another $5-6 million in the budget. He said more money was placed in the fund from last year. He noted that the Manager has a contingency fund. The Mayor suggested placing the contingency fund on a Workshop agenda to establish priorities, dependent upon expenses and revenues.

Dr. Goodman said that as you look through the detailed bids you get evidence of the necessity of funds for various departments. He said that the Forestry budget was not restored to a stable amount, and had been cut back very severely in the last three years. The Mayor reviewed the Forestry Departments’ previous budgets saying that they have spent almost twice in the past two years than what was done in 1994-95. Dr. Goodman said they are removing dead stock, but are not restoring the stock.

Johnson Printers Demolition. The Manager said this and the next item concerns 5119 Main Street and 1007 Burlington. He asked Joe Skach, Redevelopment Director address these items.

Versar: Johnson Printers Environmental.

Joe Skach , Director, Redevelopment, provided a brief overview of the project using overhead slides. He noted that the buildings in question will be removed. There was a competitive bid process for the demolition contract. He said that the interim use between demolition and redevelopment will be to augment the parking with an additional 90 spaces. He said there is an environmental component for asbestos materials and hydraulic fluids. Mr. Skach said that engineering and design was accomplished in-house. The target completion date is to have the site usable for Heritage Festival.

Commissioner Tully asked why the low bid is substantially lower than other bids. He asked if staff is satisfied with the low bidder, DMD Services.

Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said that all eight bidders walked through the properties and saw the same thing at the same time. He said the only difference is that this is a very large concern and might be more efficient than others.

Commissioner Tully asked if they would anticipate higher prices if the demolition were postponed for six months. Mr. Millette said the only margin increase might be wages.

The Mayor asked whether this is to be used as parking for the workers on the deck site. Mr. Millette said it is for the merchants and shoppers. The workers for the deck would be parking on the deck site or on Washington. Mr. Skach said the initial discussions were to use this as a swing space for the parking deck and Station Crossing construction. He said that if a situation presented itself, perhaps in terms of materials being delivered, they may need to use the site as a swing space.

Regarding environmental remediation, Commissioner Tully asked if this is for materials in the structures themselves, or if it includes the subsurface areas. Mr. Skatch said the asbestos containing materials will be removed from the buildings. After the hydraulics are removed, the area will be assessed for leakage, however, they do not expect leakage.

Commissioner Tully asked about the surface condition of the temporary parking area. Mr. Millette said the initial intent is to use asphalt screenings. Depending upon the prices at the time, they may be able to asphalt the surface. Mr. Millette said asphalt screening is a sticky looking gravel that spreads easily and does not kick up.

Commissioner McConnell said it is her understanding that some vendors have used these buildings during Heritage Festival for storage. She asked if Tourism and Events is aware of these plans. Mr. Skach said that the Director of Tourism and Events is aware of the situation.

Jim Russ of the Downtown Management Board said the Board has been interested in this project for a long time due to the loss of parking behind the Grove Premium store. He said they are grateful to the Council for moving so quickly on this project.

Stormwater Variance. The Manager asked Jon Hall, Stormwater Administrator, to address this item.

Jon Hall , Stormwater Administrator said that Thomas Comforte, 1000 Hickory Trail, is requesting a variance for a proposed addition to the residence. The variance requested is to reduce the 3-foot elevation request to 2 feet above the base flood elevation. This will still exceed the 1-foot requirement of the County. If the variance is not granted, the addition would be one foot above the existing floor which presents accessibility and safety concerns. The Stormwater Committee has recommended granting the variance.

Commissioner Tully said this seems to be a unique situation; however, he asked whether this would set a precedent in this area of Lacey Creek. He questioned if similar situations may present themselves in this area. Mr. Hall responded that the Stormwater Oversight Committee intends to discuss this situation at a later meeting. There has been only one other request for a variation for floodplain height, which was in 1998. He said that there are approximately 700 parcels in the floodplain, so this could potentially come up again.

Commissioner Tully recommended that the Committee look at this. He then noted that the Council memorandum indicated that the addition to the structure could result in a change in the federal flood insurance rates. He asked if that was solely for the petitioner. Mr. Hall said that was correct.

Commissioner McConnell said she spoke with Mr. Hall earlier today with her concerns. She wanted clarification that granting the variance would not cause any difficulties or potential stress for this homeowner or other residents in the area. Mr. Hall said that was correct. Commissioner McConnell said she agreed with Commissioner Tully’s recommendation that this be watched closely by the Stormwater Oversight Committee to determine if a change is needed in the Ordinance.

