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 William Waldack and Mayor Brian Krajewski Non Voting: Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Village Clerk April Holden, Deputy Village Manager David Fieldman and Assistant Village Manager Michael Baker
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
Council Meeting – September 6, 2005 Workshop Meeting – September 13, 2005 Commissioner Waldack submitted a correction to the Workshop minutes of September 13, 2005. Commissioner Tully submitted a correction to the September 6, 2005 Workshop minutes, noting that page 5, the 6th paragraph, 5th sentence, the word “request” should be “uses.” The Mayor said the minutes would be filed as corrected. Mayor Krajewski proclaimed the week of September 17 as Constitution Week in the Village of Downers Grove. Ms. Electa Finley, Regent of the Downers Grove Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution thanked the Mayor for the proclamation. Special Presentation – Certificate of Appreciation The Mayor called upon Annette Bonfield and Pat O’Flaherty of the Bonfield Express Foundation. Ms. Bonfield said the Foundation’s purpose is to raise money for student scholarships for North and South High School. Their first race was held last Thanksgiving and $22,000 was given as scholarships. She said this could not have happened without the dedication of the Downers Grove Police Department. Ms. Bonfield then presented two plaques to Chief Porter in appreciation for their assistance.
Chie Porter thanked Ms. Bonfield and Dr. O’Flaherty for their recognition of the volunteer services provided by the police officers. He said that Mr. Bonfield was a very special person who touched so many lives. The Mayor added that he had Mr. Bonfield as a health teacher at Downers Grove South.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, spoke regarding the ordinance to amend the PUD for Good Samaritan Hospital. He noted that the ordinance includes payment in lieu of installing sidewalks and thinks that is a good solution. It also includes language regarding the donation of the right-of-way if it becomes necessary along 39th Street.
Tom Sisul, 3624 Saratoga, commented on the Curtiss Street Redevelopment Agreement, saying this is perhaps the biggest project the Village has ever undertaken. It is difficult to foresee all the problems that might occur, but he thinks this is the best redevelopment agreement he has ever seen. It will give the Village the security and protections that it needs.
Jane Amorosi, 5742 Dearborn Parkway, commented on the Curtiss Block development, saying she does not agree with this development. It is one of the biggest projects to happen in the Village, and some people think it looks like Oak Park. She added that they don’t want to live in Oak Park. She stated that it will put pressure on the few remaining parcels that don’t have buildings on them, such as Fishel Park. Ms. Amorosi said that some people think every piece of land should have a building on it, and others would like open spaces. Many cities have open blocks for public events. She said she would like a statement made as to where they are going to put Heritage Festival. She indicated that she has not heard the reason for the development, and read that there is a budget surplus. She expressed interest in the extent of the subsidy on the part of the Village for this development, saying the Village will be giving five times what the developer is giving according to the information she read in The Reporter newspaper.
Mayor Krajewski said that the information she quoted is incorrect.
Deputy Manager Fieldman said the total Village investment is $7.9 million and most of it has already been invested, and the developer will be putting in $40 million.
The Mayor said the cost includes the purchase of the buildings, relocation of businesses, carrying the note, environmental clean up, public improvements, and the Mad Potter building.
Mr. Fieldman said the total return on the Village’s investment is over 14%.
Ms. Amorosi said that another concern is that the commercial space will be snapped up by a national chain which would be to the detriment of locally owned businesses who not only contribute taxes, but money and energy to local causes. She believes there should be a referendum on this issue because it is completely changing the character of the Village.
Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street, asked whether the 35,000 square feet of commercial space is additional space or existing space. Is it a net gain. The Mayor said it will be a large net gain, but will lose space in the Fannie May building. Deputy Manager Fieldman said that there is 20,000-25,000 square feet as a net gain. Mr. Thoman asked whether the Village has money set aside. Mr. Fieldman responded that $860,000 is earmarked, and the developer will be the contractor. Mr. Thoman asked if the Village gets a percentage of the ownership of the project. The Mayor said that the Village gets the real estate taxes as part of the TIF District. Mr. Thoman then asked if any provisions have been made for school districts up front and the Mayor said there is not at this time. In further response the Mayor said that CB Ellis will be the promoter who will lease the buildings.
Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde, said she is an involved citizen and in the past has not always agreed with the Council. She said she was present to clear up any misconceptions about her integrity, or the factual nature of her statements made on August 16. Better government is her goal. She provided a packet to the Council, saying she reviewed the tape of the August 16 meeting. She noted the contents of the packet that relate to documents regarding Heritage Festival, booth applicants and refunding of fees. Ms. Bowen said Downers Grove Watch is still waiting for a refund for their $70 and asked which non-profit groups received free booths. She referred to the Pepsi contract and the amount of funds from Pepsi, requesting what other sponsorship existed. She asked why the sponsorship of a community festival required keeping track of beverage sales. The Village is a government body and not a private business. Ms. Bowen referenced minutes of the Tourism and Events Commission for April 21, 2005, stating Ms. Scalzetti said that staff approved the Pepsi contract. She referenced other non-profit groups who wrote letters to the editor of the local Reporter with concerns about the benefits to non-profit groups from Heritage Festival. She continued to review the documents provided in the packet given to the Council, referencing a meeting of Tourism and Events where Mr. Randall recommended including nonprofits in Heritage Festival discussions. She indicated that she had copies of the tape if the Council wished to hear that meeting. Ms. Bowen stated her objective was better government and that should be the Council’s agenda. She then requested answers to the questions raised.
The Mayor indicated that residents do not always have all of the information, and many times people are misquoted. He said that the Council did not vote on J. Kyle Braid, but he was aware of it. He indicated that the Events Subcommittee would be looking at a site for Heritage Festival.
Commissioner Tully noted that it has been anticipated for years that the Festival would have to be relocated due to the development of the Curtiss Block. He noted that it has been moved previously, and there might be an opportunity to use some parcels in the Curtiss Block next year depending upon the phasing of the project.
Commissioner Tully thanked Ms. Bowen for her comments and the written copy of her previous comments. Regarding the statement that the Village does not ever charge nonprofits, that is not true. They are not charged for the booth space. The Downers Grove Watch Group was in an area where tents were provided and the organizations that used that tent split the cost of the tent. As for corporate sponsors, he said that there have been dozens every year, although not to the extent of Pepsi this past year.
The Mayor then asked staff to review the questions regarding fees for nonprofits and provide the information to Ms. Bowen.
Commissioner Schnell asked staff to make sure that the figures provided in the documents are accurate.
Jeff Agner, 5714 Chase Avenue, announced that the Kelly Miller Circus is coming to town, and with it comes the issue of cruelty to animals. He noted the abuse behind the scenes during training, and the fact that the lives of animals are shortened considerably as part of the circus life. He provided information to the Council regarding this issue.
The Mayor asked that staff send a copy of the Council minutes and vote regarding Villas of Maple Woods to Commissioner Dow of the Lisle Highway Commission.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
5. Public Hearings
Community Development Block Grant Mayor Krajewski called the public hearing to order at 7:08 p.m. to consider submittal of an application to the DuPage Community Development Commission for block grant funding for the Downers Grove Autumn Grove Resource Center. Notice of this hearing was published in the Downers Grove Reporter. The Mayor then reviewed the procedure for the hearing.
Andy Matejcak, Director of Social and Health Services for the Village, said this application is for the 2006-07 fiscal year, and is requesting reimbursement for the Neighborhood Coordinator position in the amount of $35,318 for salary, and $3,602 IMRF costs. The entire program is for $49,555. This will support the Autumn Grove Resource Center that provides social services to individuals and families of that apartment complex.
Commissioner Schnell said that one of the resource centers closed, and asked whether that will have any impact on getting the funding. Mr. Matejcak said it should not impact the funding for this grant. Commissioner Schnell said that the Resource Center does a great job and she complimented the staff on their work.
Mayor Krajewski said that the federal government cut CDBG funding by $500 million, and questioned how that affects the Village. Mr. Matejcak said those decisions still need to be made, but much of that money has already been reinstated.
The Mayor noted that HUD subsidizes other facilities, and asked about a 30-year required term for federally subsidized housing. He asked about this for both sites. Mr. Matejcak said some HUD program subsidies are tied into the mortgage terms. He said he would look into this.
Commissioner McConnell said that the summary of activities and benefits in the application is very helpful.
There being no further discussion, the Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:18 p.m.
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -02081 Claim Ordinance: No. 5601, Payroll, September 2, 2005 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -02082 List of Bills Payable: No. 5590, September 20, 2005 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BID00 -02083 Bid: Award $16,750 to Konsler, Ltd. for Replacement of Windows at Fire Station #1 Sponsors: Manager’s Office A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Fire Station #1 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski
7. Active Agenda
RES00 -02074 Resolution: Authorize an Agreement for Administrative Hearing Officer Legal Services Sponsors: Police Department Summary of Item: This will authorize execution of an agreement with Victor E. Puscas, Jr. for legal services related to administrative hearings for Police Department vehicle tows for the Village of Downers Grove from September 20, 2005 through September 19, 2006.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING OFFICER LEGAL SERVICES
RESOLUTION 2005 -58 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Vehicle Seizure and Impoundment, Towing
ORD00 -02075 Ordinance: Amend Vehicle Seizure Provisions Sponsors: Police Department Summary of Item: This will amend procedures for vehicle seizure.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING VEHICLE SEIZURE PROVISIONS
ORDINANCE NO . 4704 A motion was made by Commissioner Urban to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Vehicle Seizure and Impoundment, Towing
ORD00 -02076 Ordinance: Annex 850 39th Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of August 1, 2005, the Plan Commission recommended that the parcel located at 850 39th Street be annexed to the Village.
AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING 850 39TH STREET TO THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE , ILLINOIS
ORDINANCE NO . 4705 A motion was made, seconded by Commissioner Schnell, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Planned Development #19-Good Samaritan Hospital, Annexation-850 39th Street
ORD00 -02077 Ordinance: Rezone Property Located at 850 39th Street from R-1, Single Family Residence, to R-4, Single Family Residence Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of August 1, 2005, the Plan Commission recommended that the property located at 850 39th Street be rezoned from Village R-1, Single Family Residential District, to Village R-4, Single Family Residential District.
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 850 39TH STREET
ORDINANCE NO . 4706 A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Waldack, 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Planned Development #19-Good Samaritan Hospital, Rezone 850 39th Street – R-1 to R-4
ORD00 -02078 Ordinance: Approve Planned Development Amendments to Planned Development #19 for Good Samaritan Hospital Sponsors: Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of August 1, 2005, the Plan Commission recommended approving planned development amendments to Planned Development #19 for Good Samaritan Hospital.
AN ORDINANCE APPROVING PLANNED DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENTS TO PLANNED DEVELOPMENT 19 FOR GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL
ORDINANCE NO . 4707 Commissioner Tully thanked Good Samaritan Hospital for reaching out to the Council, the neighborhood and community before this was brought forward. Their cooperation is appreciated.
Commissioner Schnell asked that they clean up the brush at the parking lot area to improve sight distance. A motion was made by Commissioner Waldack, 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Planned Development #19-Good Samaritan Hospital
ORD00 -02079 Ordinance: Approve a Redevelopment Agreement with Acadia on the Green, LLC re: Curtiss Block Sponsors: Deputy Village Manager Summary of Item: This will approve a redevelopment agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Acadia on the Green, LLC for the Curtiss Block Redevelopment Project.
AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND ACADIA OTG , LLC
ORDINANCE NO . 4708 Commissioner Urban recused himself as he is a lease holder in the TIF District.
Commissioner Waldack said that last week was the time for discussion on this issue. He said the Council is voting on something very important to the Village. He indicated that the first part of this process was politically controversial. The Village spent about $6.7 million to date and $5.9 is in land acquisition. The remainder is in remedial work and relocation. The land is being sold for $2,971,310. He personally thinks they paid too much for the land, and the selling price indicates what it is worth. In assembling parcels, he knows there is sometimes a need to overpay, but this was too much. He also discussed the term “blighted” property. The Commissioner said that basically “blighted” now means that someone wants the property. The Village does not have an option to remain in place now and must move forward. There was a choice of developers. The selling price is fair and is the result of tough negotiations. The developer will put in $40 million, and the Village will put in $8 million in order to make $1.2 million, which does not include the sales tax. He said he hoped that the processes are now more open, and mentioned that there are side benefits to this development. He will vote for this.
Commissioner Schnell thanked New England Builders for coming to the public forum with their plan for the development. She said that they stayed and listened to the residents. The plan benefited from that discussion, and the plan is much more in line with what the residents and the Council wanted. It is more aesthetically pleasing as well and will benefit the downtown area greatly. She also thanked the staff who, she believes, has done an unbelievable job in putting this together. The agreement benefits the Village and has many protections in it.
Commissioner Sandack said they are not voting on aesthetics or the plan. The agreement is the result of negotiations, and the agreement more than adequately addresses the anticipated issues. New England has been responsive in generating and seeking citizen input. He said in the Council booth in Heritage Festival he heard no negative comments about the project. He stressed that eminent domain did not play a part in this transaction. What they have is a unified parcel of real estate that can be put to its highest and best use. He thinks this will be seen as a good decision for the Village. The Village is likely to net a very positive return in the long run. The property is in a TIF District. The return on this will be in the long-run. He thinks they have made sound, solid decisions.
Commissioner McConnell echoed the thanks to New England Builders and the staff for their work to put together the right agreement for all concerned. She hopes the next steps will be open and transparent and reasonably swift.
Commissioner Tully said this is a milestone, and there is a long way to go before this is finished. It has been long planned and long discussed by multiple Councils and residents. It represents an investment in the downtown and the community. Commissioner Tully said that investment in the community is necessary. This involved a lot of hard work and is the largest redevelopment project in the history of Downers Grove. Inertia leads to entropy. They cannot simply sit around and do nothing. The Village is in competition with other communities, and must maintain its investment. He indicated that this project was openly discussed and has always had broad support. He noted that they did not use eminent domain because the choice was to negotiate and not to litigate. The TIF is expected to bring about betterments to the community at a far lower cost that might otherwise be the case. He looks forward to a successful project.
Mayor Krajewski said that tonight the Council is voting on the Redevelopment Agreement. He also thanked New England Builders and the staff for their work in preparing a very fine agreement. He noted that this is a long-range plan with a complicated structure. It started in the mid-90s with the Lakota Plan. He pointed out the changes that the downtown has undergone in the last seven years, commenting that inappropriate uses have been removed. The Johnson properties, as replaced, will result in a higher tax bill, and will be a tremendous value with the New England development. He believes that in the long run it will be a tremendous value to Downers Grove, He also noted that the Reporter building is for sale and they may have businesses there which are more appropriate to the downtown. A motion was made by Commissioner Sandack, seconded by Commissioner Tully, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Abstain: Commissioner Urban Indexes: Curtiss Block Redevelopment, Planned Development #37-Acadia on the Green
ORD00 -02080 Ordinance: Amend Special Service Area Number 2 to Provide for an Amendment to the Boundaries and an Extension of the Term of the Special Service Area and Provide for a Public Hearing Sponsors: Village Attorney Summary of Item: This will amend the boundaries and extend the term of Special Service Area #2 and provide for a public hearing to be conducted on October 18, 2005.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SPECIAL SERVICE AREA NUMBER 2 IN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE TO PROVIDE FOR AN AMENDMENT TO THE BOUNDARIES AND AN EXTENSION OF THE TERM OF THE SPECIAL SERVICE AREA AND PROVIDNG FOR A PUBLIC HEARING AND OTHER PROCEDURES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH
ORDINANCE NO . 4709 Mayor Krajewski said the Downtown Management Board suggested one or two national chains and concerns regarding national retailers have been raised. He said that most retailers want a national chain presence to draw business, and asked staff to discuss this further with the Board.
Deputy Manager Fieldman said the intent is to bring in a national retailer that would not be in competition with existing businesses. A motion was made by Commissioner Tully to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Abstain: Commissioner Urban Indexes: Central Business District, Special Service Area 2 – Downtown
8. Mayor’s Report
The Manager asked staff about Immanuel Residences and the handicap spot. Assistant Director, Public Works Mike Millette said it will be on the Parking and Traffic meeting for November, and he will notify the Immanuel residents.
The Mayor said the space needs meeting will be held on Friday, and asked what the terms of leases are for the tower at Village Hall. Village Attorney Petrarca said she will review this.
The Mayor asked about Midwest University and whether they would be on the October Plan Commission Agenda, and was told they would.
In regard to the Community Development Block Grant, Commissioner Tully said that the public hearing was tonight and the vote will take place at next week’s Workshop meeting to approve the grant application.
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Community Grants Commission – August 20, 2005 Library Board – August 24, 2005 Parking & Traffic Commission – August 10, 2005 Plan Commission – August 1, 2005 Public Safety – August 23, 2005 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Materials to be Received – Monthly Reports
Materials to be Placed on File
9. Manager’s Report
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca noted that Officer Rountree is back in Downers Grove from his work in the area affected by Hurricane Katrina. There has been another deployment of four Fire Department members to relieve the existing team. They will be gone for 14 days.
Mike Baker noted that the Amnesty Day program will take place next week on the regular garbage pick up days. Also, there is a Katrina victims donation program on Saturday, and he referred people to the Village’s website for more information.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Schnell said Public Services met this evening and discussed the Gilbert Avenue sidewalk construction. The plans have changed slightly in that the path to the park has been moved to the east side of the parking lot. In addition the Forest Preserve wants $135,000 for the roadway and easement. She said staff will talk with the Forest Preserve regarding the costs of the easements. This will be discussed at the Forest Preserve September 27 meeting. She indicated that bids came in at considerably less than estimated, and staff still believes this project will go this year.
The Mayor asked whether the Village has the letter regarding recommendations. Mr. Millette said they do not have the letter yet. They will follow up on it tomorrow.
Mayor Krajewski explained that the Village is looking to put a sidewalk from Lee to the east side of Gilbert as a safety issue. The Forest Preserve owns the road from Lee to the parking lot and they want to charge the Village. He indicated that the Village maintains the road, asphalts it and snow plows it. He said it would be fair to pay the appraised value, but not $135,000. He also suggested that the Forest Preserve should look at all of the roads they own and are not maintaining to vacate them rather than charge the communities who do maintain them for their use.
Commissioner Tully asked what the status is with the Park District staff and the Board. He said in the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation, the project would be mutually beneficial to the Village, Park District and Forest Preserve toward benefiting their constituents. Commissioner Schnell responded that the Park District does not foresee a problem. She indicated that Dan Cermak has questioned moving the baseball field five feet, and letters have been transmitted between staffs. There will be time to get the approval without slowing down the project. Commissioner Tully recommended reaching out to the Park District Board and make sure they are aware of this. Commissioner Schnell said that has been communicated. The main concern is getting cooperation with the Forest Preserve.
Mayor Krajewski reiterated that the $135,000 is the figure coming from staff and not coming from the elected officials of the Forest Preserve.
Commissioner Schnell then said that the Village’s bikeway plan was also discussed at the Public Services meeting. She reviewed the background of the TCD -II of 1994 which recommended the bikeway and walkway plan as advantageous to the community. The plan was adopted in 2000. She noted that the Village received an award for that plan. Funding and implementation of the bikeway plan was discussed and citizens questioned the amount of time it has taken to actually carry out the plan. Staff has gone out for grants. Phase 1 will start in Spring 2006. She said this is not merely striping of the road. It is engineering, widening roads, reconfiguration of roadways, etc. Phases 2 and 3 are expected to start in Spring 2007. Grants for those phases have been approved. She noted that each segment takes about two years. The question on the part of the residents concerned the long time it has taken to do this and the priority the Council has placed on this issue, rather than complaints about the funding.
Commissioner Tully said the Finance Committee met and continued its discussion of revenue sources. They reviewed proposals regarding the future of the home rule sales tax. There is support to re-initiate this at a minimum at its current rate for some period of time with those funds being dedicated toward capital projects as listed on the five and ten year capital improvement budget. The alternative under discussion is to increase the home rule tax up to one cent to cover specific projects. The Commissioner said the Committee also talked about the use of debt instruments for projects to better manage expenditures. He explained that the debt can be used to stabilize revenue/expense streams and save money.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Sandack acknowledged Platinum Partners Realtors who sponsored an event on Saturday to raise funds for the Katrina relief effort. They raised $11,000 for both human and animal victims. They donated all of the costs.
The Mayor thanked the staff for their work as well.
Commissioner Waldack said he attended the Partnership for Healthier Communities meeting this week. He also said that Ride DuPage, the transit system for seniors and those with disabilities, celebrated their one year anniversary. This program replaced the County-wide taxi subsidy program. He mentioned the many sponsors and stated that over 76,544 trips were provided last year. He said that people interested in the Ride DuPage program can contact him through e-mail or through Village hall. He reminded everyone that Crop Walk will take place on October 16 and encouraged participation in that event.
Commissioner Schnell said that she spoke with Dave Barber earlier in the evening; he told her that there will be report on the new bus routes on the south side of the Village for Council review shortly. Bus routes are generally a staff function; however, Public Works would like the Council to review the routes. The new routes are expected to take effect at the end of October. Commissioner Schnell added that she went to the grand opening of the new wine store in downtown Downers Grove. She heard from many residents and businesses how appreciative they are for the new look of the downtown area. They said they are looking forward to the Curtiss Block development.
Commissioner McConnell announced that the Partnership for Healthier Communities met Friday. They received a report on the DuPage County Health Department Walk DuPage. There are about 1000 people signed up for this. Commissioner McConnell said they also will promote planting red tulips to remind people of those who have been lost due to tobacco use. They have free red tulip bulbs available. In addition, they discussed the Passport to Safety Day this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Recreation Center on Belmont.
Commissioner McConnell said a resident informed them of a Walk to School initiative which sponsors a Walk to School Week from October 3-7. More information will be obtained on this for possible participation in next year’s event. The Character Counts Coalition met last evening and they are near completion of the data from the athletes’ survey. They expect to hold a forum in the next month or so to provide feedback from that survey and determine their next step. In addition, Character Counts will sponsor essays by children regarding decision making and character development.
Commissioner Schnell announced that the next pancake breakfast will be held October 29, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Ballydoyle’s, and some of the proceeds from the breakfast will be used for the scholarships.
Commissioner Urban asked staff about the TIF statute. He knows that he must refrain from discussion on issues before the Council for approval. He asked if he is still bound to refrain from discussion after the vote. Attorney Petrarca said she will get more information for him, but he can discuss whatever is public information. Anything beyond that he is to refrain from discussing.
Commissioner Tully said Coffee with the Council will be held the third Saturday in October, and the Farmer’s Market will be extended for that last week. Commissioner Tully then asked about the November meeting, and whether they will continue their experiment of last year of rotating the locations for the meetings. The consensus of the Council was to rotate the meetings.
Commissioner Tully then asked when the Transportation Advisory Commission will report to the Council, and Commissioner Schnell said the Council should receive that report for the second workshop in October.
Mayor Krajewski thanked Deputy Manager Fieldman and Assistant Manager Mike Baker for their presentation on Saturday. He said that staff will bring forward options for the budget and will break down costs of Village services. Their recommendations will be geared toward being more efficient, and using savings for additional services. Council will make decisions on the options presented by staff.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to consider personnel. Commissioner Urban seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 8:28 p.m