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, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban, William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kiran Mehendale, The Sun Residents: John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson Avenue; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Roberta and Albert Muehlhaus, 1868 Grant Street; Mirsad & Lionela Radonja, 4409 Stonewall; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Geoff Neustadt, 4633 Saratoga; Daniel J. Clark; 4325 Stonewall; Evelyn C. Price, 4429 Stonewall; John W. Walker, 4431 Stonewall; John & Joan Georgas, 4455 Stonewall; Robert C. Cloud, 4444 Lee; Rocco Marrandino, 1740 Grant; Gary & Barbara Jacklin, 1836 Grant; Robert & Amy Long, 1864 Grant; Kathy & Steve Kriz, 4447 Stonewall; Dennis Brcko, 5230 S. Narragansett, Chicago; Cheryl Ann Clark; 4325 Stonewall; Richard Eldondo, 4304 Stonewall; Harrison & Robert Miles, 5610 Dunham; Vince & Michelle Lococo, 2055 Ogden; Mandy & Dan Bank, 2105 Ogden Staff: Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Dave Barber, Director, Public Works; Andy Matejcak, Director, Counseling and Social Services; Bob Porter, Police Chief; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Jeff O’Brien, Senior Planner, Community Development; Wes Morgan, Director, Human Resources; Judy Buttny, Acting Director, Finance; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Communications
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.
Consideration of Items for Approval from the February 20, 2007 Agenda:
RES 00 -020683 Resolution: Authorize Staff to Negotiate and Prepare a Redevelopment Agreement for the Property Located at the Southwest Corner of Ogden Avenue and Lee Street
Commissioner Schnell said at this point there has been no public input, and she asked for the process for public input.
Dave Fieldman , Deputy Village Manager, said if Council votes “yes” the work on the project will continue and hearings before the Plan Commission and the Village Council will provide other opportunities for public input. In addition, the developer would be asked to meet with neighborhood residents.
Commissioner Tully said this is a project that has not come before the Plan Commission and would have to meet all of the criteria. All of the normal tests have to be satisfied. Mr. Fieldman said that was correct.
Commissioner Sandack asked if there would be any interaction by the EDC and their opinion. The Manager said that there would be no meeting with the Board of Directors of the EDC . Mr. Fieldman further responded that they are working at a staff level on this project.
The Mayor said asked again about the “yes” vote, since this is unusual to request authorization to continue negotiations with limited information. He’s trying to understand what the development would provide to the Village. It will be revenue neutral in terms of dollars. The proposal is for a drive-thru restaurant and bank, plus 78 townhome units. If the developer came to the Village with no variations or assistance they could do what they want. They are asking for assistance. He would like to see a good development generating sales and sales tax. He reiterated that they don’t have a lot of information and he wants more information from the developer. He believes a “yes” vote means they meet the parameters, and he doesn’t want to lead the developer down a path and then have to face a “no” vote.
Mr. Fieldman said that the “yes” vote authorizes negotiations of a redevelopment agreement according to the key terms of the resolution. The expectation is that if staff and the developer deliver an agreement with those terms, the expectation is that approval would follow. To date, the only analysis done has been done at the staff level, and they have taken a very cursory review of the request and the revenue generated. The request at this time is about $7 million of assistance, and the key terms would result in a break-even deal. He does not suspect that the land uses would change.
Mayor Krajewski said that he is not sure he can support this since it is revenue neutral.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether the $7 million is the most the Village would be committed to. Mr. Fieldman said he doesn’t expect that it would be more. Commissioner Durkin then asked what if Aldi’s or the bank didn’t want to participation. Mr. Fieldman said that Aldi is the anchor and a property owner in the project. The second key land user is the bank. If the key terms change, staff would note that to the Council and Council would have to vote on the redevelopment agreement. In further response he said that $7 million is the worse care scenario. Commissioner Durkin asked what it would cost if the Village were to clean up that portion of property. Mr. Fieldman said that the acquisition cost on a very preliminary level only is about $7 million, with extraordinary costs to be addressed to make the property viable. This would also have to be balanced against possible revenue.
