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, Mark Zabloudil, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Deputy Clerk Linda Brown
Absent:Commissioner Martin Tully, Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Willis and Shirley Johnson, 846 Rogers; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd Street; David Massura, 4632 Stanley; Diane Edwards, 5513 Lomond; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore, Gordon L. Goodman, PDHA , 5834 Middaugh Staff: David Barber, Director, Public Works; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Douglas Kozlowski, Director of Marketing and Media Relations; Assistant Village Manager Mike Baker; Rita Trainor, Director, Financial Services; Jeff Waxman, Bus Driver
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: Loading Zone Station Crossing. Manager Ginex said the completion of Station Crossing has resulted in the need to evaluate parking around the area. Temporary meters have been put on Rogers Street between Main and Highland, and there are some two-hour restriction parking spots on Warren Avenue east of Main. The west side of Highland Avenue, between Rogers and Warren, was designed as part of the Station Crossing building as a loading zone to accommodate delivery trucks. This request is to adopt an ordinance amending restrictions for 15-minute truck loading zones to include this area so that it can be properly enforced. The west side is already a “No Parking Anytime” designation.
Mayor Krajewski asked Assistant Manager Mike Baker about the hours on the meters on Rogers.
Assistant Village Manager Mike Baker said the meters on Rogers are four-hour meters. The Mayor asked if those were the only four-hour meters in the downtown. He asked why there were meters here when the rest of the downtown parking is four-hours without meters. He said he noticed that sometimes no one was parked at those meters, so he knew they could not be 12-hour meters for the commuters like the ones on Warren across from Starbucks. He wanted to know if there were any other four-hour meters.
Dorin Fera , Traffic Manager said those were the only four-hour meters in the area and that the rest were either nine- or twelve-hour meters. The Mayor said the rest of the parking downtown—the two-, three-, and four-hour spots—were free. Traffic Manager Fera said these were made to be consistent with the rest of the parking on Rogers and to accommodate business use for the new businesses. The Mayor asked why the meters were there instead of just four-hour parking. Mr. Fera said the area has always had meters, and they just replaced them with new ones. In further response to the Mayor, Mr. Fera said there had never been 12-hour meters there. The Mayor said he was not sure why there are meters there when there is free four-hour parking elsewhere in town. He said he would like to get rid of the meters because he doesn’t think people who park there should be the only shoppers who have to pay for parking. Traffic Manager Fera said the meters are there because it is close to Main Street, and because they had been there for many years. The Mayor said there is four-hour parking off of Burlington that is free. The only meters he said he was aware of besides those on Rogers are for commuters. The Mayor suggested that if these are only meant to be three or four-hour shopping parking areas, the meters should be eliminated. Mr. Fera said they are meant to be temporary. He said this could be changed after the parking deck opens.
Commissioner Sandack said he also does not understand the four-hour meters. He said the meters were primarily for commuter parking. He said free parking for four hours makes sense to him to encourage the new businesses in that area. He said he agreed with the concepts the Mayor put forth.
Commissioner Schnell said she concurred.
The Mayor asked that this be reviewed.
Commissioner Urban asked for clarification of the ordinance that limits use of the loading zone to trucks with a class D license plate. He said he receives deliveries from trucks with B plates. He said a number of smaller businesses get smaller deliveries.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she would check with Tim Sembach of the Police Department.
Commissioner Urban said he concurred with the Mayor and other Commissioners as to the parking issue on Rogers.
Willis Johnson , 603 Rogers Street, said when Rogers was re-opened, the parking from Main to Highland was designated “Employees Only.” It remained that way for a few months; however, it was decided the employees could find their own spots and the parking spots should be used for shoppers. The signs that read “Employees Parking” were taken down, but the meters were left there.
Mr. Johnson said he understands no parking on the west side of Highland at the curb. He said that restriction is already posted. He asked about the 60 feet of curb cut in the space between 110 feet and 170 feet south of Rogers. This space could easily fit two cars. The signs limit parking to fifteen minutes and even then it has to be class D or heavier. He said that parking north of the tracks is unbelievably scarce, especially at night. He does not understand the special consideration given to Station Crossing. He appreciates that the employee parking was changed to general parking on Rogers between Main and Highland as well as adding the spaces on the north side of Rogers between Highland and Bryan. Then two spaces were lost on the north side of Warren and Highland to 15-minute pick-up, limited to daytime and weekday hours. There are now has four restaurants in this area. He figures that there is a deficit of 210 parking spaces on the north side of the tracks from what was there before Station Crossing started. He said he is positive about development and is not trying to be an obstructionist, but he would like to have every possible parking space. He suggested limiting the hours for the loading zone, rather than designating it for only class D or heavier for 24-hours, seven days a week. It could be designated for normal delivery hours for the businesses that are there and available to shoppers at other times. His main concern is theater and bowling alley patrons.
Diane Edwards , 5513 Lomond, the North Belmont Park area, asked when the street improvements would occur by her house since the water has been hooked up and the storm sewer project is being completed. She has a son in a wheelchair, and it is very difficult and unsafe for him to use the street because it is cut up from the water and storm sewer construction. Mayor Krajewski reminded her they were talking about no parking on Rogers Street, but he said that Director of Public Works, Dave Barber, or Assistant Director Stan Balicki could talk to her about the street improvements.
Commissioner Schnell asked the Village Attorney if other loading zones in the downtown area have time restrictions. Commissioner Schnell said it makes sense to be able to use the loading zones for parking in the evening.
Mr. Fera replied that there is another category of loading zone that is limited to 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is for regular vehicles, not trucks.
Attorney Petrarca said we could put that restriction into this section of the ordinance.
Mr. Fera said the Parking and Traffic Commission would look into making it more adaptable to the needs of the downtown.
Mayor Krajewski asked the Village Attorney to review the ordinance with regard to Class B license plates and loading zones.
Parking Deck Use Ordinance. The Manager said Dave Barber would address this item.
Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said in February staff presented a proposal to the Council on the allocation of space in the new parking deck. Now that the deck is nearing completion, an ordinance must be adopted to move forward with the sale of permits and completing the signage on the inside so the spaces will be appropriately marked and designated when the deck is ready to be opened.
Mr. Barber outlined the key features of the proposed ordinance. An automated pay system that will accept cash or a Village issued debit card is proposed to be used in lieu of parking meters. The definition of automated pay system as well as the parking deck is added to the proposed ordinance. Also the time restrictions in the deck are proposed to be from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. instead of 6:00 a.m. to accommodate early morning commuters. Parking allocation is proposed as follows: The deck would be designated for free four-hour parking on the first two levels of the parking deck. Level three, the ramp to four and part of level four are to be designated as commuter daily fee parking at a rate of $3.00 per day. Staff is proposing permit parking at $90 per quarter for residents and $120 per quarter for non-residents. These rates are slightly higher than other rates downtown. We currently only issue permits to residents in the downtown area. This might be inconsistent with what is being proposed in the deck. We may want to sell the spots in the parking deck to residents only. He asked for the Council’s advice on this matter. In addition, we need to add the parking deck to the superticket policy we have for downtown.
Mayor Krajewski said that there are some non-residents that have parking permits downtown who have existing permits from many years ago and continue to use them. The Mayor said he assumed the Transportation Committee will look at the overall parking downtown. He said one item under discussion is talking to Metra about potentially moving the lot across from Starbucks into the parking deck, and making that lot shopper parking. If there is a non-resident in that lot, for example, we need to keep the non-resident fee structure for the parking deck in the ordinance. Metra counted 775 spaces as the base. They don’t care if we eliminate meters as long as the space available doesn’t go below that number. Residents will still get preference for the parking spots available at the Main Street lots, including the parking deck.
Mr. Barber said staff would continue to adhere to the policy of selling permits for Main Street to residents first. The Mayor concurred.
The Mayor asked how many parking spots were in the lot across from Starbucks. Mr. Barber replied that there were less than 50, but he would check on the actual number.
The Mayor said staff may be adding or deleting commuter parking in the deck based on how much the garage is being used. To the extent people are being put in the garage, the quarterly permits should indicate that the number of spaces could be reduced if more shopping spaces are needed. Mr. Barber said staff anticipates improving their service. Staff anticipates working with the Transportation Advisory Committee to do periodic counts of the deck and make adjustments to the different types of parking to maximize the use of the facility. Mr. Barber added that his staff is in communication with the parking enforcement people as well as the Manager’s office to help identify parking issues as they come up. They are doing parking counts to help maximize usage as well as revenue.
Commissioner Schnell asked the rationale for making the rates in the parking deck higher than the existing surface lots. Mr. Barber said the deck provides enclosed parking and higher security with the cameras. The major investment in the downtown justifies the extra cost. The cost is not significantly higher. The current rates are $75 to $80 for residents and $110 for non-residents. Commissioner Schnell said it is important to provide information to the public about this. She concurred with keeping the fee for non-residents, as it is not yet clear what the demand will be by residents for the deck.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the location of the commuter permit parking vs. the daily fees in the deck. Currently the commuter permit parking is on the top level, which is not covered. She asked if staff is considering switching this so that the commuter daily fees would be on the top level. Mr. Barber said the concept, when they spoke with the Downtown Management Corporation, was that the deck is primarily for downtown employee and shopping parking and also adds commuter parking. He said based on his experience operating decks, if it is made more attractive for the short-term users who can get in and out quicker, they are more likely to use the deck. If someone is buying a space in the deck they will be willing to go up several floors to the parking space. Staff thinks the short-term parking on the lower level will be most conducive to bringing people into the deck. While the top floor is not covered, it is a space and, hopefully, it will be used by downtown employees rather than commuter permits. He would prefer to see the downtown employees off the streets, and put them on the top floor of the deck. That permit costs only $25 per quarter. He would like to keep the daily fee, as it is as that is the easiest to administer. He recommended keeping the commuter permits as low as possible, get as many downtown employees on the top floor as possible, and fill the bottom floors with shoppers and people using the restaurants.
The Mayor said he agreed with Commissioner McConnell that shoppers should be on the bottom level, then commuters followed by the daily users. Metra has said they want to place the daily parkers on the first level, but we compromised by putting the daily parkers in the middle level. Mr. Barber said their team will review the employee overlay parking. The Mayor clarified that the downtown employees would be on the top level with the commuters below.
The Mayor asked about residents who are now parking at Fairview and Belmont, and whether they would be offered spots in the deck before the spaces are offered to others.
Attorney Petrarca said the reason this came up is because there is a waiting list of over 300 residents for the Main Street Station. They are all residents and will get the first opportunities for the parking deck. The Mayor said there are also a number of residents who are at Fairview and Belmont. He asked if they would be the first to be offered the ability to move to Main Street before spaces are offered to those on the waiting list. Ms. Petrarca said some of those people may be on the Main Street waiting list as well. Mr. Barber said there are a total of 900 people on the waiting lists. Mr. Barber said they will probably go through the Main Street list first and then work through residents on the other lists. The Mayor said he would rather offer spots to residents who are currently parking at Belmont and Fairview and give them the opportunity to come to Main Street, before offering spots to others.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, asked if there will be provisions for daily fee parkers.
The Mayor replied that Metra is contributing $7,500 per spot for the 250 daily spots, which are first come first served for the $3 fee and available to anyone. Mr. Barber said one will not have to buy the blue tag, sold at the Village Hall and at Public Works, to park in these spaces. You will pay directly at the parking garage for those spaces with the automated pay machines. The Mayor said it will be is similar to the 12-hour meters along the Burlington, which must be made available to anybody according to Metra requirements.
Dr. Goodman said he supports this as a worthwhile innovation, particularly for people who want to take the 8:00 a.m. or earlier train and want to do daily fee parking. He said he thinks the parking deck will make major changes in people’s attitude about parking in the downtown area. As the Curtiss block is being developed, it is important to keep in mind that the Village has now provided a great deal of parking and it will be important to offset that with some open space which we weren’t able to achieve at Station Crossing. He congratulated the Village on this plan for operation of the parking deck.
Mayor Krajewski added that some consideration should be given to those who wish to park overnight in the garage on an occasional weekend; perhaps a note to the permit holders regarding that. He suggested the Transportation Committee review this.
Presentation of Local Transportation Committee Action Plan. The Manager said Dave Barber would address this item.
Mr. Barber said the Local Transportation Subcommittee met a few weeks ago to address some of the issues Council discussed earlier this year. The first is a marketing program to improve the visibility of the Grove Commuter Shuttle in an effort of meeting the goal to increase ridership by 50% by April 2005. They propose updating the current flyer to make sure accurate information is getting out to the public. Staff wants to make sure information about the commuter shuttle is easily available in as many places as possible, both electronically and in print. We are proposing to do a target mailing including to those on the parking waiting list. They hope the shuttle will be priced competitively. They will look at altering the bus routes at a later time, but at this time they are proposing minor adjustments to the routes. They will do a significant route review at a later point. They hope to increase the promotion of the Park and Ride at 75th Street to encourage people at the south end of the Village to use the buses. They propose to increase signage at the stops and to advertise the service. Further, they would like to do some rider promotions with a free cup of coffee once in a while from Joyful’s at the train station, and perhaps an occasional free newspaper. He said they have discussed having Council members or some senior staff riding the bus once in a while just to answer questions and to show appreciation for the customers who ride the bus system. Mr. Barber said this will help to better understand the customers’ needs and to get some feedback.
Commissioner McConnell proposed a mobile version of Coffee with the Council.
Mr. Barber said the marketing program needs to be flexible, as it will change over time. The Committee wanted to give the Council their ideas as to how they would like to move forward. He said they met with the drivers who had interesting suggestions such as free rides in December when the ridership is traditionally low, bring-a-friend for free day, etc. Mr. Barber said this was for information only at this point. They will be moving forward with these ideas and they welcome input from the Council.
Commissioner Schnell said she received an e-mail from a bus rider who suggested that those people who have monthly bus passes be allowed to ride the Heritage Festival shuttle for free. It rewards those people who have stuck with the bus service. It’s a nice thank you and in line with the appreciative efforts of the Committee. She suggested they look at this. This is rather immediate.
Mr. Barber said they were trying to come up with ideas to increase knowledge about the bus system and to try to thank the riders and get feedback.
Mayor Krajewski asked about the fee for riding the shuttle during Heritage Festival. Mr. Barber said it was included in the budget this year. We will charge a dollar going to the Festival, but the return trip would be free. In further response to the Mayor, Mr. Barber said the funds would go to the Transportation fund, as that is where the expense associated with operating the buses is.
Commissioner McConnell asked if there are bus brochures in the Library and other public places, including the businesses at 75th Street near the Park and Ride stop.
Commissioner Schnell mentioned the ice cream shops and the other downtown stores as good places for the flyer.
The Mayor said that the area around 75th and Main brings in people from Woodridge and Darien. Perhaps they could advertise the service as well.
Commissioner Urban agreed, suggesting that the Committee work with the Downtown Management Corporation to get information into the retail stores. He further suggested the possibility of a short video clip that could be shown at the Tivoli Theater before the movie. He said the flyers should be in the stores at shopping centers at 75th and Lemont Road, and at 75th and Fairview. He said it is very important and critical to the success of the program to advertise the service. Mr. Barber replied that he will be in contact with many local businesses regarding advertising on the buses as well as asking them to make the bus flyer available in their shops.
Mayor Krajewski asked if the Village Manager or Mr. Barber had been in contact with the Downtown Management Board or the Chamber of Commerce regarding their members’ interest in advertising on the buses.
Manager Ginex replied that a meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning where this will be discussed.
Ordinance Amending Bus Rates. The Manager said Mr. Barber would address this item.
Mr. Barber said the last time bus rates were increased was in 2003, and ridership dropped about 30%. They feel that an adjustment back to a rate closer to the previous rates would bring riders back to the system. The Local Transportation Subcommittee believes that lowering rates will help the marketing program. In fact, it is probably one of the biggest things they can do in terms of marketing. The Committee reviewed the rates proposed in the budget. The currently proposed rates are: Monthly permit would be reduced from $60 to $45, a 12-ride pass would be reduced from $26 to $18, and a single ride would be reduced from $3 to $2. Staff originally recommended $1.75 but in talking with the bus drivers and in discussions with the Local Transportation Subcommittee, it was decided that the extra time in making change might make the amount less convenient. Approximately five percent of the ridership revenue comes in from the daily fee. Sixty-five percent of the revenue is from the monthly pass. The recommendation is to charge the new rates.
Commissioner Urban asked about the pricing and why there are not quarterly rates for the buses similar to the quarterly parking permit. Mr. Barber replied that the monthly pass is consistent with other transportation systems such as PACE and Metra. Further it is more convenient for passengers in terms of planning and, from a practical point, a bus pass might be illegible after three months.
Mayor Krajewski asked that the meeting minutes for the Local Transportation Subcommittee for the May 27 meeting be made available to the Council before next week’s vote. Mr. Barber said he would do his best to provide those minutes.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said he wanted to support this proposal. If we were to attain the goal of increasing ridership 50%, it would go from 178 to 264 passengers. That would be positive for the community, plus it would mean an increase in income from the bus ridership. The only negative point is that certain organizations like the Concert Association and other non-profit organizations were able to use the charter service and no longer are able to use this service. He said he understands that the Village can no longer support the charter services.
Mayor Krajewski replied that there are other issues in that the buses are aging, and while there is grant money available for new buses, those grants specify that the buses must be for commuters only. Further, the Village has changed its liability insurance and charters are excluded under the new policy.
Dr. Goodman said it was a luxury the Village enjoyed while it could support it. He said he understands that this is something that cannot be supported for the future.
Commissioner Schnell said if the buses become successful again we would need to replace the current buses. If replacement occurs, the Committee would like to look at alternative fuel buses; however, because of grant restrictions those buses could not be used for charters. The original intent was simply to bring commuters to the train, and we’re trying to get back to the basics.
Dr. Goodman suggested that the former charter customers be sent a letter of explanation.
Mayor Krajewski asked that all the not for profit organizations be notified by letter regarding the reasons behind discontinuing the charter service.
Ordinance Amending Bus Advertising Policy. The Manager said Dave Barber would address this item.
Mr. Barber said during the budget process, Council asked staff to try to find additional revenues for the bus system by bringing in advertising revenue on the buses. The Local Transportation Subcommittee developed a plan to institute advertising on the commuter buses. The signs would be provided by the advertiser for three locations on the outside of the bus and the rate would be $300 per month. If the advertiser contracted for three consecutive months, the rate would be $750 for that quarter. Dorin Fera is working on providing the frames on the outside of the buses for the advertising, and the Village could use the advertising space when there is no one paying for it. He said the Committee thinks these rates are reasonable, that they can get customers and they plan on moving forward with contacting local businesses. They will work with our own structure internally instead of working through PACE . We will focus on local banks and businesses to use the buses as a form of advertising. The Committee estimates revenues of $24,000 to $43,000 annually. They anticipate giving Council a monthly report on the progress of this program.
Mayor Krajewski asked how many buses we currently have. Mr. Barber said there are eight. They do not all operate at any one time, as some are backups. The buses would be rotated on a more frequent basis to ensure that the advertising was done on a regular basis. Without the charters, there is time to do more preventive maintenance, which may help extend the life of the buses. The Mayor questioned the revenue projections. Mr. Barber added that advertising on the inside of the bus might also be a possibility and would add to the revenue. He said the Village would not anticipate $40,000 of revenue this year. The Mayor said he calculates the revenue to be $28,800 if every bus was in service all year without quarterly discounts.
Commissioner McConnell said $20,000 would be an interesting challenge and wished Mr. Barber luck. In response to Commissioner McConnell, Mr. Barber clarified that if a shop wanted three non-consecutive months, it would cost them $900. Further, the proposed plan is to sell all three outside signs on a bus to a single advertiser.
Commissioner Schnell said it should be made clear that the advertising is for businesses only and that it is not for political advertising. Mr. Barber concurred and said that all advertising will conform to the Village policy with respect to drugs, alcohol, sexual content and political advertising. Commissioner Schnell said the advertising would not be limited to the downtown, but would be available to any business within the confines of the Village. The Committee will be working with both the Chamber and the Downtown Management Corporation to get information out to the businesses. Commissioner Schnell said the advertising is not limited to local businesses, although that would be the main focus. Creativity is what is going to make this work.
Mayor Krajewski asked if the Local Transportation Subcommittee had actually contacted any local businesses. Commissioner Schnell said she got the impression at the meeting that there were some businesses that thought this would be a great idea. She said there was a feeling that certain businesses with a proactive stance in the community would desire to do this.
Grant Agreement: Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The Manager said this agreement between the Village and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency would support the Citizens Corps Program.
The grant is in the amount of $21,487 to support our Citizen Corps Program. The grant will provide resources necessary to develop and implement our Community Emergency Response Team program. The Downers Grove Citizen Corps Program is to provide auxiliary services to the Village in the event of any disaster or other emergency that might overtax the Police and Fire departments.
Cash Balance Policy. The Manager said Rita Trainor would address this item.
Rita Trainor, Director of Financial Services, said the proposed policy is more comprehensive than what previously existed. The existing policy was established in 1991 and did not address all of the funds. The Finance and Administrative Committee has discussed this policy at length. There have been some modifications based on these discussions including clarifying the language to be sure it is clear. The proposed policy provides cash balance targets for the General, Community Events, Fleet Services, Capital Projects, Municipal Building, Equipment Replacement, Motor Fuel Tax, Water, Transportation, Parking, Debt Service, Health Insurance and Risk Management funds. The proposed policy also addresses measures to be taken in the event of a deficiency or an excess of the targets as well as how to handle exceptions.
Mayor Krajewski asked about other communities with respect to what their reserve policy is and whether they use the cash or accrual basis. It is necessary to have cash to pay bills, but cash is never a reflection of where one is currently standing. He said the audit report last year reported a reserve of $6 million in our general funds on an accrual basis. He said this is a true reflection of what our actual position is as of that particular date.
Ms. Trainor said this is a cash balance policy not a fund balance. She said accruals do not affect cash. Some organizations do not adopt a cash balance policy; they adopt a fund balance policy. We specifically said we are interested in looking at cash. Some municipalities have cash balance, some have fund balance policies.
The Mayor said he would like a list of which communities have which policies. Ms. Trainor said the policy that has been developed is largely based on the existing guidelines from GFOA best practices. Mayor Krajewski referenced an article in the newspaper regarding Elmhurst. He said the numbers did not add up and he wondered if they excluded the pension payments or pulled things out of the general fund when they calculated what the fund balance should be. Ms. Trainor said in Elmhurst the pensions are not in their general fund. They are in a separate fund.
The Mayor asked if our pensions would be pulled out in our calculations. She said our pensions are in separate trust funds. The items that are pulled out separately that are actually in the general fund are for capital expenditures and controlled asset expenditures for equipment in excess of $500 but below our capitalization limit.
Commissioner Schnell complimented the Committee on a good job of bringing this forward. She asked about the capital improvement plan to have a year’s worth of funds at the beginning of the construction season. She said with a solid five-year plan they would have an idea of what the capital projects will be for the next year. She asked how the Village will get to the point where they actually have the monies ready for the construction season. The Village needs to plan a year ahead during the budget cycle.
Ms. Trainor said the Committee discussed what happens when the target is not met. That is discussed in the policy presented tonight. The five-year capital plan is the best tool for addressing that issue because you identify exactly what you are going to need, you know it at least four years ahead and then everything else falls into line so that the resources are available.
Commissioner Schnell said right now it is done one year at a time. She asked how to get to the point where they have enough money to put it aside. She asked that this be reviewed. It might be easier with some of the Village’s funds, but the capital projects fund has nothing left and there is not money left from year to year. How do we get to the point to save for the following year.
Commissioner Zabloudil said some of this came up when they talked about the budget process and establishing guidelines. The Committee discussed this and decided to establish the policy and then staff can look at developing the plan as to how to get there. It will not be done in a one-year period. It will take several years. Each year it would be important to build the reserve up to get to the goal in order to start at the beginning of that year with the revenues to cover the projects. It is a three or four-year plan to get there. Adoption of this policy would be a start.
Commissioner Schnell reiterated that it would take a while to fully implement the policy. Commissioner Zabloudil concurred. Commissioner Schnell said it is important to develop a realistic five-year capital plan that addresses the needs of the community and give the Village the basis for what is needed financially.
Mayor Krajewski asked for the total of the current operating expenses when the controlled assets, capital assets and pensions are excluded. Ms. Trainor said the Finance Committee requested that information. They looked at what it was in December, but she does not know the current amount. She said she would get the information.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, asked about the current policy as it is a resolution of an advisory policy; however, the main thrust of the review is an ordinance establishing a cash balance policy. He asked why this is an ordinance and, if it is appropriate for this to be an ordinance, should the other financial management policy be an ordinance. He said he does not understand the significance of this being partly an ordinance and partly a resolution.
Ms. Petrarca said it is an ordinance. The only part that references a resolution is the cover memo, which is in error.
Dr. Goodman referenced the Finance Tax and Budget Village Council Policy. The resolution notation was crossed out and replaced with an ordinance.
Ms. Petrarca said it was previously a resolution and it is now being split up into two separate ordinances.
Dr. Goodman said the item on the website is not the current item the Council is reviewing. He said he supports this change as policies like this that are important to running the government should be ordinances rather than resolutions.
Intergovernmental Agreement from IDOT for the Finley & Brook Traffic Signal Modernization. The Manager said this is an agreement in the amount of $125,300 to support the traffic signal modernization at Finley Road and Brook Drive. A stipulation of the agreement requires a 30 percent match of the estimated project costs. The Village will be required to provide $53,700 in matching funds. The work will include new poles, mast arms and signal heads as well as a new controller.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Ginex said he had one item. He asked for direction from Council as to how to proceed regarding the owner’s representative contract amendment. He said the agreement has lapsed. He would like to give notification to Benesch & Co. if Council is going forward with this. It would need to be put on next week’s agenda for a vote.
Commissioner McConnell said it seems that we need them to complete this project. There is still some question as to the amount of time spent at the beginning of this contract, but it appears to her, that the time spent by them at the beginning of the project was done in good faith with the assumption that we would work through the details. She feels they need to be on board through the rest of this process. She would prefer an alternative in terms of making sure that they are funded on a go-forward basis while negotiating. She said we need to have them and to figure out some negotiated mechanism.
Commissioner Urban agreed that we need them because the project needs to be completed. It is a necessary evil. Council needs to look more closely at how, when and what Benesch & Co. is going to be paid for than they have in the past.
Commissioner Sandack said Sara Davis and Benesch & Co. are needed so that this project can be completed. Staff has and will continue to rely upon Ms. Davis. The concern he has is that Council see the detail. He said he understands the compilation. He wants to make sure that Council got what they paid for in the past, that we are not being over or inappropriately billed and that what is paid going forward is reasonable and is bargained at arm’s length. He shared Commissioner McConnell’s thoughts that Ms. Davis is needed to complete this project. Benesch & Co. needs to establish to the staff’s satisfaction that the billings in all instances are proper.
Commissioner Schnell concurred that the deck cannot be completed without the work of Sara Davis and Benesch & Co. Council needs to work this through to execution of a contract and move forward. There are concerns as to what was done upfront and whether there was proper billing in light of the projections. They need a clear understanding of what is being asked of them from now on and that the hours they will be billing us will be appropriate. This needs to move forward. We cannot hold the project up due to this.
Commissioner Zabloudil said the contract was clear as to what was agreed upon in terms of the hours, etc. He said he thinks that had the Council realized that we were using those hours early on in this project, they would probably have granted some extension of the cost. It is a large amount of money to be asking for an extension. All the money allocated for the project has been spent and now we really do not have a choice but to move forward, because the Council realizes that they need Benesch & Co. Council needs to put some measures in place as they move forward that if there is another project of this magnitude Council needs to understand how the hours are being consumed, and who is giving that approval if they are out of the scope of the project.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting eight items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending restrictions for 15-minute truck loading zones; 2) An ordinance adding the parking deck parking spaces to the Downers Grove Municipal Code; 3) An ordinance amending rates to be charged for service for the Village of Downers Grove bus system; 4) An ordinance amending advertising policies; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA); 6) An ordinance establishing a cash balance policy; 7) An ordinance amending certain financial, tax and budget policies of the Council of the Village of Downers Grove; and 8) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Benesch agreement will be on next week’s active agenda as well. It was previously presented.
MAYOR ’S REPORT
Mayor Krajewski read a proclamation declaring June 14, 2004 as Flag Day and Citizen Corps Community Preparedness Day in the Village of Downers Grove.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services Committee will meet Tuesday, June 15 at 5:45 p.m. The Local Transportation Subcommittee meeting scheduled for June 17 has been rescheduled to June 24, 2004.
Commissioner Schnell said at the last Character Counts! meeting comments were made regarding the color scheme for the parking deck. They asked that the Council consider coordinating the pillars of character with the colors and show our pride in being a Character Counts! community. She urged the Council and staff as they move forward with the color-coding of the different levels to name them for the different six pillars of character. Because the deck is one floor short, an idea was presented to name the new street for one of the pillars.
Mayor Krajewski complimented and congratulated the residents for a fund-raiser for Jim Campagna. He was asked to be the live auctioneer. Mr. Campagna recently had a stroke and has not completely recovered yet. A fund-raiser was held at Arabian Farms in Willowbrook. It raised $24,000.00. There was good food, entertainment and fun for children.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
Linda Brown Deputy Village Clerk