Mayor Krajewski asked how much more restrictive the Village’s Stormwater requirements are from the County requirements. Mr. Millette said that the 3’ versus the 1’ height is the most significant difference. In terms of the amount of detention required or when it is required, the requirements are identical.

Zoning Commission: Case #2003-02, Heartland Industries, Inc., Petitioner. The Manager asked

Amanda Browne , Planner, said that the petitioner in this case, Heartland Industries, is seeking to open a sales facility in the Village. They sell outdoor equipment such as gazebos, storage sheds, play sets, etc. and desire an outdoor sales area. The outdoor display of merchandise is a special use in the B-3 zoning district; however, the conditions of use limit the outdoor display to normal business hours, with no provision for a permanent 24-hour outdoor storage. Heartland is proposing a text amendment that would allow them to request a special use that would permit a permanent outdoor display area of the items they sell as they are large items which preclude them from being brought indoors on a daily basis. Ms. Brown said the Zoning Commission reviewed the petition on February 20, 2003 and unanimously recommended in favor of the petition, adding one condition to the conditions of use that the petitioner prove to the Zoning Board of Appeals that they have adequate provisions for off-street parking. She said that because this is a petitioner-driven request, the petitioner was present and asked to make a presentation to the Council

Jim Russ , 4915 Main Street, said he represents the petitioner, and their representative Mark Janis is also present. Mr. Russ gave a background of Heartland Industries which markets through 650 independent and national home center chains throughout the United States. They have sought a sight in this area for two years. The anticipated revenue generated in sales is over $1 million per year. They have reviewed the Ogden Avenue Master Plan, and they believe this will have no negative impact relating to the Plan. The property under consideration on Ogden Avenue has been vacant for several years. It is in a deteriorated condition and is surrounded by automobile type uses.

Mr. Russ said that this is not a petition for a special use, but a petition for a text amendment to allow them to ask for a special use in the future. They cannot request a special use at this point. Mr. Russ said that Heartland is convinced they can present a plan that will benefit the Village and meet the goals of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. The text amendment is structured in such a way that it keeps the final review of any special use with the Village Council as the final authority. The Council would have input as to any special use or outdoor display. He specified that this text amendment would be specific to all B-3 zoning districts within the Village, not just Ogden Avenue. This would also provide the ability to clean up displays that are currently illegal.

Commissioner Schnell said there is nothing in the petition that addresses how their plan will help to improve the look of Ogden Avenue. She asked if they thought about how to make the permanent structures look good, and if so, why that was not included as part of the conditional use. Mr. Russ explained that they are at the step that precedes the special use request. The text of the Ordinance must be amended before they can ask for the special use. He said they have done some preliminary work on the site plan, and they intend to set it up as a park-like setting with trees, grass, and pathways between the different displays. It would be a true display area rather than simply a storage area.

Commissioner Schnell asked why language was not included in the amendment regarding enhancing the area in this petition.

Ken Rathje , Director of Planning, said that the answer is that the language already exists in the Zoning Ordinance. The special use provision requires the normal setback and greenspace requirements be satisfied. How the display would be designed is a site plan activity. Commissioner Schnell clarified that the minimum is 10% greenspace, and Mr. Rathje said that was correct. Ten percent of the site must be greenspace, with at least half of the 10% in the front yard.

Mr. Russ said that the reason this has been made a special use rather than a permitted use was to give the Council the authority to review such aspects of the proposal.

Commissioner Schnell asked if there were any requirements for a principal structure for this type of use. Mr. Rathje said that the business must have adequate provisions for sanitation, office areas and a place in which to conduct their business. As he understands it this business has substantial price tags for their products, and will require a reasonable structure to conduct their business. He also noted that latitude exists under the special use provisions as to whether the proposed structure is appropriate.

Commissioner Schnell asked about other types of outdoor storage. Mr. Rathje responded that he went through some of the older Zoning Ordinances, and at one time it was clear that building materials were permitted outdoor storage items. The Zoning Ordinance no longer allows outdoor display except for automobiles, or as special uses, and only during normal business hours. He said there is a fence business still currently operating that was established under the old terms of the Ordinance for legitimate building materials.

