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February 14, 2017

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

Council Attendance (Present):  Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner White, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Absent:  None

Non-Voting:  Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, 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.

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. Presentation - 2016 Annual Report

Mayor Tully said it is his privilege to deliver the 2016 Annual Report, also known as the State of the Village address.  He said this is a review of 2016 and a preview of this year's goals.  He said the first State of the Union address was ten minutes long in 1790, and the longest was by President Bill Clinton at 1 ½ hours.

He reviewed the five strategic goals: 

  • Steward of financial, environmental and neighborhood sustainability
  • Exceptional municipal services
  • Top qualify infrastructure
  • Strong, diverse local economy
  • Continual innovation

Mayor Tully began by highlighting the year's accomplishments:

Preserved History

Mayor Tully spoke about preserving the balance between progress and history.  The Village's original Historic Preservation Ordinance passed in July 2007.  Two homes were landmarked in 2008-2009.  In the past year, however, as part of the new Historic Preservation Ordinance approved in 2015, nine properties were landmarked as historic properties in one year.  Landmarking is easier than ever.  He also noted that a portion of Forest Avenue was renamed Foote Street in honor of Emerson Foote.  The Mayor explained the significance of the Foote family in the Village.  He noted that the volunteer efforts that have taken place as part of the Historic Preservation Ordinance have increased public awareness and engaged the community.  It has become popular to landmark one's home.

Advanced the Village Facilities Sustainability Plan

The Village adopted a plan for the Police Station addition/renovation.  An alternative option has been presented and is currently being considered to provide broader solutions to the problems of both the Village Hall and Police Department facilities, while maximizing the opportunities provided by the Village's campus. 

Retained Stormwater Fees

The Mayor provided an historical view of the stormwater issues in the Village.  He discussed the stormwater utility fee and said the Village engaged the community with respect to asking residents how to pay for the stormwater management system.  Three referenda questions were on the November 2016 ballot and the results were to retain the stormwater utility fee model rather than paying for the service through property taxes.  Efforts on the part of staff provided the community with a thorough presentation of the issue under consideration on the ballot.

Collaborated with Other Local Governments

The Village hosted a Super Retreat at Downers Grove South High School with other local entities to increase awareness of shared interests and issues, and to foster cooperation and collaboration.  Discussions were held as to the common goals and challenges shared by the various agencies.

Created Plan to Increase Sales Tax Revenue

In 2015 the Village Council created a plan is to increase the base and total tax revenue.  It was based on an AECOM study commissioned by the Economic Development Corporation.  The plan recommended retail segments and tools for attraction and retention as well as locations for retail development.  Mayor Tully said efforts continue to capitalize and create opportunities.  He reviewed the companies that expanded or opened in Downers Grove in 2016 including Alter Brewing Company, Chipotle, Duluth Trading Company, Packey Webb Ford, etc.

Joined Du-Comm

Mayor Tully said this was a major consolidation.  It maintains the service level provided to Downers Grove residents.  It reduces costs and increases the efficiency of providing emergency dispatching services.  Over the years, the Village has always tried to view local versus regional programs that would enhance the Village.  Joining Du-Comm is consistent with the State of Illinois and DuPage County consolidation efforts.  It further reduces the size and cost of planned improvements to the Police Station.

Prepared Region for Emergency Response

Mayor Tully said the Village participated in a simulated emergency exercise in August involving a BNSF derailment of a train car with passengers and chemicals to determine response preparedness.  The Village collaborated with over 30 agencies and increased public awareness of emergency response capabilities.


  • Sucessfully Management Budget

Mayor Tully said the Village has retained its Standard and Poor's AAA bond rating.  He noted that $207,000 was added to the General Fund balance.  Due to our bond rating, the Village saved $1 million by refinancing the 2008 stormwater bonds.  The 2017 budget is fully balanced, and there has been no increase to the operations levy for six years.  The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded our Finance Department the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the seventh consecutive year.

  • Launched Downtown Recycling Program

Mayor Tully said the Village negotiated with its solid waste provider to place recycling cans in the downtown area.  This supports environmental sustainability and reduces refuse going to landfills. 

  • Continued to Invest in Infrastructure

Mayor Tully said $15 million was invested in 2016 for critical infrastructure projects such as street resurfacing, stormwater improvement projects, sidewalk repairs and watermains.

  • Engaged the Community

Mayor Tully said the Village launched short-form video communications that have been very effective in engaging audiences in a variety of projects.  The Village has received two different awards from external agencies for our methods of communicating with the community.

  • Facilitated Council Transition

Two members of the Village Council resigned in 2016.  As a result, two mid-term Council vacancies were filled very quickly and effectively.  The Mayor noted that Village business continued, uninterrupted.

  • Facilitated Downtown Redevelopment

Mayor Tully said there are at least four projects taking place downtown at this time.  There has been a long-standing dedication to facilitating downtown development, which is important because of the downtown TIF.  He discussed the downtown redevelopment projects at Main and Maple and Burlington Station at Forest and Gilbert.  The Village projects $5.5 million in property tax increment revenue to the Downtown TIF. 

Awards and Accolades

Mayor Tully reviewed the awards received in 2016.

The Mayor said the Village is well positioned for the future.  He noted that keeping the property tax levy flat is not sustainable in the long term.  Unfunded liabilities continue to be challenges.  The levy for public safety pensions and unemployment benefits has increased 46.8% over the past five years, which is not sustainable.  However, we are well positioned for opportunities and are able to be proactive, not reactive.  The hope is to put steps into place now to meet challenges 10-15 years down the road.  He noted there is a non-contested election coming up which means the Council is established and that will allow them to continue to work without any major breaks in service.  He thanked his colleagues, residents and staff for their dedication to the Village.

4. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2017-7260 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes:  February 7, 2017


Motion:  Commissioner White, seconded by Commissioner Waldack, moved to approve the minutes as presented.

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

5. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde Drive, discussed the reconstruction project in Clyde Country Estates.  She said this project did not include a stormwater study nor did this go before the Stormwater and Flood Plain Oversight Committee.  Further, there was no traffic study.  She said that the asphalt was the last part of the project and there are already cracks in the asphalt road.  The road was rebuilt and the roadway was redesigned.  There are puddles in the road and there are stones in the asphalt.  She spoke of the parkway restoration.  The sod on her property appears to be dead.  She called Public Works this week and reported that the call was not handled properly.  The project should be re-evaluated.  She would like to know why she has rocks in her sod.

Mayor Tully said he spoke with Ms. Bowen before the meeting and will visit her neighborhood.

6. Public Hearings

PUB 2017-7256 - A. Public Hearing:  DuPage County Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program Application

Mayor Tully called the public hearing to order at 7:47 p.m. to consider the submittal of an application to the County of DuPage for community development block grant funding for the Burlington Highlands Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Project.  Notice of this hearing was published in the Suburban Life newspaper on February 1, 2017. 

Mayor Tully summarized the procedures to be followed for the public hearing.

Village Manager Dave Fieldman introduced Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, to present information related to the application.

Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, said the location of Burlington Highlands is north of Ogden Avenue and west of Doerhoefer Park.  The streets impacted include Janet, Belle Aire, Seeley and Virginia.  The area lacks adequate stormwater infrastructure and experienced structural flooding in the April 2013 storm event.  This project was identified in the 2014 Stormwater Project Analysis.  This project represents an effort to provide permanent public infrastructure improvements that will substantially benefit the residents through stormwater conveyance and detention.  The scope includes installing new storm sewers within the public right-of-way, replacing old clay storm sewers in the area, possible property acquisition, and the addition of some stormwater detention.  The approximate project cost is $1.5 million; a 50% Village match is included in the estimated construction cost.

Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde Drive, said she is glad to hear a stormwater study will be done.  She noted that when she spoke previously she failed to mention that she received a letter regarding a stormwater study in her neighborhood even though the project is completed.  This highlights a problem with the project and the contractors we are hiring.

There being no further discussion, the public hearing was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.

7. Consent Agenda

BIL 2017-7261 - A. Bills Payable:  No. 6312, February 14, 2017


RES 2017-7257 - B. Resolution:  Authorize Submittal of Grant Application to the County of DuPage for the 2017 CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant Program

Summary:  This authorizes submission of a grant application to DuPage County for the Burlington Highlands Stormwater Infrastructure Improvement Project. 




RES 2017-7255 - C. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Agreement with B&F Construction Code Services, Inc. 

Summary:  This authorizes execution of a twelve-month contract extension with B&F Construction Code Services, Inc. of Elgin, Illinois for building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and energy inspections at a rate of $75 per hour with a not to exceed amount of $25,000.




MIN 2017-7266 - D. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary:  Library Board - December 21, 2016; Liquor Commission - January 5, 2017


Motion:  Commissioner White moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion. 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé; Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

8. Active Agenda

RES 2017-7243 - A. Resolution:  Grant Historic Landmark Designation for 4437 Seeley Avenue

Summary:  This grants historic landmark designation for 4437 Seeley Avenue. 



Motion:  Commissioner White moved to adopt "A Resolution Granting Historic Landmark Designation for 4437 Seeley Avenue, as presented.  Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion. 

Mayor Tully said that this is an historic moment.  He said that this home has not been protected until tonight, and is long past due. The idea that Pierce Downer's home was not protected was embarrassing.  He deeply appreciates all those who helped this come about, especially the Frigos who now own the home. The Mayor said that they would have a ceremony reflecting this designation at a Landmark Preservation Council meeting with the Frigos in March.  Landmark Illinois will participate in that meeting in March.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

9. First Reading

ORD 2017-7245 - A. Ordinance:  Approve a Redevelopment and Land Purchase Agreement with ReUrban Partners, LLC

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that in 2001 the Village bought the property at 5117 Main Street and it was supposed to be Phase 3 of Acadia development.  The developer is proposing to remodel the existing building and update the facade.  She reviewed the key terms of the contract.  The building is being purchased as is at a purchase price of $10,000.  The Developer will pay for all costs.


ORD 2017-7244 - B. Ordinance:  Update the Village's Comprehensive Plan

Mr. Fieldman said this is the first of many meetings to discuss the five-year update to the Comprehensive Plan.  He said that Stan Popovich would provide an overview of the Comprehensive Plan.  Council members are asked to contact staff and inform them as to comments and/or concerns about the update of this draft.  The discussion will proceed at the pace and level of detail as determined by the Village Council.

Stan Popovich, Director, Community Development, said that the Comprehensive Plan (the Plan) is a long-range guiding document that is visionary, not regulatory, and is not designed to be read like a book but rather is to be used daily by staff.  Mr. Popovich said the Plan is an award-winning plan and was amended in 2015.  It is a top priority action item and he showed the meeting schedule of the Comprehensive Plan Ad Hoc Committee. 

Mr. Popovich said that the Plan contains about 1500 modifications including text, grammar, pictures, and graphics.  Minor updates have been made throughout the document.  He reviewed some of the areas of minor updates.  He then reviewed some of the major updates. 

Section 1 updates demographics, which includes age groups and income.  The number of millennials and seniors will grow and the community is becoming more affluent.

Section 2 includes a new vision statement including the downtown area, stormwater improvements, corridor improvements, the tree canopy, and high quality schools and parks.

Section 3 updates the Future Land Use Plan that includes the downtown area, the Ogden and Walnut area and the 63rd Street area.

Section 9 referring to the Downtown area identifies historic structures, updates catalyst sites, and develops functional subareas.

Section 9 referring to 63rd Street notes three commercial nodes including the Meadowbrook catalyst site, enhanced beautification of the 63rd Street corridor, and screening of the residential areas. The potential for an update to the area could include a change to the commercial area into mixed residential use.

Section 9 referring to 75th Street contains a mixture of residential areas and large commercial areas.  There have been discussions regarding improving pedestrian and bike connections, and screening of the residential area.  Discussion also includes the Knottingham Subdivision. 

Mr. Popovich said that the next steps include a review of the Comprehensive Plan Update at the Council's pace.  That will be followed by questions, comments and concerns with a development of a schedule for future discussions.

Mayor Tully said this is truly an overview and this is the first time this has been introduced to the Council. The Mayor expressed his appreciation for doing this in a timely fashion, noting that it is appropriate to review it on a regular basis.

Commissioner White said that in 1964 the Comprehensive Plan said that planning for Ogden Avenue remains a major challenge.  It still remains a challenge.

Commissioner Waldack said this is a great document to review with many demographics.  It is very comprehensive.  He thanked the Ad Hoc Committee and those who attended the meetings and put the document together.  He encouraged the public to get involved with reviewing this.

Commissioner White said it would be beneficial to have a digital and printed version of the pattern book as it relates to the downtown.  It is a massive document.  Council should contact staff with areas of concern in order to create a structure for moving forward with a schedule.

Mayor Tully noted his agreement with what's been said.  If there are areas of concern or further revisions to consider they should be consolidated and given to staff as soon as possible.

Commissioner Earl acknowledged the residents in attendance who have worked on this document.  She thanked Housal Lavigne for their work on this as well.

10. Mayor's Report

Mayor Tully noted that Coffee With The Council will take place on February 18 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. at the Public Library.

11. Manager's Report

Mr. Fieldman said there would be a special Council meeting on February 28 to discuss the facilities plan and a review of proposals.

12. Attorney's Report

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


  1. An ordinance approving a redevelopment and land purchase agreement with ReUrban Partners, LLC
  2. An ordinance updating the Village's Comprehensive Plan


13. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Earl said that the Library is in strategic planning mode and encourages everyone to participate and provide feedback.

Mayor Tully commented that it is an opportunity for residents to participate in the Library's strategic planning.

Commissioner Hosé said that the State of the Village ran just under 40 minutes.

Commissioner Waldack noted that the Village is served by three townships.  He said that the Townships held a meeting on December 13.  He mentioned that Supervisor Frank Wurster of Downers Grove Township retired on December 31.  Commissioner Waldack wished him well.  He noted that Mark Thoman was appointed Supervisor effective January 1, 2017.  Mr. Thoman has served on many committees in the Village.  The Commissioner said that the Village looks forward to working with him and wishes him well.

Mayor Tully announced that Theresa Cockrell who worked for Township 36 for years recently passed away.  Her dedication was unsurpassed.  He expressed his condolences and prayers for her family. 

Mayor Tully then commented on historic preservation, and closed with a quote from William J. Murtagh: It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over mutual concern for the future.

14. Adjournment

Motion:  Commissioner White moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.  

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:31 p.m.