1. Call to Order
Mayor Ron Sandack called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Roll Call: Present: Commissioners Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
Absent: Commissioners Durkin and Tully
Commissioner Schnell moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider personnel; Section 2©(2) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider collective bargaining; and Section 2© (11) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider litigation. Commissioner Beckman seconded the Motion.
VOTE : AYE – Commissioners Schnell, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Mayor Sandack, NAY – None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 6:00 p.m.
Mayor Sandack reconvened the Council meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove at 7:04 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Sandack led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Martin Tully, Commissioner William Waldack, Commissioner Sean P. Durkin, Commissioner Bruce E. Beckman, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt and Mayor Ron Sandack Non Voting: Village Manager Cara Pavlicek, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden The Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC . In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6.
The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of the past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions on the active agenda items for this evening’s meeting. Following this, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on any subject. Finally, if a public hearing is scheduled for this meeting, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions related to the subject of the hearing.
The presiding officer will ask, at the appropriate time, if there are any comments from the public. If anyone wishes to speak, the individual should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name and address. Remarks should be limited to five minutes, and asked that individuals refrain from making repetitive statements.
Mayor Sandack said there are agendas located on either side of the Council Chambers, and he invited the audience to pick up an agenda and follow the progress of the Council meeting.
3. Minutes of Workshop and Council Meetings
Council Meeting – January 15, 2008 Workshop Meeting – January 22, 2008 There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Sandack said they would be filed as submitted.
Bi-Weekly Update – Fire Station 2 Construction
Ed Disler, Owner’s Representative, reviewed the plans for the three pods that make up Fire Station 2. In the past month, the drywall and taping has been completed in the north pod. He showed slides of the progress to date. Drywall on the second floor of the administrative pod is also underway. The firemen’s quarters has one coat of paint, kitchen equipment has been installed and the stairway has been finished. He said the project is on budget and on time.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, commented on the item concerning the Heritage Festival layout. He said he was pleased to learn that the Downtown Management Corporation has been involved in the planning stage of this Heritage Festival. He said he has discussed the Thursday night concert with Linda Kunze and he hopes that this year’s concert can be as much of a party for the people of the community as it was last year. He strongly urged the Council to pass the motion.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
1. Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street, said that last Tuesday Public Works had an open house for the capital projects. There was a good turnout and a positive response in spite of bad weather. He also commented on his continuing efforts to lobby for saving trees. He said he noticed that Public Works has shown a willingness to move around trees when possible when installing sidewalks. He is encouraged by the response from Public Works in terms of this request. Saving the trees also saves money.
2. Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, spoke on behalf of the Downers Grove Heritage Preservation Corporation. He said they have a good rendering of what the 1846 Blodgett House will look like when it is moved to Maple Avenue. The organization is working with the current owner and they expect to take possession of the house on Thursday. He extended an invitation to attend the open house on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Goodman said the next step in this project is to move the house onto the Museum property. The plan of the Preservation Corporation is to work on the house for the next 4-5 years before donating it to the Park District. He thanked the Village for its support.
3. George Swimmer, 4905 Main Street, made reference to an article written by the Mayor in The Grover. Mr. Swimmer said it appears from that article that there is a shortfall of cash for the Belmont underpass.
The Mayor responded that the plan continues, and they are trying to find the needed funding. The Mayor said that the shortfall is about $8.5 million. Mr. Swimmer asked whether the Village is prepared to put any of its money into this project. The Mayor responded that they are talking with the County, State, and Congressional representatives to assemble dollars per the Intergovernmental Agreement. Mr. Swimmer said that when Mayor Krajewski put the group together they came up with ideas for funding and there was a lot of synergy. He asked whether there is any thought to put this group together again. Mayor Sandack said that they just did that and Mr. Swimmer was invited. Mr. Swimmer said he did not receive the information. Mayor Sandack said that the State climate in Springfield is dramatically different than it was eight years ago. The Village Council is still focused on this project.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -03166 A. Claim Ordinance: No. 5727, Payroll, January 18, 2008 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -03167 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 5708, February 5, 2008 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BID00 -03173 C. Bid: Award $47,166 to Total Network Solutions, Inc., Downers Grove, IL, for Purchase of Two Replacement IBM System I AS /400 Servers Sponsors: Information Services A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Computer Servers
RES00 -03174 D. Resolution: Authorize a Contract with Astro Amusement Co. Sponsors: Community Events Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A CONTRACT BETWEEN ASTRO AMUSEMENT CO . AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE
RESOLUTION 2008 -09 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Heritage Festival 2008
MOT00 -03179 E. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions Summary of Item: Community Events Commission – December 13, 2007 Library Board – January 9, 2008 Stormwater and Flood Plain Oversight Committee – December 13, 2007 Zoning Board of Appeals – December 12, 2007 A motion was made to Award this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Boards and Commissions Minutes Passed The Consent Agenda
A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Durkin, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack
7. Active Agenda
ORD00 -03175 A. Ordinance: Authorize a Special Use to Permit an Accessory Structure at 4923-4927 Seeley Avenue Sponsors: Community Development and Plan Commission Summary of Item: At their meeting of January 7, 2008, the Plan Commission recommended that a Special Use be granted on property located at 4923-4927 Seeley Avenue to permit an accessory structure.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE TO PERMIT AN ACCESSORY STRUCTURE AT 4912 -4917 SEELEY AVENUE
ORDINANCE NO . 4955 A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Durkin, to Adopt this file. * *Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Special Use – 4923-4927 Seeley Avenue
ORD00 -03176 B. Ordinance: Amend Deck Signage Sponsors: Public Works and Parking & Traffic Commission Summary of Item: This enhances the current signage on all levels of the parking deck and removes Lot R signage on the ground level.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING DECK SIGNAGE
ORDINANCE NO . 4956 A motion was made by Commissioner Durkin, seconded by Commissioner Beckman, to Adopt this file. * *Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Zoning Ordinance – Deck Signage
ORD00 -03177 C. Ordinance: Amend Catering License Provisions Sponsors: Village Attorney and Liquor Commission Summary of Item: This will amend the Catering liquor license classification.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CATERING LICENSE PROVISIONS
ORDINANCE NO . 4957 A motion was made by Commissioner Beckman, seconded by Commissioner Schnell, to Adopt this file. * *Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Liquor Ordinance Amendments
MOT00 -03183 D. Motion: 2008 Heritage Festival Layout Commissioner Tully said that the layout of the Festival is the product of a process that included the participation of the staff, Downtown Management, the Community Events Commission and others who have worked so that Heritage Festival will continue for many years to come. He noted that the booths are going to be oriented toward the center of the street and will be back-to-back.
Commissioner Durkin said he spoke with Linda Kunze who was unable to attend the meeting. She asked him to make a comment thanking the Village for including her on the Committee. She looks forward to the implementation of the changes, and evaluating these changes at the end of the year.
The Mayor said that the collaborative effort was obviously a winner. He noted that it will become more difficult to put Heritage Festival together as the downtown area continues to develop. However, everyone seems to want to do the best thing for the Village. He commended staff for their continuing innovative efforts. Indexes: Heritage Festival 2008
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received
Materials to be Placed on File
9.Manager’s and Directors’ Reports
REP00 -03184 Information: General Obligation Bond Issuance – Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Plan Funding Manager Pavlicek said she would present an informational report regarding the General Obligation Bond issuance in the amount of roughly $26 million for the purpose of implementing the watershed infrastructure improvement plan. She said that if the Council chooses to do so, the bonds can be issues as soon as March. She noted that there will be a public hearing.
Commissioner Durkin asked if there were any updates on the current interest rates. The Manager said that once staff engages a financial advisor, this information would be provided.
The Manager said, in further response to Commissioner Durkin, that she would provide the information as to current interest rates on Friday.
Commissioner Tully referred to the November 20 Northern Trust report, page 3 regarding the structure of the financing. He asked about the three different bond issuances proposed for July 2008, January 2012 and January 2015. He asked if the terms would change if either the second or third issuance did not take place. The Manager said that Northern’s anticipation is that it would be a stair step bond issuance. If the bonds were not issued in 2012, payments would drop off sooner than anticipated. Commissioner Tully then asked about the category of fees, with respect to the 15-25 basis points range. He asked how they arrived at the premium of 18 basis points. He further asked what the bond insurance premiums would be. Manager Pavlicek said that typically they are bid at the time of issuance. Staff will provide the details to the Council.
Commissioner Tully commented then on the section of Miscellaneous Information on pages 19 and 20, and the impact of this much debt on the Village’s debt burden, debt per capita and the bond rating. He referenced a statement regarding debt amortization falling below the S&P guidelines for both the five-year and ten-year periods, and asked what that means.
The Mayor said that there will be a competitive bidding process for the selection of the Financial Advisor. There will be a public hearing and an opportunity for public input.
Solid Waste Contract
Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager, presented an update on the garbage contract transition process. He noted that on November 20, 2007, the Village awarded a contract to ARC Disposal, following an open and competitive bid process. The contract had an April 1 effective date, which will actually change to Monday, March 31, to make for a smoother transition. ARC has met the milestones for the transition to date. Information has been provided in the Hometown Times, on water bills, and through a brochure. Regarding the cart program, he said residents can contact ARC at 847-981-0091 if they are participating in the cart program. He said that Rick Bulthuis, the representative from ARC was present at the meeting.
Mr. Bulthuis said that operationally the trucks have been ordered and ARC will take possession in March. He noted that the drivers will be experienced drivers from other communities. All stickers have been purchased and are ready for the changeover, and carts have also been ordered with delivery for March. They expect that the cart program will expand. He indicated that the Village staff has been helpful in terms of putting a route schedule together, and the operational staff has toured the public facilities. In response to the Mayor, Mr. Bulthuis said that the route maps will be available on the website, in the Hometown Times, and a door-to-door tag hanging, which will take place one week before the change takes place.
Commissioner Beckman asked how ARC will determine which routes the seasoned drivers will take. Mr. Bulthuis said that they will bring in drivers from other communities, and experienced drivers will be in the Village.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether Allied will pick up the old carts, and the Mayor said they would be picked up after the last pickup. Mr. Baker said that staff has a list of all of the households with carts, and will communicate directly with them.
The Manager responded to Commissioner Durkin that there will be no changes regarding the recycling bins.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether carts would be made available for recycling bins. Mr. Bulthuis said that the program they currently operate has had other communities do that. Mr. Baker said as part of the contract approved, there will be no limit on the number of recycling bins. He will check about the size of the bins as well, and will make information available in the publications and the publicity prior to the changeover.
Commissioner Durkin then asked about how the leaf program will be highlighted. The Manager responded that staff will provide an outline for marketing this aspect of the program.
Commissioner Schnell said that not everyone who has received the information may be reading it, and she encouraged the Village to continue publicizing the program. She said that not everyone may know about it. She asked whether the current stickers for yard and refuse waste can be interchanged now. Mr. Baker said they can use blue yard waste stickers on refuse containers through March. Commissioner Schnell asked that they highlight that information with pictures in the Village Corner. If residents do not use those stickers they can return them to Village Hall before July 30 for a refund. The Commissioner also suggested a lead time for delivering stickers to the vendors, suggesting that if the wrong sticker is used in the first week, some solution be worked out. She asked for clarification that ARC will accept mixed recycling items, and Mr. Bulthuis said they do accept mixed items. They will accept an overflow if it is clearly marked as recycling.
Commissioner Waldack asked why they are stating that they are saving money by changing contractors if the sticker price is going up. He said a resident asked about this, and suggested that the comment be rephrased.
Mayor Sandack said he wants to see as much information delivered to the public as possible.
Emerald Ash Borer
Robin Weaver, Interim Public Works Director, presented an update on the Emerald Ash Borer, saying the Council approved a program for 2008 and staff anticipates replacing 400-442 trees at a cost of $250,000. She said 18% of the parkway trees are ash species. She said that the ash borer has been sighted in five new communities within the last month. In the State of Illinois they have been positively identified in 20 suburban communities. Geneva and Glenview Heights are the closest communities to the Village. She said that staff will be marking trees for replacement, and the decision to remove a tree is made by the Village Forester. Staff has drafted door hangers, and information is available on the website. She indicated that staff will work with the property owner as to their preference for tree replacement.
Commissioner Tully asked what the schedule is for the first trees to be removed, and Ms. Weaver said that staff will begin marking the trees within the next two weeks. Commissioner Tully asked whether there were any alternatives and Ms. Weaver said that some communities have searched out alternatives to removing the trees, but nothing has been effective on a long-term basis. She indicated that nothing has changed from the situation presented last year.
Commissioner Beckman inquired as to the approach that will be used in terms of removal, and whether it will be community-wide or in designated areas. Ms. Weaver replied that it will be community-wide, although some areas have more ash trees than others. Manager Pavlicek said that the GIS system has tree species recorded for the parkway trees. Ms. Weaver added that they will remove no more than two trees per street as this will be a five-year program. She said they think that planning will reduce the costs by starting before the neighboring communities in replacing trees.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether they will be replacing mature trees with saplings, or bigger trees. Ms. Weaver said that the replacement trees are 2.5” diameter, and that will not vary. Not all of the trees that will be replaced are mature trees. There is a full range of ash tree growth. There are a variety of choices of replacement trees on an approved list. The Manager said that if the Emerald Ash Borer is discovered in Downers Grove, the plans will change accordingly.
Deputy Village Manager David Fieldman presented an overview regarding staff’s work plan on the Strategic Plan. Mr. Fieldman said that the staff work plan is based on the Strategic Plan Agenda, which is a 12-month work schedule for each item. He said that monthly and quarterly reports on the status of the plan will be provided to the Council. He said staff has reviewed the 2008 policy agenda and come up with 16 top priority items. He reviewed the schedules, using the watershed infrastructure plan as an example. All items can be tracked on the Village’s website.
The Mayor said this will be another opportunity for the public to know what their government is doing. Indexes: General Obligation Bond Issue – Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Plan, Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Plan
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Beckman said he attended the Spring Board Program for the Downers Grove Artists’ Guild, and he was impressed with the quality of work presented. It is an indication of the comprehensive skills possessed by our community members.
Commissioner Tully commented on the status of the construction project for Woodward from 63rd to Oxnard. He said it is listed as a high priority item, and is still slated for construction in 2008. He asked the current status on this item. The Manager said that a letter will be delivered to residents this week as to the status.
Commissioner Tully then referenced a map and activity guide put out by the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau. He said he was pleased to see that several Downers Grove events are listed, including Heritage Festival, the Fourth of July Parade, and the Downers Grove Ice Sculpture Festival to be held this weekend. He encouraged residents to attend. As to the Visitors’ Bureau Guide, Commissioner Tully asked how the events included are decided.
Community Events Director Mary Scalzetti said there are various membership levels, and the Village chose an “attraction” membership.
Ms. Scalzetti reported on the National Ice Sculpture Festival to be held this weekend, saying there are 36 carvers signed up. The event will be at the Main Street train station, and on Mochel Drive. There are two days of competition, with activities for children as well. Forty ice carvings have been purchased by local businesses, and there will be a free trolley available for the public. An ice carving demo will take place at Pocket Park on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Commissioner Durkin announced that there will be a pancake breakfast at the First Congregational Church from 8:00-11:00 a.m., at a cost of $5.00.
Commissioner Schnell asked there will be an economic analysis of the Festival. Ms. Scalzetti said not at this time.
Commissioner Waldack announced the loss of Paul Brzezinski who passed away last week. He worked extensively on the Belmont Avenue underpass issue, as well as many other issues in the community over the years. Commissioner Waldack extended condolences to Mr. Brzezinski’s family.
Commissioner Waldack then commented on the announcement that the compact fluorescent bulbs have a percentage of mercury content. He asked the ECC to review this in terms of disposal of these bulbs.
Commissioner Waldack said that this has been a very rough winter, and fortunately the Village still has salt, while many communities have run out. He appreciates all of the work done by the Public Works staff. They’ve worked long hours. The Commissioner expressed concern about cul de sacs, noting that they are last on the list for street clearing. He would like to revisit the snow plan in terms of response time.
Commissioner Waldack said that he and his wife are fans of Andre Rieu who appears in many PBS concerts, noting that a concert was televised of a hometown concert in the Netherlands by Rieu. He thought it would be great to do the same in Downers Grove. Commissioner Waldack said that Joyce Tumea wrote the original words and music for the Downers Grove song. The Ice Festival is the official end of the 175th anniversary and asked that the song, “Downers Grove Home to Harmony,” be adopted as the hometown song.
Commissioner Waldack moved to waive the one-week waiting period. Commissioner Tully seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Beckman asked whether they were certain that this is the only song written about Downers Grove. Commissioner Waldack said to his knowledge this is the only original song. The previous song written was not original music.
AYES : Commissioners Waldack, Tully, Neustadt, Durkin, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
NAYS : Commissioner Beckman
The Mayor declared the Motion passed 6:1.
Commissioner Waldack moved to adopt “Downers Grove Home to Harmony” as the hometown song. Commissioner Tully seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Beckman said he felt that this should be researched to determine if there are other songs.
Commissioner Tully said that it is a nice gesture in appreciation for the writing of the song in celebration of the 175th anniversary.
AYES : Commissioners Waldack, Tully, Beckman, Neustadt, Durkin, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
The Mayor declared the Motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Neustadt thanked the entire Public Works Department, and the Fire and Police staff for their excellent work in maintaining the streets during the recent snowstorms. He reminded residents again that it is against Village Code to put their snow into the street. The Commissioner then said that he had attended kickoff event for the Woodgrove Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society. The Relay will be on June 13 and 14, 2008, and information can be found at www.relayforlifewoodgrove.com. He then congratulated his brother and sister-in-law on the birth of their second son.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether there is a policy established for any cul de sac emergency calls to assure that vehicles are dispatched should an emergency exist. Manager Pavlicek said that such a policy does exist.
Commissioner Schnell added that there have been high-risk residents living on her cul de sac, and Public Works has done a tremendous job taking care of these people.
Mayor Sandack said that the Village has a snow plan. There are limited resources, equipment and people to man the equipment. He said that this has been a particularly challenging year. He thought they have done a good job, and there will be a recap at the end of the season. Public Works does the best it can, and works to protect people.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn. Commissioner Durkin seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m