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 Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Marilyn Schnell
Visitors: Press: Kris Owens, The Sun Residents & Others in Attendance: Catherine Loney, GCG Financial, Bannockburn, IL; Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Keith Savine; Scott Krafthefer, 1557 Warren; Ann Muniz, 5617 Pershing; M.E. Murphy, 5824 Lee; Bruce Beckman, 4829 Middaugh; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Jean Pollard, Humana; Paul Zumbrook, Humana Staff: Jon Hall, Development Engineer Manager, Public Works; Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Bob Schiller, Assistant Director, Public Works; Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works; Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development; Amanda Browne, Planner
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.
Parking Deck Update. Manager Ginex asked Mike Millette to present the monthly update.
Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works, said that Sara Davis, and Mel Cramm were present.
Sara Davis, Alfred Benesch & Co., said that the monthly status report was distributed to the Council. Most of the major excavation is complete with the exception of a few areas. They are waiting for load testing results. She said that the load testing will basically confirm the designer’s assumptions, but any change is not expected to affect the costs. In response to the Mayor she said they may be able to begin work after Labor Day. The Mayor asked that the large boulders not be hauled way until staff can look at them. They may be useful in other parts of the Village.
Commissioner McConnell referred to the report and asked what makes soil usable or unusable. Ms. Davis said that there are specifications as to what type of soil can be placed under the foundation. In this case, soil actually refers to gravel. Topsoil for construction is essentially unusable.
Commissioner McConnell asked if they are on schedule and on budget at this point. Ms. Davis said they are and there have been no surprises or concerns to date.
Humana Smart Suites. The Manager asked Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources to discuss this matter.
Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources, said that the cost of health care insurance is increasing and since the Village is a self-funded plan staff has been watching it carefully over the years. He said that they have tried to modify the plan to keep it within cost limits by changing the plan design and studying the drug card, as well as the employee portion. He said that now is the time to look at options. The current plan he described as “one size fits all.” He explained that they are looking to a consumer driven health plan, and he knows of no other municipalities that have tried this option as yet. The plan is by Humana and is called SmartSuite. It is built on the principal of sharing costs and behavior changes. He said that Village staff has educated employees on how health care dollars are spent. He introduced the representatives of Humana who were present.
Commissioner McConnell asked Ms. Loney, the health consultant, to come forward. The Commissioner said that health care costs for the Village are similar to other communities in terms of the cost increases. She said the SmartSuite option provides 5-7 options to employees including PPO and HMO options. She said that the education portion of this would be paramount. Employees will be active participants.
Catherine Loney, GCG Financial said that this is the employees’ plan and employees will be actively involved. She said one option will offer $1,000 deductible which carries a health reimbursement account of $500 to be used for health care costs. The industry percentage shows that 60%-80% of the population does not spend more than $500 per year on health care. Through the “wizard” employees will be asked a number of questions regarding their health care spending. She explained the options that will be available. This will also include retirees.
Commissioner McConnell said that the employee contribution varies dependent upon the plan they choose. Ms. Loney added there will be an open enrollment each year. She explained the workings of the program. Regarding performance guarantees related to turnaround times and accuracy of claims payment, the existing guarantees will stay in place. Ms. Loney said that the Village will incorporate a single strategy on contributions to include the Park District, SEASPAR and the Library.
Jean Pollard of Humana then explained the risk-sharing component of the program in terms of actuarial projections of the cost of each plan and the contribution strategy to project annual costs. She said they are confident that their projections will support the plan. Ms. Loney said references were satisfactory. She also said that the question of retirees’ contributions has also been addressed. In response to Commissioner McConnell, Ms. Pollard said the stop loss projections are 16/19 months.
Commissioner McConnell said that one of the references noted problems with the wizard. Ms. Loney said that there were underlying reasons for the problems as they were attempting to upgrade. She said her concern was keeping to the timetable and they were able to do that.
Ms. Pollard said the wizard draws in the actual claims experience of each employee to model it according to costs, benefits, etc.
Commissioner McConnell said this is a state-of-the-art program.
Commissioner Tully thanked the staff and Commissioner McConnell for their proactive approach regarding employee health care. He said that this is not a reduction of the benefits, but rather a tailoring of benefits to the individuals. In the process, money is saved because they do not pay for what they do not need. He asked about employee satisfaction with the program.
Ms. Pollard responded that she is a participant in this program, and she is very happy with having choices. She said that the feedback they receive is that this is preferable in that it provides numerous choices. In further response to Commissioner Tully, Ms. Pollard said that participant satisfaction levels have been comparable to other plans. They can modify the program year to year.
Ms. Loney said that one of the references experienced a renewal already, saying that in that situation employees did not retreat, but enrolled during the open enrollment period.
Paul Zumbrook of Humana said that they do a great deal of surveying after the fact and would like to do that with Village employees to determine the level of satisfaction.
The Mayor asked what the savings will be for the four months, and Mr. Zimmerman said he would obtain those figures. He said that the essence of the program is to define needs rather than look at the cost first. The Mayor said that it is important to educate the employees. Human Resources will need to take a proactive approach. Mr. Zimmerman said that September through November would be devoted to employee education. They will work with Humana and will track the employees on a weekly basis.
Ms. Loney said they anticipate a surplus of $840,000. Commissioner McConnell said will be used to reduce the deficit. It is not money available for other uses.
Supply and Installation of Dump Bodies and Snow Removal Equipment for Cabs & Chassis. The Manager said staff recommends awarding the bid to Lindco Equipment Sales for their low bid and shorter turnaround. Staff explored options to help in the operation of the equipment, equal to $11,448.20. He indicated the final cost will be $48,891.80 under budget. The contract is for $231,287.20.
The Mayor asked if the amount under budget will be needed for other equipment.
Stan Balicki, Support Services Manager, Public Works, said the account is set up to pay for upgrades on plow trucks above and beyond what is budgeted. The Mayor asked if they should have just one fund. Mr. Balicki said the philosophy is that the equipment replacement fund is set up to replace equipment as it currently exists. If later upgrades are wanted, funding is from the Snow Program budget. Mr. Balicki said that the funds do not carry over from year to year.
Deputy Manger Van Vooren said that the funds provide an opportunity to upgrade the equipment. If not used for upgrades, they will be used for overages such as overtime. At the end of the year they can be rebudgeted, although they remain in the snow program until the end of the snow season. The Mayor said he doesn’t like the idea of putting money in that may not be used. Mr. Van Vooren said that the budgeted dollars for equipment upgrades tracks the vehicles they are replacing. The Mayor asked why they don’t put it in the equipment replacement fund and carry it over to the following year if it is not used.
Commissioner Tully asked if staff would want to wait until the end of the year before the moneys are used. Mr. Van Vooren responded that the money could be used today, but it behooves them to wait until the snow season is over, since the snow period is an unknown factor.
Sewer Jetting Re-bid. The Manager said staff recommends awarding the contract to Massie Jet Vac Services from Streeter, Illinois as the low bid. Staff obtained satisfactory references and recommended awarding the contract.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked what the increase in cost would be over what was being paid to Kenny. Mr. Bajor said he did not know what the old Kenny hourly rate was, and he would e-mail that to the Council. The Mayor also said he would like to know which towns were contacted for references.
Commissioner Tully said he understands the bid came in at $95 per hour. He asked if the $30,000 budgeted will be enough to cover all the storm sewer jetting that is needed.
Jack Bajor, Director, Public Works, said the storm sewers are cleaned on a five-year schedule. There is a schedule that is followed to complete the entire Village every five years. There is also an ongoing trouble list. Those on the list are serviced first and then the schedule is followed. This year the storm sewers in Orchard Brook will be cleaned.
Vulnerability Assessment – Water System. Mr. Bajor said that staff prepared an RFP to fulfill a requirement of the IEPA to complete a vulnerability study which must be filed with the IEPA by December 31of this year. He said that staff received six proposals and interviewed two of the responding candidates. The budgeted amount for this is $40,000. He said he is recommending Burns and McDonnell, Inc. They have done assessments for ten similar communities including communities neighboring Downers Grove and involving the DuPage Water Commission. He added that all references for the company were contacted and were satisfactory responses.
The Mayor said that after 9/11 House Bill 3448 was passed to require a vulnerability assessment, however no funds were provided for this.
Commissioner McConnell asked the Attorney about a termination clause in the agreement. Ms. Petrarca said it would an exhibit to the RFP .
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about the large swing in costs among the six responses and whether any research was done to explain the differences.
Mr. Millette said the proposal from Burns and McDonnell seemed well thought out and appropriate for a community our size. He said they do this work a lot and are efficient at it.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether staff checked to find out if the operating plans meet the requirements of the IEPA . Mr. Bajor said he will check this out.
Mr. Van Vooren said one of the requirements of the Act is to complete the vulnerability assessment, but it is not filed with the USEPA or the IEPA . It is an internal control document that will detail improvements to make our system more secure. He explained it assures confidentiality.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said it is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Commissioner Tully asked what the vendor will do to assure confidentiality. Mr. Bajor said the vendor is aware of the necessity for confidentiality.
Commissioner Tully asked about plans for internal controls to make this available on a need-to-know basis. Mr. Bajor said that will be discussed as recommended by the consultant.
Commissioner Tully said that Burns and McDonnell was not the low bidder, and asked if they were selected on the basis of their extensive experience in neighboring communities. Mr. Bajor said it is their experience and the confidence of their staff.
Parking & Traffic
File #05-02 Parking Restrictions on Florence Avenue South of Ogden Avenue. The Manager said the P&T Commission reviewed data from residents at their May 13 meeting and recommended restricting parking on the east side of Florence from Ogden to a point 70’ south of Ogden, as well as the east side of Florence Avenue from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from a point 200’ south of Ogden Avenue to the north line of Grant Street.
The Mayor asked that staff check with Saab to determine their status, and the situation regarding their parking.
File #08-03 Elmore Avenue and Lee Avenue Pedestrian Crosswalk Applications. The Manager said a speed review was done on Elmore. Staff surveyed and did not see a significant problem. A speed sign will be put at that location. The P&T Commission recommended designating a pedestrian crosswalk on Lee, and at Bending Oaks Place. In addition they recommended standard crosswalks at Bending Oaks Place.
The Mayor asked about the posting of the 25 mph signs. Attorney Petrarca said they are at the entrances of the Village right now.
Hickory Court Ditch. The Manager asked Jon Hall, Development Engineer Manager, to address this item.
Jon Hall, Development Engineer Manager, Public Works, said staff is evaluating design alternatives for potential stabilization of the creek in the area. He showed slides of the project location and photographs depicting the current state of erosion. Mr. Hall also showed work that has been completed on the Lacey Restoration project. He said they used stabilization fabrics and natural plants which would also be used in the subject area.
Commissioner Tully pointed out that the plan that was approved for the Lacey Creek Restoration Project included this area as Area #9; however, it was not done for unexplained reasons. He said the question is what can and should be done about this. Since it was supposed to be done as part of the Lacey Creek project, it should be completed. He said estimates have been made between $15,000 and $150,000. He doesn’t know what could cost so much for a 150’ stretch of creek. He said that the horizontal part of the project is basically rocks and vegetation, and he does not know whether that will hold up the east side of the bed. He said that he thought the concrete inlet would be extended, but that apparently is not what is being done. He asked staff to walk through the ten items of improvements to explain the costs.
The Mayor asked how much the Lacey Creek Restoration Project was, and Mr. Hall said he thought it was about $600,000.
Mr. Hall talked about the Burke Engineering estimate and said it may be conservative. Staff is evaluating various proposals on how to reduce the estimate by doing the inspection and surveying in-house. Permitting issues in DuPage County are based on the fact that the County sees this as a floodplain. The estimate that was done was with minimal on-site work. He said that the assumptions are that most of what is seen between the fence and the creek would have work done to it.
Mr. Hall then referred to a “Preliminary Opinion of Probable Cost” document itemizing the improvements and professional services. He reviewed the following improvements:
1 – Reinforced concrete retaining wall – they would be replacing a wooden wall that is practically gone and include depth below the creek for stability 2 – Fabric wrapped slope – this would be transition work 3 – Stabilator erosion prevention system – this is a significant portion of the work to be done. Staff could examine other alternatives. 4 – Herbaceous vegetation – this is a minimal cost. The County would like to see them use some form of native vegetation for deep root stabilization and filtering pollutants. 5 – Rock toe protections – refers to white rock covering most of the distance at the bottom of the hill. 6 & 7 – Clearing and tree removal – refers to clearing trees that may need to be removed.
Mr. Hall then reviewed the Professional Services. He said Item #1, engineering design, survey, could be accomplished in-house. Item #2, permitting, will be significant. Item #3, construction observation, can be reduced as staff should be able to do about 90% of that work. He said that the costs are fairly preliminary at this time.
The Mayor asked what the earlier cost estimates were for Area #9. Mr. Hall said that staff researched it and was unable to come up with a consensus. They researched the files and found one document suggesting it would be included, but the final design plans did not include it.
Mayor Krajewski said the Lacey Creek project was a joint effort between the County, the Illinois Conservation Department, Orchard Brook Homeowners Association, and the Village. Commissioner Tully said that the President of Innisbrook expressed that they would potentially explore partnering, before the astronomical figure of $150,000 was mentioned. Mr. Hall said that Orchard Brook Association contributed 20% of the cost.
The Mayor asked whether staff has surveyed other areas along the Creek that are eroding. Mr. Hall said that there are a lot of problems along the Creek. He said that Christopher Burke Engineering looked at St. Joe’s Creek along the downtown area which has some problems.
Commissioner Tully said the County of DuPage Stormwater Division did permit this at one time already. He asked whether they could anticipate any type of piggybacking on the prior permit to cut the cost of permitting.
The Mayor responded that with Lacey Creek they obtained a permit for the two-year project, and after the first phase the County made the Village go back for another permit.
Commissioner Tully said he is fully cognizant of the fact that this is on private property and not the Village’s responsibility. He sees it as distinct from other projects because it was supposed to have been done as part of Lacey Creek. He is not suggesting opening the doors to every private property with a stormwater problem, but he does believe they should continue what was started. While it may not be the ideal solution to the situation, he suggested they take what was done on the east/west portion and extend it to the north/south portion. It may not be the ultimate solution to the problem, but he does not think the residents are looking for a “Cadillac” solution.
Commissioner Urban noted that staff said they might be able to cut about $30,000 in professional services by doing it in-house. He asked whether seeding and tree removal could also be done in-house. He also asked that staff contact the Homeowners’ Association to determine their interest and what type of repair they are expecting. He thinks the project needs to be completed, but not at the quoted cost.
The Mayor said staff should continue to look at the figures and other alternatives for the project. He said that Council has asked about this project several times and thought it was being taken care of.
Mr. Millette said that $86,000 covers the construction portion of the project, with $15,000 for permitting. That is a Cadillac solution, and they can look at a more utilitarian approach. He asked the Council to suggest a dollar figure.
The Mayor asked that staff look at what can be done in-house. This needs to be done over the next year.
Commissioner Tully said he is not comfortable with giving a dollar amount. He asked what would it take to finish what was started on the east/west portion and extend it to the north/south portion. He does not want to open the door to establish precedence here. This is a unique situation because it was part of the Lacey Creek Restoration.
The Mayor said they will wait for staff to come back with more information.
Keith Savine, 3471 Venard, said he was President of the Homeowners’ Association of Innisbrook. They are a small association and cannot maintain the Creek channel. He was advised that the Village would do this leg of the Creek. He said that the photographs shown do not depict what it actually looks like. He said this is not a complicated issue. The major issue here is safety. There are many young boys in the area. The wall collapsed and fell into the water. The water is blocked up and the pond further down the leg of the Creek has not been maintained either. Mr. Savine said that the people were promised that this would be done. All the timbers are gone. He said this is not a surprise, and the residents don’t want a Cadillac. They simply want some river wrap, and retain the wall.
The Mayor said that this depends upon the rules established by the County regarding the area because they determined that it is a wetlands.
Mr. Savine said all the neighbors want is for this to be maintained, and to provide safety for the children. He said described a problem he had some time ago to have an open culvert area covered. They are simply looking for 30’ of wall to be rebuilt and river wrap. The issue is safety, not aesthetics. He continues to go back to the homeowners telling them it will be done, and nothing is done.
Commissioner Tully said that staff should find out the cost to extend the work already done, and determine what the County requirements are. He said he suspects that some of the work can be done in-house.
Mr. Savine said that they have been talking about this for five years. He has not seen any plans or drawings in all that time.
The Mayor said that a lot of areas are worse than this. He asked if they talked to the Association about cutting the spikes. Mr. Savine said that he was told not to take anything out or put anything in the waterway. He said the work that was done did not restore the grass. The Village has a maintenance agreement to maintain the ground.
Commissioner McConnell said staff needs to establish a timetable, and get back to the homeowners’ association. The Mayor said they also need to go back to the County to determine what can be done in that area.
Mr. Hall said they will go to the County to find out what they can do. The Mayor said that maybe the County Board members can also be contacted to ask what can be done.
Commissioner Tully said that he appreciates staff’s work on this issue, and noted that this predates the current staff.
Resolution Approving Final Plat of Subdivision of Fairview Oaks. The Manager asked Amanda Browne to address this matter.
Amanda Browne, Village Planner, said the Plan Commission made this recommendation for final plat approval for Fairview Oaks Subdivision at 6420 Fairview Avenue. She said there are three lots and a total of 1.6 acres. She noted that it was a unanimous recommendation subject to four conditions outlined in staff’s report to the Council.
The Mayor asked about the impact fees credit and how they determined that one home would be a three-bedroom home. Ms. Browne said that petitioner has indicated that it is his intent to build a three-bedroom home. She is unaware of a fee having been changed after approval as it is assessed up front. The Mayor asked what mechanism is in place if they built more or less than proposed. Village Attorney Petrarca said that the building department should be aware of that.
Commissioner Tully asked about the dedication of the right-of-way, and whether the 50’ portion was previously part of Fairview Avenue. Ms. Browne said that when the property was annexed, because the boundary agreement line is on the westerly side of the Fairview Avenue right-of-way, Westmont has the ability to annex the right-of-way as part of their annexations. It had already been annexed into the Village of Westmont when this petition was submitted.
Commissioner McConnell said that the property appears to be a heavily wooded area. She encouraged them to keep as many trees as possible in the design work.
Ms. Browne said that the arrangement of the easement was to insure that the structures were kept in the front of the property and not encroach into the wooded area.
The Mayor asked if the Village did sidewalks all the way down to 63rd Street on the west side of Fairview. The petitioner said there are sidewalks there. He said that in the future, if the Village has done all the curbs, gutters and sidewalks, they should look for recapture.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner McConnell said the Public Safety Committee will be meeting next week.
Commissioner Tully said that the Stormwater Committee will meet on September 15 at 6:00 p.m., and the Local Transportation Subcommittee meets on September 10 at 6:00 p.m.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting three items to the Council: 1) An ordinance designating certain crosswalks; 2) An ordinance amending parking restrictions on Florence Avenue; and 3) A resolution approving the final plat of subdivision for Fairview Oaks Subdivision.
The Mayor said that the Liquor Commission found Cheeseburger in Paradise at 2970 Finley Road eligible for a Class R and O liquor licenses. It is his intent to issue the licenses.
The Liquor Commission also found the White Hen Pantry at 4946 Main Street qualified for a B2C liquor license. The Mayor said it is his intent to issue the license.
The Mayor asked the Village Manager to also follow up with the Police Department on skateboarders in that particular business area.
Mayor Krajewski then congratulated Fairview Village on the celebration of their 100th birthday.
He also congratulated the Park District and Forest Preserve on the opening of the Interpretive Center.
He further thanked the Asian Indian Commission for their Mayor’s Day celebration at the Willowbrook Holiday Inn, and their interest in becoming more involved in their municipalities.
Commissioner McConnell wished everyone a Happy Labor Day and to stay safe and have fun.
Commissioner Tully said that it was interesting to stand on top of the Interpretive Center on their green roof.
Ann Muniz, 5617 Pershing Avenue, said that the County held a public meeting on August 13 regarding scheduling approximately 800 homes to connect to Lake Michigan water. She said that there were many resident concerns expressed at the meeting including concerns with the agreement. Ms. Muniz said that she received a copy today of the agreement approved by the County today which contained some of the changes requested by the citizens. Ms. Muniz said that the residents appreciate the work the Village has done to assist them in obtaining the water; however, she said that what concerns them is that everyone seems to know best how to solve their problem while keeping the residents out of the process. She said they did not see agreements until after they were passed and signed without the knowledge of the residents. Ms. Muniz said that they were told the County would protect their interest, yet she said that the polluters have had a larger voice in this process than the residents have. Residents have been inconvenienced by the pollution both physically and financially. She said that the residents are asking the assistance of the Village to protect the residents’ right to seek recovery from those who contaminated the wells.
The Mayor said that all of the businesses are potential responsible parties, but there are a few of the businesses that never used the chemicals but are included because they now own the property.
Ms. Muniz said there are 19 companies named by the EPA , and 14 of those companies are participating to help defray the costs. The residents are asking that the Village help them protect their rights to recover damages. The Mayor said the Village will do what they can, but he recommends they continue to work with the County since they are representing the residents.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh