Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.
Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Mark Zabloudil
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter; Jillian LeCompte, The Naperville Sun Residents & Others present: Mark Nighbor, Bob Pfister, Onyx; Wayne Pesek, Lifelines Mgmt & Consulting, 313 Oakbrook Road, Oakbrook; Michael Nitwicki, 2020 W. Ogden; Dominic Mancini, Pugi of Chicagoland; Jim Russ, 4915 Main St.; Larry Musielak, 6610 Barrett; Frank Ross, 1850 W. Ogden; Dale Bolt, Local 731, 4506 Prince; Scott Richards, 1525 Ogden; Mike Parilla, EDC , 1409 Ridgewood Circle; Mike Gilbert, Environmental Concerns Comm., 4625 Highland; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; William Waldack, 1409 Willard Place; Barry Peckhart, 1028 61st Street; Trisha Svehla, 4808 Oakwood; Steve Vogrin, 7121 Matthias Road Staff: Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester; Keith Sbiral, Planner; Andy Matejcak, Director, Health & Social Services; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager
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.
Fairview Avenue Water Main – Change Order (Final). Village Manager asked Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works, to address this item.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said this Change Order is in the amount of $24,171.11. The work was completed last year with some final items to be negotiated. He said the items are outlined; the larger items are for water services that run down the side streets but tap onto Fairview. Other items include more sidewalk replacement than anticipated, and replacement of curb and gutter.
Commissioner Tully asked about recapture for lots which are not yet developed. Mr. Millette said the recapture would be the cost of the service completed, and additional tapping fees for the empty lots. He will obtain the estimated amount of recapture.
Parkway Tree Supply & Planting Change Order. The Manager asked Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester, to address this item.
Kerstin von der Heide , Village Forester, said the Council has the Change Order for tree planting, which includes all items in the tree services account. The budget is at $315,000. She would like to increase the tree supply and planting which would bring the amount to $325,000. She indicated that she would like to add to the budget some of the funds resulting from contractor fines for unauthorized tree damage and removals.
The Mayor asked whether they can use the additional $25,000 over and above the $325,000 for more trees. Ms. von der Heide said that the dilemma is that while they are planting more trees they must be maintained. She does not want to plant them and then have them die from lack of maintenance.
Mayor Krajewski said some time ago she presented a list of other communities and their plantings, and asked if the Village is comparable with them. Ms. von der Heide said that it fluctuates, but the Village is in better shape.
The Mayor asked if the extra $25,000 can be used for additional landscaping.
Commissioner Sandack asked whether the additional funds can be used for pruning. Ms. von der Heide said she spoke with the contractor regarding his schedule. She said that tree pruning contract is less than what was budgeted. She is pleased with the work that was done. They anticipated a cost of $42 per tree, but the price came in at $27.42 per tree. In response to the Mayor she added another 370 trees for this year.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the additional funds will be carried forward to plant additional trees. Ms. von der Heide said she was told to use all the money this year. Commissioner Schnell said she would like to carry the money forward and add to next year’s budget. The Mayor said she should look to have 325 new trees in the budget next year, and more if the budget can handle it.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said he was pleased to see this report. He said it might be better to have a steady stream of funding rather than have big ups and downs in the Forestry budget. He was also pleased to hear the Council say they may carry the money over, and that the bids were reasonable.
Mayor Krajewski suggested staff look at a base-line number of trees to establish as a planting policy annually.
Commissioner McConnell said she would like to see guidelines established with flexibility.
Commissioner Schnell requested a report as to where the Village is in the 5-10 year cycle of tree plantings, and how much catch-up work has to be done.
Refuse, Recycling and Yard Waste Services Contract. The Manager asked Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager, to address this matter.
Mike Baker , Assistant Village Manager, presented a contract with Onyx Waste Systems Inc., to provide recycling and yard-waste services. The BFI contract expires March 31. Mr. Baker said the Village established and conducted an RFP process in mid-January in an effort to obtain competitive proposals and enhance the high quality of service residents receive. Three of the four largest waste-hauling corporations in the country submitted bids. * * The staff recommends a five-year contract with Onyx which will require certain adjustments and accommodations with this transfer. He then reviewed the RFP process. In addition to a base sticker price the Village requested pricing for one amnesty day collection, a second amnesty day, leaf pick-up, and a brush collection program twice per year. Mr. Baker then referred to a handout made available to the Council and which corrected inaccurate information that was in the previous report regarding the refuse and yard waste bids. He said staff was using the wrong sticker pricing in calculating the value of the contract. They tried to compare the costs if the same services were provided to the Village residents.
Mr. Baker said in conversations with Onyx, staff inquired about the bid price for the leaf pick-up program as they were concerned that the incremental costs seemed low. Onyx reviewed their figures and revised the price for leaf pick-up combined with the refuse/yard waste stickers. The incremental price would be $.15 for the first four years and $.16 for the fifth year.
Mr. Baker said that the staff’s recommendation is to maintain the current level of service with one amnesty day and recommends against the second amnesty day and the brush pick-up program. A separate leaf sticker was also discussed with Onyx to be used during the entire yard waste season.
The Environmental Concerns Commission (ECC) adopted a motion on February 14, 2005, regarding selection of a contractor which Mr. Baker then read into the record. It contained the following components: “1) The proposal include a recycling program that is as good or better than the existing recycling program and continues to provide an economic incentive to recycle. 2) The proposal identifies measures to guard against co-mingling of refuse and recyclables, thereby avoiding the contamination of recyclable materials. 3) The proposal should promote recycling and composting, and the diversion of discarded material away from landfills. Above all, the cost of refuse and yard waste removal is subordinate to the above considerations.”
Mr. Baker said that efforts will be made for an easy transition to the new carrier, and noted that collection days will have to be adjusted. He noted that staff followed up with reference checks with St. Charles, Wilmette, Batavia, Waukegan, and Highland Park, and all reported they were satisfied with the service. Several of the communities have indicated they will extend their service.
Mr. Baker then stated that staff is seeking clarification from the Council regarding 1) staff proceeding to finalize negotiations with Onyx, 2) include one amnesty day at a minimum and exclude the second amnesty day and brush collection, and 3) which leaf option the Council prefers – leaf collection, leaf sticker, or neither. He then introduced representatives from Onyx.
Bob Pfister , General Manager of Onyx, said his office is located in Melrose Park. He presented printed information to the Council and the Village Clerk on their company noting it was a wholly owned subsidiary of Veolia Environment. Mr. Pfister said that advantages to the Village using the divided trucks would include using less trucks, using new trucks with no weight problems, less wear and tear on the roads, less air pollution and a reduction in safety risks. He showed photographs of the equipment used in Northbrook, Batavia and St. Charles. Mr. Pfister indicated that for efficiency of truck usage they will even out the collection days, which would more than likely involve changes for some residents. He proposed a dedicated Saturday collection for the amnesty day, and they would use about 40 commercial trucks due to the size of the items that would be collected. As for the current stickers, they would be redeemed for Onyx stickers. The timeline would be an April 1 start-up and trucks have been ordered for this contract, as well as a 630 phone exchange. They will hire and train additional drivers and administer customer service for the Village. Toters will be delivered between March 29 and April 1with no interruption to the residents. In terms of resident information they are requesting a link from the Village web page to their web page. He emphasized the importance of communication to the residents.
The Mayor said that the Village has heard from residents and the Environmental Concerns Commission, and there is a question regarding Onyx’ experience in residential hauling versus commercial hauling. He also asked about the issue in Cary, Illinois and their amnesty day. Mr. Pfister responded that he is unfamiliar with the Cary situation as the company used at that time no longer exists. He said that Onyx’ residential experience is in the northwest, and they are moving into this area. They have 13 residential contracts in Chicago.
Regarding the ECC motion, the Mayor said they seem to feel that Onyx could not provide a comparable recycling program, and were concerned with the co-mingling of refuse issue. Mr. Pfister said that the integrity and training of the drivers prevents the drivers from throwing trash into the recycling material. He also added that their trucks are able to handle about 480 homes per day. He asked that the Village contact Highland Park for their referral. In terms of large bulk items or storm damage, they could respond in a disaster with bulk trucks.
Commissioner Sandack said that the incumbent provider, BFI , has provided excellent service in the past. The staff has put the competitive process into play and the Council needs to weigh the present provider with the competitor. He favors less trucks on the road but worries about the contamination of refuse and recycling. He does like the amnesty and the leaf pick-up, but worries about the logistics of the quick switch-over. He does not want repeated problems to occur.
Commissioner Schnell agreed that the existing hauler does a good job, but noted that there will be a $.70 difference between Onyx and BFI proposals in the 5th year. She said they must be careful to ensure that the company can provide the type of service residents are used to, and that the transition is painless. She asked how brochures would be distributed, and Mr. Pfister responded it would be a door-to-door campaign, and a media campaign. He reiterated that if there is a BFI sticker on the trash, they would pick up the refuse, as there is a buy-back in the contract. He urged the Council to discuss their service with towns that are under contract with them. Commissioner Schnell asked about the stickers for the Amnesty Day and Mr. Baker said they would return to two stickers, rather than three. Mr. Pfister responded that their recycling program is the same as it is now, but using a truck with a recycling compartment and a refuse compartment.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the leaf pick-up, noting that there is an option for a 6-week leaf pick-up program wherein the price of the program is built into the cost of the refuse and yard waste stickers. The other option is a separate leaf sticker used only for leaf collection on a pay-for-usage basis. Under the first option, the price of leaf pick-up is being spread out among all residents in the Village. This has to be carefully examined.
Commissioner McConnell said that she believes Onyx is a First Health client and asked the Village Attorney whether she should participate in this or not.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she will get back to her as to whether she can vote on this, but said the Commissioner can discuss options at this time.
Commissioner McConnell said she would like the transition goal to be no disruption, and asked whether the Village will get experienced or new drivers/haulers. Mr. Pfister said they would have a mixture. He noted that their supervisor has 11 years experience in residential route supervision.
Commissioner McConnell said she is interested in hearing the comments of members of the Environmental Concerns Commission following this presentation. She is intrigued by the $1.70 sticker for leaf pick-up, which is a pay-for-usage.
Commissioner Urban asked whether the trucks are unique to Onyx. Mr. Pfister said they are standard manufacture and not unique to Onyx. In regard to contamination of the recyclables, Mr. Pfister said they are accepted at the recycling center and Onyx would then be penalized. He said he would get the figures regarding fines for contamination. In regard to residential customers, they have 78,000 residential customers and he will obtain figures for the national residential customers.
Commissioner Urban asked what the bottom line figure for savings would be over the five years. Mr. Baker said it would be $1.27 million over the five years.
Commissioner Urban expressed his interest in examining the leaf pick-up, and asked whether BFI would provide an extension. Mr. Baker said that they did make a written request for a two-month extension which was denied because of yard waste pick-up starting in April which would require hiring additional people. Should they lose the Village contract, they would then have to fire the new employees.
The Mayor asked whether employees have already been hired by Onyx. Mr. Pfister said that are in the process of hiring now with a three-week training program.
Commissioner Tully thanked everyone for their work on this project, noting that it is healthy to be competitive. He said this is an important service and they have to balance the service, price and the recycling program.
Commissioner Tully said in terms of service, he appreciated the list of references which he will follow-up on personally. In terms of price, there is a significant price savings but it has to be weighed with past history, quality of service, recycling, and the reputation of the program. He then asked what time the Amnesty Day would begin. Mr. Pfister responded it would begin at 7:00 a.m. if approved by the Village. Commissioner Tully then said that implementation of this program is aggressive and asked whether Onyx has ever implemented a contract on a 30-day basis or for the number of households in the Village. Mr. Pfister said they have not.
Commissioner Tully asked for confirmation that the leaf pick-up program means that leaves are bagged and stickered, whether the program is a subsidized service, or a user-based fee. He would be in favor of a user-based fee. He then asked about the BFI proposal, and Mr. Baker said that the actual proposal sheet from BFI did not submit a proposal for the brush collection program. He said that service has not been available for the past five years, and it would entail a twice a year pick-up of bundled brush put out to the curb side with no stickers required. They can do it now with stickers.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said he is a member of the Environmental Concerns Commission. They had a good presentation from BFI about their existing waste/recycling program. One question asked of them concerned what would occur is someone noticed co-mingling. BFI responded that it is a firing offense. Dr. Goodman said that the ECC wants strong protection against co-mingling. They are worried about materials that should be recycled going to landfills. The integrity of the drivers is key, and the manner in which drivers are trained and managed is the key as well. He said that both Onyx and BFI answered that issue satisfactorily. In regard to receiving service as good as it currently is, Dr. Goodman said some companies wanted to go to a monthly fee program. The Commission was against going to a monthly fee as they believe the volume fee is important as it encourages recycling. He noted that Onyx says they will recycle exactly the same materials as can be recycled now. As for the leaf pick-up and the last part of the ECC ’s motion, the proposal should promote recycling, composting and diversion from the landfills. The Commission was concerned about the leaf pick-up, and upon review, the alternative proposal for an individual sticker is better than subsidized or promoted pick-up. It is better to work on showing people how easy it is to compost.
Mike Gilbert , Chair of the Environmental Concerns Commission, said it is not within the purview of the ECC to weigh out which vendor should be chosen from a financial standpoint. Leaf pick-up is a disincentive to mulching, and free leaf pick-up is counter-productive to a good environmentally sound program. He was curious as to how either vendor would help promote and advertise recycling. He urged the Council to be sure that items 1, 2 and 3 of the ECC motion can be met in the fullest way by investigating that Onyx is going to do what they outlined in their proposal.
William Waldack , 1409 Willard, commented on Amnesty Day and asked why he would bother to put anything out on his regular pick-up day when there is an amnesty day. They could give the haulers the day off. He is concerned about emergency situations, and noted that about two years ago there was a strike at BFI . He wondered whether the staff has considered any contingency plans.
The Mayor said that the strike was industry-wide and garbage could not be taken to the fills.
Mr. Baker said regarding the strike, they attempted to put language in the contract under section 3.13.
Steve Vogrin , 7121 Matthias Road, stated he was a lifetime resident of the Village and the District Manager of BFI . He said that they appreciate the Village and the good working relationship, which they hope to continue. The contract affects every family and many multi-family units. The decision is a quality versus price issue. He recommends staying with BFI due to their experience of working in the Village since 1982. In 1990 BFI helped develop the current volume-based program. They are the most experienced hauler in DuPage County for residential hauling. He noted that for 2004 they had 308 misses out of two million service opportunities. Mr. Vogrin said their dedicated supervisor’s sole responsibility is to handle complaints in a matter of minutes. He can be called directly. Customer service representatives have 12.5 years experience on average. Trucks are equipped with LED light package for safety as well as other safety features. He noted that his experience with BFI has been in DuPage County and many of their managers live in Downers Grove or in DuPage County.
Mr. Vogrin then reviewed BFI ’s plan for servicing the Village. He said he has four concerns regarding the proposed new provider: Experience, equipment, operating plans and “other.” Onyx has no residential drivers or equipment out of their Melrose Park location, and they have no DuPage County municipal contracts. This would be a start-up operation with no experienced drivers or customer service reps. The equipment is a problem because co-collection vehicles are problem prone. Highland Park, in their last RFP , specified that the hauler could not use co-collection vehicles. Wheaton enacted an ordinance that would fine the hauler if they combined refuse with recycling. He distributed literature to the Council at this point. As for a Saturday Amnesty Day, 40 trucks would not be enough in his opinion, and he is concerned about children being around the trucks on a Saturday. As for the transition plan, Mr. Vogrin said that 60% of the Village residents would have to be moved from their present collection day. He encouraged the Council to contact Western Springs and Hinsdale who chose low bidders and who had nothing but service issues. He also encouraged contacting South Elgin and Cary regarding Onyx. As for the strike, Mr. Vogrin said it affected every community in the Chicagoland area, and he described BFI ’s recovery efforts in that situation. One of the things that enables BFI to service quickly is to utilize trucks from other divisions. There are 750 vehicles within a 25 mile radius. As for being a lowest responsible bidder, he believes Onyx responded with a low-ball number. Darien recently did an RFP process and then called BFI for a proposal on a modified basis due to problems with the low bid hauler. He reminded the Council that this is a five-year contract and BFI has experience, knowledge and know-how, and encouraged the Village to enter into contract negotiations with BFI .
Commissioner Tully recapped that Mr. Baker asked for direction in three areas, one of which was to proceed with contract negotiations with Onyx. He said he wants to rethink this. Mr. Baker said he was unclear as to the direction desired regarding the one or two Amnesty Days, brush collection and leaf pick-up. Commissioner Tully said he thought one Amnesty Day was appropriate.
Commissioner Urban and the Mayor agreed with Commissioner Tully. Commissioner McConnell favored one Amnesty Day and no brush pick-up.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether it would be possible for them to see the truck in question. Mr. Baker said he would attempt to make those arrangements.
Mayor Krajewski said the goal is to keep materials out of the landfills.
Presentation: 40 Assets Community Project. The Manager introduced Trisha Svehla, Chair of the Human Services Commission.
Trisha Svehla , 4808 Oakwood, Chair of the Human Services Commission, said the Commission is a self-directed task force which looks at issues of concern to residents of the Village. Ms. Svehla said they have embarked upon an initiative focusing on the youth within the community. They have selected the 40 Asset Survey as an instrument used to address the issues of youth. Upon obtaining the 2000 census figures, it was discovered that 20.5% of the Village residents were between the ages of 9-19 years old. The Commission chose to address needs of the youth, creating a base line of 7th graders within the Village schools that had 50 or more 7th graders. The 40 Assets are the strengths, or building blocks, that kids need to grow up healthy, competent, and caring. Research indicates that youth with more assets experience more success in life and participate less in risky behaviors. Ms. Svehla said that the Search Institute found that in a healthy community the youth would have 31 of the 40 Assets, and that would mean the youth are not involved in risk-taking behaviors. The survey results were that our youth has 21.5 of the 31 assets. She said that while this does not indicate problems, they looked at the results proactively and identified those assets that, based on the scores, were easiest to move. The five external assets were: Other adult relationships, caring neighborhood, safety, family boundaries, and time at home. The internal assets include: Caring, equity and social justice, interpersonal competency, cultural competency and personal power. Upon review of the materials a Task Force was put together and they submitted ideas of what can be done in the Village. Issues recommended were to disseminate the information to the community, develop joint ventures, explore a youth center, reactivate the Blue Star program, publish a calendar, develop a safety Village, create positions on the Council for youth input, and explore opportunities for after school activities at the Recreation Center. The Commission is asking the Council to advise how to make youth feel as though they are a valued part of the community.
Commissioner Sandack said this was a very informative report, and asked how the Village stacked up against other communities. Ms. Svehla said that she did not know where Woodridge stands as they were the ones who provided the idea for the Commission to pursue this project. Commissioner Sandack said that some of the ideas need to be implemented to get a higher rating.
Commissioner Schnell said this was an excellent presentation, and she agrees there are certain areas where they need to work harder. There is a need in the community to focus on the youth and make them feel a part of the community, and she thinks they could look for opportunities on boards and commissions so they feel ownership in the community. She recommended getting the school districts involved and making this a collective effort. She further suggested that Community Events and Environmental Concerns may be good areas from which to start. Ms. Svehla commented that during Heritage Festival, a stage could be devoted to the youth of Downers Grove, as well as space at the fine arts show or other attractions to celebrate their successes.
The Mayor said he was approached by the District 58 staff to provide opportunities for 7th and 8th graders. He met with the students and they talked about being allowed to use band shells for their bands. Ms. Svehla recommended surveying the 7th graders on a regular basis.
The Mayor asked if there was a plan to conduct another survey and Ms. Svehla said that the survey was underwritten by District 58. There is no plan for follow-up as there is no budget.
Commissioner McConnell said that District 58 obtained a grant for the survey. She suggested that the Council might be able to commit some of Sue Brassfield’s time to find funding. She thanked Ms. Svehla for her work saying the information has been beneficial. Commissioner McConnell said that there are programs already incorporated with the Fire and Police Departments, and they have to determine what kind of youth involvement activities can be established. She suggested things such as the Junior Mayor program, the Liquor Commission, Human Services, COPS , Downtown Management, etc. In her opinion, the intent is to determine how to address the assets in the existing activities. She also recommended looking for activities between 3:00-6:00 p.m. since that seems to be a period of time where problems may arise.
Commissioner Urban said he likes the idea of a collective force, and said that we need to invest in our youth and in the community.
Commissioner Tully thanked Ms. Svehla and the Commission for taking the initiative of bringing this to the Council’s attention. He said he is always interested in seeing what can be done with intergovernmental cooperation. There are many things going on at the high school level, and he noted the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy program at the high school level.
Parking Deck Change Order #21 (Project #14-00). The Manager asked Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works to address this matter.
Mr. Millette said this is near the completion of the change orders, with six further items still being negotiated. He reviewed the items for this Change Order Items A-P. Item B concerns cost for the turnout of the former Hart’s garage and the property owners have been invoiced for that. The Village will be seeking recovery as well for Item M from the architect. The remaining items are omissions. He said there were some sprinkler system changes, generator changes, enhancements, the switch from seeding to sodding, etc. He responded to the Mayor that there are approximately six more items to be covered at a cost of less than $50,000. He indicated that there is a meeting scheduled with Turner for next week.
The Mayor asked about Turner’s project with the Alexian Brothers Hospital and how many change orders they may have had. He was curious as to whether this number of change orders is normal.
Commissioner Sandack asked whether there have been any discussions with the architects. Mr. Millette said there have been two meetings and an exchange of correspondence. They are narrowing down the issues. As soon as the larger issues are satisfied, other issues with CM Lavoie will also be addressed.
Commissioner Tully asked if when this is all resolved, it will be reflected back into the budget. Mr. Millette said it will and the spreadsheet will be updated.
Pugi Rezoning and Special Use. The Manager asked Keith Sbiral, Planner, to address this item.
Keith Sbiral , Planner, said this item is for the Pugi Mazda dealership, with a petition to rezone the property from M-1 to B-3, approval for a special use for an automobile dealership, and three variations, two related to greenspace overall, front yard greenspace, and a variation from 24’ required to 23.5’ for two drive aisles. He used overhead projections to show the specifics of the site. The petitioner is proposing to redevelop the site by constructing an addition to the existing Plycraft building. The petitioner is proposing to include a sidewalk in front of the lot, in the IDOT right-of-way, as part of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. The item generating the most discussion by the Plan Commission concerned greenspace. The petitioner proposes an area of 4,734 square feet of greenspace, 2,518 of which is in the front yard. There is 1,168 square feet remaining as a deficit for the site. He said that staff felt there could be a possibility of additional greenspace on the site. He referred to the overhead projection to show the areas where staff feels additional greenspace could be included. He said that the drive aisle shows another small 6” strip that can be added as greenspace. Mr. Sbiral said that Mr. Pugliana’s primary concern is that the site is not large enough for the number of parking spaces required by Mazda. He also said there was some question as to whether the greenspace would be trees or bushes, and the petitioner said it would be grass. He indicated further that the Plan Commission determined unanimously to recommend rezoning, and a 6:1 vote for the special use and variations.
Commissioner Sandack asked the dimensions of the lot, and Mr. Sbiral said it is 1.3 acres, at 270’x218’. Commissioner Sandack said that he felt the rezoning and special use are appropriate. He sees this as a welcome addition and a great improvement to the site. He asked if there was any ability to increase the greenspace further.
Mike Mizwicki , General Manager of the dealership, said the original requirement by Mazda was for a 1.5 acre site with requirements for building as well. He said they have worked with Mazda in order to get special permission to store existing vehicles there. They feel they need every bit of the requested variations to properly display the vehicles.
Wayne Pesek , Lifelines Management and Consulting, has worked with the Mazda staff and the Village staff. He said there may be a possible solution that would address the wishes of the Plan Commission. He said that the topography of the site along Ogden Avenue changes dramatically. There is within 200 feet a 7.5 foot rise. They are trying to fulfill the Ogden Avenue Master Plan, and will construct a retaining wall and would like to treat it as a landscape feature by planting vines on the wall. They would use a textured stacking landscape material. He said that the parking spaces are very precious to them as an automobile dealership. Using the back area for greenspace will not address the concerns.
Commissioner Sandack said he looked forward to seeing the proposed landscape plan.
Commissioner Schnell said that there are challenges to the site. She questioned whether the property next door is owned by ComEd and the size of the site. Mr. Sbiral said it is owned by ComEd and is at least an acre in size. Commissioner Schnell said that she thought what might have been lost in the discussions is the word “minimum.” She has the problem in giving up the minimum amount, and is intrigued by the idea of doing something vertical. She suggested that perhaps the wall could be built in and terraced, and she suggested they work with the Village Forester regarding shrubs and plantings.
Mr. Pesek said one of the challenges is to have salt-tolerant plants. They want to have a warm and welcome site, and they need to be in close proximity to their other site.
Commissioner Schnell said she would like to have the greenspace as a visual impact, and would like it expressed in the motion that there must be a vertical greenspace area.
Mr. Sbiral noted that they will still need a variation. He further responded to Commissioner Schnell that the ComEd property is 184’x184’, or 2/3 of an acre.
Commissioner McConnell said she didn’t think they should give up the 5% in the front yard, and would appreciate any creative way they can come up with to reach that amount. The Master Plan is the floor and not the ceiling. The next topic of discussion has to do with an incentive, and if the Village is going to be asked to give an incentive, at the very least they must meet the requirements set forth in the Master Plan.
Mr. Pesek said he would contact ComEd to see if that site could be cleaned up as well by some cooperative enhancement.
Commissioner Urban said he appreciates the flexibility of the businessmen. He thinks the last idea of working an agreement with ComEd for greenspace is an excellent idea.
Commissioner Tully said they are being asked to consider three things: Rezoning, special use and variations. He noted that the Ogden Avenue Master Plan specifically mentions this site as a redevelopment opportunity. He said that he thinks the Ogden Avenue Master Plan addresses the general welfare of the community. He is attempting to reconcile a development on this site in terms of the variations requested. Deviations from the Plan may have other ramifications down the road. He appreciates the creativity put forth and the openness to ideas that will result in meeting the requirements of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan.
Mr. Pesek said that inherent to the site is a wide public parkway area which will also need to be enhanced, but they don’t receive credit for it since it is public property. Mr. Sbiral added that if the parkway is included it would bring them within the requirements. There are many ways they can probably make this meet the intent of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. The Plan Commission noted that there is a substantial right-of-way there right now that is basically turf at this time, and there is also the ComEd property.
Commissioner Tully said that variations should be granted where they make sense, and for him the Master Plan is what makes sense. Mr. Sbiral said that the right-of-way that exists will probably always be there as greenspace.
Scott Richards , 1525 Ogden Avenue, Apt., 30, said he has no issues with the dealership, but is disappointed with the token greenery. He does not want to see the Council compromise on this already, and wants them to stick with the Master Plan. Greenspace is beneficial and they must set ground rules. His primary concern is using the parkway as an extension of auto showrooms. Mr. Richards said he has worked with Code Enforcement Officer Bill Porter who has been helpful. He would like assurances that they know the restrictions regarding the parkway and do not turn the parkway into a parking lot.
Frank Ross of Plycraft Products said that the parkway is 20’ deep and it would be hard to park in the area because of the slope to the land. He noted that the Saab dealership has less frontage. On this site there is the 20’ parkway and additional greenspace to the site. He thinks it will be an enhancement.
Pugi Incentive. The Manager asked Deputy Manager Dave Van Vooren to address this.
Dave Van Vooren , Deputy Village Manager, said the incentive agreement for Pugi of Chicagoland is for both sites, and the term of the agreement is seven years. It provides for a 50/50 sharing after a base of $27 million. It allows for a ten-year retention of the business in Downers Grove. The EDC has reviewed the agreement. Mr. Van Vooren said this is a win-win situation for both parties. He noted that the parcels are outside of the TIF District as the TIF only included property within the corporate limits of School District 58, but not District 69.
The Mayor asked the level of sales of the current facility. Mr. Van Vooren said they run about $27 million taxable. They are selling all three models at their new site. Their 2004 and 2003 sales were $27 million and $24 million. This facility still uses the same tax ID number as an expansion. The Mayor said that he thinks they can do more from the new site. He’s not sure he is comfortable with the 50% figure.
The Mayor said in the petitioner’s application they requested $800,000 for a ten-year period, and the Village went to seven years. Mr. Van Vooren said that was correct. In response to the Mayor’s question regarding costs, Mr. Van Vooren said provisions to verify costs have not been part of any other agreements. They have not gone over seven years for auto dealers. He said that if the Council directed, they could ask for verification in terms of the costs. He said that the agreement doesn’t start until the dealership is open and operational. The Village can tie the rebate arrangement to the opening of the new dealership and request that final cost estimates be shared at that time.
Mr. Van Vooren said that the Village put into the Saab dealership the estimated sales tax revenues generated by the two existing businesses there prior to the Saab dealership. He said they could request information as to the sales tax revenues generated off the existing Plycraft site. The Mayor said he would be inclined to raise the base with no cap, or lower the base with a cap.
Commissioner Sandack said that the $27 million looks like they are not changing anything.
Mike Parilla from the EDC said that the existing company is three dealerships, and this will be a one-time situation. In order to tie in three viable dealerships into the Village for an extended period of time and only supporting one building for the next ten years, they thought the $27 million was a good base. If they choose in the future to separate one of the dealerships, the base is already established.
Commissioner Sandack said he is in favor of this as it supports good viable businesses, and the improvements brought with the businesses add tangible benefits to the Village.
Commissioner Schnell said if there is an open-ended agreement, they may have the ability to earn more than $800,000 and might be able to pay for the sidewalks as well.
Mr. Van Vooren said they talked about the cost-share regarding the cost of the right-of-way. Acquisition of the right-of-way may be more costly than the sidewalks.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the $27 million in “taxable” sales. Mr. Van Vooren explained the difference between the gross sales and the taxable portion of the sales. Commissioner McConnell asked why the figure $800,000 was chosen. Mr. Van Vooren responded that the Village looked at the request, and the cost estimates for the construction of the site, and the gap was about $800,000. Commissioner McConnell said she would like to see this work.
The Mayor said that if they stay at $27 million with an open-ended cap, after meeting the cap they could then switch to a 75/25split.
Liquor License Amendment. * The Manager said this concerns the off-premise consumption of liquor. There are no available licenses for packaged beer and wine for off-premises consumption. There are two applicants, and this would bring the licenses from 10 to 12.
Commissioner McConnell said that it is fine to go to 12 licenses. She suggested it would be worthwhile for the Liquor Commission to have a discussion about the philosophy about the different types of licenses that the Village has.
Commissioner Sandack said it is a good time to do this.
The Mayor asked if someone would check on the attendance for that meeting. Attorney Petrarca said there is no issue with attendance. This was a special meeting. The Mayor said he would like to see attendance records for all boards and commissions.
Stormwater Ordinance Amendment.* The Manager asked Jon Hall, Stormwater Administrator, to address this item.
Jon Hall , Stormwater Administrator, Public Works, said that the Stormwater and Floodplain Oversight Committee has made a recommendation to adopt the County changes for detention and wetlands. Administrative revisions allow the Village to grant exemptions for certain types of projects including grading grassy areas, reconstructing parking lots, creek and pond stabilization, construction of sidewalks and pathways, water quality improvements, etc. Many of those changes would not have a great effect on the Village. As for the wetland revision, the County has made it easier to justify impacting a small wetland of less than 1/10 acre. He said that all members voted in favor of the revisions and staff is in concurrence.
Abrogation & Dedication of Easement – Banchory Woods. The Manager asked Mr. Hall to address this item.
Mr. Hall said this subdivision is near Lee and Chicago in the Village. When the plat of subdivision was approved, the Village required a wetland easement on Lots 1 and 2, which is consistent with County requirements. After it was reviewed, the County revisions came about and the option is there to abrogate the easement. There is no need to maintain the easement, as another easement goes down the middle of the property. He added that the stormsewer can be moved to the edge of the property. He said they are moving the drainage easement and getting rid of the wetland easement. The wetland easement affects Lots 1 and 2, and the movement of the drainage easement effects Lot 2.
The Mayor asked if there was confusion with the builder in regard to this. Attorney Petrarca said the owner of the property didn’t understand it needed full Council approval.
Commissioner Tully asked if he understood correctly that the County required originally that there be a wetland easement. A drainage easement was put alongside because it was the logical place to put it. Now the County does not require the wetland easement and it can be removed, and the drainage easement can be placed back where it would have gone in the first place had there not been a wetland easement. Mr. Hall said that was correct.
Fire Plan Review Fees. The Manager said last October the Village approved a contract with B&F Technical Code Services to provide plan review/consulting services to Fire Prevention. Staff recommends that the plan review fees reflect the outside consultant’s fee structure.
Commissioner McConnell asked whether the Village can be more generic about the fees. Attorney Petrarca said that these are the actual in-house fees.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Safety Standing Committee
Commissioner McConnell said the Public Safety Committee will meet Monday morning, February 28, 2005 at 7:30 a.m.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Ginex said that at the DuPage Water Commission meeting on February 10, municipal representatives wanted to include important elements in the 5-year capital plan draft budget. Some of those items were put into a resolution, which will be voted on next month. He outlined the issues addressed in that resolution and said a resolution would be presented to the Council next week.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca noted that Assistant Attorney Ann Marie Perez and the Municipal Prosecutors’ Group received an innovation award from the Illinois Institute for Local Government Law in recognition of innovative methods and ideas in promoting solutions to Local Government Issues during 2004.
Attorney Petrarca said she was presenting ten items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, codified as Chapter 28 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, as amended to rezone property located at 1850 Ogden Avenue; 2) An ordinance authorizing a special use for an automobile dealership with variations; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of a sales tax rebate agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Downers Grove Imports, Ltd. d/b/a Pugi of Chicagoland; 4) An ordinance increasing the number of packaged beer & wine liquor licenses; 5) An ordinance amending Stormwater and flood plain provisions; 6) A resolution abrogating a certain portion of a public easement in the Village of Downers Grove; 7) A resolution authorizing acceptance of a grant of easement for drainage and utility purposes; 8) An ordinance amending certain plan review fees; 9) An ordinance adopting and approving publication of the Village of Downers Grove zoning map; and 10) a resolution supporting recent actions by the DuPage Water Commission and urging the Commission to implement the recent actions by passing a budget that includes a water rate reduction
Commissioner Schnell said at the Legislative Committee of the DuPage Mayor and Managers there were two bills proposed to require licensing of police officers. She has requested some input from the Police Department as to the consequences. Secondly, they proposed a requirement that the Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief get a mandatory 20 hours worth of training each year. She also wants to know the consequences of this.
Commissioner McConnell asked what the intent is for this.
Commissioner Schnell said the idea is to assure continuing education, which is very broad. She said she would provide the information to the Council. There may be ramifications under different scenarios. The licensing would be at the State level.
Commissioner Tully said that tickets are available for the Second City Laughter for Learning, the proceeds of which will go to the District 58 Educational Foundation. He said the website was www.dg58ef.com and tickets can be ordered there.
Commissioner Tully said that the Coffee with the Council at the YMCA was well attended. The next meeting will be on Saturday, March 19 at the Downers Grove Park District.
Commissioner Tully said the next budget discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 8. Council needs to discuss further steps that need to be taken.
The Commissioner suggested an intergovernmental agency retreat be scheduled in the near future.
Commissioner Tully said the 6th Annual Taste of the Town sponsored by Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club will be held on February 25 at the Signature Room at Seven Bridges. Tickets are sold out.
Mayor Krajewski said that the DuPage Mayors and Managers Springfield drive-down has been moved to Tuesday and Wednesday, and he asked whether the Council wants to move the Workshop meeting date. The consensus was to move the Workshop to April 11.
The Mayor asked about openings on the Human Services Commission. Commissioner McConnell said that there are three openings and they have many candidates to review.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(6) of the Open Meetings Act to consider setting a price for sale or lease of property owned by the Village. Commissioner Urban seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at at 10:28 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh