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, Commissioner Martin Tully; William Waldack, Sean P. Durkin, Geoff Neustadt, Bruce Beckman; Acting Village Manager Dave Fieldman; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Deputy Village Clerk Linda Brown
Absent:Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Catherine Leyden, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Stan Urban, Every Day’s a Sunday, 990 Warren; Austin Ruf, 848 Sheridan Place; Bob and Barbara J. Messler, 6245 Leonard; Mark Newey, 6295 Janes; Leonard and Mary Ann Atkins, 6204 Janes; Kathy Harmon, 6275 Janes; Aimele Beck and Judy Mueller, Elmhurst College; Joe and Evelyn Krol, 6147 Leonard; Paul Simonek and Dawn Stella, 6250 Leonard, Charles and Charlene Stella, 6240 Leonard; Craig and Dawn Bowlin, 6251 Leonard; Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street; John Berberet, 2430 61st Street; Mike Ford, 6300 Leonard; Dale Banfi, 2420 6ist Street; Frank and Barbara Bayro, 6140 Leonard; Michael Cowden, 6121 Leonard; Martha and Sean Harnik; Bill and Robin Lapacek, 6150 Leonard; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Marge Earl, 4720 Florence; Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh Staff: Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Robin Weaver, Interim Director, Public Works; Mike Millette, Deputy Director Public Works; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Communications; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Megan Bourke, Management Analyst
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: Acting Village Manager David Fieldman reviewed each of the Active Agenda items for comments or questions by the Village Council and the general public.
a.One-Day Parking Permit Changes. Manager Fieldman reported on a change to the one-day parking permit system. Lot L, the lot outside of Village Hall is often filled with one-day permit holders, who are displacing people holding quarterly permits. A change was made recently at the managerial level, to provide Level 5 of the parking deck for one-day parking permit holders. Permits can be purchased now at 8:00 a.m. at Village Hall.
b.Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment. Mr. Fieldman asked Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development to comment on this item.
Tom Dabareiner , Director, Community Development explained proposed changes to Chapter 28 of the Zoning Ordinance. The changes fall under three categories: 1) current enforcement process; 2) clarification of language; and 3) change of definitions. He explained that the changes include off-street parking for RV’s, requiring that they be placed on paved surfaces, and permitting temporary storage of RV’s for up to ten days in residential driveways. They have added language that says anything not specifically permitted is prohibited. But, changes to the text can still be requested. In addition, the time limit for noncommercial signs, such as political signs or crop walk signs in residential districts has been lifted. Temporary commercial signs have been limited to an 8 week period, per year, per lot.
Regarding clarification of language, Mr. Dabareiner said that references to the Downtown Business and Downtown Transition districts are added, as is the term “Wine Boutique” for a permitted use; shared parking rules are clarified, as are the regulations for development on existing flag lots. The amendment reinstates smaller contractor signs, such as house painters, etc., and temporary banners are not permitted above the second floor.
Commissioner Beckman asked about shared use of religious facilities for parking, such as near South High School and Mr. Dabareiner responded that shared parking is allowed where the uses do not conflict in terms of peak and off-peak times. They would have to meet certain criteria.
Commissioner Tully asked about the comment that anything prohibited would not necessarily be removed from consideration, and he asked that the comment be clarified. If it is prohibited, it would be removed and Mr. Dabareiner said that was correct.
Commissioner Tully then requested that when a series of amendments of various types are contemplated, that a list of real life examples be included, such as practices currently permitted that would be prohibited, and vice versa.
The Mayor explained that many changes have been made to the Code, and these amendments are made to make the code easier to read and simpler to follow. He then said it would be good to have an intermediary step to cover items that can be handled administratively and placed on the Consent Agenda to move them through smoothly. He then commented on a typo on Page 18 in the DT shaded area.
Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, asked that the green sheets for next week include the real life examples Commissioner Tully referred to earlier.
c. Remand to the Plan Commission: Rezoning, Planned Development with Variations, Special Uses for Drive-Through and Outdoor Cafes and a Plat of Subdivision – 63rd Street and Leonard Avenue.
The Manager said that the subject property is on the north side of 63rd Street. In September of 2007, the petitioner requested approval of this development, and the Plan Commission voted unanimously to deny the petition. Since then, the petitioner has attempted to address the issues raised by the Plan Commission, and has requested an opportunity to have this remanded to the Plan Commission so they can address the issues in question with new information.
The Mayor asked for comments from the public.
Kathy Harmon , 6275 Janes Avenue, said her property would be north of the development in question. She said her family has been there since 1990 when the Target/Thornton development was a field. She said the local residents signed a petition against remanding this back to the Plan Commission. The only new information is that the Starbuck’s dropped out of the potential development.
Property values would be negatively impacted and the development would make the traffic situation worse. She said that three days after the Plan Commission meeting in 2007, there was a major accident at 63rd and I-355, turning Janes and Leonard into a major traffic problem with speeding and by-pass traffic. The Plan Commission has already stated that this development would change the character of the neighborhood and voted unanimously to deny the petition. Ms. Harmon stated this development does not belong in that location, and they should move it to Meadowbrook.
Paul Simonek , 6250 Leonard Avenue, said he would be adjacent to the proposed development. At the Plan Commission meeting it was stated that the setback is minimal, and the changes would put the development closer to his home. The site is too small for a commercial development, and would result in increased accidents. There are residential dwellings on three sides of the site, and the development would decrease the value of the homes in the community. Mr. Simonek said that the property to the south is the only buffer to the 63rd Street commercial area and the heavy traffic, and no privacy fence will ease the pain to the residents. He said a privacy fence will take away the open feeling of the community. His property is on higher ground and a privacy fence will not eliminate seeing the development from his home. He can hear Thornton gas station from his home now, which is about 1/8 mile away from his home. When he first moved to Downers Grove he attempted to obtain a portion of the alleyway and could not, yet the commercial development will be able to acquire this land and use it as an access/exit. He added that his driveway is used as a turnaround at least five to ten times a day. Putting this development in will add more even more wear and tear on his driveway.
Mayor Sandack explained that the plan itself is not before the Council next week. The item before the Council is whether or not to approve the petitioner’s request to remand this plan to the Plan Commission to consider additional information.
Mark Newey , 6295 Janes, owner of the subject property, said he feels that for the Village’s purposes it would be better to be developed. It is zoned R-1, but it is perfect for commercial use. He doesn’t believe this would depreciate the neighborhood. He has watched the Village grow since 1973. The streets aren’t wide enough now and he would support widening the streets and making them one way. He does not believe this would hurt the neighborhood.
Leonard Atkins , 6204 Janes, commented that across the street it is commercial with a Blockbuster Video. It doesn’t matter what the board approves. Once a business is permitted, the zoning remains the same. The other side of 63rd Street is commercial. He doesn’t appreciate looking at the back of a business from his home. The developer has lawyers and experts on their side, and the residents need their elected Village officials to help by representing them. They would like to see a piece of Downers Grove remain residential with a small town atmosphere. He noted that there are four banks in one block. The development at 63rd and Woodward brings the neighborhood down. Mr. Atkins noted that the Plan Commission looked at this and already turned it down.
Barb Messler , 6245 Leonard, referred to the old film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” wherein the main character had the power of persuasion and people to write a script for him. She feels like an ant trying to move a mountain. They have been through this before and she feels like they are always being forced to try and defend themselves. This area has been residential before it was part of Downers Grove. There are few homes there less than 30 years old. To change this and pull the residential atmosphere out from under the residents is grossly unfair. The people in the community paid their taxes, supported the schools, shopped in this town and elected the Council; and they need the Council to represent them. The residents need the officials to represent them. It is unfair for one or two businesses to make money at the expense of others. She asked that the Council consider what would be good for the area.
Michael Cowden , 6121 Leonard Avenue asked that the Council not remand this to the Plan Commission for the reasons already mentioned. Leonard is a narrow road, with many children on the street and no sidewalks. The nefarious activities of bankers evidenced by the current mortgage crisis should be evidence enough.
Dale Banfi , 2420 61st Street, said his main concern is they are proposing a development where customers will turn down a residential street to enter the facility, and that is wrong. The site is not large enough. He noted that the plaza down the street is half empty. The subject area is zoned residential and he asked them to keep it residential. If they want to develop the area, put up homes.
Charles Stella , 6240 Leonard, said his property is two parcels away from the proposed development. He has lived there since 1966, and he recommends that they do not remand this to the Plan Commission. The thing that bothers him is that the 20-foot alleyway is not divided up among the residents to turn into something enjoyable. He said he thought this was done in the past with 62nd Street where the alley area was given to the residents. Mr. Stella said that area traffic is bad, and the streets are hilly which makes visibility difficult. Nobody follows the speed limit. He chose to stay here when he retired, and he would like to see the neighborhood kept as it is.
The Mayor asked the petitioner if they had anything to say.
John Schoditsch , Bradford Realty, said that they have made changes to the site plan. The last meeting with the Plan Commission didn’t go as well as they hoped. They asked for a continuance and they were denied the continuance. He said the Comprehensive Plan was developed when 63rd street wasn’t signalized or developed. He said that they understand the resident issues. There is a new retailer involved and the Chase Bank is doing very well. They want to present the changes to the plan to the Plan Commission.
The Mayor clarified that this is a procedural question asking the Council to send the matter back to the Plan Commission because the petitioners say they have new materials, information or plan design. The Council is not voting on the plan, but only on whether or not to remand it to the Plan Commission.
Commissioner Schnell said this is the second time that the Council has been asked to remand something back to the Plan Commission in the last month. Her concern is that when they remand it, does it send a message to the residents that this is an attempt on the part of the developer to wear the residents down. This was evidenced with the Fairview Village issue. The Future Land Use Map is just that. Traffic studies should have been addressed when this first came before the Plan Commission. She is concerned that the Council is being asked to do this twice. The information should have been presented to the Plan Commission at the initial meeting. Commissioner Schnell said that the current development is not in question. It appears to be a regurgitation of information on the part of the developer until the Plan Commission agrees. Unless there is other new information, she has strong reservations and is inclined not to remand this to the Plan Commission.
Commissioner Waldack thanked the residents for coming out and expressing their concerns. However, this is a matter of process more than anything else. He said in the packet they have minimal information as to the detail since it is not about the project, but about the process. If this were a different neighborhood in a different area, and the developer wanted to go back to the Plan Commission after a denial, it would be due process to remand the petition. He indicated that this is not merit based. Elected officials must be fair to all the residents and the developers. He wanted to make sure that if this is remanded, everyone who attended the original Plan Commission meeting would be made aware of another hearing. Manager Fieldman said it would be a new hearing and requires full notification.
Commissioner Neustadt asked if this were remanded, would the minutes of the original Plan Commission meeting, including the resident petition, be included in the information. Manager Fieldman said that everything would be entered into the record.
Commissioner Tully said as others have pointed out, there is no fight tonight, but this is a question of rescheduling the event. The materials are not even before the Council. He asked staff about the process and the difference between a remand, or a withdrawal and reapplication. If they were to deny the remand and withdraw the petition, what would be the difference. Manager Fieldman said that he and the Village Attorney agree that the primary difference is the timing requirement. They will check but believe there is a one-year waiting period to re-file the petition.
Commissioner Tully said that was important information to receive. He noted that if this was something like a gazebo on a residential property, it would be remanded. All of the historical information will be made known. If residents don’t show up for the next meeting, their comments from the previous meeting will still be on record. He said that the Council has granted this type of request many times before under many different circumstances.
Commissioner Tully then added that this is a classic example of why the Village needs to have a Comprehensive Plan. The Future Land Use Map shows this area as residential; yet that doesn’t mean someone can’t come before the Council and request a change. That is what the petitioner is doing. Even if something is prohibited, a change can be requested. With the Comprehensive Plan, everyone including residents and future developers could look at the plan and see what is intended for a specific area. The Ogden Avenue Master Plan, for example, contemplates that residential parcels along Ogden Avenue will at some future time be acquired to allow for deeper lots along Ogden Avenue. It will not longer be the Ogden Avenue of 1950. For a village to survive and thrive in the face of tough competition and a brutal economic climate, they must do things to keep their heads above water. That is why they must have a plan for the entire community. Any commercial corridor would be covered, and people would at least know what would be coming. He agreed that these issues are difficult, and a Comprehensive Plan is necessary.
Commissioner Beckman noted that he and his wife own vacation property in Michigan. It is a cottage and the local municipality has decided that property is deemed to be commercial in the future. They know going into this that there will be a significant change, and they have to move forward with that comprehensive plan. Regarding the item before this Council, he sees this as a policy question and a fair chance should be given to the developer to present additional information to the Plan Commission for consideration.
The Mayor said that the concept of the Comprehensive Plan is the bedrock legal document upon which planning develops. The Village has not had one since the 1960s. Staff has initiated the process for a Comprehensive Plan and the Village will move ahead on that. This subject petition is to remand their request to the Plan Commission. Historically, the Village has afforded petitioners the opportunity to provide new information to the Plan Commission. The Plan Commission knows the history and how they voted. If this remand was not done, the petitioner would simply withdraw their petition and submit it again. He asked procedurally about the 90 day rule of advancement. Manager Fieldman said that the petition must make its way from the Plan Commission to the Council within the 90 days, unless the petitioner and Director of Community Development are in agreement to extend that time limit. That is covered in this instance. The Mayor said that in this instance the Plan Commission rejected the petition in September of 2007. However, discussions between petitioner and staff resulted in astay of the 90 day rule. He believes it is best to remand this back to the Plan Commission, since it would make no sense not to afford a petitioner the opportunity to present their case. The Mayor said that this will be reviewed on the basis of its merits, and every person who wants to make their feelings known on this case will be heard. The Council will make the decision that they feel is best for the Village as a whole, based on all of the evidence presented by the petitioner and the public. He assured the public that the Council takes its responsibility very seriously and will hear everyone who wishes to be heard.
3. Consent Agenda Items
Bid: Prentiss Creek Subwatershed B Storm SewerImprovements, Fairmount Storm Sewer Repairs and Sunridge Subdivision Watermain Replacement (CIP Projects SW-034, DR-015, & WA-016)
The Manager said that the first two items are both stormwater projects and are significantly under budget. He asked Public Works Director Robin Weaver to provide background information.
Robin Weaver , Interim Public Works Director, explained that these projects include the Prentiss Creek and Fairmount watershed projects. The award would be $3.2 million to Brothers Asphalt Paving of Addison, to include the resurfacing and improvement of the roadway condition. She said the improvements include replacement of watermain in the Sunridge Subdivision, replacement and restoration of the storm sewer on Fairmount, and 7,000 lineal feet of 8 inch diameter watermain replacement of the existing 6 inch watermain. This would improve the storage capacity and drainage. She noted that the main improvement would be done once work at McCollum Park is accomplished.
The Mayor said that using the bundling concept, and doing more than one project at a time is good and less disruptive.
b. Bid: Dunham Place Stormwater Improvements (SW-032).
Director Weaver then referred to the Dunham Place Subdivision stormwater improvements at a cost of $63,000. They were able to study the area and recommend this project; however there were other requests such as engineering this fall rather than next spring. They are seeking to add to the existing budget $5,000 to alleviate neighborhood yard flooding.
Commissioner Schnell asked if they are going to begin advertising this program so that people know it exists. Director Weaver said that they have already received many requests, and staff will meet with multiple households to determine what is needed. At that meeting they mention the $1,000 reimbursement aspect of the program. Ms. Weaver said that this is a 20-30 year program and some of the requests must wait until there is more capacity. She noted that it is to the public benefit.
Commissioner Beckman commented that this is the type of problem he likes when they discover that things are not as bad as originally expected. He then asked about Farmingdale which is not that old an area, and is it indicative of what they may find further on in the development. Ms. Weaver responded that this is a fairly unique circumstance in that they initially thought the pipe was back pitched. It was not placed wrong, but is working property, and is not indicative of the standards of the time or age of the system. Conversely, on Fairmount there is a clay pipe with several sinkholes that can be slip-lined rather than fully replaced. She does not think this is an age-related thing. She noted this will be an interesting trend to watch.
Purchase of Speed Cushions.
The Manager said the Village has $100,000 in the budget for traffic calming purchases, and over $12,000 worth of speed cushions has already been purchased. Staff is requesting approval for another $41,310 worth of cushions. This will allow placing speed cushions throughout the town in response to resident requests already placed.
Commissioner Durkin said he received e-mails in support of this. He is grateful to see this moving forward. He said it is important to re-educate drivers as to the speed limits in residential areas and he supports this.
Commissioner Neustadt said he also favors this, but asked for an update from the Police Department as to what other tools may be available for traffic calming, other than speed cushions.
Dissolution of Westmont Surface Water Protection District.
Manager Fieldman said this District serves the stormwater needs of some residents on the east side of the Village, as well as areas in the Village of Westmont, and in the unincorporated area of DuPage County. This comprises about 400 Village parcels. The existing District has 600 properties in it and has the ability to levy, and has levied, a tax, but is subject to tax limits. It does not have the funds to handle the stormwater issues. The first step in the dissolution allows Downers Grove, Westmont and DuPage County to urge dissolution of the District to better serve the residents.
Commissioner Tully said this action is long overdue. These citizens of Downers Grove have been in limbo and underserved. He believes it is not right to leave a portion of residents out of stormwater projects. He asked about the revenue currently being paid into the Westmont Surface Water Protection District. Manager Fieldman said if the District is dissolved, the revenue would be eliminated. The money has been spent on normal routine maintenance, attorneys’ fees and consulting engineers’ fees. They do not know how much is left and the District has been asked to provide an audit. He said that if this passes, the County and Westmont would work with the Village to seek funding opportunities. The County has already done some stormwater planning for the area.
Commissioner Schnell said that the residents will get the benefits, but are also paying taxes for this.
Commissioner Waldack said this is a fantastic suggestion. Residents are paying for stormwater remedies but are not getting any benefit. He thinks this is an excellent idea.
The Mayor explained that this Resolution urges the Board to dissolve. The Council cannot make them do that, and he assumes the Village of Westmont and the County of DuPage will make a similar request. Four hundred of the properties are residents of Downers Grove and this reduces a layer of governmental service that levies taxes but is unable to provide the services needed. This was not contemplated in the Village’s stormwater watershed improvement plan; however, the Village has a duty to absorb these residents into the program.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Management Analyst Megan Bourke provided an update on the recycling event. September 19-21 is Cleanup the World weekend, and the project will be called the Downers Grove Recycling Extravaganza. They will collect electronics, furniture, batteries, cell phones and ink jet cartridges to keep them out of the landfills. It will take place Saturday, September 20, at the Belmont Train Station, Lot H from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The plan is to make it a drive-through event. She indicated that many volunteers will be needed to make this successful. Staff will be in contact with high schools, Commission members, etc. Information is on the Village’s website with contact information.
The Mayor said that advertising must be done in as novel a way as possible, such as the Boy Scouts, churches, TV, computers, etc.
Commissioner Tully asked if information would be made available at Heritage Festival, and Ms. Bourke aid there will be posters at the Council booth together with other informational items.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting three items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending one-day permit parking provisions; 2) An ordinance amending the Downers Grove Zoning Ordinance; and 3) Declaration of policy supporting the dissolution of the Westmont Surface Water Protection District No. 1.
The Attorney asked the Council to consider a motion waiving the one-week waiting period to consider new business to reconsider Ordinance No. 4987 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS , SERIES 2008, OF THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE , DU PAGE COUNTY , ILLINOIS, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A BOND ORDER AND ESCROW AGREEMENT IN CONNECTION THEREWITH AND PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF A DIRECT ANNUAL TAX FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID BONDS .”
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the one-week waiting period to consider new business outlined by the Attorney. 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 Beckman moved to reconsider Ordinance 4987, an ordinance providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds, Series 2008, of the Village of Downers Grove, DuPage County, Illinois, authorizing the execution of a bond order and escrow agreement in connection therewith and providing for the levy and collection of a direct annual tax for the payment of the principal of and interest on said bonds.
Commissioner Neustadt seconded the motion.
Commissioner Durkin said he wanted to clarify that he supports this ordinance and has faith in the Village’s financial advisor. He had a strong feeling about the issues brought up last week and believes his timing was wrong. He wanted staff and the Village to know that he believes in working as a team and he supports this and he appreciates the opportunity to clarify his comments.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Neustadt, Waldack Schnell; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS , SERIES 2008, OF THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE , DU PAGE COUNTY , ILLINOIS, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A BOND ORDER AND ESCROW AGREEMENT IN CONNECTION THEREWITH AND PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF A DIRECT ANNUAL TAX FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON SAID BONDS
ORDINANCE NO . 4988
Commissioner Tully moved to approve an ordinance providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds, series 2008, of the Village of Downers Grove, Du Page County, Illinois, authorizing the execution of a bond order and escrow agreement in connection therewith and providing for the levy and collection of a direct annual tax for the payment of the principal of and interest on said bonds. Commissioner Beckman seconded the Motion.
VOTE : AYES : Commissioners Tully, Durkin, Beckman, Waldack, Neustadt, Schnell; Mayor Sandack
NAYS : None
Mayor Sandack declared the Motion passed.
Commissioner Waldack said last year he suggested that the Council proudly display their Heritage Festival shirts before the Festival, and he appreciates the vacation from the weekly dress code.
Commissioner Waldack then commented on the horrific accident injuring young Johnny Anderson, wishing him quick recuperation and hoping he is back playing ball soon. The Commissioner was impressed with the speed with which the community came together over this accident and concerns about the family. He wished Johnny Anderson good luck.
Commissioner Waldack then commented on the excess rain, noting there was prior discussion of the mosquito abatement measures and he asked for information regarding that program.
Commissioner Waldack then referred to a radio show where Charles Osgood discussed a municipality that was attempting to address the issue of increased fuel costs. The municipality instituted a fuel surcharge on moving violations to meet some of the additional fuel costs of law enforcement vehicles, etc. He thought that was worth examining. He asked staff to provide information as to actual fuel charges versus what was budgeted, as well as the possibility of issuing surcharges on violations.
The Mayor said that staff is working on budget projections that will be presented on July 8.
Commissioner Beckman encouraged everyone to attend Heritage Festival. He then referred to the Fire Station #2 Open House, saying how impressed he was by the number of citizens streaming down Main Street to take part in the event. He said that the facility was truly something to behold. He then echoed Commissioner Waldack’s comments on the Johnny Anderson situation, saying that it is evident that this is still a small town that comes together when needed.
As to the subject of higher fuel costs, Commissioner Beckman referenced an article from the Chicago Tribune about the shift of commuters to public transportation. He hoped that this would be part of the Strategic Planning discussions.
Commissioner Durkin echoed that Fire Station #2 is a great asset to the community, and he was also surprised by the public attendance. The crowds, coupled with a lack of chairs for everyone, made it like Holiday Mass. People commented on riding on the new buses. He then thanked the Owners Rep for their work on the Fire Station project, and hoped this method would be used again as other projects take place He then mentioned that Rocca’s Mexican Grill, a Mexican restaurant, opened today for lunch, and reminded everyone that because of Heritage Festival, the Downtown Downer Grove Market will move to the YMCA grounds on 59th Street.
Commissioner Neustadt commented on the Grove Commuter Shuttle, saying that this month’s Public Works report said that the shuttle use is up 15% versus last May. He asked residents to come to Heritage Festival, check out the new buses, and visit the Council at the Council booth. He said he stayed at the Fire Station #2 Open House until noon, and it was awesome. He noted that the Fire Department’s Education officer, Marsha Giesler, handed out every piece of material she had to the many children who attended.
Commissioner Schnell added her encouragement to residents to attend Heritage Festival. She thanked residents for attending the Fire Station Open House, and said that thanks should also go to Sara Lee for contributing all the food that everyone enjoyed. She then commented that streets are being marked for bike lanes, and she asked whether there would be a public education program of some type so people understand proper motoring etiquette for cars and cyclists.
Commissioner Tully echoed the previous comments thanking residents for attending the Open House for the new Fire Station. He complimented the Fire Department and staff for hosting the event and providing an excellent means for introducing the public to the Fire Department services. He said the facility should serve the Village well for generations to come.
Commissioner Tully then announced that there are only three days until the 27th Annual Heritage Festival. He said that 100,000 plus people attend every year, and it is has been voted as the Best Fest by Midwest Magazine. There is something for everyone. He said a lineup of all events and entertainment is on the Village website and he encouraged residents to attend. He said that the Council will be in attendance in the Council booth to meet with residents. He added that discount ride tickets will be available until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The shuttle buses will be featured this year and will be available for transportation to the Festival. He noted that the South Route pick up will be at the Meadowbrook Shopping Center rather than South High School.
Commissioner Tully then reported on the Heritage Concert to be held Thursday Night, June 26th in the Library Parking Lot area to support the Blodgett House project. Tickets are $10 in advance.
Finally, Commissioner Tully noted that he was attending this Council meeting on his 19th anniversary, instead of celebrating it with his wife, so he wished his wife Shanon a very happy 19th wedding anniversary, and thanked her for all of her support.
Mayor Sandack commented on the accident on Main Street, and was thrilled that Johnny Anderson has taken a turn for the better at Loyola. He said the fire and police personnel response was spectacular.
The Mayor said the Fire Station #2 celebration was phenomenal and staff did a tremendous job in advertising the event to the public. This will benefit Downers Grove residents for generations to come. It is a good use of tax dollars.
The Mayor then encouraged residents to come and visit the Council at Heritage Festival. He said he would be in the St. Mary dunk tank at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday for some good fun. The purpose of the dunk tank is to fund the St. Mary youth group. He also commented that many people came to the Fire Station Open House on the new buses. He said the buses are good, environmentally safe, cost less and he hoped the public would utilize them.
Austin Ruf , 848 Sheridan Place, said he was working in his merit badge as an Eagle Scout for Troop #80 at the American Legion Post.
Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, commented on the recycling event in September, saying he was glad to see it is moving forward. He made a suggestion regarding compact fluorescent lights, saying there is no provision for the normal fluorescent tubes or circular fluorescents and hoped they would be included in the recycling event.
Dr. Goodman then said that ticket sales for the Thursday concert have been a bit slower this year than last year for the Gin Blossoms, and his theory is that the Gin Blossoms group was for 30-somethings. The Vertical Horizon and Shock Stars appeal to a younger crowd who may be last minute or impulse buyers. He said that they had planned to stop selling advance tickets at 5:00 p.m. today; however, advance tickets will now be available until 4:00 p.m. tomorrow at $10.00 each. Tickets are available at Main Pharmacy, Consider it Done, and Galleries Choice, using cash or checks. Credit cards may be used until 12:01 a.m. Thursday on line. He encouraged people not to wait until the last minute, and he said it will be a beautiful summer day.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was convened into closed session to discuss personnel matters at 8:55 p.m.
Linda J. Brown Deputy Village Clerk tmh