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December 09, 2008

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 Dave Fieldman; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden


Visitors: Press: Catherine Leyden, Downers Grove Reporter Residents: Jim Russ, 4915 Main Street; Jim Collins, St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3910 Highland; Dolores Zimmerman, St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3910 Highland; Mary Wilson, GCG Consultants, 2272 W. Nichols, Arlington Heights; Andy Clark, DG Watch, 1226 62nd Street; Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street; Frank Falesch, DG Watch, 820 Prairie; Marge Earl, 4720 Florence Avenue; Jim Norris, 7249 Springside Staff: Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager; Jim Jackson, Deputy Fire Chief; Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development; Steve Sanderson, Budget Officer; Robin Weaver, Interim Director, Public Works; Brandon Dieter, Management Analyst; Wes Morgan, Director, Human Resources; Mary Lalonde, Benefits Coordinator, Human Resources; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Kurt Bluder, Deputy Police Chief; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Community Events; Megan Bourke, Management Analyst; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Communications

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

Special Use with Variation 3910 Highland Avenue . The Manager asked Tom Dabareiner, Director, Community Development, to discuss this matter.

Tom Dabareiner , Director, Community Development, identified the subject property as St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church. They are requesting a special use and variation for air conditioning units for a 1,300 square foot addition. He displayed plans for the site, saying that the air conditioning units would be installed within the front yard. All other lot requirements have been met by the petitioner. Mr. Dabareiner explained that the land is unique in that it is pie-shaped which affects how the building is planned out. He noted that the plan is to screen the air conditioning units with landscaping.

Commissioner Schnell said that in the spring, there have been times where part of the lot has been in standing water during storms. She asked if there are any low lying areas that would have a water problem.

Mr. Dabareiner said he would review that again, but there appear to be only minor areas.

Commissioner Beckman inquired as to the size of the air conditioning enclosure. Mr. Dabareiner said they can scale it off.

Commissioner Neustadt asked, since the main entrance is on the east side of the building, whether the air conditioning unit would technically be considered on the back of the building, and Mr. Dabareiner concurred.

Commissioner Tully asked for clarification on the plan as to the location of the air conditioning units. He noted that the petitioner is asking for approval of the special use for the expansion, and the variation for the placement of the air conditioning units. The use is not changing. The Commissioner said that this is a good variation in that it appears it would improve what the strict interpretation of the Code requires. He agreed that this is a unique parcel.

The Mayor said he agreed with comments already made. It is a unique and challenging parcel of land. The Church is expanding and will preserve its character. He will vote in favor of this request.

Commissioner Tully added that, except for the request for a variation, all other requirements are exceeded.

Right-of-Way Vacation 3946 & 4000 Venard Road. The Manager asked Mr. Dabareiner to discuss this item.

Mr. Dabareiner stated that this is an unimproved right-of-way adjacent to property located at 3946 Venard Road. He displayed a photo of the location and easements. Mr. Dabareiner said that staff has contacted utility companies and other public agencies to determine if any rights needed to be retained. Both Comcast and AT&T indicated a need for a five-foot utility easement, as did the Village. The petitioner has agreed to the easements requested. Compensation in the amount of $7,300 will be split between the owners. The Plan Commission made a unanimous recommendation for approval of this request, and staff concurs.

Commissioner Waldack said he had a problem with the wording regarding payment “prior to Village Council consideration” and asked for clarification. The Mayor responded that the practice is not to pay prior to Village Council consideration. The Manager said that, generally, if all goes well at the Workshop, staff would ask that the check be brought to the Village before the Council meeting.

Commissioner Tully said he saw this as a straight forward, no exceptions application.

Budget Amendment for Fiscal Year 2008. The Manager asked Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager, to discuss this matter.

Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker provided background information on the budget amendment for the current fiscal year which ends December 31, 2008. This is a routine process and is necessary due to additional revenue or expenses not originally anticipated at the time of Ordinance adoption.

Commissioner Waldack asked, for public information, why they have to change the budget this late in the year, and what would happen if they did not do this. Mr. Baker said for accounting purposes it is required that they set an expenditure level to cover expenditures. He gave the example of the Fire Station 2 building project which came in well under budget. The timing impacted the allocation of the budget for the fiscal year. The Manager added that the Village cannot spend any amounts over the approved budget amount, unlike in a family budget. They cannot exceed budgetary authority. Some funds came in under budget as well as those that came in over budget. A complete report will be provided later.

Commissioner Durkin commented on the Transportation Fund, saying he was disappointed in the increase of $20,000. He said he hasn’t seen any recent updates on how the bus transportation is working, and he would like to see a report.

3. Consent Agenda Items

The Manager summarized the items on the Consent Agenda for questions/comments from the Council and public.

Employee Benefits Renewal Contracts for FY09 . Resolutions are being presented to authorize approval of employee benefits renewal contracts for 2009. They include:

TruAssure Insurance Company for vision program claim administration in the amount of $45,000; Unimerica/Optum Health Insurance Company for stop loss coverage for medical claims exceeding $125,000 in the amount of $386,242; Creative Care Management for the Employee Assistance Program in the amount of $15,200; Delta Dental Plan of Illinois for dental program claim administration in the amount of $19,000; Professional Benefit Administrators for claim administration, America’s VEBA Solution/Genesis Employee Benefits for Voluntary Employee Benefits Administration (VEBA) and Drug Card, Inc. for prescription drug services in the combined amount of $141,000; National Insurance Services for group life, accidental death/dismemberment and long-term disability insurance in the amount of $117,500; Advocate Health Partners (Good Samaritan Hospital) for discounts on medical services at no cost to the Village.

The approved FY09 budget includes a total of $6,542,601 in the Health Insurance Fund; $903,600 is earmarked for the 2009 employee benefit renewal contracts associated with this item. The total cost to the Village for all of the proposed employee benefit contracts is $723,942.00.

Update to Village Council Policy – Compensation Plan. A resolution is being presented to update the Village Council Policy entitled, “Compensation Plan” effective January 1, 2009. The Village annually reviews its non-union compensation plan to ensure that it remains competitive with the local labor market. During 2008, the Village engaged the Archer Company, a Human Resources consulting firm, to conduct the compensation plan review and recommend adjustments to the pay ranges, which refer to the minimum, control point and maximum rates of pay for each of the pay grades that make up the compensation plan. Once the compensation plan is adopted and takes effect, any employees that fall below the newly established minimum for each pay grade will be adjusted to the minimum. Two changes – addition of full-time Project Manager classification, Grade 12, and addition of full-time Planning Manager classification, Grade 15 – are reflected in the proposed Compensation Plan. There will be no increase to staffing levels associated with these changes. The Manager said the budget has been prepared with these updates in mind.

Bid: Parkway Tree Pruning Services. This is a motion to award a contract for 2009 Parkway Tree Pruning Services to D. Ryan Tree & Landscaping, LLC , of DeKalb, Illinois, in the amount of $111,884.00.

The Mayor said this bid was well received and many bids were reviewed.

Commissioner Waldack said he is happy to see that the Village is still trying to achieve a five-year cycle for pruning. He noted that the danger of not keeping up with pruning was demonstrated in the Munster, Indiana area where they experienced excessive costs associated with tree damage from storms.

Commissioner Durkin had comments on Items 2C and 2D, asking if the area proposed to be trimmed is larger than the 2007 area. The Manager said that the geographic area varies yearly, but they try to keep the number of trees trimmed constant in any given year. He noted that trees in this specific area are not as mature as in some other areas. Commissioner Durkin then asked about other areas where this bidder has worked. He is concerned about the bid being too low. He then asked whether they could increase the area to get to the budgeted amount, and possibly execute a two-year contract. The Manager said staff would not recommend increasing the amount, since they worked toward not increasing the budget. The bidder provided references from LaGrange, Woodridge and Addison, and staff has reviewed those references. Commissioner Durkin said he understood that the budget is tight; however, he agrees with Commissioner Waldack that they must maintain the tree program. If they can utilize the savings in this bid, he would hope staff would consider his suggestion.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether this savings was already translated into the FY09 budget, and the Manager said it was. Commissioner Schnell expressed concern that the company may attempt to take shortcuts. She said there have been citizen complaints about the quality of tree trimming services in the past. She said they have to define expectations carefully and monitor their work more carefully in the beginning. She doesn’t think Commissioner Durkin’s idea of locking into a second year is bad, but she is concerned because the Village hasn’t used them before, and because of the difference in bid amounts.

Commissioner Tully said they should at least look into the options.

Commissioner Beckman said that the Council is asking for the lowest bidder with the highest quality. He asked how often the Village has the same provider of service from year to year. The Manager said that the purchasing policy is to go with the lowest responsible responsive bid. Pre-bid conferences are held, and staff has a screening process that bidders have to pass. He will provide information to the Council on how often the Village has had the same firm for consecutive years.

Commissioner Waldack commented on Items C & D, saying they had Homer and Kramer providing services last year. There should be reports on file for both of those companies.

Mayor Sandack said that the Village policy is to choose the lowest responsible bidder. They do change vendors from time to time, and have not had many complaints. He noted that Ms. von der Heide monitors the work being done. In this case, there were eight bids and staff did due diligence in reviewing them and by checking references. In this instance, the economy is tough and they have a company that wants to obtain work. He believes the Village’s process is sound.

Tree and Stump Removal Contract. This is to request that a contract be awarded for FY09 Tree and Stump Removal services to D. Ryan Tree & Landscape, LLC , DeKalb, Illinois, in the amount of $170,412.50.

Class A Scavenger License. This is a request to authorize issuance of a 2009 Class A Scavenger License to ARC Disposal & Recycling, Inc.

Commissioner Schnell asked whether the Council will receive reports regarding customer service. The Manager said that Deputy Village Manager Baker has been working on that and it will be available in the first quarter 2009.

Commissioner Tully commented on obtaining trend data out of the CRC . People can log a complaint or question electronically. It would be interesting to obtain data from that and tie it to the Citizen Survey. He said that CRC would be useful in that people can simply log in and include their comment. The Manager said that in order to integrate the Strategic Plan through all levels of the organization, staff will start talking about Key Performance Indicators as a measure of how well they are performing. CRC is front and center to producing the Key Performance Indicators and providing the Council with quarterly reports in 2009.

Commissioner Waldack referred to Section 8-62 concerning conditions for Class B licenses issued by the Village Manager. He asked that Class B applications be forwarded to the Village Council. The Manager responded that staff will follow the notification process as required.

Payment to Downers Grove Park District for Lyman Woods Streambank Stabilization Projects. This is to authorize payment to the Downers Grove Park District for costs associated with the Lyman Woods Streambank Stabilization Project Site Area III – Phases I & II in the amount of $313,088.94. On July 10, 2008, the Park District’s construction contractor met the requirements for completion of the project. The final costs for the Lyman Woods Creek Bank Stabilization Projects were $639,266.82. The Park District is requesting a reimbursement payment from the Village in the amount of $213,088.94, which represents one-third of the total contract amounts for construction and related consultant costs.

Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street, said that the Village’s business has nothing to do with the Park District, and he thinks the time has come to direct staff to sell its share of the property to extricate themselves from future fiscal responsibility for the property.

The Mayor said he has made the same observation. This is squarely within the Forest Preserve’s and Park District’s scope of services.

Commissioner Schnell asked about $20,000 fees that were waived, and whether they are added in the budget. The Manager said it is not shown because these transactions are accounted for differently.

Commissioner Tully then asked where the $47,000 budgeted but unspent went, and the Manager said it was placed in the cash balance of the General Fund. Commissioner Tully noted further that this doesn’t fit within the Village’s Strategic Plan. It was, however, an appropriate action to take when it was done. He agrees that it should be revisited.

Commissioner Schnell added that without the Village this would not have happened at all.

Commissioner Beckman asked for background information in order to get a better understanding of the history of this matter.

Bid: Decorative Signal Pole Bases – Project TR-012. This is a request that a contract be awarded for 20 decorative signal pole bases in the amount of $62,000 to Traffic Control Corporation of Addison, Illinois. The existing signal pole bases in the downtown area are made of cast iron and in need of replacement. The new bases will be made of cast aluminum and a highly durable paint process. The bases will be installed by Village personnel.

Commissioner Durkin asked what the cost would be to repaint the pole bases to get a few more years wear from them. The Manager said staff did not look into that, but simply assessed the condition and felt that the poles were in need of replacement. Commissioner Durkin said he would like to see that reviewed to determine what the cost would be, and whether it could be done in-house.

2009 Annual Traffic Signal Maintenance Contract . This is a request that a contract be awarded for traffic signal maintenance for Village-maintained traffic signals to Lyons Electric Company in the estimated amount of $39,380 which includes $19,380 for maintenance and an estimated $20,000 for repair and replacement components.

Commissioner Durkin asked why staff did not look at a multi-year contract. The Manager responded that the current purchasing policy and practice calls for one-year contracts. They are in a transition period now and are in the process of moving toward looking at multi-year contracts. He said this could be an appropriate contract for multi-year consideration. Commissioner Durkin, in response to Commissioner Beckman, said he is not suggesting this be removed from the Agenda, but merely determining whether they can look into a multi-year contract with the company before next week’s vote.

Contract Amendment: WIIP Projects: St. Joseph, North Branch Subwatersheds C (SW-033 – Sterling North) & E (SW-042 – Washington Park). A resolution has been prepared to authorize an amendment to the contract with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. in the aggregate amount of $86,780 for additional design and contaminated soil remediation services relative to the St. Joseph, North Branch Subwatershed C (Sterling North), and Subwatershed E (Washington Park) Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Program projects. This is a result of the agreement between the Village and the Park District regarding improvements to Washington Park and Sterling North Park. The Manager said this cost is to design recreational improvements that were not contemplated when the contract with Burke was authorized.

TeleStaff Software Purchase. A resolution has been prepared to authorize the purchase of TeleStaff staffing software and maintenance from Principal Decision Systems International of Irvine, California, in the amount of $43,987.00. TeleStaff is an automated staffing software program designed for public safety and will be used in the Police Department. The Manager said this is being purchased with Primeco settlement funds.

Bid: Purchase of Two (2) Ambulances. This is a request for the purchase of two 2009 Medtec AD170 ambulances on 2009 International Chassis with Foster Coach Sales, Inc., Sterling, IL, using the Northwest Municipal pricing in the amount of $433,226.00.

2009 US PRO Criterion Championship Bike Race Agreement. A resolution has been prepared to execute an agreement with Chicago Special Events Management Inc. for the Village to be the Host City of the 2009 USPRO Criterium Championship and the USCF Elite Criterium Championships in the amount of $23,000.00. The dates for the race are August 15 and 16, 2009.

Commissioner Beckman asked how augmentation costs will be structured. The Manager said the augmentation is a potential radio broadcast which is under discussion. He said staff recommends moving forward and the augmentation can be brought forward later.

Commissioner Schnell said in the many years this has been done, it was understood that the Village would decrease its contribution and the Criterium would increase its amount. She asked if there is any chance for the amount to decrease. The Manager said staff will look into this.

The Mayor said they may be able to get the EDC and Downtown Management or Chamber to suggest that the investment reaps significant returns. He would not want to lose the race. It is a good race and the community expects and enjoys the race.

Commissioner Schnell said the only reason she brought this up is that at one point there was discussion that the Village’s share would be decreased. She said philosophically, she would like to explore this.


Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting 31 items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an extension to an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Advocate Health Partners; 2) A resolution authorizing execution of an addendum to an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Professional Benefit Administrators, Inc.; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of an addendum to an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Genesis Employee Benefits, Inc. d/b/a America’s Veba Solution; 4) A resolution authorizing execution of an extension agreement to an employer enrollment agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Drug Card, Inc.; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of the renewal of an administrative services contract between the Village of Downers Grove and Delta Dental of Illinois; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of a group vision contract between the Village of Downers Grove and Tru Assure; 7) A resolution authorizing execution of a contract between the Village of Downers Grove and Creative Care Management, Ltd.; 8) A resolution authorizing execution of Amendment #1 to an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and National Insurance Services of Wisconsin, Inc. (Long Term Disability); 9) A resolution authorizing execution of an amendment to the agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and National Insurance Services (Group Life); 10) A resolution authorizing execution of an excess loss insurance policy between the Village of Downers Grove and Unimerica Insurance Company; 11) An ordinance providing for an amendment to Ordinance #4929 and The Village of Downers Grove budget for fiscal year 2008; 12) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 3910 Highland Avenue to permit a church in the R-4 Single Family Residence District with a zoning variation; 13) An ordinance vacating a certain portion of an unimproved right-of-way on Venard Road in the Village of Downers Grove; 14) A resolution authorizing execution of a first amendment to the professional services agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.; 15) A resolution authorizing execution of a software license agreement and addendum between the Village of Downers Grove and Principal Decisions Systems International; 16) A resolution amending the Downers Grove compensation plan by adopting a revised plan effective January 1, 2009; 17) A resolution authorizing execution of a host city agreement for the USPRO Criterium Championship and the USCF Elite Criterium Championships on August 15 and 16, 2009 in Downers Grove, Illinois; 18) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to Fairview Avenue debt service; 19) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 1999; 20) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2000; 21) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2001; 22) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation water bonds, series 2001A; 23) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2002; 24) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2003A; 25) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2005; 26) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2007; 27) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2008A; 28) An ordinance abating a portion of the 2008 tax levy related to the general obligation bonds, series 2008B; 29) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of January 2008 and ending on the thirty-first day of December 2008 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #2 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area); 30) An ordinance for the levying of taxes for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of January 2008 and ending on the thirty-first day of December 2008 for Village of Downers Grove Special Service Area #3 (Prince Pond Special Service Area); and 31) 2008 Aggregate Tax Levy Ordinance.


Communications Director Doug Kozlowski presented a 30-second commercial produced in cooperation with the EDC to encourage shopping and dining in the Downers Grove community during the Holiday shopping season. He said the entire community is promoted through the spot and it will run on local cable networks, the Family channel, Food network, HGTV , and Lifetime, as well as on websites for the Council, Downtown Management, Chamber, the EDC and others. There will be about 141 repetitions airing between now and December 18.

Commissioner Durkin asked whether this will be broadcast on satellite systems. Mr. Kozlowski said they have not purchased time on those networks. These are done through the Comcast system. Staff will look into the satellite systems.


Commissioner Beckman pointed out that the Village’s website last week posted a listing of organizations that provide food pantries. It came to his attention that requests are up 40% this year from one year ago, and supplies are drastically down. He said at this time of year, it is important to remember that there are those who may be our neighbors who are not as fortunate as others may be. In Downers Grove, food pantries are at FISH , Immanuel Lutheran Church, St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s parishes in Downers Grove.

Commissioner Neustadt said that tomorrow evening the Tivoli will host the Midwest premiere of a film entitled “Holiday Baggage” filmed in Downers Grove.

Mayor Sandack reminded everyone to shop in Downers Grove.


There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh