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: Samantha Nelson, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Charley Smart, Blodgett House, 4804 Main; William McCune, 1436 Thornwood; Peter Hultman, 5540 Walnut; Lorraine Tresnak, 5300 Walnut; Mark Thoman, 1109 61st St.; Andy Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Geoff Neustadt, 4633 Saratoga; Bob Long, 1864 Grant; Mickie and Bruce Beckman, 4629 Middaugh; Damienne Souter, 605 Prairie; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; Raymond Pope, 5400 Walnut; Terry Brzezinski, 2219 Haddow Staff: Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Bob Porter, Police Chief; Don Scheidler, Acting Director, Community Development; Stan Balicki, Assistant Director, Public Works; Andy Matejcak, Director, Counseling & Social Services; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events; Judy Buttny, Acting Director, Finance; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Brandon Dieter, Management Intern; Wes Morgan, Director, Human Resources; Dennis Burke, Assistant Director, Human Resources; 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.
Consent Agenda Items
Manager Pavlicek said that yesterday the Village received a written withdrawal from the applicant regarding the Thatcher Road special use proposal which is Item 2a on the Active Agenda. She said this would not be discussed at this meeting, and there is no knowledge that it will be resubmitted. If it is resubmitted, it will have to be reviewed by staff and the Council again.
Bid: Heritage Festival Entertainment.
Bulletproof Vest Grant.
Mobile Crash Reporting System Incentive In-Car Printers Grant.
Bid: Floor Scrubber.
Bid: Front End Loader.
The Manger reviewed the items on the Consent Agenda and there were no questions asked.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
5420 Thatcher Road Special Use. The Manager said that this item has been withdrawn by the petitioner.
Blodgett House Update. The Manager said this item is a Motion requesting that the Village staff work in partnership with the Blodgett House on the Move Group to conduct a Thursday night fund-raising concert as part of Heritage Festival.
Commissioner Schnell asked if the Village is still having the Thursday night preview.
Commissioner Tully responded that there will be the preview night with the rides, and the ticketed beer garden event.
Commissioner Urban asked about any sponsorship from the Park District regarding the Blodgett House. The Manager said that the Park District announced that they are working on an internal review of this. They have given no timeline due to staff transitions. She said she understood they also hired an archivist to comment on the status of the property from an architectural perspective.
Commissioner Tully said he thinks this is a wonderful opportunity for a public/private partnership to preserve an historical icon in the Village. He referenced an article in the Chicago Tribune regarding the underground railroad stops in the Village, as well as in the State of Illinois in general. He is glad to see support for this and would like to see this done on an on-going basis to support historic projects throughout the community.
MANAGER ’S & DIRECTORS ’ REPORTS
The Manger said that there will be a Public Safety Subcommittee meeting on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. in the Village Hall Ante Room.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting three items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Paradise Artists, Inc.; 2) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the FY 2007 Bullet Proof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program; and 3) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Mobile Crash Reporting System (MCR) Incentive In-Car Printers Program.
1. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, thanked the Village for scheduling a Technology Commission meeting on Thursday. He said there is a great deal of interest and hopes people will participate in it. He understands that it is to be a workshop rather than formal meeting and asked for further information.
The Manager said it is a formal meeting of the Commission. Staff will be present to give an historical perspective on the issues leading to the development of the new website. She said that they will move to an open dialogue for comments, suggestions, concerns for additional improvement.
Dr. Goodman said he felt a workshop-type meeting is important for people who are trying to use the website. He has read correspondence from Ms. Fregeau, and feels it is important for people to be able to research documents from the Village. He said documents should not be wiped out after the first year.
The Manager responded that she saw some e-mail saying that she had given direction to have the documents wiped out, and stated that she has not given any such direction and not authorized any documents to be wiped out. The purpose of the website is to make the documents more readily available to the public. Dr. Goodman said it is not the elimination of the documents but the availability of the documents on the website.
The Mayor said that they are looking to put historical information on the website.
Dr. Goodman noted various types of documents, including those with backup support material are extremely useful to the public seeking a factual basis for discussion. Those are no longer available. He is asking for an opportunity for users to sit with the implementers to see what works and what doesn’t work on the website.
The Mayor said that people can bring their laptops to the meeting to show the staff what their concerns are. Dr. Goodman said he requested that the staff publicize this meeting, and contact those interested by e-mail. The Manager said she thought the e-mails were sent out and she will check to see that it is done.
2. Terry Brzezinski , 2219 Haddow, commented on the Belmont underpass project, saying she thought there was an agreement to inform people of changes made in plans for that area. She said that people have been coming into the yards talking about putting in 50’ high poles for a parking deck, and she asked if there is any plan for a parking deck.
The Mayor said there is no plan for a parking deck that he has heard of.
Ms. Brzezinski referenced a cost of $36 million for this project, yet she heard it said by Metra some time back that it was confirmed that this is a $50 million project. She asked if this will cost Downers Grove residents any additional money. She wonders where the extra money will be coming from.
The Mayor said that in the Village’s discussions with ICC and Metra the cost began at $24 million and worked up to $36.5 million. He indicated that they probably spent $10 million for land acquisition and engineering work already. He was in Springfield trying to get the State to contribute more to the project, as well as other grade crossings in the metropolitan area.
Ms. Brzezinski then referenced a conversation regarding having the Downers Grove engineers double-check Metra’s engineers about the design. A concern is that the creek is very close to the location proposed for the underpass. An engineering friend of hers said that the creek could affect the underpass project, and could result in constant flooding. She asked about the proposed pumping station, the amount it would have to run, and who pays for the maintenance of that station. She also said that residents mentioned that at one time the Belmont tracks were actually raised due to flooding problems, and she wondered if it might not be worthwhile to have the Village’s engineers look at this and see if it was a factor. Metra had different information in their assessment. She added that the tree service working for ComEd is reporting about the deck and the 50’ poles that have to be installed.
The Mayor said that he will contact the ComEd representative about that comment.
3. Raymond Hope , 5400 Walnut Place, said he represents the Downers Grove Senior Men’s Golf League. He said they have applied for Village grants for assistance with their Golf tournament and the Village’s participation has been well received and the money has been well spent. He thanked the Village on behalf of the League.
Commissioner Durkin expressed his appreciation for having had the opportunity to represent the Village in Reno, Nevada for the National League of Cities Conference in December 2006. He attended sessions in the areas of Traffic Logix-traffic calming and Sparks, Nevada flooding. He also attended the session with Keynote Speaker Henry Cisneros.
Commissioner Durkin said that Traffic Logix provides temporary solutions including alley bumps designed for speeds of 1-5 mph, usually in parking garages or alleys. Speed humps slow traffic more gradually than the bumps. Speed tables are flat-topped speed humps which are long enough for the entire wheel base of a car to rest on, and are the ideal solution for residential speed limits. The newest item is the speed cushion which allows larger and emergency vehicles, such as snow plows, to travel through without slowing down. These are temporary solutions and low cost. He has information to provide to the Parking and Traffic Commission.
As to Stormwater and Sparks, Nevada, Commissioner Durkin said that Sparks had a creative solution to local flooding issues with a public/private partnership to re-use an obsolete rock quarry. He described the flooding problem, and how it was addressed by using the quarry for stormwater management. That quarry handles one billion gallons of water with an average depth of 60 feet, and provides many recreational uses as well as stormwater management. He said that DuPage County has utilized this type of solution with old quarries along Route 83.
Commissioner Durkin then mentioned Henry Cisneros’ speech which addressed attainable/affordable housing from a national standpoint. He referred to the Chicago Tribune article of December 2006 which references the speech. It was interesting to see the number of people who attended the Keynote Speaker’s presentation and the discussion following that presentation. Commissioner Durkin thanked the Village and residents again for allowing him to attend the conference, and displayed a sample of some of the traffic calming solutions provided by Traffic Logix.
Commissioner Schnell referenced a sign she saw while on vacation in a small town inviting residents to come to a Council meeting. She noted that it seems as though all communities have a problem getting people to attend meetings.
Commissioner Tully said, with respect to the issue of archived materials on the website, it would be useful to the public and the Council. He then announced that the Downers Grove Noon Lions Club will be celebrating their 80th anniversary on April 27 at the Esplanade Lakes by Doubletree, located at 3500 Lacey Road. The theme is “Back to the Future, Remembering 80 Years!” Their keynote speaker will be former Governor Jim Edgar.
Mayor Krajewski said that he was at the Kensington Condo Association, which is an all electric building. When the ComEd rate increases came through ComEd took out the discount they formerly gave to all electric buildings. They also reclassified the building from residential to commercial. The residents have budgeted $40,000 and the bill will probably be $100,000. He said that at Cameo the first bill they received was $2,400, when previously they were $600. He has contacted Representatives Dillard and Bellock, and there is legislation pending in Springfield regarding the increases in the electric bills. The legislation may freeze Ameren’s rates, but carve out ComEd rates. He would like to at least see some adjustments in the ComEd rates.
The Manager added that staff has also been making phone calls regarding the ComEd rates.
The Mayor then said with regard to Sara Lee, they have completed their negotiations with Doubletree hotel and will be doing 10,000 room nights. That will benefit the Hotel Tax and the Community Grants funds.
Mayor Krajewski then said that Direct Marketing Services is moving to Downers Grove, and they will have 165 employees and 40,000 square feet of office space.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(2) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss collective negotiation matters and pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to consider personnel matters. Commissioner Urban seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Durkin, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 7:11 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh