1. Call to Order
Mayor Brian Krajewski called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Krajewski led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Ron Sandack, Commissioner Stan Urban, Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Martin Tully, Commissioner Mark Zabloudil and Mayor Brian Krajewski Non Voting: Village Manager Riccardo Ginex, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden
3. Minutes of Workshop and Council Meetings
Council Meeting – March 16, 2004 Executive Session Minutes for Approval Only – March 16, 2004 State of the Village – March 20, 2004 Workshop Meeting – March 23, 2004 Commissioner McConnell requested that the Clerk add to the Commissioner’s comment on page two of the Workshop minutes of 3/23/04: “Council needs to take some responsibility as they had reviewed the contract.”
On page 6, Commissioner McConnell clarified her statement , saying that, the safeguards have to do with electronic participation.
Commissioner Tully said he also gave the Clerk his changes, and they are on page 6 of the Workshop meeting of 3/23/04. The third sentence should read: “He said that simply being out of town is not good enough to excuse attendance.” The fourth sentence should read: “If he is out of town on business, but can call in to participate in an important vote, he should do so.”
There being no further corrections, the Mayor said the minutes would be filed as corrected.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
William Waldack, 1409 Willard Place, commented on the skateboard ordinance saying they should remove prohibition of Segways from the business district. He said they were built for this purpose.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated the information, noting that if they exclude this, there is no reason to exclude bicycles that are also made for the purpose of individual transportation. He sees no difference between a bicycle and Segways.
Mr. Waldack said that the Segway is built for pedestrian use in a pedestrian area. The purpose is different.
Jim Mulqueeny, 1190 Parker, also commented in support of the Segways. Two major groups purchasing these vehicles are law enforcement officers, and mail carriers.
Mr. Mulqueeny said he was contacted by the Census Bureau for the American Community Survey, and one of the topics was how people get to work. B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
Ken Lerner, 4933 Whiffen Place, spoke on behalf of the Downers Grove Watch Association, and invited the Council and staff, as well as residents to attend the community forum on Tear Downs and Taxes, to be held at the Downers Grove Library on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Speakers will include Jean Follett, Theresa Cockrell, Tom Cowan, Allison Laff, Bruce Maki and Stan Urban.
Lillian Dreiser, 1132 Curtiss, pointed out that due to her recent disability she found that there are no ramps for entry into Village Hall. She asked whether things have been revised. Also, she said there are federal provisions for ramps for handicapped people. The Mayor agreed that the driveway should be put back.
William Waldack, 1409 Willard Place, said that he feels there are two issues looming large, one of which is the growing tendency of government to acquire property via eminent domain for the purpose of turning the property over to private enterprise for private profit. The second issue is the right to recall and referendum. Mr. Waldack said if the electorate has the right to choose officials, it also has the right to recall those officials. In regard to the Home Rule policy, Mr. Waldack referred to the referenda process and potential elimination or modification of that policy. He recommends keeping the requirements for the advisory referendum and making a provision for a binding referendum.
The Mayor responded that the Village’s policy is that the Council will abide by advisory referenda, and he thinks that policy should remain the same. Home Rule provides for broad powers.
Frank Cote, 1450 Concord Court, said he has been a bus rider in the Village since 1998. He complimented the Council for building and growing a transportation system, which PACE has not been able to do. The Village has done it without advertising and it has been successful. Riders use the bus and feel strongly about it. He said that the buses are worth a great deal to the community, and there is an excellent staff of drivers and managers who get the buses out on time day-after-day, week-after-week. Mr. Cody said he knows the problem is money since the Village doesn’t have endless funds. He suggested that the Village use the recommendations of the Transportation Subcommittee by advertising, mark the bus stops, lower the rates, and treat the buses as the asset that they are. They are not a burden to the Village.
Edveta Wolf, 5123 Carpenter, said that she lives next door to the garbage dump. She said if this is a democracy, the supreme power should be held by the people, and there are a lot of people very unhappy right now. She asked the Council if they were in a position to explain what TIF money is, and how much the Village is in debt by the use of TIF money.
5. Public Hearings
2004-05 Budget and Proposed Five-Year Financial Plan Mayor Krajewski called the Public Hearing to order at 6:49 p.m. to consider the proposed Village Budget. Notice of this hearing was published in the Downers Grove Reporter and a certificate of publication is made a part of these proceedings. He then summarized the procedures to be followed for the Public Hearing. He noted that the budget will be brought to the Council on April 20 for a vote.
Deputy Manager Dave Van Vooren reviewed the budget process on behalf of the Budget Team. They began the review on November 15, 2003, and four workshops were held since that time. He said that staff has recommended approval of the budget as submitted. Mr. Van Vooren then used overhead charts to describe the expenditures, which shows that the expenses for 2003/04 were $98.1 million, while the expenditures expected for 2004/05 are $87 million. He also noted that staff projects a surplus of $1.2 million to be allocated between capital projects and the fund balance. He said that the $1 million surplus from the 2003/04 budget is 100% the result of the Home Rule Sales Tax. They anticipate a surplus of $1.4 million in FY 2004 /05 based upon revisions of the budget as originally submitted.
The Mayor asked about the $36.5 million in revenues in the FY 2003 /04 budget report last weekend, noting there was an extra $700,000 from the January report and asked where those funds came from. Mr. Van Vooren said he would research this.
Mr. Van Vooren said the 2004/05 budget has some initiatives, such as new employees, a document management system, $650,000 to capital projects, and $100,000 toward trees. The capital budget projects $2,350,000 in expenses, including $837,000 in roadway improvements in addition to the MFT fund, $325,000 for sidewalks, and $649,000 toward stormwater and ancillary costs. He said that the Budget Team tried to meet the goals and objectives of the Council as established from the budget workshops, and daily input from the Council. He said this budget has a significant reserve.
The Mayor said that the surplus is due to the increase in taxes. He asked about the tree service, and Mr. Van Vooren said that the tree services budget went from $123,000 in 2003/04, to $265,000 for 2004/05.
The Mayor asked how the tree service budget compares to prior years, noting that last year there was a substantial cut. Mr. Van Vooren said he would obtain that information in exact figures.
The Mayor said he appreciated the work of the staff on the budget. They did a fantastic job on answering all the questions and needs . He said it is taxpayer’s money. He then noted to the Council that this year they are talking about spending $38.1 million, and $35 million from last year. That is a 7.3% increase in spending from last year. He said that the Council asked for cuts and the Council reviewed the recommended cuts that could be considered. He said 14,000 calls have been logged on the Community Response Center. The second most frequent calls are regarding tree service. Council recommended removing $15,000 for Meals on Wheels. He would like to bring back the Home Maintenance and include Chore Days. The Council has since agreed to provide up to $15,000 for the Meals on Wheels. He said he won’t be supporting the budget as it currently stands as he believes they are spending too much. He reviewed the increases over the last several years. The budget increased 8% in 2003/04, and this year’s proposed budget increase is 7.3%. The Council put in a home rule sales tax to raise revenue and has spent down the reserves. He does not think they are doing a good job of holding down costs. He also feels they are not spending the money in the right places. The necessary services are Police and Fire. Last year the Police budget went up 14.2%, and this year 5.6%. The Fire Department also had a 20% increase in the last two years.
Staff has been extremely cognizant of the fact that the last 2 1/2 years have been difficult times economically. Council has dealt with that by raising taxes. The Mayor said he thinks they are spending a lot of money. The residents are also going through hard times. He believes the Village needs more emphasis on growing revenues. The Home Rule sales tax was put into place last year and Council talked about a sunset clause. Staff is saying there is no way to do that. The Home rule statute states that when taxes are instituted we need to identify where funds will be spent. If changes are not made, the Village will be neglecting capital projects. He would support a referendum for capital projects. They cannot continue to increase the budget year after year. He said that Code Services did the best job of any group during the budget process, when they advocated to have another Code Enforcement Officer for property inspections. The #1 call that comes in from residents concerns property maintenance and Code enforcement. He said he would like to see a re-allocation of resources.
Mayor Krajewski said that last year the Council put into effect the 5+5 early retirement program for staff, which saved $500,000 in payroll, yet the budget has a 7.3% increase over last year. Personnel is 70% of the budget. Staff has done a good job of bringing the 2004/05 budget down from $40.8 million which included all the services they wanted to $38.8 million and then to $38 million. He compared the 5 year plan in last year’s budget to this year’s budget. Last year, the projection was $37.8 million for this year. The 2008/09 projection was $42.3 million. This year the 2008/09 projection is $45.4 million. Expenses need to be controlled. He said he would not be voting for this budget in its current form. He appreciates the support of the Council for re-instituting the Meals on Wheels program. He referred to the past cap on taxi cab subsidy program, and he advocated removing the cap. Residents spoke out and the Council doubled the program from $50 to $100.
George Higgins, 241 Shady Lane, is the President of the DuPage Senior Citizens Council and has resided in Downers Grove for 34 years. He came prepared to discuss the Meals on Wheels program, but it is refreshing to see that they were put back on the budget. They need every penny they can get. He said that continuing the financial support of the nutrition program is imperative. During the last fiscal year, the Senior Citizens Council provided 43,400 meals to 636 residents of the Village. Volunteers delivered 27,776 meals to 211 home bound clients. He said good nutrition is essential for their clients to maintain their physical and mental health. Some of the clients do not have sufficient funds to provide their own food needs. In 2004, the program budget will be $2.4 million for the various programs including Meals on Wheels, and Chore Days. He said 32% of the costs are from client payments, State/Federal grants at 45%, and 8% from United Way. The remaining 15% must be raised from other sources. Mr. Higgins said that the DuPage Senior Citizens Council asks the support of the Council and Village for their program. They anticipate a shortfall of $27,000 in the Village for Meals on Wheels. The Village has recognized this priority in the past and has contributed to the program since 1998. He hopes that the Village will respond with continued support.
The Mayor noted that the Park District has supported the 2K walk for the project as well.
Edveta Wolf, 5123 Carpenter, said that people in Florida demanded that trees cannot be cut down. There are trees and shrubs everywhere. She believes the Village should charge people to cut down trees and pay to replace them, as is done in Florida and has been done in Glen Ellyn for some time. Losing trees effects the stormwater as well. Regarding the discussion of additional firemen, she thought it would be ridiculous to hire more people, due to their salary and extra benefits. She believes they should pay existing people 1-1/2 their salary. Ms. Wolf also repeated that she wants to know about the TIF money, and stated that the foolishness has got to end. She said the economy is not great.
The Mayor said that the sales tax has been flat as well, and he agrees that the belt needs to be tightened.
Lynn Weinheimer, 5540 Webster, commented on the need for sidewalks between 55th and 59th on Webster. Residents of the area have talked to Public Works since 1997 and were led to believe the sidewalks would have been installed by a specific date, and that did not happen. She said that the budget proposed does not include sidewalks for Webster. Webster was measured in 2001 and did not meet the traffic standards. Ms. Weinheimer said there is an obvious potential hazard in forcing pedestrians to walk on the street every day. She said that the residents are asking for $75,000 for their four blocks to be budgeted this year for Webster Street sidewalks.
The Mayor said there is no money in the budget for sidewalks, with a recommendation for only gap sidewalks. This is another reason he will not support this budget. In September, Council received a memo outlining issues from last year’s budget discussions including sidewalks. The memo indicated funding should be made available for these issues. He noted that the matrix received in January shows the 2004-2007 construction schedule, but that has not been put into the budget. He thinks that is wrong. These are policy decisions that must be made by the Council. The Mayor said that staff wanted to switch to gap sidewalks. He noted that a memo from the Deputy Village Manager referenced money the Village receives from people who pay into the sidewalk program when they build a home. There is $61,000 that has been collected but the money is not reflected in the budget. He suggested they use this money for gap sidewalks. He also advocated the establishment of a tear-down fee.
Chris Fregeau, 1918 Elmore, said she was less than comfortable with the size, scope and prioritization of the budget, and shares many of the concerns expressed by the Mayor. Ms. Fregeau said she would limit her comments to sidewalks. First, Ms. Fregeau said that the budget is not in a friendly form, and if it were there would be more residents present to comment on the budget. She said there is a drastic increase over last year’s expenses, with tax rates that are climbing. At the same time resident services are being cut or reduced. She said she appreciated the efforts made by the Council members and staff to support a budget which would include resident services. The current budget has not one penny for new sidewalks. Ms. Fregeau thanked Mayor Krajewski and Commissioner Tully for their proactive stance to restore and stabilize funding. On February 10, 2004, Public Works presented a sidewalk matrix which was unanimously approved by the Council, yet no money has been included to advance the matrix for new sidewalks for two years. She summarized previous budgets and promises toward the sidewalk matrix. Ms. Fregeau expressed her hope that the sidewalk program would be restored.
The Mayor said it would be helpful to include an executive summary outlining what’s in and what’s been taken out of the budget. Commissioners Zabloudil and Sandack have taken the lead on this with the Finance Committee. Because of the format set up this year, some information could not be included. As for the Police and Fire pensions, he said that they are not in the Council’s control.
Mike Wall, 4703 Woodward, and Pete Hopkins, 4815 Woodward, commented on new sidewalk construction. Mr. Wall said that many residents from their block are present to show their support for reinstating the sidewalk project. Without a commitment by putting it in the budget, it becomes only a wish, and never a reality. Mr. Wall said it is in the better interest of the community to do new sidewalk construction. Mr. Hopkins said they have a lot of children on their block. They have had a lot of support and are disappointed to see that there’s no money in the budget. Mr. Wall added that their neighborhood has hills, and there is a lot of speeding in that area. He said that a member of the Public Works department told them that there are about 1,000 cars per days on their street. Children walk to school in the street, and people walk their dogs in the street, while cars are traveling at up to 45 mph.
Commissioner Schnell referred to Mr. Wall’s e-mail and the request for Public Works to come out and conduct another traffic count. Mrs. Wall said that the 1,000 cars estimated by Public Works is not reflected on the current matrix. She does not understand why the Council has changed its mind, and asked that they reconsider this. Mrs. Wall said she supported the newly elected Commissioners because of their support of sidewalks.
Mike Gilbert, 4625 Highland, said to cut Senior Citizens benefits and a line firefighter off the trucks in order to add another administrator is silly. He said last year he heard that it wasn’t the time to cut. They added personnel to cut overtime, which makes no sense. He then went through the list of administrators for the Fire Department. He said the Village needs other services. Code Enforcement has had their budget chopped up, and over the last two years there has been a 20% increase in the cost of fire service. It is not micro-managing by the Council to ask what they will gain from money spent. It is also not micro-managing to force people to work a little harder. A Battalion Chief level position adds nothing to the time it takes to stop a fire or get to a fire. He said every year they are told it is not the year to make the cuts. Costs have skyrocketed over the past ten years. The Fire Department and Police Department are allowed to come in and add costs to the budget beyond the expenses of all the other departments. He has no problem with taking the money and putting it into firefighters and equipment, but not at the administrative level.
The Mayor said they are bringing in a new Lieutenant in the Police Department for Homeland Security. The Police Chief said that it was a budget neutral move because the 82nd officer will not be hired. It is not a budget neutral move. They need to find cuts to cover the cost of a new Lieutenant. On the Fire side, he does not want to eliminate a firefighter off the street. The Fire Department and Police Department want to do the best possible job they can, but there are limited resources. The Police Department also asked for a Chief for EMS . The EMS calls are twice as many as fire calls. There are three Lieutenants spending overtime on EMS reports. While it would be great to have all the personnel they want, he would like to see them keep the heads the same.
Judy Sidrys, 5723 Lee Avenue, said it is difficult to understand how a Village with a $38 million budget can have over 15 miles of roads without sidewalks, and not do anything about it. She spoke of the many children and others who have to walk in the street to school, jobs, etc. She said there is a terrific new recreation center, yet streets nearby don’t have sidewalks. Residents attending park activities have to walk in the street to get there. She then quoted statements from a Parking and Traffic Commission meeting held in 2001: “Chairman Johnson stated that there is a very small agenda this evening. He said that the primary purpose of tonight’s meeting was to discuss the Village’s sidewalk matrix. He explained that the sidewalk matrix was established a number of years ago at the request of the Village Council as a way of prioritizing sidewalk requests and needs throughout the Village. He stated that at first the project was designed for handling sidewalks requests for residents, and locating hazardous walking conditions around schools and also to insure adequate walking routes for students. He went on to say that over the years the sidewalk matrix has expanded and the Village Council had voted to established a policy to eventually place a sidewalk at least on one side of every street in the Village.”
Ms. Sidrys said that some Council members mentioned in those minutes are still on the Council today. She said they all speak about the Six Pillars of Character, one of which is Trustworthiness which means to be reliable, do what you say you will do. Responsibility includes being accountable for your choices. Gap sidewalks are not the answer.
The Mayor said that the budget is more than $38.1 million, as there are other funds such as Water, Parking, Capital Projects, which are added to make up the entire budget.
Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut, said that in the past 2-3 years he used the service of the Fire Department and received excellent service. He was concerned about the deplorable living conditions in the firehouses described at a meeting attended by a Council member, the Village Manager and Village Attorney. In looking at the budget he saw a decrease of .4%, or $65,000. This bothers him as these are people we depend upon for our life safety. Mr. Hultman then said in regard to forestry, beautiful new planters were installed in the CBD in 2002, and on August 20, 2002 the Village Council passed an ordinance that any Village planting over 10” in height is illegal. That would make every planter existing in the downtown illegal. He spoke about it and made the Council aware of it, and was ignored. Village staff maintained the “illegal” plantings for a total of 17 months, when the Village Attorney came up with a new Code making the other one illegal. During that time there was an expenditure of $80,000 plus spent altogether. Rather than seeing funds given to Village staff for illegal work, he would like to see it given to the Fire Department.
The Mayor said that $75,000 in capital projects has been put in the Fire Houses in the proposed budget. He said that it is important to remember that there are things in the budget that may change, and noted that staff usually comes in under the proposed budget anyway. Council understands when the unexpected occurs. He would like to see the budget brought in at the lower figure of $34.1 million.
He then summarized some of the things that led to reinstating the Senior Citizens programs, and said he would like to see it go to $30,000. He said he suggested to Commissioner Tully and the Village Manager to set some time at the next Workshop meeting to review the budget more closely.
Dawn Larson, 7117 Dunham, stated she was in support of the buses, and moved to Downers Grove because of the availability of the bus system. She asked that the Council continue to support the bus service.
Theresa Schulz, 4725 Woodward, stressed the importance of installing sidewalks and signage in the community. She said she focuses on the immediate need for her block. She doesn’t understand why the Council doesn’t do a better job of signage on her block, and would like to know why a Stop Sign hasn’t been installed. There are disabled children on the block. She has gone before the P&T Committee, and they have not approved it or disapproved it to her knowledge. Mayor Krajewski said he will have staff look into it right away.
Dave Bell, 4719 Woodward, said that speeding cars are a daily occurrence. Woodward is a through street from Ogden to Prairie and cars go by at up to 40 mph. There are many kids in his neighborhood. He does not know what could be more important than the safety of our children. This is a disaster waiting to happen, and he hopes the Council will consider this.
John Raleigh, 7325 Ticonderoga Road, said he had two concerns. He agrees that money should be put into sidewalks, and it is in the realm of possibility that the Village could be sued for inaction. Secondly he is a big supporter of the buses and wanted confirmation that the fares would be reduced.
Commissioner Schnell asked for information as to the amount of money per quadrant that is available for sidewalks, particularly for gap sidewalks.
Deputy Manager Van Vooren said he provided a memo about a month ago reviewing the past 3 years worth of funding for new construction. The Mayor added that there was $61,000, and he advocates using it for gap sidewalks.
Commissioner McConnell thanked the residents for their comments, and asked Deputy Van Vooren to discuss the TIF with the resident. She indicated that the budget is always balancing competing priorities with a limited set of resources. There are always more opportunities to spend money than resources available. In the last few years, the economy has forced us to scale back, and staff was asked to cut the budget for the last three years in areas that would hurt the least. Now is the time is to put money back into those other funds, such as $100,000 for Fire station repairs. She said that there are roadways that need to be addressed now as well, and the decision was made to do that instead of sidewalks. There is $325,000 for sidewalks, and she doesn’t believe they have to live with allocating it for gaps. The original thought was to complete gaps with this money, but she believes it can be revisited.
Mr. Van Vooren said the gaps are those that exist between house to house or block to block. Their idea was to eliminate gaps. Gaps and new sidewalks can be accommodated through the bid process.
Commissioner McConnell said it would be worthwhile to go back and look to see if there is a different way to divide the sidewalk budget to meet some of the needs, particularly if we have commitments we can substantiate. Commissioner McConnell said she would concur with the Mayor’s statement regarding the need to look at budget to budget comparisons as well as budget to actual expenses and explanations. She does not want to set up a situation whereby the staff is inadvertently encouraged to always spend all the money in their budget to make sure they get it next year, nor does she want it to be a disincentive for being good fiscal managers. As for the DuPage Senior citizens, she complimented the organization for its programs, and said she supports putting $15,000 back into the project. She could be persuaded to include an additional $2,000. She would not, however, support a Chore Program this year. While it is a worthwhile organization, there are many such organizations in the community.
Commissioner McConnell then commented on the bus service, saying they need to continue it in a changed form by eliminating the charters and bolstering the revenues coming in. She wants to see the Transportation Subcommittee meet on a monthly basis rather than quarterly. She agreed with the Mayor on the need to continue our efforts to significantly increase revenue growth. She said she would be supporting this budget.
The Mayor asked for her thoughts on how to spend the additional revenues. Commissioner McConnell said she would split it half into capital expenses and half into reserves.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated the fact that there were so many people present tonight. He said that each Council member has asked scores of questions over the months. He said this process started a long time ago. He reviewed the process from its beginning with staff’s initial recommendations. He said the staff makes recommendations and the Council makes final decisions. Council doesn’t always agree. He said he agreed with Commissioner McConnell that it is all about balancing competing interests. He said the Council has made changes over the months as deemed necessary. An additional $100,000 was added into the tree program. As far as the surplus, a recommendation was made to put $1.2 million in reserves; however, the Council directed $650,000 toward capital improvements. There has been consensus to do one additional stormwater project for $175,000. This leaves $450,000 to be spent on any number of projects, such as sidewalks and streets. Kids should not use streets, and it is unacceptable that there is no money in the sidewalk project. He wants to see the funds go into new sidewalk construction, and would like all sidewalks to be completed this year which is a total of $353,000.
Commissioner Tully said that should leave at least $290,000 available for the streets. With respect to abating the levy, they abated quite a bit some weeks ago. Regarding the DuPage Senior Citizens Council, he is horrified by how little we put in, and agrees fully to fund the $15,000, as well as the Home Maintenance Program. The Village contributed funds to the Home Maintenance Program before and he supports including it this year.
The Commissioner said that he feels the Community Grants Program has been under-funded as well, and would like to give them an additional $5,000. As to transportation, he would like to find a solution to the problem, and he is in favor of continuing to fund, in this year’s budget, a commuter only service that would extend for one year beyond opening of the parking deck. Based on direct costs of the commuter service only, not including the charter, the savings would be less than $35,000 if the service were eliminated. For less than $35,000 we can support the hundreds of riders that use the service for one year. If there isn’t a substantial increase in ridership, it will probably not survive beyond that. He would also like to see a fare adjustment to below what it is now, but higher than it was last year.
Regarding expenditures, Commissioner Tully said he agrees with the Mayor wholeheartedly that they must keep costs under control. They have increased the property tax, instituted utility taxes, added a Home Rule sales tax, but they cannot continue to grow revenues year after year. There is always a lot of disagreement as to how to control expenses. He believes that they need to start with zero based budgeting and provide direction. They asked staff to work hard to come in under budget, and noted that over the years staff usually comes in under budget. They need to continue efforts to grow revenue by growing the tax base. He indicated that the Council has a week to agree on the budget.
Commissioner Urban thanked staff for coming in under the budget and working to bring in a balanced budget. He is in support of the budget as presented, with a few minor adjustments including the Home Maintenance Project and the $15,000 for the Meals on Wheels. He also concurs with splitting the surplus equally between the capital improvements fund and the reserve. As for the transportation issue, he is willing to give the commuter bus system a one year probationary trial period, and asked staff to aggressively approach PACE to manage the system. He has been a proponent of axing the system. They must look at economic development, increasing revenues, and managing expenses as closely as possible. He asked staff how much money is generated by the Home Rule Sales Tax.
Mr. Van Vooren said they project it to average about $300,000 per month and have been on target for the first five months. It has ranged between $280,000-$460,000. It excludes sales of all titled vehicles, as well as food and drugs. Restaurants get taxed, while groceries do not. Automobiles and gas stations represent about 20-25% of the total revenue stream. He said that there are also sales tax abatement agreements with three of the auto sales dealerships.
Commissioner Urban asked if the Home Rule sales tax was imposed on the car dealers, what would the amount be. Mr. Van Vooren said it cannot be imposed on those categories.
Commissioner Schnell said she has never seen so many people at a budget Public Hearing in all her years on the Council. She thanked staff for the time spent on this budget, particularly Mike Baker and Dave Van Vooren. She also thanked the DuPage Senior Citizens Council for their input. No one has questioned the services they provide. They have clarified the need for the funds however. She has no problem with funding $15,000 plus the $2,000 for Chore Days. She said she would like to get more information about the other programs they provide. Commissioner Schnell said she is a proponent of the bus service, and believes it is valuable and important to those who use it. It does a lot of good for the community. She further believes that the Subcommittee should meet more than quarterly, as it may be one of the most important tools in getting the word out. They need to increase ridership, and need to lower the fares. She wholeheartedly supports the commuter bus system.
Commissioner Schnell said she would advocate dividing the newly found funds evenly between capital projects and reserves. They should also use the money from new construction for the gap sidewalks. She would be interested in pursuing the idea of a zero based budget as well. The Commissioner said that they need to be very careful as to how they spend funds and tax residents. She said the Council must get a better handle of retaining and attracting businesses to the Village, and use their resources to retain and attract businesses that residents want in the community. She thanked the staff for all their work.
Commissioner Sandack said that a new philosophical way of budgeting should begin after this budget is approved. Staff needs better direction from the Council, as he feels Council failed to give good, clear direction to staff. He is also pleased to see so many people present. It was instructive to see competing views as that illustrates the difficulty the Council has. He said there is a finite sum of dollars and the Council needs to prioritize how to best use them. He would like to know, through the Village Manager, what each department needs in order to provide the services citizens expect. Wholesale cutting results in angry citizens feeling that vital services that should be provided were not provided. He also recommends going to a zero based budget. He agrees that funding for trees is good, and that the sidewalks should be funded $325,000 for new construction. In regards to commuter service, he has not been a proponent of the bus service. He took a position based exclusively on prioritization. Sidewalks and Seniors take priority. He agrees to the $17,000 for the Seniors. As for the Village roads, they have been largely ignored and repairs and maintenance need to be done. In addition, stormwater has been ignored and dollars need to be allocated there as well, and a policy is needed for how to fund these projects.
In regard to the infrastructure, Commissioner Sandack said that the Fire stations and Village Hall need work, as well as replacement of vehicles. These have been deferred in past years. The Village will continue to struggle if we don’t address these needs. We need to set policies in motion to allocate revenue streams toward particular departments. He added that he agrees on the split of the $650,000 between capital projects and reserves. The Village has lived off reserves and must now fund for the next rainy day. The reserve needs to be a line item in the budget. He agrees with the $5,000 for Community Grants. Council started the budgeting process earlier this year, but the tough prioritization and difficult decisions need to be made better and faster.
Commissioner Sandack addressed the Home Rule Sales Tax which has a sunset clause, and he is not in favor of resurrecting it. He believes they should start looking at ways to do more with less. That starts with the Council giving clear direction. The Village government is not a business, it is a service oriented organization but we can apply some business criteria. He then said he politely disagrees on the funding the buses; however, if it goes forward, he thinks it should be for one year from the start of the fiscal year rather than the completion of the deck and an exit policy should be developed.
Commissioner Zabloudil echoed thanks to the staff for the job they’ve accomplished with the budget. He said staff has done a fine job in developing a new tool. Discussions during the budget process seemed to focus more on strategy, and he hopes to see that focus continue. One point he felt needed to be addressed was for the Council to provide clearer direction to the staff. He said staff did a good job of providing costs related to the bus subsidy, and he noted that the life cycle of the buses is coming to an end. He would like to see a clear exit strategy for buses. Without that he will not support this budget. In addi
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -01575 Claim Ordinance No. 5535, Payroll, March 19, 2004 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -01576 List of Bills Payable: No. 5520, April 6, 2004 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BID00 -01563 Bid: Award $108,137.50 to Bergquist Tree Experts for FY 2004 /05 Tree and Stump Removal Contract Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This provides the option to renew for $113,387.00 for FY 2005 /06 contingent upon sufficient Village funds. A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Tree and Stump Removal
BID00 -01565 Bid: Award Street Sweeping Services Contract to Dejana Industries, Inc. for FY 2004/05 Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This contract is for approximately 12 to 15 working days during the first half of November 2004. The cost represents a 1% increase over the 2003/04 contract and is the last extension of the original contract. The cost is $564.00 per eight-hour day. A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Street- Sweeper
BID00 -01567 Bid: Award Traffic Signals Maintenance Contract to Lyons/Pinner Electric, Inc. Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This contract is for the second extension of the original 2001/03 two-year contract. It provides for no increase over FY 2003 /04. This is the last extension of the original contract. A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Traffic Signal Maintenance
BID00 -01568 Bid: Award $452,940.70 to Comstock Earthmoving, Inc. for the Fairview Avenue Watermain Replacement Contract Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: Includes a 5% contingency, bringing the total approval amount to $500,000.00. A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Water Main Improvements
BID00 -01569 Bid: Award $15,216.00 to Climatemp for Replacement of Police Department Heating/Cooling Coils Sponsors: Manager’s Office A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Police Department, Police Department Air Conditioning System Passed The Consent Agenda
A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski
7. Active Agenda
ORD00 -01570 Ordinance: Amend Skating Restrictions in Business Districts Sponsors: Village Attorney Summary of Item: This will further amend skating restrictions in business districts.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SKATING RESTRICTIONS IN BUSINESS DISTRICTS
ORDINANCE NO . 4578 Commissioner McConnell said she looked at the Segways and she doesn’t think they should be excluded from the restrictions. She would suggest if there are groups such as the Post Office who would want to use them, they could come to the Village for review. A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Skateboarding
RES00 -01572 Resolution: Authorize Agreement with the Indian Boundary YMCA for the 2004 Downers Grove Farmers’ Market Sponsors: Deputy Village Manager Summary of Item: This will approve the 2004 Farmers’ Market agreement between the Village and the Indian Boundary YMCA .
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND THE INDIAN BOUNDARY YMCA TO JOINTLY CONDUCT THE 2004 DOWNERS GROVE FARMERS ’ MARKET
RESOLUTION 2004 -18 A motion was made by Commissioner Urban to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Farmers’ Market
RES00 -01578 Resolution: Appoint an Authorized Agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Sponsors: Finance Summary of Item: This will appoint Rita Trainor as Authorized Agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
A RESOLUTION APPOINTING AN AUTHORIZED AGENT FOR THE ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT FUND (IMRF)
RESOLUTION 2004 -19 A motion was made, seconded by Commissioner Schnell, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: IMRF
RES00 -01579 Resolution: Authorize Agreement with County of DuPage re: Autumn Grove Resource Center Sponsors: Social and Health Services Summary of Item: This will authorize an agreement with DuPage County for a grant application from the Community Development Block Grant Program for the Downers Grove Community Neighborhood Resource Center at Autumn Grove.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY OF DUPAGE AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE (Autumn Grove Resource Center)
RESOLUTION 2004 -20 Commissioner McConnell asked if this is the same grant that is done every year. Andy Matejcak, Director, Social & Health Services said it was. A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Sandack, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: DuPage County Community Development Block Grant
RES00 -01580 Resolution: Authorize Agreement with County of DuPage re: Arbor Park Resource Center Sponsors: Social and Health Services Summary of Item: This will authorize an agreement with DuPage County for a grant application from the Community Development Block Grant Program for the Downers Grove Community Neighborhood Resource Center at Arbor Park.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY OF DUPAGE AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE (Arbor Park Resource Center)
RESOLUTION 2004 -21 A motion was made by Commissioner Sandack, seconded by Commissioner Zabloudil, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: DuPage County Community Development Block Grant
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Human Services Commission – March 3, 2004 Library Board – March 10, 2004 Zoning Board of Appeals – February 25, 2004 A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Note Receipt Of this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Materials to be Received – Monthly Reports
Materials to be Placed on File
9. Manager’s Report
Manager Ginex thanked all the Directors and Staff for the incredible job they did in putting the budget together.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
There were no reports.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Tully reiterated his appreciation to the Manager and staff for the work done on the budget.
The Mayor echoed Commissioner Tully’s comments, and said that there are plans for a Council retreat to review plans for upcoming years.
The Mayor then extended his thanks to the 3rd Grade at Fairmount School who invited him to see their Community Project. They are working on a video describing what a community is. He looks forward to seeing the completed project.
Mayor Krajewski said that on April 18, the PTAs are hosting a basketball game with several guest players. The Mayor said he has tickets for the event and asked staff to check on how many kids from Autumn Grove and Arbor Park Resource Centers would like to attend. Commissioner Tully added that the event is at 2:00 on Sunday, April 18 at Downers Grove South.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn. Commissioner Urban seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m