Commissioner Schnell said she would like clarification about the business that moved from Fairview Avenue to Ogden Avenue because of the presence of outdoor display.

Mr. Rathje said that relating to this proposal, staff and the petitioner went through the Zoning Ordinance to understand the history of the Ordinance and the parameters of its current terms. Mr. Russ clarified that they are talking about the display of products, and not the storage of materials outside.

Commissioner McConnell asked for a summary of why this has not been allowed historically on Ogden Avenue. Mr. Rathje said in the past it was allowed. In the mid-80s there was a desire to have outdoor display in the B-2 zoning district; however, the provisions of that district specified that the business must be conducted indoors. A text amendment was adopted which allowed for display of materials of a specific nature during business hours only as a special use in the B-2 zoning district. There have been modifications since that time which pushed the hours of operation limitation into B-3 zoning districts. Now, outdoor displays are allowed only by special use in the B-3 zoning district and only during normal business hours. In further response to Commissioner McConnell, Mr. Rathje said he thought it was to obtain greater control over potentially problematic businesses, but not to prevent businesses from displaying their materials within the special use parameters.

Commissioner McConnell asked if there is an ability on the part of the Village to require a business to restore the area where there was a display to its “normal” condition once they leave the premises. Mr. Rathje said the potential is there; however, they need to consider the range of what may be a permanent display. He noted that in the special use considerations for extended-living situations, the requirement is that the petitioners restore the property to its original condition once the extended living area is vacated. He said that a special use permit could include requirements for demolition upon vacation of the site.

Commissioner McConnell said that the Council received a memo from the Economic Development Commission outlining their concerns. She asked whether they are opposed to this or whether they think there are issues that need to be addressed.

The Mayor responded that he attended the meeting of the EDC where this was discussed. He said that the Council has developed its goals and objectives for the next few years. One of the goals is the redevelopment and economic development of the Village. One of those goals is the Lakota Plan as well as the Ogden Avenue Subcommittee. He said that the EDC was supposed to get the information before it went to the Zoning Commission. The EDC recommended that the Council not move forward with this until it has an opportunity to review it thoroughly. It should have gone through the EDC .

Steve Rockwell , Director of the Economic Development Commission, said that the Board meets tomorrow. He said there is no desire to have outside storage in the B-3 zoning district on the part of the EDC . He said that in 1998, by default or by conscious decision, the Council decided there would be no outside storage in the B-3 district. Since the year 2000, there have been 16 special use petitions all of which were approved. If special use petitions such as this were to be approved, then a determination has to be made as to which merchandise is appropriate or not appropriate to be sold outside. He said that the EDC has voted unanimously not to allow the outside display of merchandise, as it basically establishes a showroom. Nothing in the Ordinance requires that you have to sell from the location on which the display is established.

Commissioner Sisul said he agrees that it is a good idea to send this to the EDC . He said that sometimes a special use can be a flexible aspect to zoning. He said there are other places along Ogden Avenue that have outdoor displays, such as Wanamaker’s, which has been there for a long period of time and may be allowed under the previous zoning. Mr. Rockwell said that Wanamaker’s is not zoned B-3, but is zoned M-1 with different requirements. He said that the Home Depot is B-3. Commissioner Sisul said that the Home Depot is substantially removed from the street. He said you would not probably be able to see outdoor displays or storage in their circumstance. He said they have to look at which of the existing businesses with outdoor storage or display are grandfathered in. Commissioner Sisul said the petitioner has to be applauded for bringing this up in a straightforward manner. He believes that they must consider the site and whether the display is viewable from the highway area. He said it would be objectionable to have a display right along the highway. While he agrees that it is good to send this to the EDC , he also wants them to look at it from other points of view.

Commissioner McConnell said she believed this is worth additional discussion. She said that one issue might be what other types of limitations or verbiage could be included in the Ordinance to provide more opportunity for control of the site. They need to stay focused on the broader issue.

Commissioner Tully thanked Mr. Janis for bringing this forward in a straightforward manner. He understands that this is a request for a text amendment. He sees this as a failure of the process. There is an EDC and the Ogden Avenue Subcommittee, and he has observed that the Ordinance has been arrived at very haphazardly and not in an organized or in a well-planned manner. He said it is incumbent upon the EDC to work closely with this since there is a much broader policy issue at hand, more than whether the text amendment is going to be a good idea or not. What particularly troubles him is that the areas of B-3 include the majority of economic space in the Village. This is a broad wide-setting policy, and to not have the EDC involved from the beginning is inexcusable. This is not a failure of the petitioner, but is a larger process issue that needs to be resolved.

Commissioner Zabloudil said he also noticed the absence of the EDC recommendation in the packet. He said he counted six businesses that store products outside for display purposes, which goes back to reviewing the zoning areas. He suggested removing this item from consideration until the Council hears the EDC ’s recommendation.

Commissioner Gilbert said he hoped the process could be moved along quickly so as not to delay the petitioner.

Mr. Rockwell said that the EDC is not prepared to review this item tomorrow. He added that this is not the time to haphazardly make amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, and this is not a quick fix. He said they will need many months to come u p with a comprehensive plan.

Commissioner McConnell said she believed the Plan Commission also needs to be involved in this. It is a bad idea to have the EDC working in a vacuum.

Mr. Rockwell corrected the misconception that the EDC is not working with the Plan Commission and is working in a vacuum. He said the EDC has worked with the Plan Commission and does not want to work in a vacuum. They do not think they can do this in a short period of time.

Commissioner Tully said the same problem would arise with the special use petition even if the text amendment were passed, because they would not be prepared to answer the question without the comprehensive planning input that is needed. This is an overall process issue that must be done in a comprehensive manner.

Commissioner Tully asked Ms. Browne about the Zoning Commission meeting minutes referencing a breakout of ordinance provisions from 27 other communities and how they handled this issue. He said the breakout was discussed but not who the communities were, and asked that she provide a list of those communities.

Mr. Russ said that the Plan Commission has been mentioned several times tonight, and he wanted to make clear that this was before the Zoning Commission. Any special use would go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Mayor responded that the Council wants to make sure about the communication process. The Village Manager has the Council goals in mind. The Economic Development Commission has the support staff that works toward economic development, and there’s a disconnect there between zoning and EDC . It’s unfortunate that the petitioner had to come forward without those people having discussed this information.

Mr. Russ asked that they not stagnate economic development in the meantime. This could take over a year for the EDC to get the setbacks along Ogden Avenue and the grand scheme of ideas for Ogden Avenue. The Mayor responded the Village would not do it haphazardly either.

Mr. Rathje said he would provide the Manager with a timeline of when the petition was submitted and when the EDC was informed of the petition, together with staff reports and other memos related to this issue.

Sale of Surplus Fire Equipment. The Manager asked Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works, to address this matter.

Jack Bajor , Director, Public Works, said that his staff has worked with the Fire Department in preparing the recommendation regarding the sale of surplus fire equipment. The equipment includes a Ford 1993 Medtech ambulance and a 1990 Frontline heavy rescue vehicle. Traditionally they would advertise this in a trade publication, or it would go to the DuPage Mayors and Managers semi-annual auction which requires a 15% commission and Village staff present at the auction. Staff’s recommendation is to go with a broker based out of Aurora who specializes in fire equipment. This broker has worked with 39 other communities, and a sales contract would allow them to look for the best return on the equipment.

Commissioner Schnell asked what the market was like in terms of selling the equipment.

Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti said it is a very active market. They market to more than just fire departments.

Commissioner Tully said the proposed contract with B&P Apparatus shows a 10% commission of the gross price. Mr. Bajor said that is correct. The Village will be asking a minimum of $6,000 for the Medtech, and $30,000 for the Frontline heavy rescue vehicle. Commissioner Tully asked about the contemplated amount of earnest money. Mr. Bajor said he would let him know.

Commissioner Zabloudil asked the Chief whether the Police Department would be interested in the heavy rescue vehicle. Chief Ruscetti said he has not spoken to them. He said that the mechanics have done so much work on the vehicle that they don’t want to invest more time in it.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Manager said the Village has elected to opt out of compliance with phase one of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) since it was passed in 1996. The basis for this was that compliance could substantially increase costs. Staff feels it is in the best financial interest to the Village to continue to opt out of compliance. The Village will continue to comply with the requirements of providing certification of health insurance to employees once their coverage with the Village ceases. The Village will also comply with phase two of HIPAA which addresses the privacy rights of individuals. This phase was recently communicated to all Village employees and becomes effective April 14, 2003.

DuPage Water Commission Agreement. The Manager said the Water Commission has agreed to loan the Village the money to construct the watermain boxes and other necessary items to provide service to the unincorporated areas of Downers Grove in the amount of $4,788,000 for 20 years at 2%. The first six years the Village will only be required to pay back the interest on the loan. The Agreement stipulates when the Village will have to provide service to the residents.

Commissioner Tully asked what the projected interest charges will be. The Manager said he would provide that information.

Commissioner McConnell asked whether the Water Commission has already approved this, and Manager Ginex said that they will be voting on it Thursday night.

The Mayor said that Congresswoman Biggert’s office has been working at the federal level to procure $450,000 for contaminated areas. He asked if they know what the County will do with that money. Manager Ginex said they do not know as yet. The County hasn’t informed the Village as yet. The Mayor recommended that a letter be sent on his behalf to find out what is being done with the money.

Deputy Manager Dave Van Vooren said that the interest cost would be about $95,000 for the first six years. That would decline after six years. Mr. Van Vooren said they would probably take draws on a quarterly basis.

Ann Muniz , 5617 Pershing, asked what amount of time will be needed to implement this. The Manager said it would be 210 days following the County’s adoption of the ordinance. The Manager said that the County’s Health Subcommittee is looking at putting an ordinance together to go before the County Board.

Ms. Muniz asked what priority the Village places on this water issue. She said she saw that it is put on the April 22 Agenda. Ms. Muniz said that the County said the Village is the reason this is being held up. The Mayor said the Village has been ready to go and is ready to go now. Manager Ginex said that there have been numerous meetings over the past three weeks. The Village has asked months ago that the County look at the ordinance. The Village wants to get this done right away. The Mayor asked Ms. Muniz who at the County said it was the Village’s fault, and Ms. Muniz responded that she didn’t want to get into the politics of it; the residents just want water. She asked about the water rates. Manager Ginex said the water rates are being discussed through the Village’s budget process. Regarding service connection charges, the Manager said that will be done when the agreement is completed. Ms. Muniz asked when the Manager anticipates setting a date to present this to the residents.

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca responded that they are waiting on the Ordinance from the County.

Bulletproof Vest Grant Application. The Manager said staff recommends submission of the Grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The stipulation is a minimum local match of 50% for the purchase of 20 vests. The cost for a bulletproof vest is $9500, with the Village cost of $4750.

Commissioner McConnell asked if all officers currently have vests.

Deputy Police Chief Pam Church said that all officers currently have vests. These are for new officers and replacement vests. They have a 5-year wear date.

Fairview Avenue Resurfacing – 55th to Ogden & Main Street Resurfacing – Franklin Street to Ogden Avenue. The Manager asked Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works, to address this.

Mr. Millette said the contract for the resurfacing is with Claude H. Hurley Company in the amount of $18,046.70.

Commissioner Zabloudil asked when the actual resurfacing project will take place. Mr. Millette said they estimate starting the first week of May for 50 working days.

Commissioner Tully asked if anyone else has responded to the RFP . Mr. Millette said there were no other responses.

The Mayor asked how much the total federal funding received for this project. Mr. Millette said he thought it was 70% of about $900,000. He would provide those figures.

Gas Use Tax Ordinance. The Manager asked Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager, to address this item.

Mike Baker , Assistant to the Village Manager said the recommendation is being made for three reasons. It will correct an inequity in the manner in which the utility tax is applied. The tax is based upon consumption, not the current market cost. This will provide an additional $200,000 into the general fund. The Mayor said before deregulation took place, everyone paid a gas tax and the Village was receiving approximately $200,000. Once deregulation took place, people who switched from NIGAS escaped the tax and revenues went down. By going to therm usage it will bring the funds back.

Mr. Baker then gave an explanation of NICOR billing. Meter reading tells exactly what the therm usage is. The rate proposed is 1.5 cents per therm. Delivery charges for the gas are 25% of the bill, while the natural gas cost section is 75% of the bill. He said that regardless of the supplier, NICOR is responsible for delivery of the gas to the consumer. Those consumers not using NICOR are taxed only for the delivery portion of the gas. This Ordinance would correct that as it is based on therms usage.

Commissioner Schnell asked how many residents use out of state suppliers. Mr. Baker referred her to the last page of the document the Council was given that had a chart showing comparisons. According to the chart, other suppliers are supplying more gas in the number of therms than NICOR . He said he did not have a specific breakdown in terms of businesses or residences, and would get that information for the Council.

The Mayor asked when deregulation occurred and Attorney Petrarca said it was about two years ago.

Commissioner McConnell questioned Article 3, 3.2A of the Agreement which discusses the implementation. Mr. Baker said that the NICOR representatives said they can comply with the Village to make this effective May 1. Commissioner McConnell then asked whether the Village has the exempt customer list, and Mr. Baker said they do not.

The Mayor said this is a fairer tax and customers won’t see any real difference in their bill with respect to the tax. The bill will still fluctuate based on the gas price, although the tax will be constant.

Electric Tax Ordinance. Mr. Baker said that this Ordinance increases the electric tax from 2.3% to 3.5%. This would generate approximately $700,000 in additional revenue.

Commissioner Tully said that with respect to both of these taxes proposed, the Council has been discussing these for some time in open meetings.

Lacey Creek Contract and Change Orders. The Manager asked Mike Baker to address this item.

Mr. Baker said staff is seeking authorization for three items related to the Lacey Creek improvement project. The first is a $20,546 contract for landscape management including seeding, erosion and controlled burning to assure that the work already done conforms to expectations.

Secondly, there is a Change Order in the amount of $33,450 to pay for additional design costs. He said he learned late last week that the cost will be approximately $800 higher to cover permits for the East Pond Area.

Thirdly, Mr. Baker said there is Change Order #2 to provide for hauling away the materials to be excavated from the East Pond Area.

Commissioner Gilbert said he would like to see them get this over with as quickly as possible. The last two changes are due to delays on the project. If there were no delays, it would have saved about $67,000. Seven years has been much too long to wait.

Commissioner Tully said the delays are the result of changing requirements by the County. The Village needs to complete this project to reap the benefits of prior investments. The Commissioner then asked about a map in the packet provided to the Council for Area 9, which was to have been completed as part of Phase I, which is over with. The north-south portion of Area 9 has not been completed and he would like to see that completed. He would like to make sure that the funds will provide for this.

Commissioner Gilbert said that there is a flaw somewhere in the system that created the situation that caused this project to extend over a seven year period. He hoped that the County officials will find a way to fix the flaw in the Department of Environmental Concerns to eliminate this type of situation from occurring in future projects.


Commissioner Tully said Public Services has not met, but intends to meet sometime in May. The Local Transportation Task Force will also meet to discuss the commuter shuttle issue.

Commissioner Sisul said Public Safety did not meet.

Commissioner Zabloudil said the Finance Committee did not meet.


Village Attorney Petrarca said she was presenting 12 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of a professional services agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Versar, Inc. (5119 Main & 1007 Burlington Cleanup Services); 2) A resolution authorizing execution of a professional services agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Versar, Inc. (1007 Burlington Remediation Services); 3) A resolution granting stormwater variance for 1000 Hickory Trail; 4) a Resolution authorizing execution of a fire apparatus listing agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and B&P Apparatus, Inc.; 5) A resolution to opt-out of compliance with the provisions of the Federal and Illinois Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Acts for the Village Health Plan Year beginning May 1, 2003; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the DuPage Water Commission; 7) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership; 8) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Claude H. Hurley Company for Fairview Avenue and Main Street resurfacing; 9) An ordinance repealing the Downers Grove Municipal Utility Tax and establishing a Downers Grove Municipal Gas Use Tax; 10) A resolution authorizing execution of a Tax Collection Agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Northern Illinois Gas Company d/b/a Nicor Gas Company; 11) An ordinance amending the electricity tax; and 12) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Conservation Land Stewardship.


Commissioner Tully said that about two years ago the Village conducted a retreat with other public entities. With the recent election he thought it might be a good time to initiate such a retreat again. That was a very good and productive meeting and he thinks it appropriate to do it again at this time, with the election of new people to numerous boards from the various public agencies. He would like to have the planning process begin for another meeting.

The Mayor asked the Village Manager to set this up again perhaps for the fall.

Commissioner Sisul congratulated the Mayor and Commissioner McConnell on their election, as well as Ron Sandack who will serve as a new Commissioner.

Commissioner Gilbert also congratulated the winners, as well as those who did not win for taking the time and effort to run for office.

The Mayor said that the interviewing will begin for the Boards and Commissions appointments. Staff is providing attendance records for the past two years to the Mayor. He said he will meet with the two new Commissioners, and the current Council members about the Standing Committees as well.

There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh