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 Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban, William Waldack; Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman; Assistant Village Manager Mike Baker; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Marilyn Schnell
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Peter Hultman, 5540 Walnut, Unit 12-C; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson Avenue; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd Street; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Tom Sisul, 5120 Main; Linda McLaughlen, 2420 College; GL Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Mike Kelch, Mike Parilla, John Randall, EDC Staff: Dorin Fera, Traffic Engineer; Bob Tutko, Deputy Fire Chief; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Marketing & Media; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director, Public Works; Andy Matejcak, Director, Social & Health Services; Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester; Keith Sbiral, Director, Planning & Community Development; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works
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.
Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Vehicle Purchase. Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman said this purchase includes 1 truck, 1 chassis cab, and 2 cargo vans. Four bids were received and the project is tracking under budget at this time. Staff recommends purchase of the vehicles.
Bid: Gilbert Avenue Sidewalk. The Manager said that $400,000 has been budgeted, and the one bid received was from A & R Cement in the amount of $215,024.
Mayor Krajewski said that last week the Forest Preserve staff recommended that the Village pay $135,000 for the roadway. The Mayor met with Mr. Pierotte, Forest Preserve President, and Commissioner Wally Brown today to discuss the Park District and the Gilbert Avenue issue. They also discussed paving the parking lot along Gilbert which is gravel at this time. The Forest Preserve will vote on this next week, and the intent is to work with the Park District to potentially pave the lot. Paving the lot would be done in return for the easement. He indicated there might be some issues with putting the sidewalk on the Forest Preserve property due to ADA issues. The Forest Preserve asked if the Village could consider looking at all of the Forest Preserve properties, encroachments and easements. They are concerned about encroachments into the setbacks. All three agencies will benefit from the use of this property.
Commissioner Tully noted that this project requires the efforts of the Forest Preserve, the Park District and the Village. He said that the staff and the Mayor have done a great deal of work, and he thanked the Mayor for his efforts on behalf of the Village. He also thanked Christine Fregeau for her tireless efforts to move this project forward.
The Mayor asked staff to follow up with Dan Cermak as to the Park Board’s wishes concerning sidewalk placement and paving of the parking lot.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said that the bid received is for a unit price.
The Mayor requested that staff ask if the Park District wants to work with this vendor on paving.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, said that the Village has come a long way on this project, and there are still a few issues to be addressed. She thanked Mr. Millette for his creative engineering and minimizing of the costs. She also thanked the Council for their commitment to this project. This was a community partnership and the residents’ interests were protected on many levels. Ms. Fregeau said this was definitely a collaborative effort, and the Mayor served our interests.
Mayor Krajewski said the project will involve moving the roadway two feet and saving the trees. He asked if any trees will have to be removed. Mr. Millette said during the field walk, it was noted by Forest Preserve staff that there is a sight problem of vehicles coming eastbound. This removal is not part of this project.
Bid: Sidewalk Repair and Rehabilitation Contract. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract in the amount of $115,850 for the sidewalk replacement project. Two bids were received for this 30,000 square foot project. The low bid was from Schroeder & Schroeder in the amount of $115,850. The Mayor asked about the color in reference to the ADA . Mr. Millette said the color change is an ADA requirement. There may be a slight increase in the overall cost due to the State requirement. He noted that under the old rule we would not have the $5,000 cost.
Demand Pruning Contract Change Order . The Manager said this concerns an increase of $10,000 to the Demand Pruning contract, and was originally approved by the Village Manager. Due to deferred pruning from last winter, there are some additional costs involved. Staff is asking for additional funds to increase this to $20,000.
Commissioner Tully asked where these funds are coming from.
Kerstin von der Heide , Village Forester, said that there are many contracts in the budget, some of which are coming in under budget, and the additional funds will come from savings realized.
The Mayor mentioned that on Bolson there is a tree branch hanging down possibly from lightning damage. He gave Ms. von der Heide the exact location for staff follow-up.
Antenna Agreements with US Cellular re: Downers Drive Tank & Village Hall Tower. Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said the Village has two license agreements with U.S. Cellular for antenna installation for the Downers Drive Water Tank and the Village Hall tower. The agreements are each five years with five-year extensions. Rent is $2,350 per month with a 4% increase annually. Building permits have been issued. She added that in relation to the Village Hall tower, if it is destroyed or removed the agreement becomes null and void. U.S. Cellular is aware of this and has no problem with it.
Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement with Metra re:
Belmont Underpass Eminent Domain Services
Attorney Petrarca said that the first amendment is an extension of the intergovernmental agreement regarding the Belmont Underpass to provide for the implementation of the project. Originally there was a section which would make the contract null and void if funding were not received. This amendment extends that term to an additional four years. It is anticipated that the ICC will provide funding in the 2008/09 budget.
The second agreement is an additional term extension for the eminent domain services for which METRA is reimbursing the Village. The original contract expired in 2005 and this is an extension for two years to 2007.
The Mayor asked staff to follow-up with the County and the State to make sure they have all the contracts once they are approved. He said that the ICC funding is contingent on this not being a State road.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Fee Amendment: Ambulance Fees Ordinance. The Manager said ambulance fees were adopted in1995 and this issue was revisited in 2001.
Deputy Fire Chief Bob Tutko reviewed the history of the fees saying they were initiated by Ordinance No. 3742 at $300 for non-residents only. In 2001 Ordinance No. 4277 established resident billing as well. Those fluctuating fees were based upon the type of service provided, starting at $275. He said that the Village accepts insurance coverage as full payment for Village residents and residents have never been sent to collection. Deputy Tutko indicated that Medicare would like to see one bill which is not itemized. In response to this request the Fire Department would like to create ALS -I and ALS -II (Advanced Life Support) fees, and BLS (Basic Life Support) fees. He reviewed figures obtained through an ambulance fee survey conducted by the Department, and the proposed changes in billing are based upon those results. He then reviewed those proposal changes for residents and non-residents, noting the costs involved for additional procedures performed. The fees will help offset the additional costs of supplies, equipment and non-recovered fees.
Regarding residents, there will be no change in the resident ALS -I fee ($500), a $50 increase in the ALS -II fee to $550, a $75 increase in the BLS fee to $350, and no change for the mileage fees of $5.00 per mile. These changes are comparable to surrounding communities.
For non-residents, staff is proposing the BLS transport fee be increased from $350 to $450; the ALS -I proposed fee is $650; and the ALS -II proposed fee is $700 which includes any two additional paramedic procedures as well as the cardiac monitor and oxygen.
The Mayor said that in 2001 the Village instituted the ambulance fees, and he asked if the Village was the last community to introduce resident billing. He asked staff to check on this. He also asked whether Medicare pays a fixed amount and Deputy Tutko responded that they do. They have a fee schedule and they generally cover about 80%. Mayor Krajewski asked how business residents are considered, and Deputy Tutko responded that they are considered non-residents. The Mayor said they should revisit that for further evaluation since the companies are paying taxes. He asked about ALS -II billing in surrounding communities. Deputy Tutko said they do have ALS -II billing noting that Lisle-Woodridge fees are higher. He said there is a fee schedule he distributed a while ago that shows the comparisons. He explained that Basic Life Support does not require an IV. If an accident victim does not want to go in the ambulance, the Fire Department tries to convince them to go. The victim may complain about the bill, but the Department works it out with them.
Commissioner Waldack said this was a good explanation and a good presentation. He noted that a family member experienced using an ambulance and fees charged in another community.
The Mayor asked whether Commissioner Schnell received this information, and Commissioner McConnell said Commissioner Schnell did comment on the billing process.
Commissioner Urban asked whether there is a difference in the billing procedure for the future. Deputy Tutko said there is no difference.
Commissioner McConnell thanked Deputy Chief Tutko, Chief Ruscetti and others for their work, saying she feels the Village is still conservative in their fees and has a good balance. She asked about the Mayor’s comment regarding business residents. The Mayor said he was referring to people who work in the Village for businesses who pay taxes to the Village. Commissioner McConnell said she thought this was always intended for residents with a residential address. People working here are most likely to have insurance attached to their jobs.
Mayor Krajewski asked that he be provided with a breakdown of EMS versus fire calls next week.
Parking & Traffic Recommendations:
File #13-05 Florence Avenue, North of Ogden Avenue – Parking Modifications
Deputy Manager Fieldman said the Parking & Traffic Commission recommends parking restrictions north of Ogden to the dead-end adjoining Luxury Motors because of employees and customers parking on the residential street.
File #18-05 Stonewall Avenue, Oxnard Drive to Concord Drive – Parking Restrictions
Manager Fieldman said the second recommendation concerns the area around Downers South High School and student parking, which creates unsafe conditions for school buses and emergency vehicles on Stonewall. The recommendation is to restrict parking on the east side of Stonewall Avenue from south of Oxnard Avenue to Concord Drive.
Commissioner Tully asked about the Florence Avenue restrictions and the basis for the one dissenting vote on that item.
Manager Krajewski asked whether the Parking & Traffic Commission requires a majority of a quorum to pass a vote. Attorney Petrarca said they need a majority of a quorum, whereas the Village Council requires four positive votes to pass an item.
An Ordinance Creating a Golf Beverage Cart Liquor License. The Manager said the Park District requested an amendment to their license classification to allow the sale of beer and wine on the golf course from a motorized beverage cart. The Liquor Commission voted in favor of this, provided that not more than 50% of the designated storage and display capacity on the cart is devoted to the sale of beer and wine. Staff recommends approval of this draft ordinance.
Commissioner Urban asked whether this ordinance limits the number of beverage carts. Attorney Petrarca said it does not. Commissioner Urban recommended that this be amended to limit the number of carts to one per nine holes. Attorney Petrarca said that would be done.
Structure of Economic Development Function – continued discussion. Assistant Manager Mike Baker said this discussion was last conducted in July with the Council. He indicated that members of the EDC are present to make the presentation to address concerns and issues which were raised by the Village Council.
Mike Parilla of the EDC began by saying that staff has done an outstanding job working on this project. When this was originally presented the talk was to set up a separate legal entity to assume the economic development role of the Village. That entity would report to an independent Board of Directors with a three-member staff consisting of an Executive Director, a Manager of Tourism, and an assistant. Tourism would be in their budget. Events management would remain within the Village and not be effected by this entity. Mr. Parilla said the current budget is $308,000. For the 2006-07 budget it would be $390,000. He said hotel taxes could be raised by 0.5% to raise additional funds.
As to why a separate entity is being recommended, Mr. Parilla said that there are three reasons: Focus, accountability and independence. There has been no EDC manager for about two years and staff has worked in that capacity in addition to their regular duties. He noted that the Manager would report to an independent board, and the Council would hold the purse strings providing dual accountability. A stand-alone organization would also be perceived as more business friendly.
Mr. Parilla said the Mission Statement is to bring private business and public sector economic initiatives and interest together to improve the overall economic environment of the Village with the objective of increasing the amount of revenue coming into the Village. He then outlined the goals and discussed the qualifications of the preferred candidate for the President/CEO position. It may be a business oriented individual with private sector experience. In terms of measuring the performance, Mr. Parilla said that a change of sales tax revenue, decreased vacancy rates, growth in commercial office space and change in the EAV would all be included as measuring tools.
Mr. Parilla then reviewed the history of expenses/budget for Economic Development Department in the Village. He noted that economic development is considered research and development and that must be understood.
Mike Kelch of the EDC then discussed the value of the investment. He said economic development helps to mitigate certain threats such as: Reduction in cyclical revenue sources, sales tax, utility taxes, hotel taxes; an unexpected loss of major business and industry, such as the automobile dealerships, which he indicated are in a questionable place right now; and the perception of the Village as being unfriendly to business.
Mr. Kelch said there are developmental opportunities available to the Village such as Ellsworth Park, which has the potential of having mixed use, particularly with the area’s proximity to railroads and the interstate, without impacting residential areas. This would require further study and evaluation.
The next step would be a motion to endorse a new structure of the EDC and moving on with the search and selection of a CEO .
The Mayor thanked them for the presentation, saying he has already seen some taxes going down such as the utility taxes over the past few years. Rates have gone up but dollars received have gone down, some of which is attributable to use of the Internet as a purchasing source. He stated it is clear, in his opinion, that the Village should invest in economic development as it will be a positive source of revenue generation to fund community services and maintain low property taxes. He noted that there has been a strong increase in the Police and Fire services funding by almost 35 % over six years. Tourism and economic development funding has been reduced. He complimented staff for taking on duties in economic development over the past months in addition to their normal Village roles. There has been no dedicated person to make this a priority. Development does not happen overnight, and the Village needs to stay on top of recruitment and retention of businesses. He indicated that a full-time director would be a huge benefit. This is a competitive market and other communities are facing the same issues. He said that the County has also recognized the need and created dupagebiz.org. He recommended having one of their Board members on the Village’s board.
Commissioner Urban said those present have worked diligently on this project for years. He noted that Mr. Riordan has been very involved. He pointed out that a goal in the Mission Statement is to increase revenues. Just as important is creating impression and exposures. The Village cannot afford not to invest in this, and the Director should be a person who is a spearhead for the community bringing everyone together focusing on drawing in business, increasing exposure, creating positive impressions and increasing revenues. The Commissioner said the Village cannot afford to lose sources of sales tax, and must move forward.
Commissioner McConnell thanked the Committee for all of their work. She had a number of questions which they have answered, and she would like to see this transition be as transparent as possible. She also wants to see the Village move forward. She also noted the change in the Mission Statement, saying that it has measurable goals.
Commissioner Sandack said his questions and issues were transitional. He is a proponent of this concept and recommended putting together a search process immediately, as well as putting a Board together. The Council has the ability to budget that position, and he would like to see action taken now. He then discussed licensure issues, as well as potential sources of revenue, including hotel taxes. He sees the CEO /Director being involved in creating the board as well.
Mr. Parilla said that as soon as the Council approves the concept the Nominating Committee will be created to search for the CEO . They wanted to assure that the concept was acceptable. The people the Village would hire internally is different than one hired externally.
Commissioner McConnell addressed accountability, saying it is carried directly from the residents to the Council now. By the Village controlling the purse strings the Village still has the opportunity to place limitations if there is a change in focus. Concerning the budget, she is concerned about how money will be distributed, particularly in terms of events versus tourism. They may need to make adjustments to the Tourism Department.
Assistant Manager Baker said that the $308,000 comes from dollars earmarked in the Tourism and Events budget and the Planning and Community Development Program budget to be used for tourism and economic development. He said that he has had conversations with Mary Scalzetti of the Tourism and Events Department about the budget implications to the Department. Mayor Krajewski said the issue will apply to the next budget season.
Commissioner McConnell said this is not 100% from one area to another area. She is still fuzzy as to what is an event, and what is tourism, and they need to work to clarify of this.
Mr. Parilla said that the EDC focus on tourism would be increasing dollars spent and hotel stays during the week. Events happen primarily on the weekends. The EDC ’s focus is people coming in who are traveling for business, stay in local hotels and spend their expense accounts here. So their interpretation of “tourism” is that the Village gets its “piece of the pie.”
John Randall , EDC , gave the example of the Bike Race where the attendees are the bike racers and their supporting people. It comes as a package event. The Mayor asked about business travel during the week at his hotel. Mr. Randall said that part of it is a number game. The Marriott charges $199 a night during the week, while on the weekend it is $79. The amount of additional dollars spent by the mid-week travelers is triple on average, both in and out of the hotel. Secondly the question arises as to what is feasible to go after. All of the local hotels compete for the low-end weekend business, and their question is how much do they want to spend on the low-end business versus mid-week business.
Commissioner Urban asked about trends to raise hotel taxes. Mr. Randall said that communities have raised it to the point where it hurts business. He said that the Village is not at that point, and is comparable to neighboring communities. The 0.5% increment is not noticeable. Chicago, on the other hand, is at risk because they are at the high end nationally.
Commissioner McConnell said she thought the hotel tax was a reasonable and feasible way to get additional fees. She’s been in many hotels recently and has paid attention, noting that often there are several taxes on the billing, and those funds are used as revenue.
Mr. Randall said if they are ever going to raise it, the time is now. The market is set to increase.
Commissioner McConnell then said that the Village needs to continue looking at the issue of business licenses and the potential benefits, taking into consideration that it may be difficult administratively to address. She then commented on the CEO position, saying she is unclear about how to structure the salary versus the bonus, what the base salary will be and the bonus structure. She would also support hiring a person to report to the Village Manager initially and then spin off to the economic development after the Board is up and running.
Commissioner McConnell noted that Commissioner Schnell will not be here next week for the vote. Commissioner McConnell said she will be in attendance via a phone connection. She said that this is an important issue and she would like to have everyone present for that vote, recommending that it be placed on a meeting for the end of October.
Commissioner Waldack thanked the members for their presentation. He said he is glad to see this going forward. Other communities are doing things and we need to move forward. He indicated that business licenses play a role in safety and he would also like to see this proceed. The Commissioner agreed that it is a good idea to get the Board together and hire a CEO .
Commissioner Tully said in regard to investing in economic development, of course the Village must invest. The phrase “grow the tax base, not the tax rate” is a common one, and it makes sense to have the tax base growing. The Village’s tax rate is low due to other revenue streams such as sales tax. Attraction and retention do not happen by accident, but are concepts that go with economic development. Companies do not come to the Village by accident. We must have a good pipeline of projects coming to the Village. The Village must be proactive or it will fail. This is a new measure in addressing economic development and the Village has to move forward. He would want a group that creates opportunities and makes them happen. He also would like to get this done quickly and not take two or three years.
Commissioner Tully then said in terms of getting the position filled, the Village can be creative and the individual could report to a temporary board initially, which could be stated in the by-laws. The accountability comes in terms of the Council providing the funding. Having a temporary board in place provides 100% accountability. He agrees that this should be up and running as soon a possible. It is an important decision and he agrees to wait to have all Council members present for the vote.
In terms of paying for this, Commissioner Tully said there have been some dollars budgeted which have not been spent. As for additional dollars to bridge the gap, he sees the concept of business licensing as intriguing, as well as an increase in the hotel tax. As for “events” versus “tourism” he said the economic impact reports for the Criterion bike race and the Heritage Festival were not designed to show the tourism impact of those events, but to show the general economic impact of those events. The tourism goal is putting “heads in beds.” The events traditionally associated with Heritage Festival and other activities are not in the $308,000 figure. That figure represents tourism and economic events.
Mayor Krajewski addressed funding, saying this budget season he believes they should fund this appropriately and work the rest of the budget around it. The Economic Development budget has been cut in half over the past few years and must be rebuilt. He agrees with bringing this position in initially as a Village employee and then spin the position off. As for accountability, the Mayor and two Council members will be on the working Board with direct oversight. In regard to the vote, he disagrees with delaying it because every vote is important. He suggested that this be brought forward next week. He noted examples of previous votes which were taken with Council members absent, such as the tax levies.
Commissioner Tully said in all fairness, the tax levy had to be passed by a certain time. Commissioner McConnell said there was no discretion on the tax levy vote, but there is discretion on taking this vote next week or later. It was recommended that someone contact Commissioner Schnell and ask her whether she wishes the Council to hold the vote until she returns.
Commissioner Waldack said in terms of the schedule, next week the motion will be to draft the necessary resolutions and ordinances, so the actual vote would not be for another two weeks. Mr. Baker said the original intent was to have a motion on October 4 to endorse the concept. Then they will proceed with the necessary ordinances and resolutions. This could be done when they are ready to disband the current structure.
Mr. Parilla said that in order to track the right person, they need the new structure established as a separate organization. The Board needs to be in place before recruiting the person, and an ordinance is necessary regarding establishing the structure. He does not want to tell someone that they intend to spin out the position. Having the Board in place sells it as a high focus issue.
Commissioner Tully asked for clarification as to the ordinance necessary. Mr. Parilla said they anticipated having the ordinance in place by the first of November, and hopefully the new entity will be established in November moving the individual directly into an independent organization, rather than reporting to the Village Manager. Commissioner Tully suggested it might be good to have people on the Recruiting Committee who would also be contemplated to serve on the Board.
The Mayor said he thought the Committee would be recommending the Board. Mr. Baker said there was also staff representation. The Mayor asked Mr. Baker to summarize the process again and get it to the Council members.
Commissioner McConnell asked for clarification on disbanding the current EDC . Attorney Petrarca said the new Board will adopt their own by-laws. Commissioner McConnell said she sees a gap in the process with no one responsible other than the Nominating Committee.
Deputy Fieldman said he envisions a budget amendment earmarking $308,000 towards a not-for-profit organization for Economic Development coming before the Council for approval in November; specific Code amendments disbanding the EDC and clarifying economic functions; and, a resolution of Village Council support for this concept. Those items will give the group the direction they need to move forward and have the backing they need.
Attorney Petrarca said next week there will be a motion to proceed with the items summarized by Deputy Fieldman.
Deputy Fieldman said they can even have draft by-laws, a draft budget, organizational chart, etc., as part of the resolution of support.
Mr. Randall said they never envisioned a gap, and do not support a transition phase. The Nominating Committee is to get the whole entity started. They need a Resolution of Support for this concept which will give the group the direction and backing they need.
2006 Community Development Block Grant; waive one-week waiting period for resolution authorizing grant submittal. The Manager said this was the subject of a public hearing held last week. He asked the Council to consider waiving the one-week waiting period for the resolution authorizing this grant application request for $38,930.
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the one-week waiting period to discuss new business. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion. VOTE :AYES:Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, McConnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS :None
The Motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Krajewski said this will authorize submittal of an application to the DuPage Community Development Commission in the amount of $38,920 for the 2006 Community Development Block Grant Program. This will support activities for the DuPage County Neighborhood Resource Center Cluster.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF APPLICATION TO THE DUPAGE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (CDC) FOR THE 2006 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FOR THE DUPAGE COUNTY NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCE CENTER CLUSTER
RESOLUTION 2005 -59
Commissioner Tully moved to adopt a resolution authorizing submittal of application to the DuPage Community Development Commission (CDC) for the 2006 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the DuPage County Neighborhood Resource Center Cluster as presented. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
VOTE :AYES:Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, McConnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS :None
The Motion passed unanimously.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
There were no reports at this time.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Deputy Manager Fieldman said the soil borings for the Curtiss Block will take place this week. The sales trailer should arrive next week, and the Plan Commission public hearing is currently scheduled for October 17 where they will hear the rezoning petition. He noted that people parking there can continue to use that site, and will receive a two-week notice before the lot will be closed.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting eight items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing a license agreement with US Cellular to install, maintain and operate an antenna on Village property – Downers Drive Water Tank; 2) A resolution authorizing a license agreement with US Cellular to install, maintain and operate an antenna on Village property – Village Hall Communication Tower; 3) A resolution authorizing a first amendment to an intergovernmental agreement with the State, County, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company and Metra regarding the Belmont Grade separation project; 4) A resolution authorizing a first amendment to a grant agreement with Metra for eminent domain services for the Belmont Grant separation project; 5) An ordinance amending fees for emergency response services; 6) An ordinance establishing parking restrictions on Florence Avenue; 7) An ordinance establishing parking restrictions on Stonewall Avenue; and 8) An ordinance amending the Class “H” public golf course liquor license classification
Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd Street, asked about the comments made about moving the cell phone towers located at Village Hall, and asked why the questions were asked. The Mayor said that construction of a new Village Hall is under consideration, as well as Fire Station 2. Mr. Clark asked if there will be a referendum asking residents if they want a new Village Hall. The Mayor said there has been no discussion of one.
COUNCIL MEMBERS & NEW BUSINESS
Commissioner Sandack said that the Plan Commission met last night to discuss building codes that may be changed with respect to infill. The meeting went well and Mr. Sbiral did a great job. Three concepts were raised including changes in height restrictions, land area ratios, and side yard setbacks. Residents commented and he thanked staff for putting forth an instructive presentation, and also the residents who became involved.
Commissioner Waldack reiterated Commissioner Sandack’s comments about the Plan Commission meeting. He said his diet is moving on schedule and the Crop Walk will be held on October 16. He noted that he and Commissioner Schnell attended the Mayor’s and Manager’s meeting last week and the Chairman of the RTA spoke on transportation in this area. DuPage County and the Village import jobs rather than export, which means reverse commutes. Both CTA and PACE have increased their ridership, and PACE and reverse commutes are becoming more important.
Commissioner McConnell discussed the Passport to Safety and commented that Marion Heintz from the Police Department and Marsha Giesler from the Fire Department did a great job. There were about 150 kids in attendance. She also noted that the Village has four firefighters in New Orleans at this time. Attorney Petrarca said she spoke with the Deputy Chief this evening and they expect to be back Saturday or Sunday. They don’t expect another group to be dispatched. Commissioner McConnell said it might be good to have them share their experiences.
Commissioner Urban suggested taping a show interviewing the firefighters. He also wished all the students at Downers Grove North a fun and safe homecoming week.
Commissioner Tully congratulated the Education Foundation of District 58 for another successful event. He announced that the Downers Grove Rotary is having their Oktoberfest his weekend at the Library parking lot. Also, the Police Department/Fire Department 12” softball challenge will take place on Sunday, October 16 at O’Neill Middle School from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The fee is $5.00 and the proceeds benefit the Indian Boundary YMCA Youth Scholarship Fund. He said more information can be obtained at the YMCA service desk or by calling 312-404-9460.
Commissioner Tully echoed the comments made regarding the Plan Commission meeting. It was a long discussion. He was impressed by the way it was handled by staff, and he complimented the Plan Commission on their focus and stamina. He thanked everyone who came out for the meeting. This was a good example of how important issues can be resolved by elected officials after having many open meetings and discussing issues for a considerable period of time. The process is working and he looks forward to a good outcome. Commissioner Tully added that he does not believe in governing by referenda.
The Mayor complimented the West Suburban Humane Society for a very successful Barkapolooza at Patriot’s Park. This supported the rescue efforts in New Orleans.
Mayor Krajewski said that he and Commissioner Sandack met with staff regarding the Space Needs study based on the request of the Council last year. He asked whether the Council wants to stop this process and call for a referendum.
Commissioner Sandack responded that there is a referendum every two years in the form of an election. He is happy to debate the wisdom of Fire Station #2’s current condition, which is deplorable. It is unacceptable. Any resident who wishes can view the condition of the Station. In addition, he said the Village Hall is also in need of replacement. The useful life of this building was 1988.
The Mayor said that in about 1993/94 the Village condemned houses on Main Street to expand the Fire Station #2. In 1999 the Fire Department commissioned a study trying to get an ISO 1 rating. An RFQ for a space needs study, followed by an RFQ for Station 2 is going out in a few weeks. The firemen have a foreign fire insurance fund which has contributed $20,000 toward this project. He explained that the Village has already conducted two studies, one in 1993 and one in 2000, and TIF boundaries have been amended. Doug Kozlowski has been charged with getting information out to the public on these projects.
Deputy Fieldman said that the Fire Station and Village Hall projects will go concurrently. Funding sources should be identified for the space needs study, with Council approval and public input. All issues will be discussed at open meetings with public input.
The Mayor said this has been a very long-term process.
Commissioner McConnell said that she is pleased to see this move forward. She reiterated that there will be a lot of public discussion and input on both of these buildings.
Mayor Krajewski said space needs were discussed in TCD -I and TCD -II.
Commissioner Waldack commented on the subject of a referendum. He stated it is too preliminary to decide about a referendum, as they need to know what’s needed, the cost and where the money is coming from. He doesn’t want to rule anything out.
Commissioner Tully said the question about a referendum is premature. This has not even been Workshopped. He said that at last night’s Plan Commission meeting addressing residential redevelopment it was noted that in 1991 there was a report regarding residential redevelopment, and the decision at that time was to do nothing. At that time the community didn’t want to do anything. He said people have to look to the future and determine the space needs, costs, and other related issues. There has been and will be public input on this subject.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh