1. Call to Order
Mayor Martin Tully 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 Tully led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Sean P. Durkin, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt, Commissioner Greg Hosé, Commissioner David S. Olsen and Mayor Martin Tully Absent: Commissioner Bob Barnett and Commissioner Becky Rheintgen Non Voting: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden T he 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 of a general matter. 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. Finally, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on items appearing on the Consent Agenda, the Active Agenda and the First Reading.
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 Tully 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 Council Meetings
Budget Meeting - October 11, 2014 Council Meeting - October 14, 2014 M ayor Tully asked for a Motion to approve the minutes as submitted.
Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Durkin seconded the motion.
The Mayor declared the Motion carried by voice vote.
4. Public Comments - General Comments on Matters Not Appearing on Tonight's Agenda
Bob Peterson, 6861 Camden Road, owns Leibundguth Moving and Storage. He said that new businesses need a good location and they need signs. The signs at Fire Stations 3 and 5 have been removed which he thinks is a mistake as people do not have an opportunity to know what is going on in the Village. No signs mean no business and no profit. He thinks the Sign Ordinance needs to be reviewed. He noted businesses whose customers have dropped off as a result of the Sign Ordinance. The size of a sign means a lot to a business. He is trying to survive as a small business in Downers Grove.
Mayor Tully commented that there are differing opinions with respect to the Sign Ordinance. He noted that when it was written, it was the subject of many public meetings and it received careful consideration and review before it was presented to Council. This does not mean that everything in the Ordinance is right; it needs to be revisited periodically. It is a question of what needs to be revisited and the timetable. The process for compliance and enforcement has been successful to date and needs to come to a conclusion.
Mr. Peterson said he has heard that people were allowed to attend meetings, but were not allowed to speak. He has heard that the signs are too small.
The Mayor said he recalls people commenting that they knew when they were in Downers Grove due to the tawdry signs. Reasonable people may disagree on aspects of the Sign Ordinance. Council recognizes that this is an issue of interest to the business community.
Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, asked if there has been any progress with respect to Commissioner Barnett's comments regarding right-sizing services.
The Mayor said he does not expect this to be addressed tonight. More information is needed to explore this concept.
5. Council Member Reports
Commissioner Hosé said early voting is available at the Village Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Commissioner Durkin said there are nine Fridays until Christmas. He encouraged people to shop in Downers Grove.
Commissioner Olsen said that if people do not get a chance to early vote, Election Day is November 4 and the polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Neustadt announced that the Village was selected as the second government green fleet in North America. The Government Green Fleet Award recognizes the top 100 fleets for their dedicated use of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles. This represents an improved ranking from 14th last year. It is another great award for the Village.
Commissioner Neustadt then reviewed events this weekend and directed residents to the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation's website at www.downtowndg.org for more information including a pancake breakfast and window painting. We are fortunate to have so many events.
The Mayor said the Village's green fleet is often reviewed and toured by officials from Washington, D.C.
The Mayor urged people not to miss the Spooktacular weekend in Downers Grove. He reviewed many of the activities to be held before Halloween. He asked that people be safe as they trick or treat. The Mayor also noted that the "Neighbors" website has an app to generate a path for trick or treating.
6. Public Hearings
7. Consent Agenda
COR 00-05730 A. Claim Ordinance: No. 6075, Payroll, September 19, 2014
Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL 00-05731 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 6150, October 21, 2014
Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
MOT 00-05715 C. Motion: Award a Contract for $199,324.02 for Five-Year Contract for DriveCam with Lytx, Inc., San Diego, CA
Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Award this file on the Consent Agenda.
MOT 00-05729 D. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions
Summary of Item: Plan Commission - August 4, 2014 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 Neustadt, seconded by Commissioner Durkin, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Y ea: Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen and Mayor Tully
8. Active Agenda
ORD 00-05717 A. Ordinance: Repeal the Community Grants Commission
Sponsors: Village Attorney
Summary of Item: This repeals the Community Grants Commission.
AN ORDINANCE REPEALING THE COMMUNITY GRANTS COMMISSION
ORDINANCE NO. 5410 G ordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, expressed his opinion that this is moving the Village in the wrong direction. He asked the Council to look for opportunities to provide services and support to the community. There are other programs that benefited from the Village's support. Dr. Goodman asked that as the Council looks at the activities of the Village, he hopes they will realize supporting these groups and programs is in the best interest of the community and an appropriate role for the Village acting through its elected leaders.
Commissioner Hosé said it is disappointing that this is being repealed, but noted that at the time this was discontinued, the Village had demonstrable needs and they continue to take precedence. As such, he supports repealing the Commission with the understanding that it can always be revisited. There are many needs that the Village must do and should do.
Mayor Tully said he understands how it came to be that the Commission was not funded. However, he is cognizant of the fact that Council has recently discussed assisting non-profit organizations in other ways. The Village also uses public funds to spur development. He cannot support this. A motion was made by Commissioner Neustadt, seconded by Commissioner Durkin, to Adopt this file. Mayor declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Y ea: Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Hosé and Commissioner Olsen Nay: Mayor Tully Indexes: Community Grants
9. First Reading
ORD 00-05732 A. Ordinance: Authorize a Special Use to Permit a Funeral Services Business at 1628 Ogden Avenue
Sponsors: Community Development and Plan Commission V illage Manager Dave Fieldman introduced Stan Popovich, Planning Manager, to address this item.
Stan Popovich, Planning Manager, said the petitioner is the Neptune Society and is requesting a special use ordinance to permit a funeral services business at 1628 Ogden Avenue. He showed the project site which is currently a vacant building. The petitioner is proposing to convert the vacant building into a funeral service business office where employees will consult with clients seeking cremation services and deliver cremated remains to relatives. Staff primarily conducts sales calls outside of the office. The proposed business does not provide embalming, cremation, memorial services, or transportation of human remains.
Mr. Popovich showed the floor plan for the business. He described exterior improvements to include parking, green space and a trash enclosure.
Mr. Popovich said a funeral services business is an allowable special use in this zoning district. The request meets the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan. The petitioner will provide screening to the adjacent neighbor. This proposal will modernize the site and the building.
Commissioner Durkin asked why this is a special use if traditional funeral services are not being provided.
Mr. Fieldman this is a special use due to the wording in our Zoning Ordinance regarding businesses related to funeral or mortuary service.
Mayor Tully said the petitioner would need to come back if they wish to changes their services.
Mr. Popovich agreed.
The Mayor said this request meets the standards in Section 28.12.050 of the Zoning Ordinance and is more compliant that the current use. He will support this special use request. Indexes: Special Use - 1628 Ogden Avenue
ORD 00-05716 B. Ordinance: Adopt the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget in Lieu of Passage of an Appropriation Ordinance
Sponsors: Finance and Manager's Office M r. Fieldman said the FY15 budget was published in late September. Staff has no further presentation at this time.
Mayor Tully said this is the fourth public meeting regarding the FY15 budget. There was a Saturday budget meeting on October 11, 2014; the budget was discussed at last week's Council meeting, it was the subject of the October 18, 2014, Coffee With The Council, and it is on tonight's agenda. There will be more opportunities to discuss the budget as well.
Dr. Goodman said he would like to explore the forestry program. The budget addresses trees in terms of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) program for the removal and replacement of those trees. He asked how much funding there is for tree planting, removal and pruning for other trees, and where this can be found in the budget document.
Mr. Fieldman said staff can highlight this and put it on our website.
Dr. Goodman said he would like to see an estimated breakdown of costs.
Tom Karstens, 6021 Sherman, spoke regarding the stormwater utility fees vs. including this on the property taxes. He would like to see this moved back to the property tax so he can deduct it on his taxes. He pays a lower rate on his usage bill, but because of his tax bracket, it costs him more. He asked Council to review this matter.
The Mayor said this has been discussed. The fee is currently not deductible on one's taxes. When this was part of the property tax bill, residents were paying about 70% of the cost of the program, but only generating 50% of the runoff. This was an obvious disparity. In the long run, it may cost people more if it is on the tax bill. The Mayor said he understands Mr. Karstens's point. He said there are differing opinions about this.
Mr. Karstens said it is cheaper for him if he can deduct it from his taxes.
The Mayor said that may be true now, but it may not be so in the future. The stormwater utility fee is tied to the runoff generated on a parcel. It is not based on the value of one's property. The fee is similar to water use in that the more water you use, the more you pay for it. With respect to the stormwater utility fee, properties that generate more runoff pay more.
Mr. Fieldman said staff will have information regarding this subject at the November 4, 2014, Council meeting.
Commissioner Olsen said he strongly sympathizes with this argument. There is a lot of unfairness with the current system. Certain drainage systems do not tie into Downers Grove. He looks forward to further discussion.
Mayor Tully said the utility provides an opportunity to apply for credits to reduce one's bills. That will not exist under the property tax option.
Commissioner Olsen asked as to the impact of new developments with detention basins on the stormwater utility.
Tom LeCren, 545 Chicago Avenue, said that, with respect to a fee vs. a tax, not everyone can claim deductions. Indexes: Budget - 2015
10. Mayor's Report
Materials to be Placed on File
11. Manager's Report
12. Attorney's Report
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting one item to Council: An ordinance authorizing a special use to permit a funeral service business at 1628 Ogden Avenue.
Future Active Agenda
13. Council Member New Business
Mayor Tully asked for a Motion to adjourn.
Commissioner Neustadt moved to adjourn. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
VOTE: AYE: Commissioners Neustadt, Durkin, Hosé, Olsen; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:44 p.m.