Skip to main content

October 10, 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. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2017-7528 - B. Minutes:  Council Minutes - October 3, 2017

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

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.     

4. Proclamations

Mayor Tully proclaimed the week of October 8-14, 2017 as Fire Prevention Week in the Village of Downers Grove.  He presented the Proclamation to Fire Chief Jeff Pindelski.

Jeff Pindelski, Fire Chief, thanked the Council for recognizing Fire Prevention Week 2017 in the Village.  He spoke about fire safety in the United States, noting that in 2016 there were more than 1.3 million fires resulting in 4,000+ deaths and billions of dollars in loss.  Every two hours and 40 minutes someone dies as the result of fire.  He said that our country still ranks among the highest in loss from fires due in fact to many of the changing materials used in the building and construction industry.  He encouraged the use of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, as well as adequate escape routes in all buildings. Chief Pindelski then invited everyone to attend the Night at the Fire House at 67th and Main Street on Wednesday evening. On Friday the Village will participate in the 23rd Silent Parade and he invited the entire community to attend.

Mayor Tully thanked the Fire Department for keeping our residents safe and sound.

5. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

1. Linda Brown, 1010 Hickory Trail, said that on July 18 a lawsuit was settled between the Village and the Bradley Land Group.  The Bradley Land Group was awarded $1.45 million and other expenses as a result of that suit. The Resolution was approved on a Consent Agenda, and the lawsuit dates back several years.  She noted that on tonight's Consent Agenda there is a contract for $600,000+ in additional work that the Village needs to complete as a result of the settlement.  The Village also paid attorneys' fees for legal representation.  That brings the total to more than $2 million. She said she appreciates all of the time that the Council members devote to working for the Village, and she thinks that the Council members believe in transparency in government. However, she believes that transparency should relate not only to the good news but also to the bad news.  When there is bad news, she believes the Council is obligated to provide the public with the details and some explanation.  Ms. Brown thinks a report should be posted on the website as taxpayers are concerned about where their money is going.  She would like to know the history of this, the total costs involved, and why this was on a Consent Agenda.

Mayor Tully said that he would be happy to provide additional information off-line.  People in that neighborhood have been aware of the project for more than two decades.  The information regarding the lawsuit is a matter of public record.  The Village is involved in making necessary improvements to that area.

Ms. Brown said she doesn't understand why this should be done off-line and there are questions she would like answered.  She looked at the proposed budget, and the lawsuit represents 1/5 of the non-personnel portion of the FY18 budget.  She believes the public has a right to know the details since so much money was involved.

Mayor Tully responded that there are aspects of the suit going back 15-20 years and he wasn't present during that time.  He said there was a problem that needed to be addressed, it was addressed for the betterment of that community, and Council members have heard from people in that neighborhood thanking the Village for resolving the situation. 

Ms. Brown reiterated that she understood about the particular work necessary in the neighborhood, but she didn't understand why the Village owed Bradley over $1.45 million.

The Mayor said he did not have all the details and information at his fingertips to discuss now, which is why he said he would discuss it with her off-line.

Ms. Brown then asked why this was placed on a Consent Agenda.  He replied that it was on the Consent Agenda because all the parties consented to it, and it was an Agreement. It is not that unusual. The Mayor said he is at a disadvantage as he was not prepared for this question and does not have any of the details at his fingertips. The big picture was that this was an opportunity to resolve the situation, which had gone on for far too long, and he believes it was done in a responsible manner. In terms of why there was a lawsuit, the Mayor explained that there is a public record of the allegations of the lawsuit for anyone who is interested in researching it.  He reiterated that he would be happy to review the records and discuss it with anyone who would like additional information.

Ms. Brown said she would not be able to attend the budget meetings, but feels there should be some sort of footnote in the budget explaining this expense to the general public that is not privy to all the things the Council is privy to.  It is unfair that taxpayers are kept in the dark. In regard to the Mayor providing additional information to her, Ms. Brown said she thinks it should be a public explanation, as she believes there are others who would like more information. 

2. Liz Chalberg, 1132 Curtiss Street, President of the Downers Grove Historical Society, invited everyone to set aside October 21 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Main Street Cemetery for the Living Cemetery event. Ms. Chalberg explained that the Society will host 15 theater students from Herrick and some theatrically inclined adults who will portray Downers Grove's pioneer settlers who are buried in the Main Street cemetery. In additional Marilyn Ludwig will launch her new book for middle-school aged children entitled "The Ghost of a Tree Remembered."  The story takes place in Downers Grove.  A portion of her book orders that day will be donated to the Historical Society.  

6. Consent Agenda

BIL 2017-7537 - A. Bills Payable:  No. 6356, October 10, 2017


RES 2017-7489 - B. Resolution:  Authorize an Agreement with V3 Companies of Illinois, Ltd. Regarding a Stormwater Project and Road Construction at Brookbank Road

Summary:  This authorizes execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and V3 Companies of Illinois, Ltd., for design and permitting services and construction of Brookbank Road and associated stormwater facilities in the amount of $603,488.00.




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.

7. Active Agenda

8. First Reading

ORD 2017-7535 - A. Ordinance:  Increase the Number of Beer & Wine Recreational Facility Licenses

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca explained that this Ordinance would increase the number of Beer and Wine Recreational Facility licenses from one to two.  She said this request came from The Fun Zone at 2011 63rd Street.  This will not automatically entitle them to the license.  They will have to apply to the Liquor Commission.

Mayor Tully asked whether this is a new classification. 

Ms. Petrarca said it is not.  It simply changes the number from one to two licenses.

Commissioner Waldack said he has a lot of problems with "designer" licenses.  He has a problem increasing the number of licenses with a particular applicant in mind so they can go to the Liquor Commission and ask for the license.  He questions the process.  In order to expand the number of licenses you start asking questions about the potential applicant, and he would prefer to see them go before the Liquor Commission first and request the additional license.  They could then come before the Council with a provisional license from the Liquor Commission. He thinks this is done in the wrong order.

Commissioner Barnett asked whether they can get a provisional recommendation.

Ms. Petrarca said they cannot. 

Commissioner Barnett said they would then have to change the procedures of the Liquor Commission.

Ms. Petrarca said technically this is just a change in the number.  They should not be considering the business.  This is typically the process they have followed. 

Commissioner Earl asked how they came up with one to begin with. 

Ms. Petrarca said they only had one interest expressed when the category was created. 

Commissioner White asked when Game Passo closed whether it created a vacant or unused license.

Ms. Petrarca replied it did, and the Sand Club picked it up.

Mayor Tully commented that he understood Commissioner Waldack's comments, but noted that the Village has never had provisional licensing before.  His concern is that no applicant is going to ask for a license and go through all the work if there would be a problem in getting the license.  He said that the Village should create categories that address a type of business rather than a specific business.  He likes being able to create a license type. 

Commissioner Earl suggested going from one to three licenses to prevent this from occurring again. 

Mayor Tully replied that when a new category is created, they do not know what concerns might arise and how it would work out. 

Commissioner Earl commented that this is in the beer and wine category.

The Mayor said it would be fine with him to increase it to three licenses.


Commissioner Barnett said he spent eight years on the Liquor Commission and recognizes that they have to balance facilitation with the concerns for safety in terms of tight control of consumption.  They need to be cautious and limit licenses until they know more about them.  It has proven itself to be a solid technique.


Mayor Tully noted that the ability to sell liquor is a privilege and not a right.


INF 2016-7016 - B. Information:  Potential Amendments to Stormwater Management Regulations

Mr. Fieldman said this is a priority action item this year.  He asked Public Works Director Nan Newlon to make the presentation.

Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, said the focus is to reduce the negative impact of stormwater runoff from residential construction.  It is specific and concerns neighbor-to-neighbor.  She said this was presented about a year ago to Council.  She said she would review the major issues addressed by the Stormwater and Flood Plain Oversight Committee.  Ms. Newlon displayed a map with locations of 430 new homes constructed between 2011 and 2017.  While construction complies with Village regulations there are times when there are negative impacts on adjacent properties, caused by four main reasons:  1) A new impervious area constructed in an established neighborhood that lacks adequate stormwater management systems.   2) Significant grade differences causing stormwater runoff. 3) Sump pumps serving larger, deeper basements discharging substantial amounts of water.  Ms. Newlon displayed a slide of typical water tables, noting that it is hard to regulate the water table, as it can fluctuate during the year. 4) Lack of stormwater infiltration into the ground caused by high clay content in the soil.  Clay is a predominant natural soil in this area.

1.                  Ms. Newlon then presented a menu of options of potential changes to regulations that had been vetted by the Stormwater and Floodplain Oversight Committee.  She said that each option is scored by its effectiveness, cost and administrative burden.  Require on-site stormwater detention with an outlet to an established minor drainage system.  The Stormwater Flood Plain and Oversight Committee (SWFPOC) did not recommend this option because, while effective, it is expensive and, administratively, very burdensome.

2.                  Require sump pumps to connect to a minor drainage system or Post Construction Best Management Practices (PCBMP).  The SWFPOC recommended this option for consideration.

3.                  Maximum impervious area regulation/open space requirement.  The SWFPOC recommended this option.

4.                  Require addition PCBMPs for basements deeper than nine feet.  The SWFPOC did not recommend this option.

5.                  Eliminate the building coverage "bonus" for detached garages and front porches.  The SWFPOC did not recommend this option.

6.                  Restrict foundation and/or finished grade elevation.  The SWFPOC did not recommend this option.

7.                  Reduce minimum foundation drain tile size requirement from six-inch diameter to four-inch diameter.  The SWFPOC recommended this option for consideration, as it is a low-cost item.

8.                  Increase the minimum required side yard setback in the R-4 zoning district to six feet or ten percent of the lot width, whichever is greater.  The SWFPOC recommended this option.

9.                  Increase the stormwater runoff fee and/or fee-in-lieu for constructing PCBMPs.  The SWFPOC recommended this option.

10.              Remove local PCBMP requirements (700 square feet instead of 2,500 square feet).  The SWFPOC did not recommend this option.

Mr. Fieldman addressed Option #10 saying staff's experience in the field on many of the developments is that this is not working properly in all cases.

Commissioner Hosé asked about Option 2 and connection of sump pumps.  Ms. Newlon replied it would depend upon the condition of the site.  Mayor Tully added that rain gardens also do not work in all locations. He said they should use practices that are actually effective in the field.

Mr. Fieldman commented that there is no one solution that fits all situations.  They are looking for a variety of solutions.

Commissioner Earl addressed Option #7 saying that it seems counter-intuitive since they are lessening the diameter rather than increasing the diameter.  Ms. Newlon said that 4" is the more standard in codes.  By slowing down the water a little it would mean less water pumped out of sump pumps.  Mr. Fieldman added that 6" pipe is difficult to get and is costly, while not showing that much of an improvement.

Commissioner Hosé asked for more information as to how many communities have regulations on basement depth and the specific recommendation.

Commissioner Waldack commented that this is the opportunity to address the elevation issue.  He would like to see guidance to restrict elevation so you do not affect your neighbors.  Option 1 seems to address those issues, yet the Stormwater Committee rejected it.  He suggested this Option for new construction.  The cost would generally be part of the mortgage, and the Village could waive the stormwater fee until the cost was recovered. That would be an incentive over time to solve the problem and eventually break even.

Commissioner Barnett said he agrees with Commissioner Waldack's statement.  Any of the edge solutions work for the whole community.  Unless the Village does something like Option 1, the Village is saying that it is ok with disruption to neighbors by new developments.  These are complex and expensive situations.  Option #1 causes people to deal with the problem they create.  He would be happy to add the incentive of a Stormwater Utility rebate.  Option 1 is not easy or cheap, and it is hard to do and will be a burden on staff; however, it solves the problems they are trying to solve.

Mayor Tully commented that the Stormwater Utility could be used to facilitate the administrative work to achieve the objectives.

Commissioner White said that mandatory on-site retention is needed, but he's not persuaded that every house needs it.  He is very nervous about using the stormwater fee for anything policy related.  He thinks they have to have a clearly documented link between a reduction of Village costs and action taken.

Commissioner Hosé commented that using the fee to subsidize in this case would give the homeowner a break to maintain the status quo.  He agrees that they should have on-site detention where it makes sense.

Mayor Tully clarified that he was not suggesting giving credits but instead using the fee to cover administrative costs.

Commissioner Barnett questioned the difference between requiring on-site detention and requiring zero net change.  He is interested in whether from an administration or facilitative standpoint it would be easier for the Village to ascertain this as a matter of a normal process of permit review. 

Mayor Tully asked how one measures zero net change.

Ms. Newlon said it is measured by the release rate. 

Mayor Tully then asked how as a practical matter you measure runoff before and after. 

Ms. Newlon replied that the calculations are based on topography, etc.


Ms. Newlon said the recommendation by the Committee was to consider on-site detention when increasing the impervious area by more than 700 square feet.

Commissioner Waldack suggested looking at the legality of his incentive suggestion.  He said that adding a detention system would be an improvement and would not be the status quo.

Mr. Fieldman said they can look at a number of ways to do this and would provide him with that information.

Commissioner White said that some of the costs for certain detention systems can be very high versus the stormwater utility fee.

Commissioner Earl questioned whether, with new house construction, a system could be part of a cost-share program that provides an incentive. 

Mr. Fieldman said staff would look at that as well.

Commissioner Barnett stated, regarding the magnitude of the costs, that many areas in question are deficient in existing stormwater infrastructure, and when you begin talking about "in-lieu-of" the conversations are insufficient to cover what is required. 

Mr. Fieldman noted that "fee-in-lieu" creates money challenges, and it does not solve the issues and often creates more expectations.

1.  Jim Garst, 5230 Farrar Court, said he's been looking at the top three options and their effectiveness.  He is encouraged by the talk of multiple options and is interested in detention on site.  He said that the water has to go somewhere.  He thinks it seems as though the only option is to hold the water until it can be let out, so the only option for them is on-site detention.

2. Anna Jackson, resident of Farrar Court, said she is new to the area.  Her house is big and is one of the problems.  She has talked to her neighbors, the builder, etc., and they learned about ways that were used to address the overflow of water.  They purchased the home.  The community is aware of the problem and wants to solve it.  There is a lot next door for sale that is vacant and a new large home will be built there.  She asked about the burden of maintenance and what it means to the homeowner. 

Ms. Newlon replied that they would probably see a concrete vault underground and a pump for discharge.  They would have to keep that clean, and the homeowners would be responsible.

Mr. Garst said homeowners in the low-lying areas are highly motivated to keep their systems working.  Many have invested tens-of-thousands of dollars on their own. 

3. Ms. Garst said that the Mayor cared about what their neighbor thought and didn't want to upset their neighbor.  People are talking mostly about builders who leave the Village once their construction is done.  Downers Grove is one of the most desired towns to live in.  She said that her family has spent $30,000 in three years on water projects around their home and they are still in danger.  On-site detention saves taxpayers money because the Village doesn't have to create larger storm sewers, or find ways to widen St. Joe's Creek. 

Mayor Tully said that there is a high level of interest among the Council in on-site detention.

4. Rich Kulovany, 6825 Camden, said he attended some of the stormwater meetings.  This is a complex problem and a cookie-cutter approach won't work.  When they built their home they had an 8' basement that always had a wet corner that he determined was where the water table was.  He noted that in Wheaton you can raise your foundation by up to 3.5 feet and it will not count towards the overall building height.  Not all contractors distribute soil and clay appropriately.  He doesn't know what can be done during inspections to make sure contractors are properly distributing the soil.  He urged the Council to be bold on this issue.  

Commissioner Walus thanked those who spoke.  It is a challenging issue and it is not going away.  They are leading towards on-site detention.  She is interested in learning more about incentives as well.

Commissioner Waldack said they have to prioritize.  Developers build and then they leave.  He asked whether the Village's priority is the new construction or the neighborhood.  His priority is the neighborhood.  He wants them to look at things from the neighborhood's eyes.

9. Mayor's Report

Mayor Tully said the Village has received an application for a Class R-1, full alcohol, on-premise consumption liquor license and an application for a Class O, outdoor liquor license from Brick House Acquisition, Inc. d/b/a Brickhouse Tavern & Tap, located at 1461 Butterfield Road.  He said that pursuant to the liquor ordinance, a public hearing for a liquor license application may be waived.  The application must be placed on file for a minimum of two weeks, subject to public comment prior to the issuance of a new license.

Mayor Tully said he was placing the application on file today in the Village Clerk's Office.  Barring any objection, liquor licenses shall be issued to Brickhouse Tavern & Tap following the two-week waiting period.

10. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Barnett congratulated two award-winning library staff members recently recognized by the Illinois Library Association.  Jen Fredericks, Technical Services Manager, received the TBS, Inc. Technical Service Award for substantial contributions to the library with her leadership skills and perseverance.  Lynette Pitrak, Teen Librarian, received the Young Adult Librarian of the Year Award for implementing services that promote a love of literature and positive feelings about libraries.

Commissioner Hosé thanked Chief Pindelski and staff for their dedication to the community. 

Commissioner Walus announced that District 99 will hold four informational sessions and regarding their Master Facility Plan and additions to North and South High:   October 12 at North High School, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. October 19 at South High School, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. October 21 at North High School, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. October 28 at South High School, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Commissioner Walus said the North High vs. South High crosstown classic will be held October 13, 2017.  Students will participate in a pink-out for cancer awareness.

Commissioner White recognized and congratulated two students from South High School - Danny King and Jake Burrows, who were chosen to be in the U.S. Army Marching Band at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on January 6, 2018.  It is a remarkable honor.  The band is made up of about 130 students from across the county, and Downers Grove South is represented by two of its students.  He will present the students with proclamations tomorrow.  Commissioner White said he is a graduate of South High.  He noted that District 99 has outstanding music programs. 

Commissioner White said 24 marching bands will participate in the Marching Mustang Music Bowl hosted by Downers Grove South on October 14, 2017.  They will perform on the artificial turf field, which will guarantee that there is turf left after the marching bands perform.  If the neighbors hear music for 12-14 hours, it will be because of the 24 marching bands.

Commissioner White said he will kick off the South DuPage CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, October 15, 2017, at 1:30 Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

Mayor Tully said he will not be in attendance at next week's meeting.  He said a pancake breakfast will be held at Ballydoyle's on October 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to benefit Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence.     


The Mayor said the Family Shelter Services 5k and 10k runs will be held on October 29 at Midwestern University.


The Mayor asked for a motion to recess to the Committee Room to discuss the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget.

Commissioner White moved to recess to the Committee Room.  Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.

The Mayor declared the motion carried by voice vote and the Council recessed at 8:41 p.m.

11. Manager's Report - Committee Room

ORD 2017-7523 - A. Ordinance:  Adopt the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget in Lieu of Passage of an Appropriation Ordinance

Mayor Tully reconvened the Council meeting at 8:54 p.m. in the Committee Room for further discussion of the Village's FY18 budget.

Village Manager Dave Fieldman said this is the second in a series of ten opportunities to discuss the FY18 budget.  The budget is the annual implementation of many long-range plans.  Most of the policy decisions have been made.  The budget as proposed has been posted on the Village's website since late September.  He reviewed the key points:  The General Fund has a planned use of reserves of $320,000 due to the temporary hold back of 10% of State income taxes and due to maintaining a fund balance of 39%, which is looked upon favorably by the rating agencies.  The budget includes $1.5 million revenue from a 1% food and beverage tax.  The property tax levy is flat except for an increase in the public safety pension levy as required by State law.  The budget reflects further reductions in staffing due to attrition. 

Mr. Fieldman said tonight's discussion would include funding to implement facilities direction, a contribution to OPEB unfunded liability, and continued investment in the infrastructure.  Mr. Fieldman then introduced Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, to discuss the infrastructure funds.

Nan Newlon, Director, Public Works, said she and Assistant Directors John Welch and Stan Balicki would address stormwater, capital projects and the water funds.

Ms. Newlon said the capital budget for FY18 is $21.05 million.  She showed a video regarding the stormwater management system.  The Stormwater Fund has estimated revenue of $4.4 million for FY18 and expenses of $6.51 million, reflecting a spending down of the fund balance.  She then reviewed planned expenses and improvements.  She showed the location of six projects to be built in 2018 and those built in 2017, for a combined total of 11 projects.

John Welch, Assistant Director for Engineering, discussed the Capital Projects Fund, which includes streets, sidewalks and other capital projects.  He showed a video regarding street maintenance.  The objectives of the fund are to use a systematic approach to maintain infrastructure at the most cost effective level, and to coordinate the timing of projects to minimize cost and inconvenience and maximize project benefits.  Revenue in the Capital Projects Fund is budgeted at $8.26 million; expenses are estimated at $9.01 million, which reflects spending down of the fund balance.  Mr. Welch reviewed the planned street projects.  Roadway maintenance is the largest portion of the budget.  Regarding sidewalks, Mr. Welch said the largest portion of the budget is for sidewalks in the West Burlington area.  He also discussed the sidewalk maintenance program.

Commissioner Barnett asked about Village facilities.  Mr. Fieldman said Mike Baker will address this.

Todd Paradis asked about OPEB and why money came out of this fund for that item.

Mr. Fieldman said the Village is establishing a plan for implementation in 2018 and 2019.  Staff identified this fund as it has money that can be used to make a contribution in 2018.   

Stan Balicki, Assistant Director for Operations, discussed the Water Fund.  The Water Fund is an enterprise fund; it is supported solely through fees for water sales and services.  The fund has three objectives:  Providing safe and reliable drinking water; operating and maintaining the system in the most cost-effective manner; and achieving stable, efficient water rates.  The Village has seven elevated storage tanks, six rate stations, 2,800 fire hydrants, 233 miles of water distribution main and 2,800 main line valves.  The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA) is used on a daily basis to monitor and control the water system from the Public Works Facility.   Mr. Balicki said the FY18 estimated revenue is $21.23 million; expenses are estimated to be $22.45 million.  There are two components to the water rate - the purchase of water and the costs of maintaining the system.  There are no planned rate increases for the cost of maintaining the infrastructure.  A small rate increase to cover the cost of purchasing water may occur. 

Mr. Balicki then reviewed the Water Fund expenses.  The cost of water is $8.74 million and is the largest cost in the fund.  The next largest category, capital expenses, is budgeted at $8.63 million.  The biggest water projects planned for 2018 are watermain replacements. 

Mayor Tully asked as to those replacements.

Mr. Balicki said the 55th Street project is significant. 

Commissioner White asked if the Village is spending enough each year so that we are not losing ground with replacements. 

Mr. Fieldman referenced the 2010 water rate study which was a sustainability study.  As a result of that report the Village starting ramping up for a regular replacement cycle, and has achieved a sustainable level. 

Commissioner Waldack noted that the budget wording is "Watermain replacement, annual element."  He asked as to annual element. 

Ms. Newlon said the 55th Street project is separately listed because the Village entered into an agreement with DuPage County for the work.  Regarding annual element, Ms. Newlon said staff recommends an amount to be spent but looks at all segments of work before settling on specific streets. 

The Mayor said he would like some general ideas as to the watermain replacement projects making up the $6.9 million. 

Commissioner Waldack asked about existing well rehabilitation.

Mr. Balicki said this is to fund design improvements to the three backup wells that are for emergency use.

Mr. Fieldman said the Village is required by the DuPage Water Commission to have working backup wells. 

Commissioner Barnett asked about the 3-5 year plan for replacements.  He also said he would like to see sales in terms of gallons of water. 

Mr. Balicki said there has been a consistent decline in sales.

Commissioner White asked about the lifecycle of a given segment of a main.

Ms. Newlon said it is subject to many variables including acidity, the quality of the pipes, etc.

Mr. Fieldman referenced the 2015 Long-Range Plan which addressed the replacement of watermains and other infrastructure.

Regarding Facility Sustainability, Mr. Fieldman asked Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager, to address the FY18 budget and facility plan direction.

Mike Baker, Deputy Village Manager, said the Council directed the following:  Re-evaluate options in 2019 for the replacement of the Police Station and Village Hall; maintain the existing buildings at the lowest cost possible; and continue saving money to be used for building improvements in 2019 and beyond.

Mr. Baker reviewed the money available, $2.6 million, for the facilities plan in 2019: 

  • Asset Forfeiture Fund - a one-time amount of $2,000,000.
  • Local Gasoline Tax - an annual amount of $600,000.


Projected expenses budgeted in 2018 are $150,000 for replacement of a portion of the Village Hall roof.

Mr. Fieldman said the Major Buildings Fund (p. 4-32) includes $511,000 for improvements to all major buildings.  He said these are informed estimates.  The out year expenses for this fund are based on Council direction.

Commissioner Barnett asked if there is the possibility of reducing or shutting down parts of buildings to save money on utilities.

Mr. Fieldman said staff could look at that.

Commissioner Barnett asked if there was flexibility in the gas tax rate.

Mr. Baker said there is; it could be increased.

Commissioner Barnett said he would like to think about that.

Commissioner Waldack said he is open to finding ways to save money as we are not saving enough.

Mayor Tully discussed revenue streams, bonds and leveraging existing assets without raising taxes.

Commissioner Hosé said he struggles with the idea of raising taxes now for a future expenditure.  If the community is asked to step up and help fund a solution to the facilities challenge, the Council better have a solution.  He said he has no interest in paying for a roof replacement.  We are spending money on buildings we know need to go; that is the definition of fiscal irresponsibility.  The costs are only going to go up.

Commissioner White said he thinks it would be irresponsible to move forward with facilities before the future of the downtown project is finished. 

Commissioner Waldack said it is not irresponsible to save money for a future need.  The burden on the taxpayer will be lessened if we put money away for the facilities.

Commissioner Hosé noted that we are accumulating money into the fund while we are drawing down reserves by $320,000.

Mr. Fieldman said this is the second of a series of meetings.  He said the smaller funds will be addressed next week.  He reminded everyone that the next Coffee With The Council is scheduled for Saturday, October 21 at 9:00 a.m. at Fire Station 2, 5420 Main Street.  The agenda will be discussion of the FY18 budget.

Commissioner Waldack asked about the animal boarding tax.

12. Adjournment

There being no further questions or comments Mayor Tully asked for a motion to adjourn. 

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

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

April Holden

Village Clerk