Commissioner Urban asked about the TIF . Mr. Fieldman said that they are seven years into the TIF which was created in 2001. Commissioner Urban asked if this deal had been presented in 2001 would the outlay of the $7 million have been less than today. Mr. Fieldman said that the cost side might not change earlier in the TIF but the revenue side would change, and there would have been more revenue generated. Commissioner Urban then commented that this costs more for each year the property is not developed. He then asked how long Aldi has owned the majority of the property and Mr. Fieldman he thought it was about five or six years. It has been vacant about 10 or 15 years to his knowledge.
Commissioner Sandack said that the vote tonight is to give the developer comfort that this isn’t a waste of their time. They will not be spending money until it comes back to the Council. Mr. Fieldman said that they would have earnest money tied up in purchase of the sites. The normal procedure would begin with the Plan Commission and Council review.
Mayor Krajewski said that he would be more comfortable with an analysis by the Village’s consultant, as was done with the downtown development. He is not comfortable giving them a go ahead and then not approving the project.
Mr. Fieldman said that what is different in this situation is that the Village is not party to the ownership, as it was with the downtown development.
The Manager said staff feels that the developer cannot obligate funds without knowing if the Council is interested in this.
Commissioner Tully said that this is very preliminary and it is hard to say “no” to at least looking into this project. The site has been designated as a development site by the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. He said that this offers a number of positive actions. The assistance would not come out of the Village’s pocket because the project would generate TIF funds; the Village has more control due to the TIF assistance; and there is a payoff on the expiration of the TIF . He noted that this parcel is a challenge. The TIF facilitates the development of the parcels on Ogden Avenue that would not otherwise be done.
1. John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson Avenue, said that this proposal is not all in the TIF and not all along Ogden Avenue. It involves not only the TIF and Ogden but extends south into R-2 zoning outside of the TIF District. The project would be denser than the zoning allows. That might be the most appropriate use of the land; however, he is concerned that the Council would consider approving such a bulk rezoning without any of the processes having been followed. The documentation said that the residential component is essential to the proposal. He said it seems to him that the whole rezoning/Plan Commission process is being proposed to be short cut by this process. He said perhaps this is the time to consider affordable housing for the site.
The Mayor called for a Motion.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING STAFF TO NEGOTIATE AND PREPARE A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT INCLUSIVE OF SPECIFIC KEY TERMS FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF OGDEN AVENUE & LEE STREET
RESOLUTION 2007 -19
Commissioner Tully moved to adopt “A Resolution Authorizing Staff to Negotiate and Prepare a Redevelopment Agreement Inclusive of Specific Key Terms for the Property Located at the Southwest Corner of Ogden Avenue & Lee Street,” as presented. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
The Mayor reiterated that he is uncomfortable about this as it is a neutral deal. He cannot see giving the $7 million. He said they haven’t done a good job over the last 20 years for that site, noting that a car dealership could have come here but didn’t because the Village didn’t have an EDC component. He still feels there is not enough information. He understands that it can’t be developed without some financial assistance, but they could also bring more money to the Village with the right deal. He said it would also have been helpful if someone had drawn the TIF boundaries a bit differently.
Commissioner Durkin said that staff indicated the owner has had the property for approximately five years, and the land has been sitting there vacant. He asked why something hasn’t been done before. Mr. Fieldman responded that this is the second developer in a three-year period. He can’t speak to the history of the site.
The Mayor said that the old EDC identified this site as a potential $100-$150 million retail sales site generating $1-$1.5 million in sales tax. The present proposal is a revenue neutral deal.
VOTE : AYE: Commissioner Tully, Urban, Durkin, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell NAY : Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried.
Consent Agenda Items
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek noted that Item #4 has been deferred to the March 13 Workshop. She then reviewed the items on the Consent Agenda for questions or comments.
Professional Services Agreement for 2007 CIP Projects.
Commissioner Sandack said he is pleased that this was bid out, and said that some of the bids look really low in comparison to other projects. He is looking for assurance that these are the lowest responsible bids and that they can do the work.
Dave Barber , Public Works Director, said he made phone calls to check references on the bidders, including Land Tech. The traffic signal was much lower, because of the firm’s previous research, but this is firm and they have done some fieldwork on this.
Commissioner Sandack said he was thrilled that the prices are low.
Bid: Supply of Fire Hydrants.
Bid: Fire Hydrant Painting .
Commissioner Waldack asked how complicated it is to paint fire hydrants as the cost has increased. Director Barber said that the price seems more in line with other communities. They saved money last year. It involves sandblasting of the hydrant, patching and then repainting. These would be painted yellow. They are doing about 20% a year working on a five-year cycle.
Bid: Large Meter Testing and Repair.
Bid: Street Sweeping Maintenance Services
Commissioner Durkin asked if this is a one-year contract and the Manager said it was. Commissioner Durkin asked why they haven’t looked at an extended contract and the Manager said that Council’s parameters have been to bid these at one-year contracts. They can request an extension of the contract as long as the cost does not increase by more than 2%. The philosophy of the Village has been that there are more competitive rates bidding annually. Commissioner Durkin said he would like to see at least a three-year contract on this to lock in prices. The Manager said she would bring back the policy for review.
Commissioner Tully said street sweeping is part of the stormwater maintenance project. He asked what percentage of the streets are uncurbed, and was told by Director Barber that there were about 165 miles of streets in the Village, 60 miles of which are uncurbed. Those uncurbed streets don’t get swept because the sweeper has to have the curb to berm the refuse. Commissioner Tully said this highlights the importance of curbs and gutters.
Commissioner Waldack said that many of the items tonight have been bid out. He complimented the staff on the additional information on this item regarding the age of the fleet.
2007 Geotechnical and Material Testing Services.
Construction Drawings and Bid Specifications for Fire Station #2.
Professional Services Agreement – Financial Advisor for the Bond Issuance for Fire Station 2.
Commissioner Durkin said he noticed that this proposed vendor is not the lowest bidder and asked why. He wants to know as to the local investment element of this company.
The Manager said that they will include local banks on the bids. This is a $10 million sale. This firm would be contractually obligated to serve as the Village’s financial advisor and their responsibility is to get the Village the best interest rate possible on the $10 million bond issue.
Commissioner Durkin said his concern is not as much the cost factor as the ability of local banks to purchase parts of the bond and keeping the bond within our own community. He would like to know if they plan to keep the money local. The Manager said that the goal is to achieve the best rate according to the investment policy. If the Council has different expectations on the bond issue then staff will work accordingly.
Commissioner Durkin said he would like to see some local development. The Manager said that staff works under the policies adopted by the Council today. The total calculation at the end of the bond issues is what staff considered. They can’t guarantee the interest rate until the bonds are actually sold.
Commissioner Durkin said he was thinking of PMA Securities asking whether PMA is doing the job the Village wants. The Manager said that the criteria they reviewed did not keep PMA in the process. They did not interview PMA so they would not recommend PMA .
Commissioner Durkin said he would like to hear from his colleagues, and see Speer’s plan to include local banks and the potential fees to local banks that are not part of their network.
The Mayor said that Speer is a very good firm. As for them not being the lowest bid, the last bond firm was not the lowest bidder.
Mr. Fieldman said there were three criteria considered: 1) lowest overall cost, 2) experience, 3) responsiveness.
Commissioner Sandack said that Commissioner Durkin mentioned some of the things that he was thinking. This is a commodity service and the price should be the driver. In contrast some engineering services were brought forward for the lowest most responsible bid, and this is not consistent. This is not the lowest bid overall. Experience is important, as is responsiveness. He agrees with Commissioner Durkin that he is not sure why they are not going with the most competitively priced bidder.
The Manager said that there is a column that was not added in and that may be the difficulty, that the Council does not know the total price involved.
Mr. Fieldman described the concept of lowest overall cost, saying it is not just the fee for the service. The lowest overall cost from staff perspective is made up out of fee-for-service, out-of-pocket expenses, and most importantly the interest rate on the $10 million bond over 20 years. Speer differentiated itself with their online blind auction process. Staff looked at it as Oppenheimer is qualified and their fee is $8,500. Speer is qualified and their fee is $20,000. The question then becomes whether Speer’s bidding process would save the Village $11,500 or more on the life of this bonding issue. Staff concluded that the likelihood is “yes,” however it all comes down to the bond market on the day they sell the bonds. Staff would have no objection to any of the firms, though they would prefer the ones they interviewed.
The Manager said that the concern is that it is imperative to award this next week. They need to know if staff needs to check references of anyone other than Oppenheimer or Speer. Staff needs to know that this evening. She believes staff would consider Oppenheimer and Speer as the two preferred candidates based on personal interviews.
Commissioner Durkin said it seems that the buzz word they offer was their on-line open auction. The Manager said it is a different system when offering competitive bids. The blind competitive auction is like an “e-bay” sale which the bond market is moving into, and provides the ability to do something different than an open field competitive bid.
Commissioner Tully asked if the Council is requesting any further review from the staff.
Commissioner Durkin said he would like to see more due diligence.
Commissioner Sandack said he would consider PMA , Oppenheimer, George Baum and AC Advisor which all had lower bids than Speer. The Manager said that is again looking at the estimated fee base. Commissioner Durkin said if there is other information they are not being made aware of, that should be given to the Council as well. The Manager said that staff can give the Council copies of all the proposals, but part of the reason they have staff is to ferret through the information and provide a synopsis. If Council wants to review all of these, that is fine. She would have preferred to know that earlier than tonight.
Commissioner Schnell said if there is another column that the Council does not have it could be included to show what the information the staff considered. The Manager said she thinks they can try and give a column to show the costs but can’t guarantee that when they go to sale on these where the market will be. Commissioner Schnell said it would at least give the Council the ability to know where they stand.
The Manager said that staff has already done the interview of Oppenheimer. The Manager said that staff doesn’t believe Oppenheimer is the low bid, but believes Speer is the low bid when considering the interest rate.
Commissioner Tully said that there is an $11,500 difference here. He asked that staff provide additional details to the Council with their reasons for the recommendation. He does not recommend getting off schedule, but the Council needs to know staff’s reasoning for choosing a higher bidder.
The Manager said she would re-present the information.
Commissioner Durkin said he would like to know Speer’s plan to include the Village’s banks and know their fees to join the on-line bidding process. He wants to be sure that the Village’s banks have an equal opportunity to bid.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
a. Special Use, Planned Development, and Right-of-Way Vacation at 2055 & 2101 Ogden Avenue.
Mr. Fieldman said this proposal concerns two properties and a right-of-way on Ogden Avenue and Pershing Avenue. He used an overhead presentation to walk the Council through the process. The petitioner leases the property on the east and they operate a used car dealership. Pershing Avenue is a Village-owned right-of-way. The building at 2101 Ogden is owned by the petitioner and that building is vacant. There is an existing public alley to the south of the subject side and west of Pershing. It is improved with gravel and staff has no record of how that was improved or of issuing any permits for the use of that right-of-way as an access. He said that the alley is the same alley under discussion about development of a condo building at Belmont. Staff identified this alley to be used for drainage purposes.
Mr. Fieldman said that Pershing does not go through into the residential neighborhood from Ogden. The proposal is to demolish the building on the east side of the subject property, rehab the building the petitioner now owns on the west side of the property, vacate Pershing from Ogden Avenue to the south side of the subject property, and construct improvements. That would result in a rehabbed building on the west portion of the site and a large parking and vehicle display area for a used car dealership. The owner would provide a cross access easement to allow vehicles to access what used to be Pershing Avenue. That is by design in the event that the property owner does not further the lease with this petitioner and decides to develop the site in another fashion. That would guarantee access from Ogden Avenue to this site. He said there would be a public utility and drainage easement maintained over all of the former Pershing Avenue right-of-way, and a sidewalk from Ogden along Pershing to allow sidewalks access to the residential neighborhoods. Staff recommends approval of this request because they believe it achieves several goals of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan: 1) vacation of the stub street; 2) reduction in curb cuts; 3) improvement of signage; 4) improved landscaping; 5) interconnected sidewalks; and 6) an improved aesthetic appearance.
Mr. Fieldman said that this was before the Plan Commission at a public hearing on several occasions. The property owner to the west operates a U-Haul facility and said they were concerned that the vacation of Pershing would result in lack of access to the alleyway discussed earlier and would have negative impact on their property.
Commissioner Sandack asked if this would result in reconfiguration of the lots. Mr. Fieldman said there would be no reconfiguration because the petitioner has a leasehold interest on the easement property, and that petitioner has the right of first refusal to purchase the property. Staff feels there is a high probability that the arrangement will remain that way. He added that the landowner had to sign off on the vacation of Pershing.
Commissioner Schnell asked where the sidewalk is located. Mr. O’Brien said it is on the east side of the vacated alley to the west side of Pershing. The sidewalk easement and curb and gutter will elevate the sidewalk. Commissioner Schnell is concerned with pedestrian safety. She also asked the percentage of greenspace planned. Mr. O’Brien said the requirement is 10%. They needed no variation.
Commissioner Tully reviewed that there are three parts to this proposal: 1) a special use; 2) a planned development; and 3) a right-of-way vacation. There are no variations or zoning changes requested. He said that this meets with a number of the goals of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan. Regarding standards for a Planned Development, Commissioner Tully said that a number of factors have to be considered, and he feels that these have been met. Regarding the vacation, he doesn’t see that access prohibits vacation of the property. He is happy that the vacation policy is being followed and is in favor of all aspects of the proposal.
Commissioner Urban asked for a review of the requirements for compensation. Mr. O’Brien said that the compensation package is based on the EAV of the land component of the adjacent property. They checked the latest assessment of the property and applied a 1/3 factor to the land value.
The Mayor said that assembling property is a goal on Ogden Avenue. He would like to see a nice development, but there will still be two owners. He would have liked the Village to get more from that development. There are many tools to reap better developments. He thought it would be better with one owner.
Commissioner Waldack then noted a math error in the calculations. It seems like a good project for both the Village and the petitioner. He had concerns about the neighbor’s business, noting there was an objection made by the neighbor. He would hate to have the neighboring business placed in jeopardy. He hoped the Plan Commission would expand their view regarding the general welfare to include neighboring business. He is comfortable going forth with this. He feels the neighboring business is not in any danger of losing business. His other concern was the turning radius of the neighboring business. The petitioner hired C.M. Lavoie. The study they did was a simulation. He felt the engineering firm would find for the petitioner because they work for the petitioner. He would have liked to have a neutral study performed. It appears to be a good project.
Mr. Fieldman noted that staff reviews the plans.
Commissioner Urban asked whether the same calculation is used in vacated private property compared to commercial property and Mr. Fieldman responded that it is. Commissioner Urban asked what the value is to the business by vacating the property.
Commissioner Schnell said that her concern is that there are a lot of alleys along Ogden Avenue that may or may not have crushed stone. She said they need to legitimize the alleys, as this will ensure being fair to everyone.
Mayor Krajewski said that one of the goals of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan is to interconnect parking lots and businesses.
1. Mandy Bank, 2105 Ogden Avenue, said she runs the car lot and the U-Haul next door. She believes they have been disregarded throughout this whole practice. She said this would cause them grief. She indicated that she and her husband are operating legally and have been here for 1-1/2 years. They are trying to build their business, and they oppose the petition. The use the alley for the U-Haul trucks, their trucks, and garbage trucks, and recently learned that they need a license to use the alley. The Secretary of State also recently told them that they need to use the alley to have two separate exits for the two businesses. The same representative of the Secretary of State gave her two different interpretations of the Administrative Code within a week’s time. The advice is interpretive and that is a huge risk for them. They were then told that the State probably would not enforce this. They may have to lessen the number of vehicles they have in order to be able to turn the vehicles around. They were also not given specifications regarding fixing the alley to make it possible to turn the trucks. Ms. Bank said that they tried to do without the alley because of the snowfall, and it is very difficult to get by and is a safety issue. By allowing the trucks to go out the back way they avoid potential accidents. Decreasing the number of cars and trucks on their lot will negatively affect their business. In addition, they’d have to have a dumpster located on the front of the lot. She and her husband have had no communication from the petitioner, and no one has offered a compromise with them. She is not opposed to compromise; however, this will cause them problems in running their business efficiently and profitably. She asked if this is approved, she and her husband deserve to know the time frame.
2. Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said there were four points he had to comment on. First, he liked that the Council is complying with the Code. He thinks that the idea of a 1/3 reduction in the equalized assessed value is an interesting one. In this case they are preserving the full easement cross the entire right-of-way. He asked as to the formula used if less than a full easement is vacated, or if this done on a case-by-case basis. He would like to see a written procedure. The Manager said that the current policy requires an appraisal or an alternate means of determining value. She said that they are within the parameters of the policy using the 1/3 calculation. Mr. Fieldman added that they only apply the 1/3 value to the portion to be vacated.
Dr. Goodman then said that in revisiting the vacation policy, he would strongly recommend including pedestrian circulations aspects in terms of the criteria. This case preserves the pedestrian access to Ogden Avenue.
Dr. Goodman then commented on the PUD being requested for property owned in fee simple and leasehold. He understands that the PUD process is a zoning change, and asked if they require a zoning change from all property owners. Mr. Fieldman said that they required the signatures of both underlying property owners.
Dr. Goodman then said that this is an improvement of the land use around the area and he hoped that the Village could accommodate all of the special features of it, as well as accommodating the adjoining property owner.
Mr. Fieldman said he would like to open a dialogue with the neighbors.
Commissioner Tully then commented on the appraisals. He specified that the Village does not ask people to go out for a professional appraisal, and instead uses staff to do an alternative analysis. He said that perhaps in this case they should have requested an appraisal. In the future, he asked for the reasoning as to why the appraisal was not requested.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether the alley to the gas station is paved over. Mr. Fieldman said there is an alley but it is not paved over as it is subject to wetlands.
Commissioner Waldack asked whether staff could talk with the Secretary of State representatives. He would also like to confirm that there is an ability to turn in the area allotted. He said that he read that the petitioner and the Banks would meet and he recommended that they get together, and that be made part of the proposal. The petitioner is the original owner of the Banks’ property.
Sidewalk Matrix Update – 2007.
Mr. Barber said he was presenting an update of the GIS work. They are 2/3 of the way through the Village and the lines on the map now are “smart;” however, they are not finished verifying the data. That will be finished this year. He said this identifies the ADA requirements and defects. There will be an interactive “smart” GIS layer on sidewalks. Regarding the matrix, they will be able to adjust the lengths of sidewalks based on the mapping. He said that they have updated some of the scores based on continuity and lengths. They reviewed costs, which were lowered to $33 per running foot based on what has been spent in the past two years. This will allow staff to go through the matrix faster. Staff has come up with a list of projects, which is a large program for this year. They have $610,000 this year and should be able to move through the rest of the projects in the next five to six yeas without changing the rotation of the order of any of the projects in the first four years.
Director Barber said that staff also looked at construction standards, seeing that sidewalks are within a foot of the right-of-way line for the safety of pedestrians and other right-of-way construction. This also reduces the need to redo sidewalks. They look at other obstructions such as trees, and try to move around trees wherever possible. In looking at the projects they have missed, Mr. Barber said they would like permission to work those into the existing projects if possible.
The Mayor addressed design standards, saying staff should use the one-foot from right-of-way as a rule of thumb, but they should use common sense. Mr. Barber said they do that, and they work with neighbors as much as possible.
Mayor Krajewski then said they should bid several of the 2008 projects as alternates. Mr. Barber said they are trying to bunch projects including sidewalks, stormwater, etc.
The Mayor asked when the neighborhood meetings would begin, and Mr. Barber said they would begin after concurrence from the Council.
Commissioner Schnell said she would like to keep the design standards flexible, and to make the list public as soon as possible. She also asked whether they are caught up on repairs as yet. Mr. Barber responded that they are working on trip defects. Depressional areas have not been fixed as yet. Commissioner Schnell said she would like to have an idea of the areas that need to be fixed so that funds can be appropriated as needed.
Mr. Barber then commented on the sidewalk at Chase, and Janes on 63rd to Hobson. He said that the County will consider connecting the sidewalks this year.
Commissioner Schnell said she agrees with the idea of bidding several alternates.
Commissioner Tully said he is thrilled that the money Council added to this program is coming into fruition with new sidewalks. This is an unprecedented program in terms of scope and size. He asked how far in advance the survey work is done. Mr. Barber said that the work for this year is finished, so it is about one year in advance.
Commissioner Tully commented on standards versus guidelines. He said he sees guidelines depending on the street in almost every issue. He understands standards relating to items such as the width, etc. The practice should continue using common sense. He asked about the fee in lieu of sidewalks, noting that it has been tied to some degree to the prior year’s cost. Mr. Barber said the Code provides an update each year and last year the construction cost plus the survey cost and material costs came to $30/running ft. Commissioner Tully then asked how many of the 60 miles without curbs and gutter are on the sidewalk matrix. He said that if there were to be future installation of curb and gutter, he would want to avoid ripping out the sidewalks.
Commissioner Tully said they may want to look more broadly at the sidewalks to include curb and gutter, and may want to align that with the stormwater program. There could be public safety, street sweeping issues as well, so they may want to be more comprehensive. Mr. Barber said that there are two projects that will give a better indication of the costs in that they include more than just the sidewalks. He noted a publication citing the need for curbs and gutters.
Commissioner Durkin asked what the total number of feet was and Mr. Barber responded that it is 20,000 square feet. Commissioner Durkin asked how it is bid, and Mr. Barber said it is publicly bid and generally they have two bidders for one single contract. Commissioner Durkin said he wants to be sure that the contractors for 2007 will be able to perform in ’07. Mr. Barber said this should not be a big problem. Commissioner Durkin said he agrees with Commissioner Tully to do those areas that do not have curb and gutter as one program.
John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson, commented on three issues. He said that the repair project on Jefferson in 2006 was very favorable. He agrees with the philosophy with respect to the issues in terms of placement, safety, greenspace, space for tree root systems, and the ability of the environment to breathe. He pointed out that every time this Council makes a decision to allow an exception to right-of-way width it is reducing spaces for the curbs, gutters, trees, sidewalks, etc. He said there is a good reason for a 70-foot right-of-way versus reducing the width to 66 feet. Mr. Schofield then said that in his neighborhood there are some amendments to the matrix designed to accommodate the requests of the neighbors, particularly the completion of the Brookbank segment of the sidewalk system. They are at risk of losing 330 feet of pedestrian access for some unspecified amount of time. The current limestone walkway will be torn up for the purpose of building a street. They have no idea of when the sidewalk will be put in.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
The Manager said that staff will provide the roadway improvement plan report that they were unable to present last week. She also thanked Council for the opportunity to attend professional training last week at the Illinois City Management Association.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting four* * items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for professional services between the Village of Downers Grove and Speer Financial, Inc.; 2) An ordinance vacating a certain portion of a public right-of-way in the Village of Downers Grove (a portion of Pershing Avenue lying south of Ogden Avenue at the intersection of Ogden and Pershing Avenues); 3) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to designate Ultimate Motor Cars as final planned development #45; and 4) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 2055 & 2101 Ogden Avenue to permit an automobile dealership.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh