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, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban, William Waldack; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Martin Tully
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Transportation Advisory Commission: Larry Gress, Co-chair, 1125 61st Street; Geoff Neustadt, 4635 Saratoga; Tony Schiller, 6710 Bradley Court; John Loper, 4920 Middaugh Avenue; Technology Commission: Jim Mulqueeny, 1190 Parker Avenue; Will Hutchinson, 4616 Oakwood Avenue; Mark Grippando, 4836 Montgomery Avenue; Leonard D. McCaw, Group 1 Solutions, Glen Ellyn; Chicago Special Events: Hank Zemola and Nick Sepke; Dave Brammer, 1711 Brookwood Drive; Barb Wysocki, Chamber of Commerce; Joe Leo, Downtown Management Corporation, 4828 Montgomery; Marilyn Weiher, Chuck’s Market, 933 Curtiss; Linda McLaughlin, 2420 College Road; Dan Loftus, 4704 Main; Eric R. Akuetteh, 2128 Prentiss Drive; Madeline Hood, Health Care Consultant; Dave Humphreys, 4221 Saratoga; Mike Riordan, 4448 Seeley Staff: Public Works: Dave Barber, Director; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager; Elisha Sanchez; Financial Services: Rita Trainor, Director; Susan Brassfield, Grants Coordinator; Information Services: Liangfu Wu, Director; Bill Herman, Assistant Director; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Events; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Marketing & Media Relations; Jeff Waxman, Bus Operator; Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources; Linda Brown, Deputy Village Clerk
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.
As there were no remarks on items 1-4, Council began their discussion with item #5. Mayor Krajewski said that due to the full agenda, Council would try to limit comments from the public to five minutes.
Consent Agenda Items
- BFI Class A License Approval.
- Bid: Vehicle Purchase – PSRT Van.
- Bid: Fork Lift for Public Works.
- SBC T -1 Line – Fire Department.
Health Insurance Renewals. Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said this regards health insurance renewals for 2006 for the group health plan and other related benefits for Village employees.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the stop loss quote and what the Village’s risk is related to this.
The Manager said staff will ask other bidders to provide guaranteed quotes before this matter is voted upon on December 20.
Greg Zimmerman , Director, Human Resources, said the quotes provided nine months of information. Guarantees were not given because bidders do not want to give final quotes unless they know the Village is serious in moving to them. Bidders asked how satisfied the Village is with the present vendor. Mr. Zimmerman said he is happy with the current carrier.
The Mayor said this insurance policy goes into effect only if expenses go over $75,000 per year.
Madeline Hood , Consultant, said the current carrier is lasering one individual.
The Mayor said we do not have many people that go over the stop loss.
Ms. Hood said if we go back to the other two vendors they will look at the current claim experience through November. Staff was told they would have lasers on more than one individual. The current carrier has a renewal process where they will only continue with anyone lasered in the current contract.
The Manager asked if guaranteed quotes could be provided by the two other bidders in the required time period.
Ms. Hood said she was not sure she could get a final quote from the other two carriers by next week.
The Mayor advised Ms. Hood that the Village would accept the quote from Hartford if they would laser no more than three people.
Ms. Hood said she could advise Hartford of this; however, she said this contract has to be in place January 1, 2006. Ms. Hood said the nature of the industry is that stop loss carriers do not want to give quotes in advance due to the potential for current conditions to change closer to the new contract date.
The Manager said she understands.
The Mayor asked if the consultants are on a fee base only. Ms. Hood said that was correct. They do not make any commission or contingencies on the stop loss contract.
Commissioner McConnell said she would like to see an attempt to get additional quotes. She said this is done on a calendar year basis. Ms. Hood said the stop loss began on January 1, 2005. It is on a calendar year basis.
The Manager said the group health care and Flexible Spending Account are also on a calendar year basis. Ms. Hood said this includes medical, dental, Delta dental, and vision. Prior to this the Village had extended contracts. Contracts scheduled to expire in April 2004 were extended through calendar year 2005.
Commissioner McConnell asked for overall information.
Andres Ambulance Billing Contract. No comments.
2006 Heritage Festival Beer Garden Vendor. The Manager said the packet contains a summary of this item for continuation of the last year of the proposal.
The Mayor noted that Commissioner Tully was not yet available by telephone.
2006 Heritage Festival Bingo Vendor. The Manager said this extends the agreement to 2006 with the VFW Post #503. This will be the last year of the agreement; there will be competitive proposals next year.
ProCriterium Bike Race Agreement. The Manager referenced the report recommending a three-year contract with Chicago Special Events Management Company. She noted that Hank Zemola, CEO , is in attendance.
Commissioner Schnell said she was happy to see that the funds the Village is expending are starting to drop. It is approximately $2,000 less this year than last year. She commended staff on working through some of the issues that the downtown business community had regarding keeping the street open, access to the parking deck, etc. She asked about the possibility of using part of the library lot during the race for shopper parking. She also suggested signage so people are aware of parking as well of the fact that businesses are open.
The Manager said once the racecourse is defined, staff will work to define and publicize where parking is available.
Commissioner Schnell said she understood that the library lot was used by the participants during the last race.
Commissioner McConnell said she appreciates the staff working with the downtown businesses to figure out how to mitigate issues. She said she likes the idea of promotion of some of the businesses as part of this.
Joe Leo , CPA & partner, Scanlan & Leo, Oak Brook, said he is a 19-year resident of Downers Grove and lives on Montgomery Street. He said he does the tax work for the Downtown Management Corporation. He said he listens to the merchants talk about their successes and misses at their annual meeting. He said the merchants care deeply about Downers Grove and want to see the Village succeed and grow. Mr. Leo said the merchants love having events, but there is a realistic expectation that the events should not hurt business. The merchants have had a terrible time making the bike races work. While it provides excellent exposure, it does not bring people into the Central Business District to shop or dine. Merchants have tried various events such as merchandise promotions, etc., but nothing has worked. The event drives the regular customers away and does not replace them with visitors. Businesses are down 25 to 70 percent of their normal Saturday business. He said one of his clients decided against coming to Downers Grove because the Village shuts down Main Street four or five days a year, which is bad business for him.
Mr. Leo said the merchants want to work with the Village to find a solution such as making the race a one-day event as it originally was, or try using an alternative route.
Marilyn Weiher , 4808 Wallbank, distributed information regarding alternate routes. She asked if the Council would consider looking at other routes.
The Mayor said he is not looking at a new route.
Commissioner Sandack said Downers Grove is the host of this event and he does not want to lose it. Information from staff indicates it provides some tangible Village-wide benefits. He said he has noticed that many local businesses are not open during the event. He said the lack of activity will not change if the doors to the businesses are not open. He said he would look at alternate routes, but the Village has to work with the Chicago Special Events Management and, for purposes of this contract, it would not work at this time.
Ms. Weiher said money is not spent in the downtown. She questioned how it is known that the downtown is the best location when no other options have been considered.
The Mayor said the winner of this race is the US champion. It is the premier race. In talking to racers, he has learned that this is the best course. He said he does not know if that can be duplicated elsewhere.
The Manager said staff can talk to the people of the United States Professional Cycling Association and the United States Cycling Federation about how other communities handle this, which may give staff the ability to better answer some of the questions, as well as looking at alternate routes. With respect to this year, she said she feels the Village is in a position that we should enter into the agreement in the manner in which the Chicago Special Events Management is asking.
Ms. Weiher said the merchants have been asking these questions for three years, but they feel they have not been heard.
Commissioner Sandack said the people hosting the race are saying the downtown is the best place for the race.
Commissioner Schnell said the course was designed where it is because it is the best possible place for the race and met the criteria of the demands of the race and qualifies the race to be sanctioned as a national championship. She is not sure that another course somewhere else in the Village would do that. Commissioner Schnell said all parties need to work together. We need to figure out what the needs are and how merchants can attract the people who come to the race into their shops.
Ms. Weiher said the merchants are asking that the other options be considered.
Commissioner Urban said he has been involved with this bike race as well as others throughout the country, in particular, bike races called Super Week – 21 days of bike racing throughout Wisconsin. These races are held in downtown Milwaukee, Beloit and Kenosha. Two of these races have been expanded to the State of Illinois – 95th & Western as well as Bensenville. He attended one of these races and noted that people were lined up on the streets before and during the race as well as all night long. Store hours were extended.
He said the Council authorizes hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on events such as the bike race to bring people to town. Some of them will shop the first day, some the next day, and some will never come back because the doors were closed. He said the merchants have to learn to work with the promoter and the participants of all the downtown events. If you have a good product, the doors are unlocked, and a service is provided, the people will get to you.
Hank Zemola , CEO , Chicago Special Events, said many alternative sites have been looked at over the years. He said he spent approximately one month looking at all possible alternative sites to evaluate the feasibility of staging the race elsewhere. The criteria for the event are not from USA Cycling or the United States Cycling Federation. It is from the Chicago Special Events Management Company. They are looking for the best presentation and the best course with the approval of the two governing bodies. It comes back to Main & Curtiss Streets. He noted that retail is an important criterion. The road races in Philadelphia go through downtown and 27 miles of streets in the city are closed. Every retailer, business, museum is effected. He said there is a huge economic impact. He said the marketing has a halo effect. He noted that through advertising this event people all over the country learn of Downers Grove. He said most cities in the US are vying to hold this event in their community. He said it comes to Downers Grove because we have been good hosts and good producers. It is one of the best events in the US. He said he wants the merchants to have business as their client base is merchants. He wants to be sure the merchants get everything out of this. He said he is dedicated to a program profiling some of the local businesses. He noted that last year stores in which he was interested were closed. He reiterated that the course in Downers Grove is one of the most unique courses in the US.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, said this is an interesting event for the community. He asked how this event will interact with construction for Acadia on the Green. He also asked if the three-year agreement ties this to the downtown area or would it allow discussion of new locations.
With regard to the question about Acadia on the Green, the Manager said staff will have to identify parking issues in the downtown if Council approves this agreement. With regard to the agreement, she said Chicago Special Events Management has the final say on the racecourse, but they are willing to talk to staff to make this the best race possible. It is the intent of staff to make this the best product possible if Council authorizes the agreement. She noted that these types of events are highly coveted throughout the United States.
Dr. Goodman asked if the level of construction activity could be influenced so it does not adversely affect the event. He also asked if the three-year agreement specifies the location to be the downtown area.
The Mayor said Acadia is north of the course and not in the direct path. Construction should not have a direct effect on the race other than a loss of parking.
The Manager said the agreement does not have a map attached as an exhibit, but it gives Chicago Special Events Management control over racecourse determination. She said every year a number of agencies are involved in this decision, although Chicago Special Events Management makes the final determination as the sponsoring agency. The Village is the host city.
Dave Humphreys , 4221 Saratoga, said one of the ways to make a community prosper both economically and in other respects, is to let people know we are here. This event does that more than anything else done in Downers Grove during the year. Mr. Humphreys referenced a trip to California a few years ago at Christmastime when he viewed a television show of the Downers Grove bike race. He said this creates name recognition for Downers Grove six months after the event. He said staff has documented the direct economic impact. He noted that racers love this course.
The Mayor suggested that staff pay particular attention to the communication process among the Council, staff and downtown merchants.
2005-06 Chamber of Commerce Directory – Village Council to Authorize a Contribution of $24,000 towards the Cost of Preparing the 2005-06 Chamber of Commerce Director. The Manager said this was budgeted for and authorized in the current budget year, and provides $24,000 toward the cost of the Business and Village Directory.
Commissioner McConnell noted that this has already been budgeted for this year. It does not commit the Village to next year.
The Manager said this will be part of the 2006/07 budget discussions.
The Mayor noted that this seems out of order as the Village has received a bill. He said it should be approved in advance of the product.
The Mayor asked about the Village’s funding commitment.
Doug Kozlowski , Director, Marking & Media Relations, said the budgeted amount is $24,000 which is 60% of the cost of the directory. The total cost is $1.60/unit for 25,000 units.
The Mayor said this is a very good directory and very useful. He noted that he was disappointed that his letter to the residents last year was changed without his knowledge.
In response to the Mayor, Mr. Kozlowski said bids are not done in advance, and the Village is billed by the Chamber, not the printer.
Barb Wysocki , Director, Chamber of Commerce, said it was a consensus of the Council that this would be an appropriate amount. She said the Village is welcomed to see the invoice. She said the rate is a flat amount of $24,000 not 60%. It is a flat amount. The directory is distributed to all residents, as well as some employers. She noted that one needs to be a member of Chamber of Commerce to have a business listed in the the directory.
Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Westmont for the Sale of E-85 Fuel. The Manager referenced the report. There were no questions.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Financial Software Agreement. The Manager said substantial information is available in the packet regarding this item. She noted that the consultant, staff and Technology Committee members were present to answer questions.
Mayor Krajewski asked when staff is looking for Council authorization for the purchase of this software.
The Manager said the award is scheduled for December 20 with Tyler Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $425,025 for the purchase and installation of EDEN Financial Software System.
The Mayor asked about delaying this vote to January.
Rita Trainor , Director, Financial Services, said it would impact the implementation plan resulting in a loss of two weeks. She said there was also a possibility that the terms of the agreement may change.
The Manager said the Village has a signed agreement. We would need to see if they would honor it if approval was delayed until January.
The Mayor said the last software purchase was a mistake. He would be more comfortable spending more time on this.
The Manager said a delay will slide the schedule. Ms. Trainor said there may be a financial impact on the contract.
Commissioner Sandack said it makes sense to push this back a week. He said he appreciates all the effort put into this. He would like to go through the information again. He thanked staff for their list of concerns. He said he is not interested in spending money only to have implementation problems later.
Commissioner Schnell said she concurs with the Mayor and Commissioner Sandack. She said the work that has been done has been great. She is concerned about a merger of companies in three years whereby the system may or may not be supported. She noted that this is an expensive system and she does not want to purchase it unless we know it will work. The extra time will allow Council to understand the package.
Ms. Trainor said staff shares the concerns expressed by Council, including concerns about a merger. She noted that this system is better than what we currently have. She further noted that the Technology Commission did not express concerns about changing software in five to seven years.
The Manager said that staff has followed up on recommendations made by the Technology Commission and may have additional information for the Council later this week.
Commissioner Schnell expressed concern with asking Village staff to handle the implementation of the system and the accompanying stress it would cause. She said she would like a better understanding of the impact of this on the budget and workload.
The Mayor noted that they could look at a third party to help implement the system with our staff and the vendor.
The Manager said staff provided some information about this, but could provide more detail.
Mark Grippando , 4836 Montgomery, said he is Chair of the Technology Commission. He said staff did an excellent job of choosing the software. It was a very thorough process. He noted that every year the software will get better. From his perspective, he would like to see the Village get five to ten years from the software. He said the question is whether the Village is at the point now where we cannot function with the current software.
The Mayor asked if anyone on the Technology Commission has a financial background.
Mr. Grippando said he is a CPA ; however, his expertise is not in the area of government financial software and he does not do implementation of accounting software.
Will Hutchison , 4616 Oakwood, said public accounting is different from the private sector. He noted that the process for selecting this software was thorough and detailed. He cautioned that a delay in the decision could cut the implementation time by ten percent as the schedule is to convert data to the new system by May 1.
Ms. Trainor said a delay may be appropriate. She said she was not intending to have a duplicate parallel – just a sampling mode. If they cannot make the May 1 date to go to the new software, they may need to do a complete duplicate system of dual entries.
Commissioner Waldack asked how long the Village has had the current software. Ms. Trainor said since 1999/00 fiscal year. In further response to Commissioner Waldack, Ms. Trainor said the current system, GEMS , functions, but not well. The biggest problem is utility billing.
Commissioner Waldack noted that the new package appears to be user friendly and easier to do patchwork.
Liangfu Wu , Director, Information Systems, said the new package is a comprehensive financial package and is a user friendly system.
Commissioner Waldack said he hates to delay this two weeks as we are running out of time.
The Manager said staff would prefer Council has a comfort level with this. If Council is asking for a delay, it is for the right reasons.
Commissioner McConnell asked how long dual entries would need to be done if we do not make the May 1 implementation date. Ms. Trainor said the software is scheduled for a phased implementation. The dual entries would have to be done until the next phase. She noted that EDEN is pushing to delay the implementation as they feel the schedule is too aggressive.
The Manager said staff will provide additional information to Council.
- 4608 Drendel Road
- 4806 Cross Street
- 4715 Cross Street
Regarding the annexations, Commissioner Sandack asked for a map, on a routine basis, to review the annexations as they relate to zoning districts.
Dr. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, spoke regarding the relationship of annexations to zoning. He noted that these three properties will come into the Village as R-1 zoning but are much smaller than the area permitted for R-1 and are not appropriate for R-1. He said the zoning map for this area is piecemeal with R-4 and R-1 zoning designations. It may be appropriate for the Village to have a rezoning hearing to confer the appropriate zoning designation as properties are annexed. There is appropriate zoning and he suggested staff advise petitioners accordingly. He asked that the Village consider this suggestion.
Dr. Goodman further stated that the Plan Commission has been given too much responsibility with both zoning and the subdivision control ordinance responsibilities. He said they are struggling with their responsibilities and it would be appropriate to bring zoning matters out of the Plan Commission and put them with the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Dave Fieldman , Deputy Village Manager, said there are two schools of thought with respect to annexations and rezonings. One is to do the rezoning concurrent with the annexation. The other is to maintain the zoning as a holding zoning until a review of the neighborhood is done to determine the zoning pressures.
Bus System Evaluation Discussion – Part II. The Manager said the packet contains an extensive report including the costs and benefits of the bus system. She said staff is looking for direction regarding the budget.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the maintenance costs if the Village purchases buses through PACE .
The Mayor asked when the replacement buses were received.
Mike Baker , Assistant Village Manager, said the replacement buses began operation at the end of June.
The Mayor said there have been $62,000 in repairs since July. He said he thought the PACE buses were better than ours.
Commissioner McConnell said she would like to know about expectations to lower the deficit of this program.
Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said that although he does not have exact numbers, the new buses staff is looking to purchase through PACE will have better gas mileage, will need less frequent oil changes, and will have warranties. He expects there to be a significant decrease in expenses for the first several years. The life of the buses is ten years. Some of the current buses are 14 years old and they are very expensive to maintain.
The Mayor said he does not want to jeopardize public safety due to the amount of time Fleet Services spends on repairs to buses. Mr. Barber said Fleet Services spends 800 to 900 hours on repairing buses.
Commissioner McConnell said that in terms of the cost analysis, she would like to see information about closing the $300,000 deficit.
Mr. Barber said the deficit could be reduced by increasing revenues through increased ridership. He discussed initiatives such as reverse commute service and developing a transit assistance system from the Fairview lot. He reiterated that the bus system will not pay for itself. The projected $300,000 deficit is with reduced maintenance and better gas mileage. He said he would not recommend adding any services that do not pay for themselves.
Commissioner McConnell said that the revenue benefit is with existing services to increase ridership as there is no incremental cost to do that.
Commissioner Urban said Downers Grove is the only community that owns and operates its own bus system.
Mr. Barber said Schaumburg operates a trolley system during the daytime, but it is not a commuter run.
In further response to Commissioner Urban, Mr. Barber said the biggest decline in ridership was when the rates were raised and the schedule was changed. He noted that Metra has reported that communities will not see an increase in bus ridership until gas is $5.00 per gallon.
Commissioner Urban asked staff to look into the trolley system from PACE .
The Mayor addressed marketing efforts. He said we are counting on increased ridership to decrease the deficit. He said he is wrestling with the appetite of the community to have that size deficit for the few number of commuters.
Mr. Barber said he appreciates the decision the Council must make. He feels the only way to get commitment from riders is to give them certainty regarding the system.
The Mayor said demographics have changed over the last ten years. There are not as many residents working in the city and changes in work schedules including flex time and late hours changes the times one may need bus service.
Mr. Barber said the Transportation Advisory Commission looked at adding buses, but did not do so due to the additional cost. He suggested that they could review the guaranteed ride home program.
Commissioner Urban said the Village is losing $300,000 if we go to the new buses. He asked what the ridership would need to be in order to break even.
Mr. Barber said it would need to be 400 to 500 riders and then there would be a need for the 47 passenger buses. He noted that the Village did not make money on the charter service.
Commissioner Urban noted that the Village used to pick up leaves. He would like to know the cost of providing this service. Mr. Barber said he would provide that information.
The Mayor noted that some of the surrounding communities provide leaf collection services.
Commissioner McConnell discussed intangible benefits of the bus system such as those related to the environment due to the number of cars off the streets, although it is difficult to put a number to that. She said this is part of the “think globally, act locally” concept.
The Mayor noted that there is staff time spent on this service outside of drivers and maintenance.
Commissioner Schnell said the original decision to purchase buses was good for Downers Grove, good for the environment and a commitment to service. She said she thinks the CNG buses will provide increased ridership if the Village commits to the service for a certain period of time. It is a policy decision as to whether this makes Downers Grove unique and is a good service.
Commissioner Schnell noted that there are space limitations regarding the size of buses at Cameo Apartments. If the buses could be used for seniors at a nominal rate, then the Village is providing a service. The buses could perhaps lessen the expense of taxi subsidies. She said we do not need another 150 cars parking in our downtown. She addressed issues of congestion, etc. There are intangibles that make the bus system attractive. She said they need to try to make the service work. She said we owe it to the community to do so.
Commissioner Waldack thanked the staff and the Transportation Advisory Commission (TAC) for an excellent presentation. He said he has attended many TAC meetings. He said there is a need to look at this as a full transportation system. DuPage County is an importer of jobs and no longer an exporter of jobs. He referenced the cost of parking, noting that the average cost of a parking place is more than the cost of a car – $30,000. He said the Village has an excellent relationship with PACE and has already worked to renegotiate the CNG buses. There are many opportunities to make this grow and work well. He also noted the intangibles the service brings to the community. He reviewed the benefits of the transportation system. He said Lisle Park District is providing transportation to Cameo Apartments in Downers Grove to pick up people and take them to shop in Lisle businesses. We should be looking at something like this. He said the cost to the taxpayers to continue this service would be $.015 added to the tax bill. He feels it is appropriate to give this a longer commitment as it can benefit and improve the community.
Commissioner Sandack said the buses were expected to pay for themselves, but that is unrealistic and they must be subsidized. He agreed that the real question is the public appetite for this. He asked as to the subsidy for the last 10 to 15 years, including maintenance. He said the Village has committed to buses for 20 years. The Council has an obligation to the community as a whole. He asked if it is okay to have a $300,000 deficit with new buses. He sees the benefits and understands there are intangible benefits as well. He asked if the service is worth the subsidy or whether the Council should be directing funds in other ways, such as leaf pickup.
Mr. Barber said the transportation system never had a replacement budget before, but this report addresses that.
The Mayor asked that staff check with other communities to see if they are looking to go forward with a bus system. He suggested the Village could support the DuPage County effort if they move forward.
Mr. Barber addressed the Dial-a-Ride program, including the eligibility of Downers Grove Township residents. He said point-to-point service would be very expensive.
The Mayor said it appears we cannot get people to ride buses.
Commissioner Waldack said George Porter is the president of the Inter-Agency Paratransit Coordinating Council which sponsors the Ride DuPage Program. Commissioner Waldack is the vice-chair. It is a paratransit program. He said he understands that Naperville is adding service to COD and Edwards Hospital as a result of inquiries from the paratransit system. Regarding the Ride DuPage Program, he said paratransit is easily the most expensive public transit in existence. The CTA in Chicago realized this and paratransit is being transferred over to PACE due to their experience and efficiency with central dispatching using cabs and combination small buses. He noted that some communities have banded together to try to reduce costs of paratransit. He would like to discuss this with Downers Grove Township and examine whether a service would be good for our citizens. He said a better general transportation system might result in a reduction in the taxi service subsidy.
Larry Gress , Co-chair, TAC , noted that three other members of Commission are in attendance tonight. He said the Commission has worked hard on this matter for the last three years. They have listened to what the Council has said and are sensitive to their concerns. The Commission is asking Council to consider purchasing new buses on the CMAQ grant to get more riders. Regarding community sentiment about the buses, Mr. Gress said no one has expressed outrage about spending $300,000 per year to support this.
Commissioner Sandack said the buses have received positive evaluations in surveys.
The Mayor said perhaps this should be a referendum issue as to whether the community wants to support a bus service.
Mr. Gress said he did not suggest a referendum. He suggested charging for leaf pickup. He said the Commission is willing to do whatever it can to strengthen the bus system and make it a viable part of the community. He noted that Downers Grove Main Street is the fourth busiest train station in the Metra system.
Mike Riordan , 4448 Seeley, asked if the cost is $430,000.
The Mayor said that is the subsidy, the net loss. The cost is $614,882 and revenues are $182,641 resulting in a loss of $432,241.00.
Mr. Riordan discussed the cost of the service per rider. He noted the Village has minimal discretionary dollars and asked if this would come out on top if all the residents were asked to prioritize this. He said if we are the only community with this service, we need to ask why. He suggested people e-mail their concerns to the Council.
The Mayor said the cost would be $3,000 per person.
Commissioner McConnell clarified that the cost in terms of taxes to support this program would be $.015 to the tax rate, not per tax bill.
The Manager said a resolution regarding the budget documents and grants will be on the December 20 agenda. Following discussion, Council agreed to put this on the agenda for January 3, 2006.
Economic Development Commission Restructuring. The Manager said the packet contains the report, resolution, ordinance and bylaws.
Commissioner McConnell said this is a better document than she anticipated. She thanked those involved for their work.
The Mayor asked about the marketing materials. The Manager said Doug Kozlowski is working on this.
Commissioner Urban said he is happy to see this moving forward. He referenced page 6 of the agreement and asked staff to review the terms of the 30 day termination notice as he thought these terms may not be realistic.
The Mayor asked about the funding mechanism and when funds would be paid out.
Mr. Baker said pay outs will be made on a quarterly basis per the agreement.
The Manager suggested if the agreement is terminated, Council could give 30 days notice and work out a process by which any funds remaining are returned to the Village.
Commissioner Schnell thanked the Mayor, Commissioner Urban and EDC for the report. She said this year the funding request is $300,000.00. Thereafter, the operating agreement calls for annual funding of 50% of the Village’s Hotel/Motel tax in an amount not to exceed $500,000.00. She said part of the tourism component of the Tourism & Events Commission will be part of the EDC . She said the hotel/motel tax fund is presently approximately $770,000.00. The original intent of the funds was for community grants, economic development, visitors bureau and to pay the supplemental costs of staff for Heritage Festival and special events. Costs were not to exceed the available funds. She would like that intent to remain intact. She would like this to be cost neutral in that the costs will not exceed the hotel tax funds. Her concern is money – she wants to be careful that we are not supplementing this with other funds. As a result, she said that the figure in the agreement may need to be a percentage and not a firm figure.
The Mayor said he agreed that this is to be cost neutral. The agreement calls for 50% of the tax, not to exceed $500,000.00.
Commissioner Schnell said we need to define tourism.
The Manager said staff will live with the message of being cost neutral. She wants to see Economic Development up and running as soon as possible. She expects that the professional staff will give information as to what to do with Tourism.
Commissioner Sandack said he supports this and is glad to see this agreement. The ultimate goal is to capitalize on visitors. He looks forward to implementation.
Commissioner Waldack referenced pages 8 and 10 of the agreement related to an inconsistency regarding dissolution.
The Manager said staff will clarify this. She also noted there are a few codifications to be made to the bylaws. She clarified that the bylaws will include 16 to 22 directors without specifying there are to be two business representative members.
The Mayor suggested there be no ex-officio members, but rather have everyone be a voting member.
The Manager said she would address these changes as well as the comments of Commissioners Waldack and Urban.
The Mayor thanked Mike Baker, EDC members and staff for all their work.
The Manager said she looks forward to making sure this succeeds.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Schnell said the Public Services Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 20 to discuss capital projects.
Commissioner Sandack said the Finance Committee will meet on January 17, 2006.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
The Manager said the next Coffee With The Council will be held on Saturday, December 17 at Downers Grove South High School, 1436 Norfolk Street, Library Room A100A .
The Manager announced that most Village offices will be closed on Friday, December 23 and Monday, December 26, 2005.
Ms. Pavlicek said there have been a significant number of water main breaks. The Public Works Director can provide details.
The Mayor asked that a sign be put on the front door at South High School regarding the Coffee With The Council.
Dave Fieldman , Deputy Village Manager, said the Acadia on the Green project is progressing. The fencing is in place and demolition is proceeding with the removal of several interior items. The physical demolition of the building should proceed on Monday, December 19, 2005. The construction trailer is on site and the building permits for Building 1 are being reviewed and are nearly ready for issuance. The closing on the sale of land to the developer is scheduled for Monday, December 19, 2005.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 20 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Downers Grove Rotary Club; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Veterans of Foreign War Post #503; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Village of Westmont for the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel; 4) A resolution authorizing execution of a host city agreement for the USPRO Criterium Championship and the USCF Criterium Championships on August 19 and 20, 2006 in Downers Grove, Illinois; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of a letter of extension between the Village of Downers Grove and Advocate Health Partners; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an administrative services agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Professional Benefit Administrators, Inc.; 7) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Tyler Technologies, Inc.; 8) An ordinance annexing 4608 Drendel Road to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 9) An ordinance annexing 4806 Cross Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 10) An ordinance annexing 4715 Cross Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 11) A resolution providing for the maximum permitted equipment and installation cable rates set forth in Federal Communication Commission Form 1205; 12) An ordinance abolishing the Economic Development Commission; 13) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Downers Grove Economic Development Board; 14) 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 Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area) of the Village of Downers Grove; 15) 2005 aggregate tax levy ordinance; 16) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2005 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2006 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area Number One; 17) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2005 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2006 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Special Service Area); 18) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of May 2005 and ending on the thirtieth day of April 2006 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #3 (Prince Pond Special Service Area); 19) a censure resolution; 19) An ordinance approving a redevelopment and sales tax rebate agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Luxury Motors, Inc.; and 20) a resolution appointing members to boards and commissions.
Ms. Petrarca said she was also requesting that the Council consider waiving the one-week waiting period to consider a Resolution appointing members to Boards and Commissions.
Commissioner Urban moved to waive the traditional one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner McConnell seconded the Motion.
AYES : Commissioners Urban, McConnell, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAYS : None
The Motion to waive the waiting period passed.
A RESOLUTION APPOINTING AND REAPPOINTING MEMBERS TO VILLAGE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
RESOLUTION 2005 -73
The Village Clerk read the Resolution appointing and reappointing members to Village Boards and Commissions as follows:
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD
Appoint Mike Davenport as Chair for a term expiring 4/30/08 Appoint Joseph Pappalardo and David Matthies for terms expiring 4/30/08 Appoint Elena Falco and James Russ, Jr. for terms expiring 4/30/07 Appoint Carine Acks for a term expiring 4/30/06
BOARD OF FIRE AND POLICE COMMISSIONERS
Appoint Timothy McJoynt for a term expiring 4/30/06
COMMUNITY GRANTS COMMISSION
Appoint Martin Tully as Chair Reappoint David Humphreys and Kathleen Nybo for terms expiring 4/30/06 Reappoint Patricia Winter for a term expiring 4/30/07 Reappoint Renata Allelujka and Peggy Barrett for terms expiring 4/30/08
Appoint Laura Hroma for a term expiring 8/31/07
HUMAN SERVICE COMMISSION
Reappoint Trisha Svehla as Chair for a term expiring 4/30/07 Reappoint Cynthia Dempsey and Theresa Carlquist for terms expiring 4/30/08 Reappoint Geoffrey Neustadt, Sharon Dunn and Joyce Tumea for terms expiring 4/30/07 Reappoint John Page for a term expiring 4/30/06
PARKING & TRAFFIC COMMISSION
Reappoint Ross Johnson as Chair for a term expiring 4/30/08 Reappoint Walter Carlquist and Mark Yeksigian for terms expiring 4/30/08 Reappoint William Kren, John Stapleton, and Russell Thurston for terms expiring 4/30/06 Reappoint John Wendt for a term expiring 4/30/07
STORMWATER & FLOOD PLAIN OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Reappoint Donald Eckmann as Chair for a term expiring 4/30/06 Reappoint Bruce Beckman and David Gorman for terms expiring 4/30/06 Reappoint William Bollenberg and Richard Crilly for terms expiring 4/30/07 Appoint Jim White and Joanna Matthies for terms expiring 4/30/08
TOURISM & EVENTS COMMISSION
Appoint Martin Tully as Chair
TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Reappoint Robert Nastal and Anthony Schiller for terms expiring 8/1/06.
Commissioner Urban moved to adopt the Resolution as presented. Commissioner McConnell seconded the Motion.
The Mayor thanked the Commissioners for conducting interviews and for their recommendations. He noted there is still one Community Grants, ZBA , two Plan Commission, one Police Pension and one Architectural Review Board positions to be filled. He said the Historical Society will meet on December 15. He expects to make the final appointment to the Architectural Review Board next week.
AYES : Commissioners Urban, McConnell, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
NAYS : None
The Motion passed.
Commissioner Sandack extended his thanks to Public Works for all their work.
Commissioner Schnell also thanked Public Works.
Commissioner McConnell said she was looking forward to a good job tomorrow in anticipation of the snow.
Mayor Krajewski said some of the streets in the Village are under County jurisdiction: 63rd Street, Highland Avenue, Finley Road, Ogden Avenue and parts of Belmont Road. They are plowed by the County. The only complaints he heard were regarding County roads.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh