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January 06, 2015

1. Call to Order

Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Neustadt 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 Pro Tem Neustadt led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

2. Roll Call

Council Attendance:  Commissioner Sean P. Durkin, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Hosé

Mayor Tully arrived at 7:09 p.m.

Staff Attendance:  Village Manager David Fieldman, 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 past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions of a general nature.  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 Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public.  Individuals wishing to speak, should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name.  Remarks should be limited to five minutes, and individuals are asked to refrain from making repetitive statements.

The Mayor 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

MIN 2014-6011 A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - December 16, 2014

The Mayor asked for a Motion to approve the minutes as submitted.

Motion: Commissioner Durkin moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Commissioner Barnett seconded the Motion.

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Neustadt; Mayor Tully

 Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

4. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for the public to comment on non-agenda items.

Tim Werner, 6736 Osage Place, and Tim Harms, 6831 Grand Avenue, are co-chairs of the DG 4 Responsible Government coalition, and they have submitted a petition to place a referendum on the April 7 ballot regarding the proposed construction of a new Village Hall, Police Station and Fire Station.  Mr. Werner said that even in a home rule community, it is their belief that there is a place for public involvement in the governmental decision-making process.  People in the Village were overwhelmingly in favor of being involved in the decision-making process for these facilities.  They expressed appreciation to the work of more than 50 volunteers who have signed this petition.

Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde Drive, thanked the Police Department, County and State Police Departments for choosing to serve and protect our citizens.  Ms. Bowen then asked about the attendance sheet that was circulated at Council meetings and why there is no public record on this any longer.  Commissioner Neustadt said that they would get back to her on this.  Ms. Bowen said she thinks it would be a good idea to start the sign-in sheets again to have a record of who attends the meetings.   Ms. Bowen then referenced the main article in the Home Town Times regarding new water meters, and asked why the proposed facilities relocation and construction was not discussed in the newsletter, but there are articles concerning all the awards the Village receives.  She said that they should consider what is being put in the newsletter.

Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said he spoke with the Park District administration regarding the Village Manager and Mr. McAdam working to establish dates with the Forest Preserve staff regarding Lyman Woods.  He thanked the Manager for posting information about the trees on Maple Avenue.  He said there are meetings being held on moving the Edwards House down Maple Avenue.  He said that comments were made after the vote on December 16 regarding Maple Avenue and not having the proper tools to do what citizens were asking the Council to do.  Dr. Goodman said that he wants to make sure that the Council does not lose track of making those changes.  He noted that he talked with Joe Abel and Mr. Abel promised to send information about a similar situation in Elmhurst.  Mr. Abel said that now that you've established a precedent of purely residential use in the downtown business district, you might want to have an "A" and "B" distinction for commercial and purely residential. 

Dr. Goodman went on to say that there are a multitude of things that have to be done as a result of this decision.  He said in 2004 there was another situation regarding a historic building in the Village.  He showed a Neighborhood Character petition prepared at that time asking that the Village consider maintaining distinctive neighborhoods.  He noted that 510 people signed that petition by July, and 1,885 by October 2004.  There has been some progress made on the items brought up in the petition. This is a matter of continuing interest.  Dr. Goodman then referenced a meeting on residential development that was held at one of the high schools in 2004. There is some unfinished business from that meeting, and he has information from that meeting.  He then noted that the Downers Grove Historical Society did a survey on historic preservation and community attitudes back in 2004, and that information is also available.  Dr. Goodman urged the Council to review these resources, as this is a serious matter that will take Council as well as staff resources.

Mayor Tully asked about the timing regarding looking at the Zoning Ordinance, Comprehensive Plan and design requirements. 

Mr. Fieldman said discussions would begin on this on January 20. 

Ms. Bowen said that she called the Director of Public Works, Nan Newlon, about her concerns about the sidewalk issue on Clyde Drive.  Ms. Newlon said that information would be in the Manager's report.  However, Ms. Bowen said it is not in the Manager's report, and she called the Village Manager about that on Monday.  She noted that it is not on the agenda.  

Mr. Fieldman said it would be discussed later in the Manager's report.

Ms. Bowen said that ten years ago she circulated a petition regarding sidewalks signed by residents who did not want sidewalks on Clyde Estates.    She said that a copy of that petition is no longer available.  Ms. Bowen said it has been expressed to her that the Village staff is concerned about what the residents think.  The residents were told there would be multiple meetings about Clyde estates.  This changes the character of their country lanes and tree-lined streets.  The residents do not want Clyde Estates changed to look like other neighborhoods.   The multiple meetings amounted to two meetings, the first of which was in August.  Some residents were left off the invitation list.  The meeting was at 6:00 p.m. at Public Works.  It is difficult for people to always get to meetings during dinnertime or rush hour.  The second meeting was in November and was well attended.  Neighbors were not invited until after the RFP and consultant was chosen.  They made the decision before speaking to the residents in the neighborhood.  She said that they have been told the next meeting with neighbors is after the bids come back.

Mayor Tully said that others have said that they wanted more opportunities for discussion about the proposal before the actual work is done.  There will be more meetings.  There will be a presentation tonight made because of her comments and some comments by neighbors.

Ms. Bowen said no one in the neighborhood even knew about the meeting tonight.

Mayor Tully said that this is a public presentation, which is broadcast and replayed.  The Council will hear the proposal for Clyde Estates laid out, keeping in mind comments made by residents to Council members.  There will be additional input, as this is not a static environment, but is a dynamic environment.  No one's mind is made up.

Ms. Bowen said that Ms. Newlon explained to her that there would be no further meetings.  She said there were neighborhood meetings but no Council members came and the Public Works Director was not in attendance.  The Mayor said that all of those Village representatives are in attendance tonight.  Ms. Bowen said the integrity of their neighborhood is very important to them. Those who are making decisions don't live in Clyde Estates, nor does the consultant.  The residents are not given an opportunity to discuss this.  The residents were told by the Assistant Director of Public Works that Clyde Estates is getting sidewalks, like every other street.

Mayor Tully commented that it has been a long-standing plan to put sidewalks on one side of every street in the Village.  There are a number of facets to this project including traffic issues and stormwater.

Ms. Bowen said that she would like the same consideration as other neighborhoods have been given for traffic patterns or closing off streets.  She wants to know when the traffic study was done in Clyde Estates to determine the extreme changes being planned for their neighborhood.

Bea Bennett, 913 Clyde Drive. said that she asked to talk before the presentation because presentations are rehearsed and one-sided.  She said the meeting, which was held by Public Works, had no recording and no secretary to record the comments made by the public.  There were some comments regarding snow plowing issues, tree removal of trees that are 60-years old, and putting in ditches. Trees absorb storm water.  A progressive town with a sidewalk on every single street is going to put in a ditch, which she sees as ridiculous.  She asked why they couldn't have curbs, and gutters, drains, etc. Ms. Bennett said that 24 feet of new property as an easement will be added to her lot for her to shovel, and a ditch for her to weed. She has had no problem with stormwater. Clyde Drive is on one of the highest points in Downers Grove which means that the water will drain downward. The detention pond at the top of the hill will only be 12".  For a 12" detention pond, they will be removing 60-year-old trees and re-route traffic.  This makes no sense.  It looks like a contractor who is trying to fatten his fees.  She would not spend money for that, and she hopes the Council will not either and that the Council is smarter than that.  One of the Public Works employees told her that he thought Clyde Estates was one of the nicest neighborhoods in the Village and he wanted to live there, but there were no homes for sale.  Clyde Estates was not originally incorporated into the Village, but eventually the neighborhood deeded the streets to the Village to get natural gas in.  She would like to see the actual deed that gives the Village control of streets and parkways.  She asked that staff look up a copy of that deed. Residents take care of the parkways.  She also asked if she is going to have to pay for a driveway extension caused by the 24' added on.  She said that this is a very serious issue.

 

Mayor Tully said that they will have a presentation about Clyde Estates tonight but anyone can speak about it now.  He invited people to also stay for the presentation.

 

Norbert Ryzbicki, 5922 Webster Place, said he would appreciate it if people spoke louder so people in the back can hear what is being said.  He could not hear what was being said.  He commented that there is no reason for sidewalks in Clyde Estates.  They would be spending Downers Grove money for something that is unnecessary. The street needs to be repaired and updated.  He is impacted by sidewalks that will be on both sides of his home.  He also will have to hire someone to mow the added area.  He asked that the Council take that into consideration.

 

Connie Butler, 925 Washington, questions whether this is going to be a sidewalk to nowhere. She said she looks forward to the presentation.  She said that she is in favor of traffic issues, flooding and sidewalks.  In the 40 years she has lived near 59th Street, it is frightening to have the traffic come very fast from 59th to Washington Street.  There is a definite need for traffic control, however that is done.  While her home does not flood often, neighboring homes flood more frequently on the west side.  They are doing everything to keep their basements from being flooded.  She said that when they build more the flooding is going to increase.  Her understanding of the sidewalks is to get somewhere safely, and she's amazed at how many people use their sidewalks.  People in wheelchairs, or pushing buggies or strollers use the sidewalks.  She said the diagram she has seems to show one street being closed off.  She does not think they should put in a sidewalk just to put it in.  Putting a sidewalk on every street in Downers Grove is silly.  She commended the Council for attacking this issue.  She thinks there is room for creativity.

5. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Rheintgen said that Literacy DuPage provides free literacy tutoring for adults in the western suburbs.  On Saturday, January 31 at Parkers, there is a free event.  Their website is www.literacydupage.com.

 

Commissioner Neustadt announced that this week the Village will collect live Christmas trees left at the curb.  There will be no charge for that service.  The Downers Grove Park District will also collect live trees for recycling at Hummer Park.

 

Mayor Tully announced that there will be a second annual Pizza Wars at the Cafetorium at Downers Grove South High School, January 15, 5:30-8:00 p.m.  There will be a number of pizzarias in Downers Grove and Woodridge competing for the best pizza award to raise funds for the Education Foundation.  Last year Aurelio's took the crown. 

 

The Mayor said that the Village and County websites have information regarding shelters and weather related information. 

6. Consent Agenda

COR 2014-6008 A. Claims Ordinance:  Claim Ordinance:  No. 6087, Payroll, December 12, 2014

 

BIL 2014-6009 B. Bills Payable:  List of Bills Payable:  No. 6164, January 6, 2015

BID 2014-6007 C. Bids:  Award a contract for $21,475.00 to KLF Enterprises of Markham, Illinois for the 4411 Lee Avenue Residential Demolition Project

 

RES 2014-6000 D. Resolution:  Authorize a Settlement Agreement and Release with John Roller

 

Summary: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND RELEASE BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND JOHN ROLLER

 

RESOLUTION 2015-01

 

MIN 2014-6013 E. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

 Summary:  Library Board - November 19, 2014 Zoning Board of Appeals - November 19, 2014

 

Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Commissioner Durkin seconded.

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

 Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

7. Active Agenda First Reading

ORD 2014-6001 A. Ordinance:  Approve a Redevelopment Agreement with Vequity LLC Series XVII Downers Ogden, LLC

 

Mr. Fieldman said this concerns a redevelopment Agreement for the former Marathon Gas Station at Ogden and Saratoga.  President of the Economic Development Corporation, Michael Cassa, made the presentation.

 

Mr. Cassa noted that Mr. Scott Miller was also in attendance.  Vequity LLC is proposing construction of a 5900 square foot commercial building and surface parking expected to be completed by January 31, 2017 on the site.  The redevelopment is important to the Ogden Avenue economic corridor and will make it easier to encourage other redevelopment along the corridor.  Mr. Cassa said that the developer shall remediate the existing environmental conditions, and shall comply with all Village Ordinances and applicable laws, pursue and obtain all required permits for the project.  The Village will reimburse the developer for up to $225,000 for eligible costs required for the environmental clean up of the property.  Mr. Cassa stated that the Village will not be required to make payments unless Vequity has applied to other governmental agencies for grants or other reimbursements for the cost of environmental remediation.  Any grant funding received will reduce the total amount to be reimbursed by the Village. 

 

Mr. Cassa explained that the Economic Development Corporation has been marketing sites along Ogden Avenue for redevelopment for several years, and the use of TIF funds for unique costs such as environmental remediation is an important tool that can be used to achieve that goal.   He said that the EDC strongly supports the redevelopment agreement with Vequity.  He then introduced members of Vequity who were present at the meeting.  He thanked them for making this important investment in the Village, as well as the Village Legal Department and Village staff for assisting in reaching this agreement.

 

Bill Waldack, 1409 Willard, said that one of the requirements is that the developer apply for grants, and he said he assumes that the Village's grant writer will work with the developer.

 

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said it would be their environmental consultants who will apply for grants.

 

Commissioner Olsen thanked the Economic Development Corporation and the developer.  He is pleased to see the use of TIF funds for economic development.  This is what the TIF funds are for -- to promote economic development.  He supports this proposal.

 

Mayor Tully noted that the Village appreciates Vequity coming to Downers Grove

 

Chris Ilekis, a principal of Vequity, thanked the Village Council for accepting them into the Village, and said they look forward to bringing a quality project to the Village. 

 

ORD 2014-6004 B. Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use to Permit a Personal Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Facility at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue Units 301 & 302.

 

Stan Popovich, Planning Manager, Community Development, said that this Special Use is for 2300 Wisconsin Avenue to permit a personal vehicle repair and maintenance facility.  He displayed the area on an overhead map, saying the property is in the Ellsworth Industrial Park and is zoned M-1. Mr. Popovich said that the petitioner occupies Unit 301, which is a research and development site.  He is proposing to offer installation, repair and maintenance of cars.  He is proposing to expand to Unit 302, and offers no walk-up services.  The petitioner will offer installation, fabrication and maintenance of suspension parts to non-street-legal vehicles.  There will be no storage on the site and no trailers on the site.  This use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

 

Mayor Tully asked for verification that cars would not be test driven on the streets, and Mr. Popovich said that was correct. 

 

ORD 2015-6017 C. Ordinance:  Amend Provisions Concerning Streets and Sidewalks

 

Andy Sikich, Assistant Director, Public Works, said that this Ordinance is to update and simplify permitting and bonding requirements for work in the public right-of-way.  It clarifies and simplifies sections in the Ordinance that do not meet current standards.

 

Mayor Tully expressed his appreciation to the staff for putting this on tonight's Agenda.  This came up several weeks ago and because of several inquiries, it was placed on tonight's Agenda.

 

Commissioner Rheintgen asked about mailboxes, saying that Section 19.18 creates standards for the installation of mailboxes in the right-of-way.  She suggested a link on the Village's website referencing this information, and including something under permits regarding mailboxes.

 

Mayor Tully asked about the cash bond requirements for street openings, and asked whether the bonds are in interest-bearing accounts since it is a three-year period.  The Manager said he believes it is non-interest bearing, but will check.

 

The Mayor asked what the cost of a typical three-year cash bond would be and Mr. Sikich said it would be about $500.

 

Mayor Tully said he recalled when this first came before the Council, and said these changes mirror the Village practices.  Mr. Sikich said that was correct, and these changes also strengthen the ability to hold contractors responsible and accountable.

8. Mayor's Report Manager's Report

Clyde Estates Project:

 

Public Works Director Nan Newlon provided an overhead of the neighborhood included in this project, which includes three major scopes of work.  It is one of the larger capital projects in 2015. A summary of the project is a reconstruction of the streets, improving drainage, and constructing sidewalks on one side of all of the streets. The estimated amount of investment for the project is $2.6 million.  She explained that this project has been in the Capital Improvements Program for many years.

 

With regard to street reconstruction, Ms. Newlon said that Clyde Estates is one of three areas to reconstruct streets at an estimate of $1.8 million.  The streets need to be reconstructed through full depth reclamation where material is effectively being recycled.

 

The drainage component of the project has been identified as a need in this neighborhood.  This is a flat neighborhood that needs storm sewers, and reshaping of the ditch lines.  The stormwater management area is to provide a positive outflow and drainage for the community.  She showed aerial photographs to depict where the stormwater work would be done.

 

Ms. Newlon said that the Village is in the last two years of its sidewalk matrix installation.  Clyde Estates is a one-half mile to schools, one mile to the downtown, and about one-half mile to Jewel at 63rd and Main, which makes the neighborhood score rather high in requiring sidewalks on one side of each street.

 

With regard to public engagement, Ms. Newlon said that the first public meeting was held on August 13, at which 32 residents were present.  She explained that a lot of preparation work is done prior to the meetings to let the residents see what the areas identified in need of work are. One of the concerns raised was traffic calming.  Washington is a free-flow up to 59th Street, with a lot of traffic coming from Main Street to 59th Street.  There were positive comments about sidewalks made at that meeting.

 

The second meeting was held on November 19 with 30 residents in attendance, and staff received strong general support for the project.  Most residents were in favor of traffic calming measures.  She said that there were seven homes that were not informed about the meeting, and those residents were invited to the Village to review what had been discussed. There has been face-to-face resident interaction since those meetings, and there have been discussions with some residents who want to have ditches and swales done on their property.

 

Ms. Newlon said that the cost-share program is designed for stormwater management on private property.  If there is a need the Village can also install a storm sewer structure in the right-of-way.

 

With regard to traffic calming, Ms. Newlon proposed a realignment of Clyde/Washington/60th intersection to slowdown the traffic coming from Main Street and 59th.  The proposed realignment would be to convert the area into two T-intersections to slow down traffic.  The sidewalk would be continuous through and would stop at intersections.  There was also discussion about installing a traffic circle to slow traffic flow. She indicated that these proposals are the result of meetings with the public.  

 

As for the schedule, final plans are expected in January, with bidding expected in February or March.  The next public meeting is to be held before construction sometime in March of April.  They anticipate construction beginning as early as April 2015, with completion in November 2015.

 

Dr. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, referenced the Manager's Memo dated December 12 and asked whether it is current.  Mr. Fieldman said it is.  Dr. Goodman said that people can review this on line.

 

Bea Bennett, 913 Clyde, said that she only sees speeders on occasion.  She has not seen an accident or anyone hit by a car in her 43 years living on Clyde Drive.  If there is a speeding problem, it is a police problem.  Ms. Bennett said she thinks that the changes being proposed are very bad for the area.  She asked that there do not start changing the whole neighborhood when there is no problem.   The community was laid out by a well-known landscaper, Olmstead, who did work in Central Park, New York.  Landscape students study his work today.  Because Clyde Estates is beautiful and is at the top taxing level of the Village, they deserve to be treated with respect.   As a result of the proposed changes, she will get a gigantic front yard.  She thinks the streets were beautifully designed originally, and would like to see documentation of accidents, those killed or maimed in Clyde Estates.  She sees this as a waste of money.  Her stormwater drains into the back yard, and she has two drywells on her property, which is one-half acre.  None of her stormwater goes out to the street.  She's asked why Clyde Estates cannot have curbs, and the answer was that when the homes were built by contractors they were not put in.  She resents her tax money being spent on this.  Her water bill was $29.00 for water that doesn't even reach the street.  She is asking for some fairness.

 

Commissioner Barnett asked Ms. Bennett if she wanted to see sewers and curbs, and Ms. Bennett responded that she would like to see curbs.

 

Mayor Tully said that there are a lot of neighborhoods, which were constructed at different times with respect to gutters/curbs/sidewalks/ditches.  Curb and gutter is ideal but it is a big capital expenditure.  Some neighborhoods participate in SSAs to add some of these options. 

 

Ms. Bennett commented that she would like to be offered culverts, which could be covered over with dirt. An engineer from Public Works said her section of Clyde would have a ditch, but crossing over from Washington would have a culvert because of water flow from that section.   She feels there are many questions that need to be reviewed. 

 

Ms. Bowen said that trees in the triangle will be eliminated, and they are a great source of sponging up the water.  They are healthy trees.  There were tiles, but they collapsed.  Ms. Bowen asked about a traffic study, and who is paying for this.  She said the residents have never received any papers in any of the public meetings.  She said there were blueprints on tables.  She sees this as unprofessional and disturbing that no reference material is being given to residents for projects involving their neighborhood.

 

Connie Butler, 5925 Washington, said that regarding the culvert and ditches, she lives on the east side of Washington, and they don't have the flooding that the people on the west side with ditches have.  She asked whether the sidewalks would be on the west side with the ditches.  She sees that as an opportunity to put in culverts, and doesn't understand the retention pond at all.  She also asked whether curbs and gutters take care of the flooding problems.  She suggested that they not build a sidewalk beside or on top of a ditch.  Ms. Butler also noted that the configuration is such that traffic does not go past Ms. Bennett's house, so why change what is working

 

Chris Morgan, 6029 Washington, said that there are two beautiful trees in the triangle and he will miss them.  He noted that there is very little traffic on Clyde and doesn't understand the stormwater management issues.  This is not worth eliminating the two trees.

 

Mr. Fieldman proposed meeting individually, as well as collectively, with the residents to help improve the design and then report out to the Council.

 

Commissioner Rheintgen said that is a wonderful solution, and she then asked as to the purpose of the ditches.

 

Ms. Newlon said that about 1/3 of the Village streets are drained into ditches.  They help drain the road.  Lots of streets do not have well-defined ditches.  The two purposes of ditches are to serve as an outlet for water, as ditches have a slope, and to provide storage in a large rain event.  Ms. Newlon added that the benefits of ditches are to provide more storage than can be achieved with typical curb and gutters and storm sewers.  Also, a ditch is usually grassed so it infiltrates and cleans the water. 

 

Mr. Fieldman added that proper ditches increase the longevity of the streets.

 

REP 2014-6012 A. Report:  Economic Development Corporation Strategic Plan

 

Michael Cassa, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), presented the Council with an overview of the EDC Strategic Plan for 2015-1029 to guide their work.  At the EDC's next meeting on January 16 there will be an Executive Summary of the plan presented which will be the public document.  He said that he would like to meet with the Council members after they receive the Executive Summary, and he will schedule a presentation for other governmental bodies and civic organizations.  The Plan contains high priority goals to be identified yearly, and the Plan can be amended and updated to address market forces.  He then named and thanked the Strategic Planning Committee.

 

Mr. Cassa read the Mission Statement, and reviewed the six main objectives of their Strategic Plan.  Each segment of their plan is an analysis that was done in each area.  They reviewed six main commercial development corridor areas including Ogden Avenue, Main Street, Belmont Avenue, 75th Street, 63rd Street and Fairview Avenues.  They also looked at tools and incentives for each section of the plan, such as TIF District, business improvement districts, acquisition of property, etc.  He reviewed the various sections including downtown redevelopment, light industrial sector and business retention and expansion.  Mr. Cassa said that Ellsworth Business Park is important to the Village's overall economy, and he noted that there is a lengthy section in the Plan about the environmental issues in Ellsworth.  Meetings have been scheduled with the State Environmental Protection Agency to work toward completion of remediation.  The Village is a premier location for Class A office-space buildings.   With regard to business retention and expansion, Mr. Cassa said this section will provide information on every non-home-based business in the Village.  In addition, cooperation with the Downers Grove Visitors Bureau is important, as is marketing and project management.  The Plan provides an overview of the economic impact tourism has for the Village including overnight stays at hotels, as well as encouraging the use of facilities for convention and meeting planners at the local, county, state and national levels.  He also explained the Partnership for Prosperity Campaign, which will reduce the percentage of the overall EDC budget provided by the Village. 

 

Mr. Cassa said that 2014 was a good year for economic development in the Village and he looks forward to 2015.

 

Mayor Tully thanked Mr. Cassa and his staff and committee who worked to prepare this Plan.  Mr. Cassa replied that they are fortunate to have the support of volunteers.  Mayor Tully also thanked Mr. Miller and Mr. Jankowski for their support and time invested in the EDC.

 

Commissioner Neustadt said that the EDC website highlights the new EDC.  This plan and the website will make for a great year. 

 

Mr. Cassa said that the Council would be happy to hear what the people say about Downers Grove at tradeshows.

 

Commissioner Durkin asked where people can find this report, and Mr. Cassa said that it will be made available on the EDC website.

 

Commissioner Rheintgen congratulated Mr. Cassa and the EDC.  She said that the website is very nice and a huge upgrade.

 

Commissioner Barnett referenced the meetings held in 2013 and the EDC meetings that never happened.  He is disappointed that they never had those meetings and now the report is out.  There may not be consensus on all issues.  Mr. Cassa replied that they want this to be amended or updated.  Market driven forces will cause things to have to change.  High priority goals will be established yearly.

 

Mayor Tully referenced the OASIS Program and the difficulty of establishing a policy.  He is struck by the ability to be nimble and dynamic. 

 

Commissioner Barnett commented that he was suggesting public discussion to further establish direction given by the Council.

 

Mayor Tully commented that after the individual meetings, they can discuss what tools to be used and how they are appropriate.

 

Mr. Cassa said that at the end of each year they will review whether they achieved their goals, what the goals are moving forward, and what needs to be updated and/or amended.

 

Commissioner Durkin commented that quarterly meetings were presented to the Council by his predecessor.  Mr. Cassa replied that they will do annual visits and presentations, but for the Village there will be other periodic presentations.  He said they can expect year-end and year-ahead reports.  They will share this with all stakeholders.

 

Water Rescue

 

Mr. Fieldman said there had been a water rescue today by the Village police/fire and neighboring fire departments. 

9. Attorney's Report

Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, the following are presented for Village Council consideration:

  • An ordinance approving a redevelopment agreement with Vequity LLC Series XVII Downers Ogden, LLC
  • An ordinance authorizing a special use to permit a personal vehicle repair and maintenance facility at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue Units 301 & 302

 

12.   Council Member New Business

 

Commissioner Olsen asked about providing information regarding the referdendum question.

 

Commissioner Barnett referenced his emails on October 6 and December 29 regarding historic preservation and zoning issues and asked that the information be forwarded to the Council.    Attorney Petrarca said that would be done.

 

13.  Adjournment

Mayor Tully announced that District 99 and District 58 have announced that schools will be closed tomorrow due to the extreme cold weather.

Mayor Tully asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

Motion:   Commissioner Neustadt moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 9:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

April Holden
Village Clerk