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; Geoff Neustadt, 4633 Saratoga; Tom Sisul, Chamber of Commerce; Andy Clark, Downers Grove Watch, 1226 – 62nd Street; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court. 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; Wes Morgan, Director, Human Resources; Judy Buttny, Acting Director, Finance; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Communications; Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester; Don Scheidler, Acting Director, Community Development; Jim Jackson, Deputy Fire Chief; Bob Tutko, Deputy Fire Chief
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.
The Mayor announced that the Chicago Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association annually recognizes projects and individuals that showcase excellence in the Public Works field. This year they have selected Kerstin von der Heide, Village Forester, as the recipient of the Professional Manager in the Facilities and Grounds category award. She has been with the Village for 16 years, and is a certified municipal arborist.
Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said that Kerstin has been recognized by many organizations, and he thanked her for all of her work for the Village and the Department. He presented her with the award.
The Manager reviewed the items on the Consent Agenda for questions or comments.
Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Supply of Ready Mix Concrete.
Commissioner Durkin asked if this is dry concrete. Mr. Barber said that it is delivered already mixed in a truck for patching for miscellaneous repairs. Commissioner Durkin asked if the Village is subject to a minimum of five yards delivery. Mr. Barber said they coordinate the delivery so they always get more than the minimum in order to do several pieces at one time.
Bid: Supply of Asphalt Materials.
Commissioner Durkin asked if this is pre-made as well. Mr. Barber said that this is picked up at the asphalt plant.
Roadside Ditch Reconstruction and Maintenance Services. No questions.
Debris Hauling/Supply of Crushed Limestone Supply Services. No questions.
Heritage Festival Agreement – Sound Contract. No questions.
Telestaff Software Agreement.
Commissioner Sandack asked whether this went before the Technology Committee. The Manager said that Dr. Wu looked at this, although the actual purchase was not taken to the Technology Commission. Items such as financial software go before the Technology Commission.
Commissioner Waldack said that the cost is $31,000 for the software, plus other costs, and asked what the total cost and benefits are in terms of overtime costs. The Manager said that she spoke with the Fire Chief last night, saying that staffing errors could be 2-3 times per year which could result in a $1,000 cost per event. She will try to update that information for him.
Annual License Renewal for 2007 OnBase Software with Crowe Chizek & Company, LLC . No questions.
2007 Assistance to Firefighter Grant Application. No questions.
Second Amendment to the Intergovernmental Grant Agreement with Metra for the Belmont Grade Separation Project. No questions.
Professional Services Agreement – Construction Material Testing Services for Fire Station 2. No questions.
Bid: Soil Removal Fire Station 2. No questions.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Manager Pavlicek then reviewed the Active Agenda and Informational Items for questions, discussion and/or comments.
Ordinance Declaring Intent to Create SSA #4 and Hold a Public Hearing.
The Manager said that this will establish the date of Public Hearing by adoption of the ordinance next week. It begins the process for property owners to respond to creation of the SSA district. She said that the ordinance should set forth the dollar amount as well.
1. Elmer Chasman , an 81-year resident of the Village, resides at 4808 Middaugh and said that the only work done on Middaugh was in 1982. He said he has lived at that address for 40 years. He said he was pleased when the Council decided at that time to keep the streets brick. He said in about 1930 under the WPA there was a project he participated in of turning bricks. He tried in vain to find any other time that the Village has done any work on the bricks on Middaugh Avenue. Since Middaugh is open to everyone, he sees no reason that only the residents on Middaugh should pay. He said it was his understanding when the work was done in 1982 that the restoration of the brick streets would be an ongoing cost to the Village. He thanked the Council for their time and complimented Oakwood Avenue for their report.
Commissioner Tully asked Mr. Barber whether the bricks used as part of the 1982 project for the 150th anniversary of the Village were the existing bricks, new, or a combination thereof.
Mr. Barber said that it appears the streets were rehabbed with older bricks, based on the appearance of the bricks. He added that the Village also has some older bricks stored to use for rehab.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciates the alternative estimates staff provided that more accurately reflect what an SSA would possibly cost as a resident’s portion. It appears to him that the cost should be based on the difference between constructing and maintaining asphalt versus brick. He noted the $.16 figure quoted.
The Manager said that figure is based on a 3% inflation factor. They also ran costs on a 5.25% inflation factor to reflect the average price increase in asphalt.
Commissioner Tully noted that based on the EAV on a $450,000 home, the levy would be $322 based on a levy of $.16, and $160 based on $.08.
Commissioner Schnell said that in the 1980s there was a lot of citizen input and representation from various groups. People were part of the solution. She is concerned about the misconceptions and concerns expressed by the people on Oakwood. She feels the SSA would be defeated and then the Council would have to decide what to do with the street. She suggested that instead of passing the ordinance next week, since they probably could not start work this season anyway, that an Ad Hoc committee be established with people from Oakwood and Middaugh, and let them present an equitable resolution to the problem. She wants to be fair to the people on Oakwood and Middaugh, as well as those in SSA #1 and #2. She wants people to buy into the system rather then feel alienated by the system.
Commissioner Urban said that the bricks are about 100 years old and he asked whether there is a market that sells bricks that are 100 years old. Mr. Barber responded that the project they have now includes about $52,000 to purchase bricks. There are companies that sell bricks obtained from other street reconstruction. They inventory some bricks for repairs and patches as well. Staff has estimated that they will have to buy some bricks for replacement. They have to be kept wrapped and palletted because they disappear. As to the timeframe if they determine not to pursue the SSA , Mr. Barber further responded that will depend upon the project. There is a lot of work including replacing the sanitary sewers, service connections, water lines, and surface work. If they don’t start until July it will take until December due to the number of steps involved. It takes much longer to do brick than asphalt. He thinks they should begin the bids early next year and get on the street as early as possible. It would be much better to do this in one season. The neighbors overwhelmingly prefer that it is done in one season.
Commissioner Urban asked, in relation to Commissioner Schnell’s suggestion, how bad the infrastructure is. Mr. Barber said that it could fail in 1, 5 or 10 years. It is probably in reasonably good condition, and they need a watermain replacement. He noted that the sewers in the streets are over 100 years old. He said the surface of the street is probably in the worst condition when evaluating the street, the sanitary sewer, and the watermain.
Commissioner Urban then said he would be in favor of putting this on hold as suggested by Commissioner Schnell. He has heard strong arguments as to why the residents feel it should not cost them extra to have the streets replaced. He would like to open it up to further discussion. He noted the historical value of the streets and that the brick street construction lasts longer. He would favor no charge to the residents, or a very minimal charge. He lived near that area in the 1980s and he remembers the discussion throughout the community at that time. He thinks they need to look at the entire project, and would favor tabling it to create the Ad Hoc committee in order to assure that the project is done properly and without rushing it.
Commissioner Sandack said that he has had conversations with the neighbors, and he agrees that some of the neighbors were upset because the numbers didn’t make sense, which is his assessment as well. They received figures today suggesting that the numbers are still being adjusted. He asked about the $130,636 figure they now have before them, and about deferred maintenance. He asked about credit due to the lack of maintenance. Mr. Barber said that the numbers they have now are put together differently than in the past. These are going forward numbers and not looking back. They have done nothing in terms of maintenance in the past, other than in 1982. They can’t find any real records of the Village doing anything on this project. It was an assumption being made. What they have done now is tried to look out 50 years in a residential neighborhood. It is not unreasonable that an asphalt street will last 25 years between surfacings. He explained that they took the current maintenance costs and took them forward at the 4.25%. The assumption that nothing has to be done on brick streets is not necessarily correct. He thinks they need to go back at least every ten years to check the need for replacement of perhaps 2% of the bricks.
Commissioner Sandack said that the Village does not typically charge residents for street repair. He is intrigued by Commissioner Schnell’s concept but worried that they may lose the construction season. Commissioner Schnell said they are already losing it.
The Manager said that the Council would have to concurrently adopt the SSA in order to have funds based on the adopted budget. Commissioner Sandack asked her if they don’t do the SSA , whether they would run into a problem. Manager Pavlicek said that they would have to do a budget amendment and would be close in terms of bidding and awarding a contract.
Commissioner Sandack said that he thinks the Council has to look at what makes sense going forward. He doesn’t mean that with any disrespect to past Councils that employed the SSA method. He said they are talking about infrastructures which should be seen as Village-owned assets, which are not usually given to people who live in proximity to that asset. Yet, they are doing an EAV calculation to determine which part of the road they own for purposes of payment. He is bothered by that, and is still bothered by the math. As to the historical relevance of the road, the Village has an Architectural Design Review Committee and people want to attach covenants that run with the land and their homes for the preservation of valuable/historical homes. These roads may not around if the Council does not make good policy discussions.* * He said they also have not discussed traffic calming devices. Commissioner Durkin has raised this issue in the past, and Commissioner Sandack asked if the Village is going to make those residents pay for those traffic calming devices. This is infrastructure, Village-owned assets. He added that the number keeps changing. He wants them to try hard not to lose the work season, but if they do he would support Commissioner Schnell’s concept.
Commissioner Tully said that the Village is not trying to force this on anybody. The concept is that if the neighborhood wants something above and beyond normal services, the SSA is the mechanism to provide it if the residents want it. The real debate is how and who pays for the addition of the brick streets. He is more comfortable with the numbers they have now because they make more sense, and the numbers should not be evolving as they speak on the issue. The Commissioner said that there has been a mechanism by which residents can say what they want, and the SSA is one mechanism. Regarding traffic calming devices, there are infinite needs in the community with a finite budget. There may be neighborhoods that want traffic calming devices installed that are not in the future plans due to the finite resources. The same is true for curb and gutter. He said that he is concerned that the Council not lose sight of the fact that not charging will result in residents lining up for other services that are not within the budget considerations. He said that some issues are public safety matters, and he believes they have to be fair to the entire community. He noted that the numbers given to the Council are different than before, and they need to be sure that what is done by the Council is not unfair. The Council needs to be good stewards of the finances of the Village.
Commissioner Waldack said that the first step in this process was to take the issue to the residents, and he thought that had already been done. The residents raised questions as to the numbers quoted. He said he is getting more e-mails regarding asphalting the streets. It seems to him now that they are almost back to Step 1. If the Village goes ahead with the SSA , the residents would need to get a 51% majority to stop it. He would like to see this worked on in this construction season, but time is getting short. He indicated that he would like to see the residents and Public Works meet again, even though the actual figures would not be available until this goes out to bid. As stated before, Commissioner Waldack said that they need to be fair to all the residents throughout the Village. He asked what would happen to the Village’s overall policies if they moved forward with the brick streets. He agrees that Commissioner Schnell’s suggestion is a good one, and he wants to be sure that the Council is doing this right. The numbers and the support for the project keeps changing, and he is not comfortable moving forward with this at this time. He supports Commissioner Schnell’s concept at this time.
Mayor Krajewski said he has no problem with Commissioner Schnell’s suggestion. He said that in 1982 a group of residents got together in celebration of the Village’s 150th anniversary and designated this as an historical area. He said they should look at the cost of the brick, asphalt and give credit for the maintenance. He is more comfortable with today’s number of $130,636. The Village can’t pay for this street and then the next ten miles of road as well. He asked what costs are involved in creating an SSA , in terms of the Legal Department and administration of the SSA .
The Manager responded that there is definitely a break-even point. In this case, it is not worth issuing bonds. This is a policy decision for the Council as it sets precedence. Mayor Krajewski reiterated that he is more comfortable with today’s numbers, and asked if other brick streets were constructed with a sand base.
Mr. Barber said that there was more reconstruction done in those streets and they lasted longer. They have lasted for 15-17 years and have not undulated.
Commissioner Durkin asked if this is the last section of the brick streets to be repaired/overhauled. Mr. Barber said that these are the only brick streets of which staff is aware, with the exception of Saratoga and one other block paved over in the early 1990s. The other streets seem to be holding up fairly well, but at some point that might become an issue if the appropriate maintenance is not done. Commissioner Durkin asked whether the SSA covers the maintenance costs. Mr. Barber said he wouldn’t propose to pay for maintenance out of the SSA . It would be paid for by the Village maintenance fund. He said that the difference in costs for the brick services is bricks versus the asphalt.
Commissioner Durkin then asked whether the trees are in harm’s way with waterline replacement. He asked if they will try to save all the trees. Mr. Barber said they would work around the trees as best as they can and will try to save all the trees on the block.
Commissioner Durkin then said he would be in favor of having the Village pick up the cost and pay for these streets, for several reasons. One being they are talking about $130,000, and several months back the Council discussed spending an additional $100,000 on Heritage Festival. Since it is the 175th anniversary and this is the last section of brick streets that appear to need repair, he would be in favor of having the Village pay that cost. Also, as Commissioner Sandack indicated, this is a Village asset. He was not on the Council in 1982 when the original decision was made. He does not want to delay on this issue and asked if it could be bid today to get an actual hard number. As for the idea of going out for further public input, he feels the time period, the rising costs of oil, petroleum, labor, etc., would merely increase the costs again. Mr. Barber said that the plans are 98% complete and they should have them done within 2-3 weeks to go to bid. Commissioner Durkin said he would be in favor of just getting this done this year.
The Mayor commented to Commissioner Schnell that he had read about the Historic Streets Association of Downers Grove, and Commissioner Schnell said she doesn’t know anything about this group. She indicated that there were two processes including the turning of the bricks in 1982, and then an ad hoc committee which reviewed more of the information regarding the streets. She said that many of the concerns expressed in letters in 1982 and expressed in e-mail today were similar, the difference being that back then people sat down in committee and hashed out the differences and negotiated a solution. She believes when the people work toward the solution together it is more palatable to the group.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether they have allocated the $100,000 set asked for Heritage Festival or if it could be moved to the brick streets.
Commissioner Tully said that they have to be fair to the community and there are other priorities to be met.
Commissioner Durkin said that this is what they are talking about tonight, they have been getting public input and misguided numbers. He understands that there are other issues to be met, but this is the issue before them tonight.
Commissioner Waldack asked if they adopt the idea of “a street is a street” if staff could identify those items that would affect the Village seriously in a budgetary manner. If this construction season cannot be met, they should hold meetings with the residents. This should then be the next issue for the strategic plan.
Manager Pavlicek recommended that staff prepare two motions, one to develop an Ad Hoc committee which would then look toward the next construction season, and the second to rescind the policy, amend the budget, and move forward with the brick streets this year. The ordinance to create an SSA would not be placed on the Agenda.
Commissioner Urban asked about the dollar amount to be included in the second Motion. The Manger said it would state that staff would take the necessary steps and discuss the budgetary impact.
Commissioner Schnell said that the Council would need to know the figures involved as they need to do what’s good for the entire community. She’s concerned about what project might have to be pushed back if they choose to move forward.
The Manager said that staff would prefer the Ad Hoc Committee, but heard that some Council members prefer to start during this construction season. She said that anytime they are asked to quickly put together numbers they run the risk of not providing good numbers.
The Mayor said that the money is in the budget. What is not there is money for the next 15-18 years, so what is affected is next year’s budget.
Manager Pavlicek said that they have discussed two choices, a formal budget amendment process or bring this back at year’s end for a budgetary adjustment. The Mayor then asked about the year end figures, noting that the Council has the actual end of year cost figures. The Manager said that staff is close to determining that.
Commissioner Urban said he would like information from the grant writer as to grant money available toward the restoration of historical streets. He said he remembered years ago when he sat on the Tourism Board and Jan Kopis came before the Board and mentioned that there were some Sears homes in the Village, and people have been getting off the train to come and see the Sears homes in the Village. The Village’s inventory of brick streets has been identified. He said he mentioned to the people regarding the Blodgett House that an inventory of historic homes should be identified, and he still believes that all historical assets such as houses, streets, trees should be inventoried. He is willing to allocate $130,000 based on tonight’s numbers as an investment in an historical asset of the community.
Agreement with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District.
Deputy Village Manger Dave Fieldman said that this is an intergovernmental agreement with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District in regard to the proposed reconstruction of Fire Station #2 and the demolition of the existing fire station prior to the construction of the new station. That poses a need on the part of the Village to find temporary operation and relocation facilities for staff at the existing Fire Station #2. Last October, staff presented a plan using the Village Hall in the daytime, and then splitting the firefighters between Stations 1 and 3 in the evening. That original plan addressed three goals: 1) to continue to achieve emergency response times of 4-6 minutes throughout the Village; 2) provide a safe and professional working environment for personnel and equipment; and 3) provide an effective mix of fire and emergency vehicles on the north side and south side of the tracks. Mr. Fieldman said staff has moved forward with the original plan because it met all the objectives.
Mr. Fieldman said that the Fire Chief meets with surrounding fire protection districts in other municipalities as an ongoing mutual aid and response program to provide all communities with excellent response times. In conversation with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Department, they indicated they have extra space near the Village’s existing Station #2. That brought up the potential to amend the original plan and house three firefighters and Engine #2 on a temporary basis during the reconstruction of Fire Station #2. The Village would enter into an agreement with Darien Woodridge to do that. The ambulance and two other firefighters would be housed in Village Station #1. Staff recommends that the Council adopt this intergovernmental agreement because it allows the Village to achieve the 4-6 minute emergency response time throughout the entire village, and also allows firefighters to work in fire stations. The old plan using Village Hall would not allow the firefighters to work in a familiar environment. The Chief and his Operations Team have prepared a series of reference maps to show how the response times would be achieved.
The Mayor said that the number one concern is the response time. He asked how much more the response time would be in this situation as it appears to be at least a two minute increase in response time. He then asked about using the maintenance garage to house the vehicles. As for the trailer issue, there is a sprinkler system requirement in the Village’s Code. He said another issue raised was that the buses would be repaired in the garage which would make housing the fire equipment a problem.
Mr. Fieldman responded that staff looked seriously at using the existing garage. The conflict is that all vehicles would be vying for space. The Mayor said that the fire trucks and safety vehicles are more important than buses. With respect to the response times, he suggested a map of concentric circles to outline the response times and areas covered.
Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti said that the maps are colored-coded. The newest GIS technology helps them track the streets. The old system did not do justice to the response times, but the new computer system gives them better ability to know the times. The Mayor said that he would like to know what time is being lost. The Chief said he could provide intersection information to show the time estimate.
Commissioner Schnell asked about splitting the Station 2 staff to Darien-Woodridge and Station 1, and asked why they are not being all housed in Darien-Woodridge. Chief Ruscetti said that Darien-Woodridge is limited in terms of the number of men and equipment they can house.
Commissioner Schnell then asked how much additional time would be needed to provide an ambulance, since the ambulance would be at one station and the firefighters would be at Darien-Woodridge. There would be a difference in response. Chief Ruscetti said that ambulances come from different locations everyday. If an ambulance is at the hospital, a fire engine would provide the support.
Deputy Fieldman said that staff can draw polygons to answer these questions.
Commissioner Schnell said that residents have raised questions. They need to reassure the residents that the quality of service will not change.
The Mayor said that he is looking for the difference between the service today and what it will be with the new location, and he would also like to know the average number of calls per day.
Chief Ruscetti said that 12-15 calls are received per day.
Mayor Krajewski said that Station 2 gets frequent calls to Immanuel Residences and asked for the number of calls there per day.
Commissioner Waldack said that last week there was a speaker at the meeting regarding the response time and he asked for an explanation of the term “response time,” and what happens when a call is received.
Chief Ruscetti said that it is broken down in to three parts, including receiving the call and processing it, which is usually done in 30 seconds. Then there is turnout time to get out the door which is about one minute. The remaining travel time is the actual travel to the house. They also track the time when they make actual patient contact. The Fire Department is one of the few organizations to have a 4-6 minute response time in the world, and they are proud of that.
The Manager responded to Commissioner Waldack that the maps prepared for tonight’s meeting by the Fire Chief take into account the travel time. If this is run on a Google system there will be different times obtained.
Chief Ruscetti said that police offers’ response times are not part of this calculation.
Commissioner Tully said that public safety and response times are the most important consideration. They need to maintain a high quality of services. He said that in reviewing the maps it appears that 4-6 minutes in response time will be preserved.
Mr. Fieldman said that the maps are for Downers Grove response times only. In further response to Commissioner Tully, he indicated that the maps show the response times in relation to the relocated stations. Commissioner Tully said that while the 4-6 minute response time is being maintained, the maps show that areas that previously enjoyed a 4-minute response time will now have about a 5-minute response. There are some significant shifts in response time due to the relocation of station 2. Chief Ruscetti said that they will not have a station in the center of town during the reconstruction. Commissioner Tully then noted that there are space constraints and other issues that would prohibit using Village Hall; however, he asked about locating an ambulance at Village Hall during daytime hours since the number of EMS calls seems to be high. Chief Ruscetti said it would make a lot of sense to do that, but it didn’t work out due to the depressions in the floor and the fact that the ambulance might go through the floor.
Mr. Fieldman said from a practical standpoint, approving the agreement between the Village and Darien-Woodridge will simply provide staff with another tool. This agreement would allow the firefighters to sleep at Darien-Woodridge. He noted that there are often firefighters at the Village Hall for training programs, etc. Commissioner Tully said he does not have a problem with the agreement, but the citizens are interested in knowing what the response times will be.
Mayor Krajewski asked again about the response time. Deputy Chief Jackson said that the map before the Council includes the road times. The 4-6 minutes starts from the time they get the call at the firehouse. The Manager said these maps are based on the industry standards.
The Mayor then said he would like to see the plan they would come up with if the Council said they wanted trucks and an ambulance at Village Hall. Chief Ruscetti said that perhaps they need to set up a meeting of the Public Safety Committee. The Manager said that one option is that the Council consider approval of the agreement, and there was consensus that it should be approved. The Manager said there is such a small financial outlay to have this option.
Commissioner Durkin asked about sharing the utility costs, and whether there are any insurance costs involved.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that the Village is not required to provide additional insurance, except for Village personnel. Commissioner Durkin then asked about the reason for the installation of the additional exhaust system and asked if that is due to having Engine 2 there. The Manager said it is to accommodate the Village’s truck. Commissioner Durkin asked for clarification that they would not be doing any capital improvements to the firehouse that would benefit them and not the Village. Chief Ruscetti said no capital improvements to their firehouse are being made at Village expense.
Commissioner Urban said that this topic needed to be discussed tonight, and now they can go into the Public Safety Committee with information from the Council. Commissioner Urban then asked about the $5,000 security deposit. Chief Ruscetti said it is because they are renting the space and are considered tenants of the building. Commissioner Urban asked who would be responsible for any damages, and the Mayor said the Village would be responsible. The Village Manager and Fire Chief would take up the issue if there were firefighters responsible. He asked the Village Attorney to review this.
Commissioner Schnell complimented the Chief on doing such a good job in working this situation out.
Mayor Krajewski noted that a member of the audience did not get the opportunity to comment on the brick streets, and he asked him to comment at this time.
1. Scott Jacaway, 4828 Oakwood, thanked the Mayor for the opportunity to comment, and apologized for arriving late. Mr. Jacaway then commented on the timeframe regarding the brick streets. He said that a project history was distributed to residents at the public meeting. The last neighborhood meeting was February 12 at the Public Works Facility. He said that the next meeting will have the Public Hearing and he believes they are still on-time with the project timeframe. As for past credit for deferred maintenance, he said he thinks there is value for deferred maintenance in the past. He has not heard the Council consider this. Mr. Jacaway said that 92% of the brick is there from the last installation of the brick streets. There is not much maintenance going back to the 1930s. He said that they estimate the bricks to be over 100 years old. Residents have paid taxes but have not received the benefit of maintenance on the streets. He thinks it is insulting to say that the value for past maintenance is zero because the Village has saved a lot of maintenance money. As to the historic value of the area, he has only heard Commissioner Urban address this and would like to hear from the other Commissioners. Mr. Jacaway then said that Commissioner Schnell’s suggestion is a good solution; however, residents have been meeting with staff for about 1 ½ years and have had an opportunity for input into the project. He sees no sense to talk any longer. If they delay this for another year it will add another $80,000 at 3% which makes this even more expensive. He said that most of the Council members received a residents’ newsletter regarding funding this project. He hasn’t heard anyone ask staff what’s wrong with the neighbors’ calculations, and hasn’t heard anyone challenge those numbers.
The Mayor said he thinks $130,000 is a good number without looking for credit for past maintenance. He noted that very little work has taken place over the last 70 years.
2. Ken Maple, 4832 Oakwood, said he has lived there for 30 years. He and the residents have been paying taxes for 30 years. He thinks the Council should treat everyone fairly, and they should do the right thing and get the project done.
Intergovernmental Agreement with Sanitary District (CIP Project – SAN -001).
Mr. Fieldman said that the Strategic Plan calls for continued focus on Ogden Avenue for expanded retail, and this is a component of that strategy. This intergovernmental agreement would bring a sanitary sewer at Ogden and Lee. There is no sanitary sewer that can service that area. The Sanitary District is responsible for the maintenance of the sewers and this agreement would allow the installation and maintenance of the sanitary sewer. The Village would reimburse the Sanitary District for the work, and he noted that this is a budgeted item.
Commissioner Sandack said that he understood there is a potential for recapture as the development occurs. Mr. Fieldman said that this agreement would allow 100% recapture if the Village so chooses.
Commissioner Schnell asked how this sanitary sewer would benefit Burlington Highlands. Mr. Fieldman said the project has two benefits. It would benefit the Ogden Corridor by providing sanitary sewer to this key area. It would also provide a benefit to the Burlington Highlands as they would be able to tap into the sewer main along Lacey Road. In addition, the Sanitary District would extend sewers further east.
Ordinance Amending Parking on Sherman Street (Prince to Saratoga).
No comments or questions.
Presentation – Water System Computer Model. The Manager said Director Barber would discuss both this item and Item f.
Presentation – Water System Metering & Water Use Report.
Mr. Barber said in 2005 the Village conducted a water system computer model. The study cost was $18,000 and concluded that the Village does not need to do any capital projects to increase the water pressure with the exception of one area at Summit and Fire Station 2. He reviewed the information concerning water availability and water use. He noted that in 2006 the Village was entitled to more water due to the drought, and the amount allowed for 2007 will be slightly lower. The goal is to maintain system pressures at 40-60 pounds per square inch. He indicated that the system is strong, and no system-wide improvements are needed to meet the pressure or available fire flow requirements. Mr. Barber said that is an excellent recommendation on the Village’s system. The driver of any maintenance would be a water main break. He noted that the information is based on the GIS mapping.
In regards to water metering, Mr. Barber said that in 2001 the Village moved to an automated meter reading program using meter transmitter units. The advantages of the program at the time included daily meter reading capability. Management reports provide more efficiency and response to customer needs. The program was implemented at a cost of $4.1 million. There are about 16,000 residential customers in the system at this time. In 2001 there was discussion of saving about 8%, which would have amounted to $525,000; however, they were unable to locate that type of savings in revenue. They found there was a problem taking the data out of the meter reading system and putting it into the billing software being used. They have changed the process to reduce the estimated reads. Mr. Barber said that there are some various uses of water that are not metered and staff felt it was important to understand where the water is going. They found that there were a few large meters that were not working correctly and that has been corrected. There are hydrant meters used by contractors for demolition and the Park District uses water for their fountains. New home construction has a specific allowance. Staff found many areas to track. The largest problem they found is that McCollum Park was not metered. That has also been corrected. He indicated that they have upgraded how to do leak detection by doing half the Village at a time. The Village averages about 2.2 billion gallons of water purchased from the DuPage Water Commission annually. In addition, there are two agreements, one with Darien and one with Westmont, whereby customers for those areas are fed off watermains fed by Darien or Westmont, and the Village has the meters for those customers. He mentioned other reports which are analyzed regularly to understand the water consumption on an annual basis. He noted that according to the reports about 90% of the customers use 50% of the water, while the remaining 10% also use 40+% of the water, such as businesses, multi-family units, etc. Staff wants to check those meters to be sure they are accurate and that they are sized appropriately. He explained how they are able to determine whether there are problems with specific meters, such as a meter registering a negative consumption or zero consumption. Unaccounted for water is estimated at about 760,000 gallons per day in 2006, which equals $341,000 annually based on the current rate of $1.23 per 1000 gallons. Water is the single largest purchase of a commodity the Village makes each year and is estimated at $3.5 million annually. Staff is working to account for the water and to identify areas to reduce losses and improve accountability.
The Mayor asked about the unbilled estimate usage and Mr. Barber said that is unaccounted for water including watermain breaks. He said there could be more than they are showing from leaks in town that have not surfaced as yet.
Commissioner Tully said when this program was put forward the meters were old and the new system would create greater efficiencies. He asked what the usable life of the system is estimated to be. Mr. Barber said it should be 20 years or so, even if technology advances. Commissioner Tully said at the time this was put into effect it was a big expenditure, and additional revenue was anticipated. He asked what additional revenue has been received, and he asked for the percentage of unaccounted for water usage prior to 2001. Director Barber said that there wasn’t justification for additional revenue estimated in 2001. They have added 900 customers in the TCE area so the numbers do not correlate. He said they do not have data on some water usage. The goal is to get to below 10% on unaccounted water usage. Mr. Barber said that the system had to be changed, noting that they have converted the software system and focused on some deficiencies enabling staff to work together as a team.
In response to the Mayor, Mr. Barber said the Village has to file with IDOT annually. The Mayor suggested looking at those annual reports as a comparison to determine some of the information Commissioner Tully was questioning.
Business Registration Certificate Ordinance. The Manager said that Assistant Manager Mike Baker has done a considerable amount of work on this project and submitted a report to the Council. Staff is asking that this be referred to the Economic Development Corporation and the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce for later action and Council review. She said he can make a Power Point presentation at this time, or he can do it at a later date. The Mayor suggested sending this to the Chamber and the EDC for their review first.
Commissioner Schnell complimented Mr. Baker for listening to all of the Council members and coming up with a compromise on what the Council was seeking.
Commissioner Waldack said he would like to see a slightly different definition of home occupations. He said that some people working out of their home may be storing chemicals, or just doing consulting work. He would like to see that definition tightened up. He said that the Governor is planning to tax services. The purpose of this registration is to find out who is out there and not create a tax. He doesn’t want to turn this into a tool for the State to abuse our system. The Manager said she wasn’t sure which legislative bill Commissioner Waldack was interested in, and the Mayor said he thought it was the gross receipts tax. Commissioner Waldack said he thought it was related to items such as home beauty shops, or home consulting services.
The Mayor said he heard that there was a website called “StopRod.com” and if anyone is opposed to the gross receipts tax they can go to that website.
Commissioner Durkin said that in Friday’s business section of the Tribune there was an article regarding developments in the financial industry regarding sub-prime lenders. One of those companies has its headquarters in Downers Grove, and he asked if there is any idea of the square footage of the business in question. The Mayor said he thought it was 60,000 square feet.
Commissioner Urban thanked staff for doing a wonderful job. He has concerns about home occupations, and wants to know what is out there. He thinks they need a better definition of this. He asked if there will be teeth in the ordinance for someone who does not want to pay the fee. Mr. Baker said he believed that the ordinance gives the Village the ability to issue citations in the event there is a business in violation of the terms of the ordinance.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Pavlicek provided an update regarding the Blodgett house and funding the move. She said that staff has reviewed funding alternatives. She said she spoke with Dr. Goodman and their group is intrigued with a Thursday night Heritage Festival concert event. There is a tentative meeting scheduled for Thursday on this issue. She said that prior to adoption on April 3 staff wanted to be sure that they outlined the direction of the funds.
Commissioner Tully said that there was a question earlier regarding the allocation of $100,000 in funds for the major entertainer for Heritage Festival. He said of the $100,000, there was a revenue component associated with that for a net of $65,000. He said that given the competition for musical acts it is difficult to attract a group for $100,000. Big entertainment does not seem to be materializing. The instruction to staff was to utilize the funds in the 175th year to enhance activities throughout the year, including the Ice Carving Festival, Fourth of July, etc. If there is a Thursday night concert, it will be a ticketed event. He suggested that as part of Heritage Festival they could have a ticketed event every year to support historic preservation projects, such as the Blodgett House. The primary purpose is to support the Village’s heritage. He said that there were details to be worked out in terms of revenue and expenses including beverage sales, police and fire services, etc. Commissioner Tully said that this will not solve all of the historic preservation issues of even the Blodgett House. There will need to be public and private solutions to this. One issue to work out will be to have the house moved to Park District land, and he doesn’t know if there have been any further updates regarding that.
The Manager said that the Park District meets on Thursday night and information will be provided to their Board.
Commissioner Tully said that the Park District needs to hear that the Village is committed to this project. He said that the Community Grants program may be an option in the future as well.
The Mayor said it is a good idea to go into partnership on Thursday night. The Rotary would be using their share of the money for their projects. He suggested they could sell front row seats at a premium price.
Commissioner Schnell agreed that it was a good idea and a way to raise the funds, noting however that it will take a number of volunteers to make this work.
The Mayor said that the Rotary Club District 6450 has adopted a big project they are working on, and there would be a lot of help coming in from outside the area.
The Manager reminded the Council that the Village’s contractual arrangement with the Rotary requires the Rotary to run the beer garden, with the Village providing maintenance and other type of responsibilities.
Commissioner Durkin asked how they will project revenue from Thursday night if it is going to be split with the Blodgett House. The Manager said that staff would come back to Council with a proposed agreement. She said the proceeds could go to the Village and then be allocated through Community Grants. Staff has not yet met with the group.
Commissioner Durkin then asked about ticket sales, and the Manager said the ticket they are discussing is strictly for the Thursday concert.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 11 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of a rent/lease agreement with RJ Recording.; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Principal Decision Systems International; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of a second amendment to a software maintenance agreement with Crowe Chizek and Company, LLC ; 4) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the US Department of Homeland Security for 2007 assistance to firefighters grant program; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of a second amendment to a grant agreement with Metra for eminent domain services for the Belmont Grade Separation Project; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District; 7) A resolution authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the Downers Grove Sanitary District to construct a sanitary sewer in Lacey Road from Virginia Street to Ogden Avenue; 8) An ordinance amending parking restrictions on Sherman Street and amending Village Lot W; 9) An ordinance authorizing the acquisition of property known as the Belmont/Burlington Grade Separation and Transportation Safety Project/ 4940 Belmont (Konopacki Parcel); 10) An ordinance providing for the settlement and closing of the property known as the Belmont/Burlington Grade Separation and Transportation Safety Project/4940 Belmont (Konopacki Parcel); and 11) An ordinance adopting and approving publication of the Village of Downers Grove 2007 Zoning Map.
The Mayor asked if there is a new walkway on Acadia on the Green. Mr. Fieldman said there is, saying he believes it conforms with the downtown standards.
The Mayor then asked the Village Attorney whether the Legal Department is working on revising the ordinance regarding the issuance of Code violations. Attorney Petrarca said they were working on Chapter 1, Section 16, looking to expand it to construction sites.
Commissioner Schnell said there has been no update on Acadia on the Green lately, and asked if staff can provide something within the next week or two.
Commissioner Tully also asked when they expect Mochel Drive to reopen. Mr. Fieldman said they believe it will be in May corresponding with the opening of the first unit.
Commissioner Tully announced the Coffee with the Council on March 17 at 9:00 in the Public Works Facility at 5101 Walnut.
The Mayor noted the sales tax numbers for December were over $2 million, setting a record for both the home rule tax and the regular sales tax. It is the first time the Village has gone over $2 million. He added that the tax for the first quarter of 2007 is also over the estimated amount. He thanked the Village residents for shopping in Downers Grove.
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, commented on the Blodgett House project saying he was interested in the Manager’s comments. He said that it seems that the funds identified by the Council for the 175th anniversary celebration have been allocated. Of the options the Manager identified, some might have taken money away from ongoing projects. They thought it was more positive to explore an additional event that might bring focus back to the heritage of Downers Grove. He said it will take a lot of resources and he thinks there are many other groups in town that would join in the effort. Dr. Goodman then reminded the Council of the 4th possibility of putting money into the 2008 budget that would be associated with heritage activities. They could have a program that provides for protecting assets of the Village. He indicated that the cooperation of Mr. Salman, owner of the Blodgett House, has allowed the community to continue to discuss this issue. He urged support and encouraged voluntary efforts for historic preservation, saying he hoped the Village will build funds for historic preservation into its budget in the future. He then asked if the funds from the Thursday event are to go through Community Grants whether there would be a special meeting of the Community Grants Commission for that purpose.
Manager Pavlicek responded that staff would recommend a specific time frame to expedite the process.
Dr. Goodman said he is looking forward to the meeting on Thursday and hopes this will all work.
Susan Estall, 5512 Main Street, said there was an article in the Chicago Sun Times regarding tourism and the underground railroads. She was pleased to hear the Council’s comments on this project. She said she has been working to make contact throughout the community such as District 58, and the Native American Center. Other outreach groups have expressed interest. She said Jacksonville has a program centered on underground railroads. They received a $200,000 grant from the State as well as other grants.
Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, commented on the NIGAS issue for the property at 4500 Bryan. He said that he commented at the last meeting about a problem getting NIGAS to remove a gas connection to the property on Bryan, and thanked the Mayor for his efforts to get the gas line removed. The owner is putting in silt fencing, and they hope to see progress occur soon on that site.
Frank Falesch, 820 Franklin, said he was a recipient of emergency services recently and they did a great job. He commented on the situation on Curtiss Avenue west of the Post Office, stating there are hazardous conditions there with construction in the middle of the street. People cannot see through the canvassed area. He suggested that they remove parking along the curb and put in a painted pedestrian walkway. It is very dangerous if you are walking that area.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh