Mayor Sandack called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall. The Mayor led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Present:Mayor Ron Sandack; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Martin Tully, William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin, Geoff Neustadt, Bruce Beckman; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Residents: Cole and Maxx Becker, 4604 Seeley; Jon Parthun, 4601 Seeley; Thomas and Robert Svoboda, 3550 Pomeroy Ct; Joseph and Joseph Vitti, 4734 Main; Jeremy Craven, 4928 Oakwood; Kevin Dabrowski, 6722 Blackburn Pl; Kevin and Steve Brewton, 1945 Curtiss; Lance and Ian Nogle, 4422 Washington; Alex Buckley, 4414 Stanley; Cameron Frank, 2041 Grant; Brien Robbins, 2041 Grant; all of Boy Scout Troop 55. Jarrod Mullins, Juxtapose House of Art, 23 W 374 Woodcrest Court, Naperville; Kyle Johnson, Juxtapose House of Art, 23 W 374 Woodcrest Court, Naperville; John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson; Andy Clark, Downers Grove Watch, 1226 62nd Street; Bill Wrobel, Downers Grove Watch, 7800 Queens Court; Frank Falesch, Downers Grove Watch, 820 Prairie; Alice Strelau, 5611 Brookbank; Jim Russ, 4915 Main; Greg Bedalov, Economic Development Corporation, 4840 Seeley; Linda Kunze, Downtown Management, 4801 Montgomery; Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street; Laura Crawford, Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce, 1015 Curtiss
Staff: Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Karen Robbins, GIS Specialist, Information Services; Robin Weaver, Interim Director, Public Works; Bob Porter, Police Chief; Dave Fieldman, Deputy Village Manager; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Megan Bourke, Management Analyst; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Judy Buttny, Director, Finance; Brandan Deiter, Management Analyst; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events
Mayor Sandack explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:00 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.
1. Active Agenda and Informational Items
Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation Third Quarter Report . The Manager introduced Greg Bedalov, President, Economic Development Corporation.
Greg Bedalov , President, Economic Development Corporation, provided the quarterly update for the third quarter of 2007. He said he has included a summary page on the five benchmarks, as requested by the Council. The retail sales tax figures include comparison information of other communities. Hotel revenue showed an increase of about 9%. The EAV increased 4%. Office vacancy fell about 39%. The Esplanade complex has indicated that by March 2008 the complex will be 100% full. Employment in the Village rose by 3%, and Downers Grove outperformed DuPage County as a whole.
Mr. Bedalov then discussed the retail sales tax which decreased 3.28% but remains on a par with DuPage County. The sales tax decrease is related to the loss of Downers Grove Dodge dealership. He reported on meetings with Opus and other agencies regarding perception issues, traffic concerns, etc. The EDC is working with Opus to improve their situation. Hotel Sales Tax revenues were up 9%. He indicated that the EDC ’s marketing campaign “In Campaign” is in full swing at this time. He said further reports will be given to the Council in the near future.
Mr. Bedalov said that the EDC ’s upcoming Board meeting will be held on December 13.
Commissioner Schnell asked how the Village is doing with respect to hotel revenues with the opening of the new hotel in the neighboring community. Mr. Bedalov said that they opened in September, but the Village’s hotel managers are holding their projections for the remainder of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008.
The Mayor noted that the EDC is funded almost exclusively by the Hotel Tax. He thanked Mr. Bedalov for a good report.
Planned Development with Exceptional Use, Special Uses for Drive-Throughs and Plat of Subdivision. The Manager said the petitioner is requesting a motion to table this item to a future meeting, but prior to March 27, 2008. She said that advance notice on this would be given to interested residents when a date is established.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that waiving of the one-week waiting period is necessary to vote to table the item this evening.
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner Durkin seconded the motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Schnell; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Commissioner Tully moved to table to a future Workshop meeting prior to March 27, 2008 discussion of the planned development with exceptional use, special uses for drive-throughs and plat of subdivision for the property located at the southwest corner of Ogden Avenue and Lee Avenue. Commissioner Durkin seconded the motion.
Commissioner Schnell clarified that this would be tabled to a date no later than March 27, 2008.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Tully, Schnell, Beckman, Neustadt, Durkin, Waldack; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Zoning Ordinance Amendment – Accessory Structures. The Manager asked Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development, to address this item.
Tom Dabareiner , Director, Community Development, said that staff is seeking approval of an ordinance related to accessory structures on residential lots. Should the Council not approve this next week, they may decide to remand this back to the Plan Commission. He reviewed the history of this item, saying the current text amendment was prepared and reviewed with the Plan Commission’s input. He said the amendment would make applications for accessory structures on adjacent lots held by the same owners as a special use, which would require an application and referral to the Plan Commission. Mr. Dabareiner said that the Plan Commission originally considered a proposed amendment in the early fall, and rejected that text amendment. He said staff feels this document addresses their concerns.
The Mayor said he recalled that the Plan Commission was in favor of the text amendment, but wasn’t in support of the particular language used. Mr. Dabareiner said that was correct. This amendment substantially meets the Commission’s concerns.
Commissioner Tully said he thought this was a superior means to address this unusual issue. He then asked about Subsection (a) of Section 28.502 and how the Village Council would require termination of the special use upon the sale of the property.
Budget Amendment for Fiscal Year 2007. The Manager asked Judy Buttny, Director, Finance, to address this item.
Finance Director Judy Buttny said this ordinance is to amend the adopted budget for FY 2007 . She reviewed the components of the amendment to the General Fund that resulted in no net change to the fund. The ordinance also includes a transfer of $200,000 into the Risk Fund to reduce the deficit balance from increased worker’s compensation claims, and $15,000 for AEDs for the Fire Department. The revenues from the Primeco settlement will pay for the AEDs.
With respect to the CBD TIF Fund, Ms. Buttny said this fund increased by $213,000 for the installation of underground utilities for Acadia on the Green and the upgrades of additional CBD crosswalks.
Expenditures in the Risk Management Fund increased by $725,000 based on actual claim experience and an increase in the year end reserve.
Expenditures in the Parking Fund increased by $60,000 for ComEd increases and construction costs of Parking Lot I.
Expenditures in the Fire Pension Fund increased by $133,000 as a result of unanticipated disability pensions and related costs.
Commissioner Tully clarified that this is traditionally done every year to reflect events that have already occurred.
Telecommunications Tax Increase. Ms. Buttny said that the telecommunications tax will increase 1% bringing the total to 6%, the maximum allowed by the State. This will take effect on July 1 and the additional revenue generated is estimated to be about $410,000 for FY08 . The first 5% of the Telecommunications Tax will continue to be directed into the General Fund. The additional 1% will be used to fund expenditures in the Capital Projects Fund.
Agreement with Downtown Downers Grove, Inc. for Design and Construction of a Dumpster Enclosure. The Manager asked Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman to address this item.
Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman reported on this agreement between the Village and the Downtown Management Corporation. He noted that the budget includes $75,000 for the design and construction of new dumpsters, which will approve the appearance of the alley in the CBD , and will reduce the number of dumpsters. He indicated that Downtown Management will design, construct, maintain and manage the common area dumpster enclosure near the parking deck. The Village would reimburse them in the amount of $37,500 and inspect the dumpster.
Jim Russ , Chairman, Downtown Management Board, thanked staff for proactively looking into this item, which was originally anticipated by the Lakota Plan.
Commissioner Durkin asked how many participants will be involved in this project. Mr. Fieldman said that it will be managed by Downtown Management with four to six businesses participating. That will reduce four to six dumpsters into one.
The Mayor said this is an excellent example of partnerships and good neighboring. The alley beautification program improves the appearance and makes the alleyway safer. He said he would support this project.
Liquor Code Amendments – Proposed Ethical Standards. The Manager said this amendment prohibits contributions to campaigns of elected officials, and members of the Liquor Commission.
The Mayor said this Council has made some adjustments and supplements with regard to changes to the Ethics Ordinance. The Liquor Commission looked at the Liquor Code per se. Many of the same concepts in the Ethics Ordinance are embodied in these amendments. Liquor licenses are privileges, not rights. As Mayor, he is also the Liquor Commission and he fully supports this. Some of the sentiments may overlap, however, this will be codified in the Liquor Ordinance and will allow for penalties for violators of this ordinance.
Commissioner Tully said he thought some of this goes too far, and some not far enough. There is already a ban on persons doing business with the Village from making campaign contributions. He said perhaps that they only need to revise the current ordinance to include licensees, which might address some concerns he has. Commissioner Tully said he thinks this has to be discussed further. He proposed looking at the standards for Village Council campaign finance practices. If the intention is to include liquor license holders as a category prohibited from contributing to campaign, they can add a Category C—Village licensees. That would include any licensees including liquor licensees. As for penalties, he said there is a Gift Ban Act Ordinance that specifically says that recipients cannot accept gifts, and the donors cannot make gifts. The penalty is a misdemeanor, and he doesn’t know if they have to go further. He then read from the Gift Ban Act. Commissioner Tully continued, saying that this could be done more simply. The other aspect is that the prohibition of contributions be extended to the Liquor Commission members who may be running for office at some point. He asked why they should stop at the Liquor Commission. There are projects with tremendously more value than those handled by the Liquor Commission, such as decisions made by the Plan Commission, Community Events, Technology Commission and Community Grants Commission. In regard to the language of the Ordinance, 3.22(b) (i), he does not agree with the Liquor Commission making final determinations, but suggested that the Liquor Commission recommend action to the Council. *
Commissioner Beckman* said that he shares many of Commissioner Tully’s concerns. With regard to Section 3.22(b) he finds this troubling in that it is absolute in nature. He noted that limitations may be more appropriate. He gave an example of a multiple corporation that may own various types of businesses, with a wine or beer license business that is only adjunct to the business itself. Based on what the ordinance says, that person would be prohibited from making a campaign contribution, and that is why he thinks the limitations could be appropriate.
Commissioner Durkin said that perhaps clarification is needed of the term “municipal campaign accounts,” and whether that refers to the State Board or to accounts with a bank.
Commissioner Tully asked whether you can receive contributions after you close your municipal campaign account.
Commissioner Durkin said he thought there was a $2,900 window.
Commissioner Schnell said that she believes the idea is that the Liquor Commission is not to take money regardless of it being a gift or a campaign contribution. She asked if the advantage of the amendment is that it makes it clear to liquor licensees.
Village Attorney Petrarca said that was the intent. If the Village wanted to do something to the license violator, it must be included in the Liquor Ordinance.
Commissioner Tully said that elected officials in the Village should know that they cannot take contributions or gifts. He feels this is too broad in terms of those people who could violate this ordinance. He gave the example of someone holding a temporary liquor license for one specific event, and whether they would be included in this restriction. He is concerned with the broad terms of this amendment.
Mayor Sandack asked that the Village Attorney look into any duplications, and unintended consequences to temporary liquor licensees. The purpose of this is that holding a liquor license is not a right, but a privilege. Violators of the rule should experience the consequences. Commissioner Tully said there is no rush here, and there can probably be some wordsmithing done to clarify the issue.
Ordinance Amendments – Liquor Provisions. The Manager said this would allow for on-site consumption of beer and wine at cultural/performing arts facilities.
The Mayor said this would be a new license carved out for cultural or performing arts facilities.
Commissioner Waldack noted on page two, the second sentence begins with the word “provided” and suggested it is unnecessary.
The Mayor said he thinks it’s ok to remove the word.
Commissioner Schnell clarified that the intent of this is for something like an art studio to have a wine and cheese event for on-site consumption. Attorney Petrarca said that was correct.
Creation of Transportation and Parking Commission; Repeal of Parking and Traffic Commission and Transportation Advisory Commission. The Manager asked Mr. Fieldman to address this item.
Mr. Fieldman said that on July 17 the Mayor directed staff and the Public Services Standing Committee to examine the merits of combining the Parking and Transportation Commission with the Transportation Advisory Commission. He said that the Public Services Standing Committee met twice on this and recommends approval of a new seven-member board known as the Transportation and Parking Commission. They further recommended that there be an open application process for seven new members. They also proposed a consolidation plan outlining the proposed responsibilities of the new Commission, as well as an orientation for the new members.
The Mayor clarified the concept that they would be combining the two boards into one commission.
Commissioner Neustadt said he served on the Transportation Advisory Commission and there were many meetings where there was a significant overlap with the Parking and Traffic Commission. The main focus of the TAC was the bus and commuter system. He thinks it makes sense to combine the boards into one board which would address all of parking and traffic concerns, and he will support this. Commissioner Neustadt said he sent out an e-mail today expressing his interest in adding a youth member to this Commission to give the student’s insight into the high school parking issues, teenage driving, pedestrian uses, bike paths, bus travel, etc. He is very proud of the Youth in Government program, saying that the Village doubled the number of students applying to the Youth in Government program this year.
Commissioner Waldack said at this time he is against the consolidation of the two boards because it doesn’t address the current issues in the community. The consolidation was proposed by the Mayor; and staff and Council agreed that it should be reviewed. The Public Services Committee was given a duty to head towards consolidation. He said that in reviewing the minutes of the Public Service Committee, four reasons for consolidation were given: 1) create a proper venue for public discussion, which he said they already have; 2) the process would be transparent, consistent and predictable. Commission Waldack said it already is transparent and consistent. With respect to predictable, he doesn’t see this as a reason for consolidation; 3) improvements in customer service, which he said is a need that always exists; and 4) the consolidation would have the best outcomes for the Village. He doesn’t see these reasons as apropos. As for staff timing and reports, he hasn’t seen that the two commissions have duplicated efforts and reports. Commissioner Waldack said it is not clear to him how the consolidation would improve the process. As for meeting times, TAC has had a number of changes with vacancies and the departure of the Public Works Director. TAC was concerned with advocacy rather than evaluations, and he said that advocacy was a fundamental element of TAC from its inception. He thinks the scope for TAC was limited to the shuttle system and commuter parking.
Commissioner Waldack said that what was missing from the Public Services Commission meetings was the issue such as what is on the P&T plate. He sees this requiring retooling on the part of Parking and Traffic Commission. He noted that residents have expressed needs such as traffic calming devices, the underpass consideration, etc. He noted that four Council members have committed to a transportation system, and he thinks they should be doing a lot more. The Village needs a revamped TAC and not a consolidation of the commissions. TAC should be considering the shuttle system, working with other communities for commuter parking, parking fees for the western suburbs consistent with the northern suburbs, reverse commuting, and a circulator system. He stated that TAC was considered as the prime group to consider the circulator system. Commissioner Waldack said he sees consolidation as a huge mistake, and would not want to do anything that would hurt potential funding for transportation. He discussed the taxi subsidy program, and bike plan and the alternative transportation plan which should be reviewed by TAC . He sees the Village as being more reactive than proactive on these issues. He doesn’t see consolidation as a plan. He believes the Village needs a transportation plan, similar to the stormwater plan which made the Village move forward with regard to stormwater. Commissioner Waldack said he is willing to sit down and put together thoughts about transportation. He’d be happy to work on a report. But at this time he does not think consolidation is the answer. They might consider an ad hoc committee for transition. He asked that a decision on consolidation be delayed.
Commissioner Schnell said that when the Public Services Committee was asked to look at this, staff made a presentation. She said in discussing the bus system, she believed they needed to look at transportation as a whole with one board. By combining the two commissions, transportation will be seen as a whole. Currently they have a disjointed approach. Combining the groups leads to a more comprehensive way to look at the issue. TAC and the Parking and Traffic Committee (P&T) have done a good job, and it may be good to add new blood at this time. She suggested if this goes forward that a letter be sent to members of the groups thanking them for their service and obtaining their interest in serving on the new board.
With regard to Youth in Government, Commissioner Schnell said this was discussed at the Public Services meetings but they could not build a consensus and agreed to bring this to the Council. She has mixed emotions, but there is an issue that could be beneficial to having youth members. Residents are concerned with speeding, traffic calming, etc., and having to deal with this issues would bring a different perspective to that youth member who may then bring those issues back to their peers.
Commissioner Schnell said she is in favor of the consolidation. They need to be specific as to the duties and responsibilities, and she would hate to see this delayed any further because there is a responsibility to both boards as to their future.
Commissioner Beckman said that he endorses this consolidation. He thought that one of the issues that could be addressed more effectively by consolidating the commissions is providing a more effective voice for the community. He noted that there was a profound lack of objection to the consolidation by members of the commissions. He thinks that the Council owes it to the community to act quickly on this issue. With regard to the youth member, he is not sure that this is an appropriate time due to the merger of the two committees. Topics may demand more expertise than a student could bring at this time.
Commissioner Durkin said he supports the merger and would like to move quickly. He supports Commissioner Waldack’s suggestion for preparation of a complete transportation plan. After one year, he would like to see a youth member added to the new board.
Commissioner Tully asked staff how many times the P&T met over the last two or three years. Staff responded that they meet every month for approximately two hours. Commissioner Tully said as one of the members of the Local Transportation Subcommittee some time ago, the Subcommittee strongly advocated the formation of TAC . He recalls that it was always contemplated that TAC might someday merge with P&T. He doesn’t feel strongly about this issue, and sees the question not so much as having two separate commissions, but what the charge is. He asked whether it is too much work for one body, and he would like to hear from the P&T membership. He has no problem combining the two since they overlap, but questions whether it is prudent to do so.
As for the youth member, Commissioner Tully said that they have been a fantastic addition to other commissions and he would support this at the appropriate time.
Mayor Sandack said he appreciates Commissioner Waldack’s passion for the transportation issue, and the concepts he has put forth are appropriate. He thinks it is appropriate to discuss the transportation issues in relation to the DuPage Mayors and Manager’s discussions. He agrees that they ought not to overtax the Boards and Commissions. The Mayor said that staff and the Public Service Committee have put forth proposed responsibilities which are doable. He agreed that they can use an ad hoc committees when appropriate as they are doing with affordable housing at this time. TAC as separate and apart from P&T has run its course. The Mayor said that Commissioner Schnell’s recommendation to thank the membership and determine their interest in serving on the new board is an excellent suggestion. As for the youth member, there has been an overwhelming response and those involved have been successful. There is no reason not to have youth members on the transportation board when the time is appropriate.
Commissioner Neustadt asked about a time frame for the youth involvement, and whether it would be some time around August or September.
Commissioner Beckman said they cannot predict this since the board is not yet created.
Commissioner Tully agreed with Commissioner Beckman. They need to determine the consolidation, and what the charge of the board or boards may be. He thinks August might be too soon.
Commissioner Durkin said that August or September is eight or nine months out, and he thinks that is enough time to add a youth member.
The Mayor said that he has no trepidation with the timeframe suggested.
Commissioner Waldack pointed out that he is not against consolidation, but he is against consolidation right now. There are issues that need to be addressed right now. He suggested that they consolidate in a more organized manner. There has to be a transition period, and they need a better transition process and time.
The Mayor said that Commissioner Waldack is raising policy decisions that need to be determined by the Council, and not by volunteers on the commission.
Commissioner Waldack added that he is pushing for feedback from residents, and to have an advisory board advise the Council, rather than just giving it to staff to pursue.
Commissioner Schnell agreed that the youth member could begin in August or September. She attended the Circulation Study meeting, saying there are many misconceptions about the cost and impact. That has to be a very well thought out decision. She thinks, however, that they need to move forward on the board.
Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, commended the discussion by the Council, saying he has not attended many TAC meetings, but has attended numerous P&T meetings. He said that public comments are taken at the end of the P&T meetings, if recognized by the Chair. He thinks consolidation will bring a new era, as P&T has used the same tools for years. Putting this under one umbrella is a step into the future.
2. Consent Agenda Items
Manager Pavlicek summarized the items on the Consent Agenda for questions and/or comments.
Police Uniform and Equipment Contracts. No comments.
Bid: Parkway Tree Pruning Services .
Commissioner Durkin asked how they came up with the quadrants, saying he would like to see a map of the prospective pruning areas. The Manager said that there are geographic quadrants mapped out, and the pruning is based on what area has been done in previous years.
Commissioner Schnell complimented Village Forester Kerstin von der Heide for lobbying to get the Village back on a 5-year pruning program.
Bid: Low Voltage Security Equipment for New Fire Station 2. Mr. Fieldman said that Ed Disler, in his last report before the Council, commented that they were over budget on one item. Mr. Fieldman said that the Village is on target for the cost estimate with respect to this project. The change mentioned by Mr. Disler will not change the contract terms with the general contractor. The Village will not pay more for putting up the brick in bad weather. They may need to amend the contract for additional testing, but there is room in the budget to do so.
Commissioner Schnell said she understood that the masonry would not be done before December 1 and, because of that, additional testing would be needed. She did not understand that as going over budget. Mr. Fieldman said that was correct. There will be more dollars needed for additional testing, but they will not be over the budget.
Commissioner Tully asked if the possibility of additional testing was contemplated. Mr. Fieldman said it was. They carried some contingency items and line items in the budget.
The Mayor said they are doing a good job. The weather plays a large part in the construction completion. They are not that far off schedule and they are on budget.
Bid: Furniture for New Fire Station 2. No comments.
Bid: Low Voltage Audio Visual Equipment for New Fire Station 2.
Commissioner Beckman said that his question applies to both Items e and f. He asked why two bids are being made with incomplete responses. The Manager responded that the Village held pre-bid meetings with vendors, and there were no questions asked and no requests for addendums. Staff believes they may have had vendors who were not familiar with fire stations.
Bid: Low Voltage Cabling and Paging Equipment for New Fire Station 2. No comments.
Elevator Inspection Contract. No comments.
HIPPA Opt-Out Resolution. No comments or questions.
FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Applications. No comments or questions.
Remote Access Mapping Software . The Manager said this is not competitively bid as this is a sole source provider. There were no comments or questions.
3. Manager’s and Directors’ Reports
The Manager pointed out new posters and information for the public with regard to addressing the Council, as well as Boards and Commissions at public meetings.
a. * Senate Bill 1429 – Streamlining Sales Tax Act.* The Manager asked Assistant Village Manager Mike Baker to address this item.
Assistant Village Manager Mike Baker said this bill would impact the Village if it were adopted. The idea is to capture sales through the Internet and mail order sales. He said that the legislation will have a specific impact and will potentially begin in 2009. It will create “destination” sourcing, which is a change from “point of sales” sourcing. This will also impact the manner in which the sales tax rate is applied. Based on a preliminary analysis, there will be some loss of sales tax revenue from retailers that maintain substantial delivery operations, as well as sales tax benefits from residents who purchase retail goods for delivery outside of Downers Grove.
Commissioner Schnell said she thought that this is something that will be discussed during the Springfield drive-down.
b. Construction Site Enforcement Update. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to address this matter.
Mr. Dabareiner discussed the purpose of the review. The goal is to improve Village performance with regard to review times, reduce number of review comments and increase our inspection accuracy and improve customer performance with regard to reducing the number of resubmittals and the amount of time between submittals. He focused on plan reviews accomplished, showing a table of 2006-2007 permit reviews. First reviews are currently taking nine days. In response to the Mayor, Mr. Dabareiner said that the number of submittals and reviews between 2006 and 2007 remained about the same, although the nature of the reviews changed. The time to permit is well below 30 days. As for Code Enforcement, and the number of violations per site, about 50% of the sites had no violations in the summer months. Violations decreased in the fall and the numbers have shifted dramatically between 2006 and 2007.
Some of the issues seen were improvements in signs, silt fencing, dumpsters, toilets, streets and sidewalks. Mr. Dabareiner said that all of these issues have improved from the previous year. He indicated that review times now mimic the national standards and the staff is working to enhance project management roles and skills by meeting with the builders in advance. He pointed out that although they reduced the number of Code Enforcement officers, they gained efficiency in performance. There is a performance standard now of minimum daily site visits. Some non-enforcement duties have been transferred such as sign and fence permits.
Mayor Sandack noted some observable improvements. He asked for benchmarks regarding closing out jobs. He complimented staff on their efforts.
c. GIS Presentation. The Manager said asked Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services, to address this matter.
Dr. Liangfu Wu and Karen Robbins of Information Services reported on the project. Dr. Wu said the system was installed in 1996 and has a huge database. He said Karen Robbins is a GIS specialist. Ms. Robbins said that the Parcel Navigator is what the public will use to search a property. She demonstrated how a resident would obtain information. They can search on PIN numbers, planned development names, forestry, drainage information, zoning, etc. The Mayor asked whether they can interface the information with active maps. Ms. Robbins responded that the Village’s maps are more current than the Google maps.
Manager Pavlicek said that this will go on-line live January 8, 2008.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 21 items to the Council: 1) An ordinance adopting accessory structure provisions; 2) An ordinance providing for an amendment to Ordinance #4866 and the Village of Downers Grove budget for fiscal year 2007; 3) An ordinance establishing the Transportation & Parking Commission; 4) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program (Washington Park); 5) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program (McCullom Park); 6) A resolution to opt-out of compliance with the provisions of the Federal and Illinois Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Acts for the Village Health Plan Year 2008; 7) An ordinance establishing a liquor license for a cultural/performing arts facility; 8) An ordinance approving a redevelopment and license agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Downtown Downers Grove, Inc.; 9) 2007 aggregate tax levy ordinance; 10) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to Fairview Avenue debt service; 11) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 1999; 12) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2000; 13) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2001; 14) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Water Bonds, Series 2001A; 15) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2003A; 16) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2007 tax levy related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2007; 17) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of January 2007 and ending on the thirty-first day of December 2007 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area); 18) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of January 2007 and ending on the thirty-first day of December 2007 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #3; 19) An ordinance amending the Simplified Municipal Telecommunications Tax Rate; and 20) An ordinance amending the Home Rule Sales Tax.
Commissioner Neustadt thanked the Public Works Department for their work on the snow and ice removal. He urged people to use caution in their travels.
Commissioner Schnell reminded everyone to shovel their sidewalks.
Commissioner Tully extended congratulations to Midwest Ballet, and the West Town Chorus on their Christmas programs, which were great successes.
The Mayor echoed Commissioner Neustadt’s comment on the work done by the Public Works staff to keep the roads clear.
Mayor Sandack said he attended a meeting with representatives of Metra, Burlington Northern/Santa Fe, County of DuPage, the Illinois Commerce Commission and the IDOT with respect to the Belmont Underpass. The topic of discussion was the status of this project. The County has committed to petitioning the ICC for $12 million in funding. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for January 8 to discuss the next steps. It is contemplated that the underpass will be completed in 2011. The only thing missing is the IDOT component.
Bill Wrobel , of 7800 Queens Court commended staff on their response to residents’ concerns about the Fire Station questions. He also recognized Director Tom Dabareiner who has made a handbook of redevelopment come to fruition. He attended a resident meeting of the Downers Grove Coalition for Managed Redevelopment and provided them with information as to what is taking place in the Village.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to discuss pending litigation. Commissioner Durkin seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 9:40 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh