1. Call to Order
Mayor Ron Sandack called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove 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
Executive Session Minutes for Approval Only – March 18, 2008 & March 25, 2008 Special Workshop Meeting – March 31, 2008 Council Meeting – April 1, 2008 Workshop Meeting – April 7, 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, presented an update on the construction of Fire Station 2, saying that the interior work is continuing including installation of the carpeting, elevators and outside site work. The security system is 90% completed. He showed photos of the progress on the building. The apparatus bay heating system is in place and the installation of the floor is scheduled to start on April 21. All of the stainless steel kitchen equipment is in place and the stair rails have been painted. Work has also started on the traffic signalization.
The Mayor said that Council is pleased that they are still on time with construction and remain under budget.
Special Presentation – Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation, Downers Grove Library
Jim Russ and Linda Kunze of the Downtown Management Corporation and Stephen Daniels of the Downers Grove Library were presented with a commemorative photo of the 175th anniversary of the Village by Mayor Sandack. He noted that they are valued partners and a critical component of the Village.
Downtown Management Corporation – Quarterly Report
Linda Kunze presented the quarterly report for the first quarter 2008 for the Downtown Management Corporation. She reviewed statistics on occupancy rates, increases in the EAV , and the number of spaces that are available for rental. Retail rent is averaging $24 per square foot, and 99% of the space is rented. Office occupancy has increased to 91%, with rates increasing to $22.30 per square foot. She indicated that the retail mix in the downtown area is strong.
Mayor Sandack thanked Ms. Kunze saying the Council appreciated hearing details on the status of the downtown business district.
Commissioner Beckman asked about comparisons of rental rates for retail and office spaces with neighboring communities. Ms. Kunze replied that Downers Grove is very competitive and is on the low side in terms of rental rates as compared to neighboring communities.
Commissioner Schnell asked for a further breakdown of the EAV between commercial and residential units. Ms. Kunze said she would try to obtain that information and forward it to the Council.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated the thorough report provided, saying that graphics are posted on the website for residents to review.
Commissioner Durkin commented that he serves as Council liaison to the Downtown Management Corporation and said that a great deal of work went into this report, and it serves as a great tool for the Village.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
There were no comments.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
1. Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, commented on the issue of the contract for branding, saying that he thought the $95,000 could be better spent on a needy project like streets or stormwater issues. It is an extravagant amount of money to spend.
Mr. Wrobel then commented that North High’s Jazz Band held a concert at the school last week, which was preceded by an organ concert. The organ is a Wurlitzer and is a jewel. Mr. Wrobel said that the instrument has been maintained and was also used for a concert on Sunday. He wanted the community to be aware that there is a tremendous asset in Downers Grove North High School with spring music concerts coming on May 8, 13 and 15, and the organ will be played for a half hour before each performance. He invited the community to attend.
Commissioner Tully responded on the issue of Branding. This was discussed in August during the Strategic Planning sessions, and was adopted by the Village Council. He said that staff is following up on the direction given by the Council. He indicated that the money would not be taken away from another project, and is budgeted as a separate line item. There will be more discussions regarding the matter.
2. Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street, also commented on the issue of Branding, saying there are three groups in the Village that market the businesses, including the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Corporation. These groups have direct ties to the Council and they actively market Downers Grove. He suggested that the staff, Council and the organizations meet to discuss using that money internally. He said $100,000 invested in those three organizations would have the same economic impact as if it were $300,000. They should be involved in branding the Village. Mr. Thoman said that the first thing people see when entering the Village are the logos on the water towers and entrance ways, and those things tie into branding. He suggested that the Council look into this.
The Mayor said that the process will be as inclusive as possible and not isolated.
3. Laura Crawford, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce announced the grand opening of the Chamber offices in conjunction with the Economic Development Corporation. Their new offices are located at 2001 Butterfield Road, Suites 120 and 125. She said there will be a concert by the Jazz Band, vendors offering local cuisine, etc. She thanked the staff for all of their assistance and invited the residents to attend on Thursday, April 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
4. Frank Falesch, 820 Prairie, said he supports the underpass arrangement, but he does not support $30,000 to be spent for lobbyists. He asked what they can do with $30,000. The Mayor said he will respond further at the end of the meeting as to what they feel can be done. Mr. Falesch added that he thought the cost for branding is also a bit extravagant.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -03268 A. Claim Ordinance: No. 5737, Payroll, March 28, 2008 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -03269 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 5718, April 15, 2008 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
RES00 -03270 C. Resolution: Grant Application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program Sponsors: Police Department and Finance Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF GRANT APPLICATION TO THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE FOR THE BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
RESOLUTION 2008 -37 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Police Department, Police Equipment
RES00 -03271 D. Resolution: Authorize an Addendum to the Contract with Classic Party Rentals Sponsors: Community Events Commission and Community Events Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN ADDENDUM TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND CLASSIC PARTY RENTALS (F/K/A CHICAGO PARTY RENTAL )
RESOLUTION 2008 -38 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Heritage Festival 2008
MOT00 -03273 E. Motion: Renew Insurance Broker and Re-Insurance of Property, Casualty and Excess Liability Coverage Sponsors: Human Resources Summary of Item: Authorization of renewal of brokerage contract with Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) for $25,000 for services related to the renewal of insurance and obtaining competitive quotes.
Authorization for the purchase of re-insurance coverage for property, casualty and excess liability for the Village with the following insurance carriers:
Excess General Liability/Auto Liability – Recommended Low Compliant Bidder 2008-09 – Illinois National Insurance – $15 million excess insurance $1 million self-insurance retention – 2008-09 Premium – $133,326
General Liability/Auto Liability Umbrella – Recommended Low Compliant Bidder 2008-09 - Ace/Westchester Liability – $20 million umbrella insurance policy – 2008-09 Premium – $46,403
Excess Workers Compensation Stop Loss of $450,000 – Recommended Low Compliant Bidder 2008-09- Safety National – 2008-09 Premium – $82,364
Property Insurance – Recommended Low Compliant Bidder 2008-09 – Chubb Insurance – 2008-09 Premium – $54,485
Total Premiums – $316,485 A motion was made to Authorize this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Insurance – Risk Management
MOT00 -03276 F. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions Summary of Item: Human Service Commission – March 5, 2008 Library Board – March 26, 2008 Plan Commission – March 3, 2008 A motion was made to Note Receipt Of 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 -03274 A. Ordinance: Annex 2525 Ogden Avenue to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois Sponsors: Community Development Summary of Item: This authorizes the annexation of the property located at 2525 Ogden Avenue.
AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING 2525 OGDEN AVENUE TO THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE , ILLINOIS
ORDINANCE NO . 4965 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: Annexation
MOT00 -03275 B. Motion: Approve the Scope of Established Parameters and Conditions Identified in the 2008 Heritage Festival Parking Garage Assistants Request for Proposal Sponsors: Community Events Commission and Community Events Summary of Item: This approves the scope of established parameters and conditions identified in the 2008 Heritage Festival Parking Garage Assistans Request for Proposal. Commissioner Schnell thanked staff for providing a breakdown of expenses through the 60/40 split. She said that radios and barriers have traditionally been part of the Public Works budget and she would like to see that money go to the not-for-profit organization.
Commissioner Waldack commented that he reviewed the information provided, and it appears that the Village is trying to recoup the cost of about $9,000. The $3.00 charged for parking in the deck went to the not-for-profit. It is not for parking, but is for the service to safely move people efficiently into the spaces. He thinks $3.00 is appropriate for the not-for-profit that provides the service. The Commissioner said that as RFPs are received, it is important that the Village require professionalism from the groups who provide the service. They should expect better service for the public. Heritage Festival is an opportunity for the not-for-profits, and he thinks the $3.00 charge is appropriate. The organizations are saving the Village money by providing the manpower. He would prefer to keep the price at $3.00 and let the not-for-profits keep the full amount. He is not in favor of raising it to $5.00 or having a 60/40 split.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated staff’s revisions based on comments made last week. He feels the questions raised earlier were answered and that what has been presented for approval is a compromise.
Mayor Sandack said that the staff has made adjustments based on the Council’s comments and concerns. This will not disrupt the Friday commuters, but will allow the not-for-profits to earn money and address safety issues for those utilizing the deck. A motion was made by Commissioner Durkin, seconded by Commissioner Beckman, to Authorize this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Nay: Commissioner Waldack Indexes: Heritage Festival 2008
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received
Mayor Sandack proclaimed Friday, April 25, 2008 as Arbor Day in the Village of Downers Grove.
The Mayor read a proclamation urging the Federal government to pass an appropriation bill regarding funding for Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi Accelerator Laboratories to urge that funding cuts be restored to the same funding levels which were provided to them in 2007.
Mayor Sandack then proclaimed Thursday, May 1, 2008 as Law Day in the Village of Downers Grove, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Law Day established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 9.Manager’s and Directors’ Reports
Assistant Manager Mike Baker presented a request to cede the Village’s bond cap authority. He said the Village has a policy with specific provisions as to how this matter is carried out. The Debt Management Policy was revised in 2007. He noted that the bonds are known as Private Activity Bonds, and they are not issued or repaid by the Village. They are an economic development tool provided by the State. The Village has the authority to cede the bond cap to other qualifying applicants. As of the March 1 deadline, the Village had received no requests for the Private Activity Bonds. Mr. Baker said the Village must take action before April 30 regarding the funds. He indicated that on April 3, 2008, the Village of Romeoville made a request to the Village to cede a portion of Downers Grove’s bond cap authority, and they submitted an application which is on file. The project request asks for $2.8 million for a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Romeoville. They will pay an administrative fee of $29,000 to the Village. Mr. Baker said that the options are: 1) the Council can act on the request tonight and waive the one-week waiting period; 2) the Village can reserve the bond cap authority; 3) the Council can choose to take no action.
Mayor Sandack asked for clarification that there were no other applications. Assistant Manager Baker said that was correct. The Mayor noted that the EDC Manager has indicated that no business applicants have contacted the Village either. In terms of the options available, Mayor Sandack said that option 3 seems illogical with the money reverting back to the State, since that is a tool the Village will lose.
Greg Bedalov, Director of the EDC , said that they aggressively marketed the Private Activity Bonds, primarily to businesses looking to expand or relocate into the Ellsworth Business Park. However, no desire to take advantage of those bonds was indicated. He noted that one business is in the process of potential expansion, but he cannot speak on their behalf at this time.
Commissioner Schnell asked if they chose Option 2, could the Village then act on the first Option two weeks later. Manager Pavlicek said that Romeoville is looking for an answer quickly. Commissioner Schnell said she does not want to cut off opportunities by waiving the one-week waiting period. The Mayor pointed out that the Village has received no applications, and Commissioner Schnell said she would like to keep the doors open if it is possible.
Commissioner Beckman asked whether this is the total amount of the cap authority, and Mr. Baker responded that the total is $4.2 million, which would leave a balance of $1.2 million based on Romeoville’s request, which could be available to another applicant.
Commissioner Durkin asked about the timeline, and the Manager responded that May is a State-created deadline. The Village’s policy created a March deadline. There were no applications as of March, so now this is on a first-come first-served basis. She indicated that the staff intended to cede this to the State, but then Romeoville’s application presented itself. Commissioner Durkin asked if this would create a credit risk or liability to the Village, and Mr. Baker said it would not. Commissioner Durkin said he does not support Option 3, and believes if they can help out a neighboring community he would favor the request.
Commissioner Waldack said that the only thing the Village has to do is reserve this before May 1, which would be at the April 22 meeting. He asked what the process was, and Mr. Baker said that Romeoville inquired about it, and the staff required that they file a formal application. Commissioner Waldack said they would be able to reserve this, and would have the rest of the year to decide on the remaining $1.2 million.
Commissioner Neustadt said that the administrative fee was placed in the policy last year. He thought waiving the one-week waiting period might be appropriate in this case. He would favor Option 1.
Commissioner Tully said that there are no competing requests, and there is no downside to this. He would agree with ceding the entire amount to a private entity, such as directing the money to pay half of the underpass cost; however, both he and the Mayor noted that unfortunately, with regard to these funds it cannot happen.
Commissioner Waldack asked about the Romeoville project, and the Mayor said it was for manufacturing.
Village Attorney Petrarca asked if she was to prepare two ordinances for next week, and it was determined she would do so.
Assistant Manager Baker announced that there are recycling events for electronic equipment and other items taking place soon. Information is available on the Village’s website. He said that on April 19 Wheaton and West Chicago will have an electronics recycling event, and collect other materials as well.
Mr. Baker said that on April 26 Glen Ellyn will also have a recycling event.
The Village of Downers Grove’s Amnesty Day will take place in September.
Mayor Sandack encouraged residents to look at the Village’s website for more information.
Commissioner Beckman asked about recycling or disposing of compact fluorescent bulbs. Mr. Baker said they are not mentioned for the Wheaton event. He said this is a topic proposed for consideration by the Environmental Concerns Commission. Commissioner Beckman said he had some information available and would share it with the Village Manager.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Durkin commented that he represented the Mayor and Council at the Good Samaritan Hospital volunteer recognition breakfast on Saturday. He said that David Fox, President of the Hospital, presented a check in the amount of $1.1 million dollars representing the labor cost that 60,000 hours volunteered to the hospital would be. He noted that volunteers work at all hours at the hospital in various situations, and encouraged residents to participate. Commissioner Durkin appreciated the opportunity to represent the Village at this event.
Commissioner Waldack thanked the Council and staff for their support on the trip to Springfield. Regarding the lobbyist, he said that by having a lobbyist present you are able to see things that most people do not get to see. He believes the lobbyist does make a difference.
Commissioner Neustadt said that there is a paper shredding event being held on Saturday, April 19, in the Police Department parking lot. One brown bag per resident will be shredded, and this is a nice way to help the residents dispose of personal documents safely. He commented on the Police Department awards ceremony held last Thursday. He noted that last year a number of guns were taken off the streets by the Police Department. Commissioner Neustadt said at that awards ceremony, a young seven-year old received an award for his 911 call that saved his grandfather’s life.
Commissioner Beckman mentioned that Wednesday, April 23, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition is having a breakfast at the Naperville Holiday Inn at a cost of $25.00. He thought this would be a good opportunity for people to express their concerns about the continuing delays on the Belmont underpass.
Commissioner Schnell expressed her thanks to the staff who accompanied the Council to Springfield, and to Doug Kozlowski for providing them with necessary materials.
Mayor Sandack announce that on April 17, Whittier School will celebrate its 80th anniversary at 4:30 p.m. in the school.
The Mayor then commented that the Family Shelter Service will hold its annual fund raising gala at the Carlisle on Friday, May 2.
Mayor Sandack then showed an informational piece produced by the staff which was given to the Legislators in Springfield. He said that in his short time on the Council, he believed the Village of Downers Grove has never been better represented in Springfield. They all went to every Legislator’s office and delivered that piece of literature. The Mayor said they had scheduled meetings and that was only due to the efforts of the lobbyist. He believes that the Village needed to be different and he believes they were noticed. He added that he would take full responsibility for hiring the lobbyist, saying that the Village’s lobbyist is in Springfield every day. Mayor Sandack said that this project will not come to fruition if the capital bill is not passed, and he feels that the Council gained access to the Legislators. The Village is attempting to take steps to finalize the underpass. He said that other communities used the Village’s information piece to share with appropriate individuals. The Mayor said he was proud of his colleagues. This was a great effort and has never been done before. He would like to see the residents lobby as well. Mayor Sandack said this does not mean they will get what they want, but he believes they have taken the right steps to make their feelings known.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Open Meetings Act to consider personnel and pursuant to Section 2©(5) of the Open Meetings Act to consider property acquisition. Commissioner Durkin seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack, Schnell, Mayor Sandack
Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 8:15 p.m