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, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kris Owens, The Sun Residents & Others: Boy Scout Troup 80: Brian Lynch, 930 Chicago; Joey Smith, 1012 Summit; Alan Graves, 3605 Sterling; Matt Kennedy, 7309 Ticonderoga; Brandon Andelbradt, 4719 Puffer Road; Dennis Graves, 3605 Sterling; Jerry Kennedy, 7309 Ticonderoga; Dave Humphreys, Tourism & Events Commission, 4221 Saratoga; Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Josie Ortiz, 4719 Puffer; Christine Graves, 3605 Sterling; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Jeffrey Brown, 3115 N. Wilke Rd, JRB Group Architects; R. Gartner, Gartner SAAB , 217 Ogden Ave. Staff: Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Events; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Keith Sbiral, Planner; Joe Skach, Director, Planning & Community Development; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works.
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.
Boy Scout Troop 80 The Mayor had members of the Scout Troop introduce themselves. They are working on their citizenship badges. Some of the Troop members asked about a skate park in the Village.
Commissioner Tully said that there have been informal conversations among various agencies in the Village about such a facility, although no decisions have been made. In addition, the Commissioner answered a question regarding proposed building development in the Village, noting that meetings between the Economic Development Commission and the Plan Commission have been held and continue to be held on the vision for the Village’s future.
Regarding restaurants on Main Street, the Mayor said that private individuals decide to bring restaurants into the town. That is not decided by the Village. He said that the proposed restaurant for the Gammonley Building should be opening soon.
The Mayor informed the Troop members that the Village still allows ride-alongs on the snowplows, but there is an age restriction.
Mayor Krajewski said the Tivoli Theatre is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in the Village and proclaimed December 2003 as Tivoli Theatre Month in the Village. He then invited the Johnsons to receive the Tivoli proclamation. He encouraged everyone to attend the anniversary week Classic Movie Festival December 14 through 18.
The Mayor then declared the week of December 8-14, 2003 as West Towns Chorus Week in the Village of Downers Grove. He said they will be performing at the Tivoli Theater on Friday and Saturday.
Bid: Park District Building. Manager Ginex said this building is part of an agreement between the Park District and the Village. Staff felt the lowest bidder did not include all of the items required, and therefore recommends awarding the contract to Brown Building Co.
Commissioner Zabloudil said the square foot price of $203 seems high.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said this also includes ancillary improvements, and noted that $150 per square foot is not uncommon.
Commissioner Tully asked about the length of the lease for the water tower space.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said it was 99 years. There is no rental cost as this part of a land swap.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, asked if there are any other ancillary costs involved in this other than the proposed half million dollars. Mr. Millette said the total to date for engineering and architectural services is just below $50,000. The Village is merely facilitating construction and there will be no forward costs. Ms. Fregeau asked if this was a portion of the expenses, and the Mayor said the Village is underwriting the whole amount.
Heritage Festival Budget . The Manager asked Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Events to discuss this item.
Mary Scalzetti , Director, Tourism & Events, presented the 2004 budget, and reviewed the history of the Festival, which is in its 23rd year. Last year was a banner year with 95.2% of the expenses covered by general revenue. She said they project revenues for 2004 to be $335,500 with expenses of $277,050, with a total balanced budget that includes the 4th of July expenses and staff expenses of $442,300.
Ms. Scalzetti then reviewed the revenues which include the amusement rides, and the Beer Garden. Expenses will include rental costs for stages, tents, tables, chairs, buses, etc. She said that staff works with vendors and sponsors to reduce costs. One of the largest expenses of the Festival is entertainment, and staff received many comments regarding cut backs on acts at the last Festival. Therefore they anticipate increasing the amount of entertainment for next year’s Festival.
Ms. Scalzetti said that staff anticipates revenues to cover 76.6% of the expenses.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the toilet sponsorship is still done, and Ms. Scalzetti said it is, and is advertised through cable TV, and special brochures. Commissioner Schnell recommended adding the Village Corner to their publicity.
Commissioner McConnell said that the format of the budget has improved every year. She suggested perhaps finding a sponsor for the trash cans/recycling bins as well.
Commissioner Urban said that he has seen BFI donate the disposable cardboard boxes at several events. He suggested they look at that. Ms. Scalzetti said they used those in the past; however, there was too much liquid tossed into them and too much cleanup. Commissioner Urban asked about the contract for cleaning services, and Ms. Scalzetti said it was $10,440 last year, with $11,000 anticipated this year. As for savings, she said she thought it was about $6,000-7,000 in savings.
Commissioner Urban asked if they have looked at additional bands, and Ms. Scalzetti said they are looking at bands, and are also looking at a paid performance on Thursday night at the Tivoli.
Commissioner Urban then asked about the $120,000 for staffing, and whether that is all overtime. Ms. Scalzetti said that some people are exempt at straight time, and some are non-exempt with overtime. Some people did utilize comp time which brought costs down considerably. She noted that the fireworks display is a shared cost with Darien and Woodridge. The cost is a split based upon population.
Commissioner Tully said it seems that they are budgeting about $21,000 more than last year for bands and acts. Ms. Scalzetti said they are seeking additional acts as well as more widely recognized acts.
Regarding the Beer Garden, Commissioner Tully said there appears to be budget increases in expenses. Ms. Scalzetti said this includes other attractions including pony rides, fireworks, caricatures, a climbing wall, etc. They plan to do fireworks for two nights. She attempts to get sponsorships for these events as well.
Commissioner Tully noted that if the 4th of July Parade and Fireworks were removed from the total budget, the street fair more than pays for itself. Ms. Scalzetti said without those added expenses they would have been $10,000 in the black. She said in 2004 she estimates a slight deficit, but she feels that is because she is using very conservative numbers. The 4th of July expenses should be about $35,000.
Regarding staffing, Ms. Scalzetti said that she hopes they can offer more comp time. In response to Commissioner Tully, Ms. Scalzetti said she would provide the 2003 budgeted versus actual reports as well as the 2004 budget request to the Council. Regarding usage of the commuter buses, Ms. Scalzetti said that the Festival rents the buses from the Village. The past 3-4 years ridership has been 35,000-38,000 in single trips. Ms. Scalzetti said she has received two RFPs for amusement rides.
The Mayor asked if staff is still talking with BFI about renegotiating their 3-year contract. Manager Ginex said they have not heard back from them as yet. Ms. Scalzetti said BFI donates the large dumpsters and recycling containers to the Festival.
As to the entertainment costs, Ms. Scalzetti said they had about 68 contracts last year. Associated costs include lighting, sound, dressing room, fees, truck rentals, etc. She said that people have asked to see some of the well-known Chicago bands as well. She explained how the funds are allocated and when start-up costs begin.
The Mayor then asked about the Fireworks and whether there has been any discussion about people parking in the deck. Ms. Scalzetti said that one entrance will be open. The Mayor said they could think about charging for parking. Ms. Scalzetti said they would like to use the top of the deck for the fireworks. The Mayor then asked about the timing of the Curtiss block development.
Commissioner Tully said there might be alternatives to using the Curtiss space. He asked if there is a contingency if Curtiss is unavailable. Ms. Scalzetti said they have looked at this. They would prefer to use it for one more year, but they are developing another plan. The Mayor said that they should consider establishing a “drop dead date” and that the Tourism and Events Commission should begin working on an alternative plan.
Commissioner McConnell commented that they need to get an update on the Curtiss Block.
Dave Humphreys , 4221 Saratoga, Chair of Tourism and Events, said that contingency plans have been discussed. He said that Heritage Festival is an opportunity to celebrate our community. Some people have referred to it as a community block party. It is also an economic engine generating income for non-profit groups that sell products at the Festival. Local businesses, hotels, etc, all generate more tax revenue. Mr. Humphreys said that last year the Events staff cut 1/3 from their out-of-pocket costs, and he lauded them for that work. He said they are continually looking for new sources of revenue, noting that sponsorships are hard to come by. He agreed that people noticed cuts in the entertainment last year as well. The goal is to beat the numbers from last year. Mr. Humphreys said that the 2004 Heritage Festival is 199 days away.
The Mayor asked about the not-for-profit organizations. Ms. Scalzetti said that not-for-profits receive free booth space. The Mayor asked Ms. Scalzetti about polling the organizations as to what type of revenue they get from the weekend, and how that money is spent in the community. Ms. Scalzetti said they ask that type of information in the survey. The Mayor recommended putting it in the not-for-profit applications as a required field.
Commissioner Tully said that Heritage Festival is a huge challenge every year, some years more than others. If the Council has the opportunity to move forward with the Curtiss block redevelopment, they would like to move forward with it as it is in everyone’s best interests. That presents a substantial challenge. He also suggested again that something special be done for the 175th anniversary of the Village in 2007. Ms. Scalzetti said that has already been discussed.
Commissioner Schnell referred to Mr. Humphreys’ comment of Heritage Festival as an “economic engine.” She said that the Cumings McNulty report highlighted this in the past. The Festival can do good things for the Village, and that is why the budget was subsidized for a time by the Hotel Tax funds. Ms. Scalzetti said that is still done.
The Mayor said that many people stay at hotels in neighboring communities as well.
Budget Amendment. The Manager asked Trisha Steele, Assistant Director, Financial Services, to address this item.
Trisha Steele , Assistant Director, Financial Services, presented the budget amendment ordinance to raise budget authorization for items that have generated or will result in additional, unrecognized resources. The largest item pertains to the refunding of the Library debt. The amendment proposes a total increase in expenditures of $6,769,045 which relates to increases in resources in the amount of $6,802,232. She said that there is one additional item in the amount of $7,500 for the grant adopted last spring from FEMA for the Fire Department web page.
Saab: Rezone 4320 Cumnor and Special Use. The Manager asked Joe Skach, Director, Planning and Community Development, to discuss this item.
Joe Skach , Director, Planning and Community Development, said the petitioner was present to make a short presentation to the Council if they wish.
The Mayor said he thought they were looking to break ground in November. Mr. Skach responded that based on proposed code amendments, additional time was taken.
Jeff Brown of the JRB Group said they are looking to build 16,840 square feet on the site of the previous Hostess facility. He said that engineering and planning is complete. Staff is currently in the process of reviewing the building plans. The curb cuts off Ogden Avenue have been reduced from four to one for the site. He indicated that the building will be made of precast concrete, and the site is designed to handle all off-street parking. They will be sharing inventory with their Aurora facility. Lighting has been reviewed with staff, as well as landscaping requirements and screening between the site and the residential area. The site will also have signage regarding proper use of exits so as not to infringe on the residential area.
Commissioner McConnell thanked Mr. Brown for his comments, saying it appears that they have addressed some of the issues raised. She encouraged them to be good neighbors after this is built. She asked about loading and unloading, and whether or not they have control of the drivers to make sure they follow correct procedures. Mr. Brown said it is his understanding that they will be given instructions and directions as to how to use the site. He does not know whether they can always be controlled.
Commissioner McConnell said that one of the safety issues raised was in regard to people test-driving cars onto Ogden Avenue. Mr. Brown said that someone from the dealership would be with them.
Commissioner McConnell then asked about the variances on Cumnor Avenue and how far it is from the edge of the road to the obstruction. Mr. Brown said it is 27’ from the curb line. Mr. Skach added that on the Cumnor side it is 25 feet. He said there would be good visual distance.
Commissioner Zabloudil said the curb cut reduction is a tremendous improvement. He asked how much of the 4320 Cumnor property was acquired. Mr. Brown said they acquired 85’ south on Cumnor Road. The agreement was to provide a 15’ barrier for the residential area.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked how many cars they are required to have on the site. Mr. Brown said he would have to provide that information. Commissioner Zabloudil said it was good that they will not be using loudspeakers.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked about traffic signage for left turns onto Cumnor, and whether that would be enforceable.
Dorin Fera , Traffic Manager, Public Works, said that they can put a sign up, but there is no guarantee that it will be obeyed. Attorney Petrarca said they would need an ordinance to allow it to be enforceable.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that the biggest issue appeared to be the traffic on Cumnor, and he thinks this proposal will satisfy those concerns. He thinks it is a good site and shows much improvement.
Commissioner Schnell agreed that the petitioner did a good job of listening to the concerns expressed by the Council. She also thanked them for putting in sidewalks. She said there were some comments and concerns expressed about parking along Cumnor. Mr. Fera said this is on the February P&T Commission agenda. There are also concerns about speeding on Cumnor, and checking into a crossing guard at the school.
Commissioner Schnell then addressed the southwest corner of the property, and whether there is a possibility of interlocking walls with bushes to define the property and provide a buffer to residents behind the site. Mr. Brown said they do have a fence there. Commissioner Schnell said she was referencing the westerly line, and Mr. Brown said they would look at it.
Commissioner Sandack applauded the petitioner’s responsiveness to the Village. He said this fits into the Master Plan for Ogden Avenue and will be a massive improvement to the Village.
Commissioner Urban asked when the project will begin. Mr. Brown said there are things they can begin as soon as they have the building permit. Construction will begin as soon as the weather permits. It will be about 180 days of construction. He said that the Hostess Building will stand on the site until the completion of the project.
Commissioner Tully also thanked the petitioner for identifying and accommodating issues brought to their attention. He also complimented staff for the report they have provided and the format used. He said that three things are being requested. First is a rezoning of the 85’ of the residential parcel, which is consistent with the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. Secondly they are requesting a special use. An automobile dealership is a permitted use in that zoning district; however, since they are adding a detailing repair shop it does require a special use. He sees it as consistent with the existing uses. Thirdly, regarding the variations requested, he believes they are appropriate to the site and to the Village’s plan for the corridor. There are substantial stormwater improvements being added, as well as the installation of sidewalks. Regarding the proposed sign, he asked whether it is entirely consistent with the Ogden Avenue Master Plan.
Mr. Skach responded that staff is working with the petitioner to come in at Code requirements regarding the signage. The EDC is looking at design guidelines.
Commissioner Tully asked whether the input will be available by next week, and Mr. Skach said they can raise the issue at the EDC tomorrow morning. Commissioner Tully then asked about staff’s recommendation to have the petitioner reduce the variations further where possible, and asked what staff had in mind. Mr. Skach responded that when staff talks to petitioners about variation issues, they request that the petitioner consistently reevaluate means of reducing the variation as they move through the project.
Commissioner Tully asked the distance of the green space parkway on the south side of Ogden Avenue. Mr. Skach said it would be 3’6” to the back of the curb.
Commissioner Tully then referred to the no right turn issue on Cumnor and asked that P&T investigate it further. He suggested that there may be a way to engineer the southerly driveway to physically encourage people not to turn right. Mr. Brown said that a hardship exists in that they would be asking customers who live on Cumnor to turn out onto Ogden Avenue. Mr. Tully said they are only asking them to go out onto Ogden Avenue and turn right onto Cumnor. The Mayor asked if that would be a problem for trucks. Mr. Brown said they can make the turn.
Roland Gardner , petitioner, of 4333 Ogden Avenue in Aurora, said it is not a financial hardship, but the total traffic generated by this business will probably be about the same as the prior business had on that site. It is a smaller premium car customer base. It is a moderate sized business with fewer customers on a daily basis than one might imagine. If a customer living south of Ogden Avenue wanted to go onto Cumnor, he doesn’t see the problem.
Commissioner Tully said this would be one additional accommodation that would buy good will. The slightest of curves with a no right turn sign would be a physical encouragement not to increase traffic onto Cumnor.
Mr. Gardner said he understands what is being said, but his understanding was that commercial traffic would be almost prohibited, but not normal traffic. He was unaware that such a recommendation had been made by the Plan Commission. Commissioner Tully reviewed the records and agreed that it does say car carriers. He added that his personal view is that there should be no right turn onto Cumnor Avenue. Mr. Gardner said that if it is to limit traffic on Cumnor, those who want to turn onto Cumnor will do so. Commissioner Tully said that the concern is that there will be additional traffic onto a collector street which also has the school there. Mr. Gardner said that to get the curve in that exit they might have to eliminate one of the parking spaces to accommodate the curved portion. He said they had this discussion with the Plan Commission, and he said that the Commission understood their position.
Commissioner Tully suggested that they continue to discuss this issue. He realizes he’s placed Mr. Gardner in an awkward position, but thanked him for considering looking into it further.
Commissioner Tully then asked about the traffic impact analysis conducted by Metro. The analysis indicated the current peak weekday p.m. traffic at Ogden and Cumnor was predicted to increase two percent. He asked whether this is due to the facility or the passing of time. Mr. Brown said that Mr. Fera is not in the room to answer the question.
The Mayor said that anyone heading east will come out on Ogden Avenue. If you are going to head south, you would not want them trying to go left on Ogden, but would go right on Ogden and right again on Cumnor. They will go down Cumnor because it is easier and safer.
Commissioner Schnell said that salesmen going with the customers to test drive the cars will minimize traffic going onto Cumnor.
Mr. Millette added, in response to Commissioner Tully’s inquiry, that the 2% increase in traffic would happen regardless of whether this facility was there or not.
Finley Traffic Signals/Finley & Brook Drive. The Manager said staff recommends that Metro Transportation Group be awarded this contract. They have an excellent reputation and a good project understanding.
Commissioner Tully asked the Village Attorney whether minimum limits for insurance have been recently updated. Attorney Petrarca said it is updated on an annual basis.
2004 Pace Transit Grant Agreement. The Manager said the Village has received a grant of $49,100 to support routes to the train stations and other services. The total estimated cost of the services is $613,000 with projected revenues of $349,000 and a $2684,000 operating deficit.
VESSA Policy. The Manager said this is an amendment to the Village’s personnel policy regarding victims of domestic or sexual violence.
Scavenger License Agreement. The Manager said this agreement for a Class A license is renewed annually. BFI is under contract until March 1, 2005. Class B license renewal can be approved by the Village Manager with notification to the Council. The Class B licensees have submitted the proper materials, and he intends to issue the licenses.
Commissioner Urban asked about the $300 fee and where that falls in comparison of other communities. The Manager said he would find that out. He also said it concerns multi-family residential areas.
Deposit Agreement. The Manager said with the change in the health insurance provider, the Village is required to execute a revised banking Ordinance with Lake Forest Bank.
The Mayor asked why they use Lake Forest Bank.
Deputy Village Manager Dave Van Vooren said they went to Lake Forest Bank when Catherine Loney took over the monitoring of the claims payment agencies through Humana. Their staff has access to proofing checks, stop payments, etc. The Mayor asked if that can be done through a local bank. Deputy Manager Van Vooren said it is a zero fund cash account. The Village keeps less than $100,000 in this account on a month-to-month basis. The Mayor asked if he is a signatory, and Deputy Manger Van Vooren said he is. The Mayor said he does not recall signing a signature card and asked if there is a check in place to audit. Deputy Van Vooren said that Catherine Loney does an audit and monitoring. Humana has to provide 96-99% correction rate. The Mayor asked about protection procedures.
Commissioner McConnell said there is a check and balance system as part of the claims payment process so that a provider or employee should not be written a check. That is a claims issue and not a bank issue.
Mr. Van Vooren said this is a third party access process. Humana authorizes the checks to be cut.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner McConnell said Public Safety met and focused on the Fire Department and the tour of a few weeks ago. They will submit a list of recommendations as part of the budget process, which will become a multi-year list. The projects have to be done, and they are in the neighborhood of $100,000.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 11items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending Ordinance #4496 and the Village of Downers Grove budget for fiscal year 2003/04; 2) An ordinance for the Village of Downers Grove 2003 aggregate tax levy; 3) An ordinance levying taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2003 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2004 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area One;4) An ordinance levying taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2003 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2004 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Special Service Area); 5) An ordinance levying taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2003 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2004 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #3 (Prince Pond Special Service Area); 6) A resolution authorizing an agreement with Metro Transportation Group, Inc. re: Brook Drive and Finley Road Traffic Signal Modernization; 7) An ordinance rezoning the property located at 4320 Cumnor Road from R-4 to B-3; 8) An ordinance authorizing a special use at 205-217 Ogden Avenue and 4320 Cumnor Road; 9) A resolution authorizing an agreement with Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Pace); 10) A resolution amending the Employee Administrative Rules and Regulations of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois re: VESSA policy; and 11) An ordinance designating Lake Forest Bank as a Depository for the Village of Downers Grove
Commissioner Schnell asked the Manager to look into who is responsible for the maintenance of the paths in the area of Earlston and 40th Street. There are some holes there that present a safety issue.
The Mayor congratulated Good Samaritan Hospital for their ground breaking on the ICU unit which will open in July 2005.
He mentioned that he met on Monday morning with the District 3 Mayors and Chairman Schillerstrom. They discussed the Water Commission and moving forward now that State legislation has been put in place. There are requirements to take out some of the penalties for customers who joined the system after it was initially established. There are a number of ways to compute the penalties and they will be working on that issue. In addition, there are many changes taking place in Springfield, some of which are not good for DuPage County. They discussed picking a few issues to address, such as some pension issues. He also said that Senator Dillard is supporting the O’Hare expansion, and they have asked a number of communities to consider adopting a Resolution. A copy of what the County has done was faxed to the Village Manager yesterday.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:26 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh