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
Mayor Krajewski said he would like to remind everyone present that the Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC . In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6.
The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of the past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions on the active agenda items for this evening’s meeting. Following this, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on any subject. Finally, if a public hearing is scheduled for this meeting, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions related to the subject of the hearing.
The Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public. If anyone wishes to speak, the individual should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name and address. He stated that remarks be limited to five minutes, and asked that individuals refrain from making repetitive statements.
The Mayor said there are agendas located on either side of the Council Chambers, and he invited the audience to pick up an agenda and follow the progress of the Council meeting.
3. Minutes of Workshop and Council Meetings
Executive Session Minutes for Approval Only – October 26, 2004, November 2, 2004, November 5, 2004, and November 9, 2004 Council Meeting – November 16, 2004 Workshop Meeting – November 23, 2004 There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Krajewski said they would be filed as submitted.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
There were none.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
Mike Kubes, 5538 Lyman, commented on a meeting last night regarding the Heritage Festival. He urged the Council to keep the Festival in town. He heard rumors that it might have to be moved due to the Curtiss block redevelopment. On behalf of his family, they have continued to attend the Festival each year. In addition, his business thrives on having the Heritage Festival in town, and he noted the success of the dunk tank, which is sponsored by an organization of which he is a member. Keeping it downtown would be in the best interests of the entire community.
The Mayor thanked Mr. Kubes for his comments, and said that the Council has heard a number of non-profit organizations remark that Heritage Festival is their main fundraiser.
5. Public Hearings
Tax Levy – 2004-05 Mayor Krajewski called the public hearing to order at 6:55 p.m. He said this public hearing has been called by the Village Council pursuant to the Illinois Truth in Taxation Law to consider the proposed 2004 Tax Levy of the Village of Downers Grove. Notice of this hearing was published in the Downers Grove Reporter and a copy of the notice and the proof of publication have been presented and are made a part of the official record of this hearing. He then reviewed the procedures to be followed for the public hearing. He introduced Finance Director Rita Trainor to summarize the proposed tax levies.
Rita Trainor, Finance Director, summarized the 2004 tax levy. Adoption of the tax levy is scheduled for the Council meeting of December 21, 2004. Abatements would be considered February 5, 2005. The proposed levy includes Corporate and Police Protection, Fire Protection, Police Pension, and Fire Pension for a total of $7.2 million. The General Obligation Bond Levy for 2004 with no abatement would be $2,853,143; but staff has proposed levying about $981,000. She then reviewed the documents distributed to the Council depicting a total levy of $13,844,886, which includes the Library but no abatements or special service areas. Ms. Trainor said that the impact on individual property owners with a home worth $300,000 in 2003 would be an increase of $34.13 for the property tax.
Mayor Krajewski commented about the abatements, saying that legally the Village is required to abate the water debt service, TIF debt services for 1999, 2000, and 2001. He said the Village does not have to abate the Fairview Avenue debt service, but they have done so because of past practice.
Ms. Trainor said that they are abating the TIF based on the estimates of the revenue. For clarification, the Mayor said that the rates are the same for the Corporate/Police and Fire Protection; however, the totals are a little higher due to the pension funds. He noted that this is an 8.5% increase in the property taxes which, in his opinion, is a very large increase. He said that the schools are subject to caps.
Commissioner Schnell said that the 8.5% is actually based on the assessed valuation increasing 7.5%. She asked if the commercial properties are going up at the same rate. Ms. Trainor said that 7.5% is applied to all sectors.
The Mayor said that residential is going up 10%, while the commercial rate is flat. Commissioner Schnell said she would like to know why the commercial is not going up, and she is concerned that the residents are being hit disproportionately with tax increases. She recommended working with the Assessor’s office if there is a disproportionate increase. The Mayor noted that some commercial property is being devalued due to being vacant.
Commissioner Sandack said it would be helpful to have some comparables available. Downers Grove has shown an increase in residential property values. Even if they reduce the levy it may not reduce the tax based upon those evaluations. He asked that they provide comparables of neighboring communities’ levies and dollar rates.
Commissioner McConnell said it is unfortunate they have do the levy before the budget season starts. She said keeping the rate the same make sense to her due to the ability to abate some taxes. She asked if they have any idea how much of the increase may be due to new homes in light of recent teardowns. Ms. Trainor said she does not have that information available.
Mayor Krajewski said that perhaps building permits could include the dollar value of the home.
Commissioner Urban asked if they could find out the ratio of contested tax rate increases between commercial and residential. Manager Ginex responded that assessors go to the home after construction to reassess the property. He further noted that individuals are eligible for an exemption for 4-5 years from the Assessor’s office.
Commissioner Tully asked whether they have always applied the same rate for residential, commercial and industrial, and Ms. Trainor said they have.
Commissioner Tully noted that Naperville is considering a levy of $42.3 million at an increase of 8%. He reiterated his preference to keep the dollar amount the same which would result in a nominal decrease in the rate. He said there are some things they have no control over, such as the pension increases which are dictated by Statute. He is not in favor of increasing the levy in those areas over which they have control. Ms. Trainor said that the only increases are in the pension levies.
Mayor Krajewski responded to Commissioner Schnell’s previous comment that the residential rate last year went up 8.21% while commercial increased 11.28%, and industrial was down slightly. He said he agreed with Commissioner Tully to keep the dollar amount the same.
There being no further discussion, the Mayor adjourned the Public Hearing at 7:25 p.m.
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -01785 Claim Ordinance: No. 5557, Payroll, November 12, 2004 Claim Ordinance: No. 5559, Payroll, November 26, 2004 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -01786 List of Bills Payable: No. 5552, December 7, 2004 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A 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
MOT00 -01787 Motion: Authorize Execution of Contract Change Order #01 in the amount of $22,061.00 with Kovilic Construction for the Natural Gas Powered Generator Set for the Village of Downers Grove Parking Deck Facility, Project #14-00 Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This will authorize execution of contract Change Order #1 in the amount of $22,061.00 for a 85kW Generator Set upgrade. Commissioner Urban recused himself from this motion as well as Item 00-01788 regarding a motion for change ordern #01 with Lyons/Pinner Electric for the parking deck, as he is a lease holder in the CBD TIF District. A motion was made by Commissioner Tully to Authorize this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Abstain: Commissioner Urban Indexes: Central Business District – Parking Deck
MOT00 -01788 Motion: Authorize Execution of Contract Change Order #01 in the amount of $33,486.26 with Lyons/Pinner Electric for the Undergrounding of Overhead Utilities for the Village of Downers Grove Parking Deck Facility, Project #14-00 Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This will authorize execution of contract Change Order #1 in the amount of $33,486.26 for the undergrounding of overhead utilities. The Mayor asked the status of the spreadsheets regarding the unfinished business for the parking deck, such as change orders and disputed costs. Dave Barber, Director, Public Works, said that he believes they have put that together and will update it. The Mayor said he would like to see one page showing the existing status. A motion was made, seconded by Commissioner Schnell, to Authorize this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Abstain: Commissioner Urban Indexes: Central Business District – Parking Deck
ORD00 -01790 Ordinance: Authorize a Special Use for Mid-America Bank for Drive-Through Banking Facility Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of October 18, 2004, the Plan Commission unanimously recommended that a Special Use be granted for the property located at 535 Ogden Avenue, for a retail banking facility with drive-through.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE FOR MID -AMERICA BANK TO PERMIT CONSTRUCTION OF A DRIVE -THROUGH BANKING FACILITY
ORDINANCE NO . 4627 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
ORD00 -01791 Ordinance: Require Special Use Approval for Automobile Uses Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of October 18, 2004, the Plan Commission recommended to approve changes to the Zoning Ordinance which will require special use approval for automobile uses.
AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING SPECIAL USE APPROVAL FOR AUTOMOBILE USES .
ORDINANCE NO . 4628 Commissioner Tully said he was very glad to see this done and asked whether it is done through the exercise of the Village’s home rule powers. Attorney Petrarca said this is not limited to home rule power. Commissioner Tully said this will be useful in allowing additional control over the types of uses and their layout along Ogden Avenue. 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: Zoning Ordinance – Automobile Uses
ORD00 -01792 Ordinance: Lot Split with Exceptions with Regard to Lot Width for the Property at 4913 Cornell Avenue Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At this meeting of October 18, 2004, the Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of a lot split with exceptions with regard to lot width for the property located at 4913 Cornell Avenue.
AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A LOT SPLIT WITH EXCEPTIONS WITH REGARD TO LOT WIDTH FOR THE PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS 4913 CORNELL AVENUE
ORDINANCE NO . 4629 Commissioner Tully said that he prefers not having any lots of less than 75’ in width. He said that this particular request meets the ordinance requirements.
Commissioner Sandack said that he believes this clearly meets the ordinance. He said that every lot on the street is 60’ in width, and to deny the request would be contrary to law.
Commissioner Schnell said she agrees with Commissioner Sandack. Since all other lots on the block are smaller, she sees this as appropriate; however, she also agrees that, in general, lots should not go below the 75’ in width.
Commissioner Zabloudil said there is some question as to whether this would fall under the Subdivision Control Ordinance or a lot split. He suggested this be clarified. A motion was made by Commissioner Zabloudil, seconded by Commissioner Tully, 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: Lot Split
RES00 -01793 Resolution: Authorize Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the County of DuPage for the Southern DuPage County Regional Trail Green Valley Spur East Bikeway Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This will authorize execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the Village and the County of DuPage for the development and construction of the Southern DuPage County Regional Trail Green Valley Spur East Bikeway.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY OF DUPAGE AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE FOR THE SOUTHERN DUPAGE COUNTY REGIONAL TRAIL GREEN VALLEY SPUR EAST BIKEWAY
RESOLUTION 2004 -76 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: Bikeway Plan, DuPage County
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Community Grants Commission – November 3, 2004 & November 17, 2004 Economic Development Commission – September 8, 2004 Environmental Concerns Commission – October 27, 2004 Performing Arts Study Commission – October 9, 2004 Plan Commission – September 20, 2004 Public Safety Committee – November 5, 2004 Public Services Committee – October 19, 2004 Sign Committee – November 16, 2004 & November 23, 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
Mayor Krajewski said that many resumes for Boards and Commissions were received in the last two weeks, some of which were for the Architectural Review Board. He noted that the Financial Advisory Board of a neighboring community consisted of three items: 1) to make recommendations to the City Council in connection with fiscal policy, financial reports and budgets, 2) to review, interpret, clarify and recommend modifications to financial reports and statements when requested to do so by the City Council, 3) to assist the Village Manager and Finance Director on special projects that affect the affairs of the City. He asked for the Council’s thoughts on this.
Commissioner Zabloudil said that the Technology Commissioner has served the Village well. He said perhaps they can draw from residents in the community to obtain a different perspective on issues. It is an advisory committee, and it would be nice to tap into their expertise and perspective.
Commissioner Sandack said that he read the proposed ordinance which is based on sound principles. They need to have a policy and procedures in place in the Village, and there are clearly many people in the Village with significant financial experience to share.
Commissioner Schnell said it is a good concept. It may need to be reviewed to see how it would work in this Village. The more residents involved in the budget process, the better.
Commissioner McConnell said she is interested in giving this a try. She specified that it should not be all financial people, and it should be advisory. She further stated that parameters should be placed around the Board. She doesn’t want this to complicate an already complicated process.
Commissioner Urban agreed that any form of community involvement is good, but the Council must establish guidelines. He is concerned about creating another layer of bureaucracy.
Commissioner Tully said conceptually seeking expertise from the private sector is a good idea and is consistent with the approach being taken with Boards and Commissions over the past several years. He said that this does not supplant the staff, but supplements it. He stated that in the past they have had good experience with the Technology Committee working well with the IT staff. Similar results were seen with the Stormwater Flood Plain and Oversight Committee. The other benefit in his opinion is increased resident involvement and communication. An advisory board of residents with a financial background would be a good additional voice.
The Mayor pointed out that there is a consensus on this issue, and the Village should begin working on this. He suggested that the Finance Committee discuss the timeline.
Mayor Krajewski then brought up the issue of leaf pickup, saying that the Citizens’ survey had comments regarding this. Lombard has this service. He suggested that a temporary franchise agreement be considered as relates to toters. The Village does not regulate toters for teardowns and he would like to look at implementing an agreement with BFI to provide toters and include leaf pickup.
Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager, said staff is releasing an RFP in January for refuse, recycling and leaf pickup. They will include leaf pickup and teardown toters. The refuse program will be looked at by the Environmental Concerns Commission on the December 9. He noted that BFI ’s contract expires March 31, 2005.
Commissioner Urban said he would like them to look at obtaining toters for all the residents, as well as a recycling program for the CBD .
9. Manager’s Report
Manager Ginex said that Sue Brassfield is working with the Downers Grove Sanitary District and DuPage County on water services and the discontinuance of service for non-payment of sewer service charges.
The Manager said that officers from Community Policing and Traffic Divisions of the Police Department participated in the Safe Bus Route Task Force Program to reduce the number of violators who drive around stopped school buses while the buses are loading or unloading the children. Routes with the most complaints were given to the Task Force.
Manager Ginex said that the Come Home advertisement was published nationally in the Business Expansion Journal, and Doug Kozlowski said the Journal featured an article on the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Also, he said that he and Doug Kozlowski met with Karen Kuchar, the Executive Director of the Family Shelter Service, to find a site to house approximately 18 people and provide counseling. They may be able to get matching funds.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
Commissioner Zabloudil said the Finance Committee met and discussed the 2% foreign fire insurance which will be placed on a future agenda. Risk Manager services were discussed and they need to obtain bids for services for next year. They discussed using HRH as a broker, and will look at the fee structures. Commissioner Zabloudil said they also discussed the weekly disbursement and will look at how to streamline the processing of payments. In addition, this is the last year for the auditor and the Committee talked about the process for auditing services for next year. Also mentioned at the meeting was the accounting system. They will review the RFP and software consultants. The Commissioner then noted discussion on the phone system, stating that it is time to decide whether they should move forward with the possible replacement of the phone system. This item will come to Workshop before the budget hearings. Consideration was also given to the RFP process for a financial advisor. The current provider was competitive and agreed to the contract language recommended.
The Mayor asked what the issue was with the 2% foreign fire fund. Commissioner Zabloudil said the controls that are in place regarding procedures for documenting disbursements and vouchers are not being followed as they should be. This is the third year this has been noted, and they are asking the Fire Department to address this.
Ms. Trainor said that the audit report is being printed right now. The Mayor asked whether the term for auditors is four years or five years and Commissioner Zabloudil said that currently it is four years, and they are talking about changing it to five years. Ms. Trainer said that GASB 34 is the reason the audit report is coming out in December. The Mayor asked that the date of the audit report be placed in the contract. He then asked about calculations regarding pensions and IMRF . Commissioner Zabloudil said he will look into this matter.
Public Safety Committee
Commissioner McConnell said that the Public Safety Committee met to review the 2000 International Building Code and recommendations to adopt it. She said the biggest issue is the sprinkler. The presentation included a Power Point presentation with a side-by-side comparison of the existing and recommended codes. The only difference relates to larger assembly-type buildings. The new code requires sprinklers for buildings of a smaller size than what is currently required. Every other requirement being recommended for the 2000 code is currently in place. Better communication tools are needed for potential new businesses and for those doing renovations. Commissioner McConnell said they will work to put documents together for the newcomers. In addition, they discussed a document that the Chamber and Downtown Management could share with their constituencies. Manager Ginex said staff is working on a draft of this document. Commissioner McConnell said she is looking to bring this issue back in mid-January.
The Mayor asked whether new townhomes are to be sprinkled, and Attorney Petrarca said she doesn’t believe they are included.
In response to Mayor Krajewski, Commissioner McConnell said there are a number of places in the existing code where the size of the building that requires sprinklers is already smaller than required in the 2000 code. She said there were misconceptions as to what is already in place and what is being proposed. The information presented was very helpful. The Power Point presentation was useful and she suggested putting it on the web site.
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Tully said the Public Services Committee met and is continuing to look at the number of capital improvement projects for the next five-plus years. They discussed bike ways, major buildings, streets and stormwater, and other projects under consideration. The next meeting will cover traffic and water related issues.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Sandack thanked everyone who participated in the Bonfield Express 5K Run. It was the inaugural event and there was a remarkable turnout.
Commissioner Schnell thanked the residents for attending the budget dialogue, and thanked Don Wilson in Cable for taping it. She said that 25 people attended the meeting and gave a lot of thought to the rankings. She encouraged people to be involved and to watch the Cable TV broadcast of the meeting.
Commissioner McConnell asked when the Sign Committee will be bringing anything to the Council. Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that staff met today, and there is a planned Joint Strategic meeting in January. It should then go to the Plan Commission and get to the Council by March.
Commissioner McConnell also thanked the residents who attended the budget dialogue meeting. She said ideas that were raised regarding police, fire, forestry, public works, code enforcement, etc. She also encouraged people to continue to participate. People can still complete the survey on the Downers Grove website. Manager Ginex said staff will be compiling information from the surveys and will bring it to the Council.
Commissioner Urban said he was impressed with the turnout at the budget dialogue, and encouraged the staff to send out personal invitations the next time. He thanked staff for a superb job.
Manager Ginex said that personal invitations were sent to those that attended the first dialogue. He said that the Chamber attendees received an open invitation.
Commissioner Tully noted that the Bonfield Express was a spectacular event, and added that the event space in the parking deck was used. There was also a fantastic turnout for Hospitality Day and the Santa Parade. The crowd enjoyed the Trojans and their 8A State Championship status.
Commissioner Tully then thanked staff for their involvement in the budget dialogue which was a useful exercise. He said the survey results will be very useful to have. He suggested that the data also be presented in a Workshop. As to the outcome, there was agreement on what is important in the community such as police, fire and public works. But there was a lot of diversity as well, which reflects the diversity of the community. He hopes that there is a larger forum next time.
Commissioner Tully said that the next Coffee with the Council will be on December 18 at the Library. He suggested inviting the Library Board members.
The Mayor thanked those that attended the budget dialogue as well. The budget is large and is taxpayers’ dollars. Twenty-five people attended out of 50,000. The Mayor echoed some of the comments made about the Bonfield Express and encouraged people to go to the website. He said that the ceremony was moved inside due to the weather.
Mayor Krajewski announced that on Thursday at 10:30 a.m., METRA and the Village will be holding a press conference regarding the underpass at Belmont Avenue.
The Mayor agreed that the Hospitality Day event was great, and was pleased to have the Trojans in attendance. He also congratulated Montini High School for the 4A State Champions in football.
Mayor Krajewski noted that he has received calls from seniors regarding bus tours for the holiday lights. He asked the Village Attorney to look into whether this is covered under the Village insurance.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to consider personnel, pursuant to Section 2©(5) of the Open Meetings Act to consider setting a price for real estate, and pursuant to Section 2©(6) of the Open Meetings Act to consider setting a price for real estate. Commissioner Schenll seconded.
Commissioner McConnell asked Attorney Petrarca as the the options if one is not prepared to go into Executive Session.
Attorney Petrarca said the motion can be divided into each individual section and voted on separately.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Schnell, Zabloudil, McConnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAY – Commissioners Urban and Sandack
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 8:27 p.m