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February 18, 2020

1. Call to Order

Mayor Robert Barnett 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 Barnett led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

2. Roll Call

Council Attendance (Present):  Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gray, Mayor Barnett

Absent:  None

Non-Voting:  Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Village Clerk Megan Miles

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 Barnett 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 2020-8506 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - February 11, 2020

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

4. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

There were none.

5. Mayor's Report

Mayor Barnett said it was his privilege to present the 2019 Annual Report. He said since its founding, Downers Grove has been a premier destination for those who wish to raise a family and for those who want to build a business.  It is a proud community of 49,000 people who call Downers Grove their home.  He said making progress is part of our identity.  Council and staff worked hard over the past year to position our community for continued success. 

Mayor Barnett said the report will highlight a few of the items featured in the Inside DG 2019 Year in Review publication.  He said that copies of annual reports dating back to 2006 are available on the Village's website.  He then reported on the Village's Strategic Goals including being stewards of financial, environmental and neighborhood sustainability, providing exceptional municipal services, having a top quality infrastructure, having a strong, diverse local economy, and being involved in continual innovation. These goals have remained largely unchanged over the past decade and have been a continuing effort of the Village. During this time, many projects and tasks have been completed in support of these goals and to the benefit of Downers Grove residents.

The Mayor reviewed the results of the most recent Village Council election which allowed him to switch roles from Commissioner to Mayor. He thanked the past members of the Council for their dedicated services to the Village.

Mayor Barnett then reviewed the Village's Long Range Plan which reflects the policy direction of the 2019-2021 Village Council and establishes the goals and priorities and actions that guide the budget, daily operations, and outlines the priority action items of the next 18 months.  These priority action items include creating a Village facilities replacement and sustainability plan, creating a plan for the future of the downtown, developing and implementing a downtown parking plan, completing a pedestrian safety enhancement plan near our high schools, creating a stormwater capital projects plan, and expansion of the Human Service Ad Hoc Committee. He said that information on each item is available for review on the Village's website. 

Mayor Barnett said the Village is proud of its efforts as stewards of financial sustainability. Our financial performance in 2019 was exceptional. In the general operating fund, expenses were held below the budgeted amount of $48.2 million, and revenues were a little higher than expected, resulting in adding to our General Fund balance. Our continued strong financial performance was recognized by Standard and Poors who recently renewed our AAA Bond rating which allows the Village to borrow funds for infrastructure projects at the lowest cost possible. In 2019, the Village was awarded nearly a million dollars in grants and received the Government Finance Officers Association distinguished budget presentation award and certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. Each of these awards has been earned by the Village for multiple consecutive years.  

Mayor Barnett said the downtown is the heart of the Village and offers a place to gather for events. The buildings range from historic to recently completed buildings that stand side by side to create an authentic, walkable environment. It is the product of significant efforts by the Village and its partners that started in the mid-1990s whereby previous Village Councils engaged residents and business owners and put together a plan to transform our downtown to its current state. The time frame envisioned in the original plan will end in 2021 with the expiration of two financing tools which drove investments for the past two decades. In 2019 the Village created a new plan designed to allow the downtown to continue to thrive. That plan took over two years to complete with the help of the Downtown Management Corporation and many residents, and picks up where the previous plan leaves off and provides a sustainable funding solution for downtown events and services such as Friday night car shows, the Fine Arts Festival, Ice Sculpture Festival, landscaping and beautification efforts, and snow and ice removal. After extensive study with input from residents and businesses alike, the Village recently completed a downtown parking study containing several recommendations to provide parking needed for shoppers, diners, visitors, residents and commuters. That study is now being considered by the Transportation and Parking Commission and will be ready for implementation beginning later this year. It reflects the comments and recommendations of downtown residents and the Downtown Management Corporation.

Infrastructure is the physical backbone of our community. Streets, sidewalks, water mains, sewers, storm sewers are often taken for granted. The Village's strategic goal to provide top quality infrastructure requires a commitment and ongoing investment in maintenance and replacement or rebuilding new infrastructure.  Since 2010 the Village has created and followed plans for sustainable infrastructure funding, and as a result the Village has made significant investments in all types of infrastructure resulting in improvements designed to reduce the total lifecycle cost of owning and operating these critical systems.  The Mayor noted that in 2019 the Village completed $17.8 million in infrastructure improvements in streets, sidewalks, the water system and the stormwater management system.  Preserving and increasing the number, health and value of parkway trees is important to our Village as they beautify our surroundings, purify our air, act as sound barriers, manufacture precious oxygen and help us save energy through their cooling shade in summer and wind reduction in winter. Downers Grove maintains more than 23,000 public parkway trees and has been designated Tree City USA for over 35 years. Each year to improve the vitality of our tree canopy hundreds of parkway trees are planted to improve air quality, stormwater management and property values.  Construction sites are a constant challenge and a threat to our parkway trees so in 2019 the Village strengthened tree protections and regulations to provide greater protections for these parkway trees during construction. A complete inventory of all parkway trees can be found using the Village trees interactive map available at downers.us. 

With its partners at the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, the Village is committed to developing and maintaining a strong and diverse local economy that allows the Village to provide desired services to residents while keeping our property taxes low. Commercial properties account for about 25% of all taxes paid and sales tax generates about 25% of all the revenues in the General Fund. Automobile sales account for much of the sales tax generated and the Village takes great efforts to attract and retain auto dealers especially on Ogden Avenue.  Additionally, Downers Grove continues to be a preferred location for corporate headquarters and Class A office space.  In 2019 eight new corporate headquarters moved into the Village, three auto dealers expanded, multiple new restaurants and several new retailers opened, and nearly one million square feet of newly constructed or renovated industrial warehouse space was occupied.  Downers Grove is home to thousands of businesses that benefit from our strategic location with easy access to major expressways, both Chicago airports, three metro stations and a business-friendly environment. 

Every tomorrow is a function of yesterday and today.  Historic preservation is important because it connects us to specific times, people and events that form our collective past, and the physical elements we preserve provide us with not only a unique sense of place but also a connection to our past allowing us to revisit and reflect upon how we got here, who we are today and where we are going tomorrow.  The Village and its private partners continue to work toward preserving our history. Preserving Downers Grove properties as historic landmarks is easier than ever thanks to a focused effort to simplify the landmarking process and encourage more participation.  Since 2016, 28 properties have been landmarked with the help of our partners at the Downers Grove Historical Society and Friends of the Edwards House. This past year four properties were designated historic landmarks including the Robert J. Darnley House on Highland Avenue, the H. M. Patton House on Jacqueline Drive, the Mochel House on Meadow Lane, and our own Main Street Cemetery.  The landmarking of Village-owned properties like the Main Street Cemetery and the Fairview Train Station demonstrates our willingness to lead by example and our commitment to preserving our community's collective history.

Restorative justice repairs the harm caused by crime. It emphasizes accountability making amends rather than focusing solely on punishment. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to do that the results can be transformational.  In 2019 the Village began operating a new regional peer jury program to offer first-time juvenile offenders an alternative to court for non-serious offenses.  This cooperative effort includes Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Hinsdale, Oak Brook and Willowbrook.  Peer juries provide a means for young offenders to account for their behavior to a group of peers and repair any harm caused to victims in the surrounding community. They don't determine guilt or innocence. The Village launched the peer jury program after a six-month test period, and last year the jury, comprised of students from area high schools, processed a total of 22 cases. 

The Village's carbon footprint continues to get smaller.  Clean energy is a necessary component to good environmental stewardship. For more than a decade Downers Grove has focused on alternative and renewable energy sources for our fleet and vehicles. Last year we began using two plug-in electric hybrid vehicles averaging over 75 miles per gallon. Six more electric hybrids are scheduled for purchase in 2020.  The Village operates a regional compressed natural gas station and has received a Top 50 Green Fleet Award in North America for seven years running. From our partnership with the Conservation Foundation to expand the use of rain barrels, to the use of natural beet juice for roadway ice control, the Village appreciates the importance of environmental stewardship. We do our best to reflect the priorities of our residents.

The Village provides exceptional municipal services and our fire and police departments are nationally recognized leaders.  In 2019 our Fire Department was recognized by the American Heart Association with the Mission Lifetime EMS Gold Plus Achievement Award for successful collaboration with Good Samaritan Hospital in treating cardiac emergencies and strokes - one of only seven departments in Illinois to be so recognized. Our police officers and firefighter/paramedics are trained not only in traditional public safety disciplines, but also in areas designed to meet the service needs of our homeless, mentally ill, and elderly populations. While many of us experience the police and fire departments only occasionally and in response to an emergency incident, we should all rest assured and have confidence that our public safety personnel are well trained to continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Our Police Department is accredited with excellence. Our Fire Department has achieved an ISO Class 1 rating, and along with the Village's AAA Bond rating, we are one of only a handful of municipalities in the nation to hold all three honors.

The Village of Downers Grove is, at its most basic, a service delivery organization and one of the most basic elements of service is communication. Your Village wants to connect with you and there are many ways to get the latest information on Village issues and operations. In an age of non-stop news it is difficult keeping up sometimes but, while we are not a news creating business, we do try to create opportunities for you to connect with us and get the information you need when it's convenient for you.  You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Next Door.  There's a weekly e-newsletter with links to our website and meeting agendas. If you download our CRC app from the App Store for your mobile device, you'll have Village services right at your fingertips including the ability to submit service requests. You can also register for our community-wide notifications to receive important messages from us via cell phone, email and texts. We know you're busy so we work hard at creating short, informative videos about events, services and issues. Check out the complete playlist of Village videos on You Tube.

Through the hard work of our Village Council, staff and our residents who find innovative ways to serve our community, your Village has done well. Together we will continue to make our community all it can be.

Mayor Barnett thanked those who took the time to join us this evening. We look forward to 2020 together.

6. Consent Agenda

COR 2020-8507 - A. Claims Ordinance:  No. 6349, Payroll, January 31, 2020

 

BIL 2020-8503 - B. Bills Payable:  No. 6510, February 18, 2020

 

MOT 2020-8497 - C. Motion:  Award $31,000.00 to B&F Construction Code Services, Inc., Elgin, Illinois, for Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical and Energy Inspections

Summary: This awards $31,000.00 to B&F Construction Code Services, Inc., Elgin, Illinois, for building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and energy inspections.

 

MOT 2020-8498  -  D. Motion:  Award $31,000.00 to Safebuilt Illinois, LLC, Park Ridge, Illinois, for Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical and Energy

Summary: This awards $31,000.00 to Safebuilt Illinois, LLC, Park Ridge, Illinois, for building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and energy inspections.

 

RES 2020-8491  -  E. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Contract with Interra, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes an extension to the contract with Interra, Inc. for material testing services.

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN EXTENSION

TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN

THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND

INTERRA, INC.

 

RESOLUTION 2020-10

 

RES 2020-8500 - F. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension to the Contract with Millenia Professional Services

Summary: This authorizes an extension to the contract with Millenia Professional Services for material testing services.

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN EXTENSION

TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN

THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND

MILLENNIA PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

RESOLUTION 2020-11

 

RES 2020-8501  -  G. Resolution:  Authorize an Extension with Seeco Consultants, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes an extension to the contract with Seeco Consultants, Inc. for material testing services.

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN EXTENSION

TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN

THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND

SEECO CONSULTANTS, INC.

RESOLUTION 2020-12

 

MOT 2020-8492 - H. Motion:  Award $224,928.00 to Volt Electric, Inc., Big Rock, Illinois, for Installation of the Fairview Parking Lot Lighting

Summary: This awards $224,928.00 to Volt Electric Inc., Big Rock, Illinois, for installation of the Fairview parking lot lighting.

 

MOT 2020-8495 - I. Motion:  Accept the Downers Grove High Schools Pedestrian Safety Study

Summary: This Accepts the Downers Grove High Schools Pedestrian Safety Study, as presented.

 

MIN 2020-8502  -  J. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Community Events Commission - November 14, 2019

 

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

7. Active Agenda

ORD 2019-8440  -  A. Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use for 5207 Main Street to Permit a Medical Office Use

Summary: This authorizes a special use for 5207 Main Street to permit a medical office use.

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE FOR 5207 MAIN STREET TO PERMIT A MEDICAL OFFICE USE  ORDINANCE NO. 5811

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to adopt "An Ordinance Authorizing a Special Use for 5207 Main Street to Permit a Medical Office Use," as presented.   Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Commissioner Kulovany moved to add a requirement to section 2 that the lobby lights be 50% of the normal illumination to 9:00 p.m.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Commissioner Hosé asked for background on that request.

Commissioner Kulovany responded that it had to do with not keeping those windows dark for people walking in the later hours. He said it was one of the questions he asked about last week, and the petitioner said they planned on keeping it lit at least 50% at night.

Commissioner Earl said she also felt it would be helpful to keep the lights on to at least until 11:00 or midnight, although she agreed with the 9:00 hour mentioned.

Mayor Barnett commented that some concerns were expressed last week in the conversation about the section along Main Street between Ballydoyle and the area further south being redeveloped. The concern expressed was that it might become a dark spot on the streetscape, since the intention was to make this an office space.

Mayor Barnett asked for a roll call on the amendment to the Motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Kulovany, Earl, Gray, Sadowski-Fugitt, Walus, Hosé; Mayor Barnett  

Nay: None

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.

The Mayor asked for additional comments on the original motion.

Commissioner Earl said she wanted to clarify something. Normally the Village says "substantial compliance" is necessary with these building projects. She asked whether there was something stronger that could be required. She doesn't know whether "substantial compliance" is sufficient enough because sometimes materials get subbed out, and she thinks everyone agrees that this building has some challenges. She noted that they've all worked very hard to get to a place where they can live with what is being done. She is just questioning what better wording could be used. 

The Mayor noted that from his previous personal experience there are times when things will shift between now and the completion of a project. Situations arise where products or specific suppliers are not available. He suspects that the wording is not stronger than "substantial compliance" to allow staff to interpret the Council's expectations and work with the petitioners to accomplish those expectations.

Village Manager Dave Fieldman said that staff understands that the Council is looking for strict compliance with the ideas that the Plan Commission and Council took so much effort to get on paper. 

The Mayor asked for a roll call on the Motion as amended.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Hosé, Earl, Gray, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Walus; Mayor Barnett  

Nay: None

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.

8. First Reading

ORD 2019-8480  -  A. Ordinance:  Amend the Golf Course Liquor License Classification

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that this item is a proposed amendment to the Class 2 liquor license, which is the Park District's Golf Course license. It is a change from a beer and wine only liquor license to a full license. The Liquor Commission reviewed this at their February 6 meeting and found it to be a favorable amendment.

Commissioner Gray stated that in reading over the ordinance, he wondered if this is applicable only to the golf course or does it change the ordinance in any other way. 

Attorney Petrarca said it only applied to the golf course.

9. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Kulovany said that the Historical Society is hosting a tour of the history of the Tivoli on February 26. Tickets are still available.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt announced that the First United Methodist Church is hosting an LGBTQ community conversation on Monday, February 24, at 4:00 p.m.  It will be held in the Youth Center and is sponsored by the First United Methodist Church.

Commissioner Walus reminded everyone that District 99 Educational Foundation will host its seventh annual Pizza Wars fundraiser next Thursday, February 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in South High's Cafeteria.  She said they hoped to see everyone there.

Commissioner Gray announced that WTTW is having specials on Black History Month all during February of stories of Black History, including one story by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. He encouraged people to check the calendar and see some of the cool items related to this topic during the month of February.

Commissioner Hosé said that the Grove Foundation is hosting its Passport to Dining on Wednesday, March 4.  Tickets are $30 per person, available at Anderson's Bookshop, and the dinner is from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Numerous restaurants from the Village's downtown area are involved.  He said that people can also obtain tickets through him via emailing him.

Mayor Barnett said that one of the great things about sitting in the center chair is being able to give the annual report. He thanked his colleagues for everything they brought forth tonight.

10. 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 amending the golf course liquor license classification.

 

11. Manager's Report - Committee Room

Mayor Barnett said that the Council will adjourn to the Committee Room to discuss facilities replacement and sustainability. He said everyone is welcome to join in that discussion.  The Mayor declared a brief recess at 7:29 p.m.

REP 2020-8505  -  A. Report:  Discuss the Facilities Replacement and Sustainability Plan

Mayor Barnett reconvened the meeting at 7:35 p.m. to discuss the Facilities Replacement and Sustainability Plan.

Mayor Barnett introduced Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker to present the discussion on facilities replacement and sustainability.

Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker reviewed the goals of the Facility Replacement and Sustainability Plan which is one of the six priority action items the Council established during its long-range planning process last year. The goal is to prepare a plan to construct a new combined Police Station/Village Hall on Civic Center property. He explained that the Police Station is 40 years old and the Village Hall is 90+ years old.  They have outdated major building systems, they don't support effective customer interactions or meet accessibility standards. Mr. Baker then reviewed the proposed calendar to approve the Facility Replacement and Sustainability Plan, tentatively scheduled for April 21, 2020.  Tonight he will present the scope, site plans, budget, financing plans for multiple options Council can consider. The plan will answer a number of questions such as:  What will be constructed? Where will construction take place? When will the project take place? How much will the project cost? How will the Village pay for the project?  What will be constructed is a new combined police station/Village Hall with replacement of existing parking with parking for visitors, Village staff and commuters, as well as improvements to the Washington/Burlington crossing. The anticipated space need is 69,000 to 75,000 sq. ft. and 292 parking spaces.

The development partner scope includes six options for remaining portions of the site to provide some additional financial benefit and better use of the site. The first option would construct additional parking beyond the requirements to meet the Village's needs. Option 2 would be to partner with the school districts to expand the size of the Village facility to possible accommodate one or two partners in the building and expand parking. Option 2a is to partner with the school district and potential apartment developers. Option 3 involves partnership with an office developer, while Option 4 and Option 5 involved partnerships with a townhouse developer, or an apartment developer.

Mr. Baker said that the Village Council has looked at many different options to come up with solutions, and has determined that a new building would provide the best options and value to the community. He noted that the website provides a good amount of historical information on this project over the years.

Mr. Baker then turned his attention to the proposed site plan for each of the six options that he mentioned. In each of the site plans he said the property will be divided into three zones, A, B and C. Zone A represents improvements to the Burlington/Washington area that would address pedestrian and vehicular safety and would allow for a potential extension of Washington Street. There are multiple options that are being evaluated with the assistance of the traffic engineer, and the staff report included the six different configurations that exist just for that intersection.

Zone B represents that part of the property that would be dedicated for building construction as well as parking on the property to meet the needs of customers and employees. Zone C is that portion of the property that would include additional parking.

Mr. Baker then showed the location of the current buildings on the map in response to a request from Mr. Rose.  Moving on to Option 2, Mr. Baker noted that Zones A-C are the same as in Option 1. In this option the Village would partner with the school districts. The footprint would not necessarily grow. The parking lot expands somewhat to the east.

Option 2a is the same as Option 2, however Zone C allows for the construction of development for an apartment developer.

Option 3 contains the same Zone organization with Zone C showing an office building with parking surrounding the office building. It would also use a portion of the fleet maintenance garage to accommodate commuter parking.

In Option 4, Zone C would contain townhome units with partnership with a townhome developer.

Option 5 would have a partnership with an apartment developer in Zone C.

Mr. Baker then summarized the financing plan, which appears in the staff report. The figures represent the midpoint of the cost estimate range that was established for each of the options. Village equity represents cash on hand that are funds available for the project. He explained that the Bond Amount column represents bonds that would be issued to pay for the remainder of the project, and the average annual debt service payment over 25 years. He reviewed the partner contributions for each of the options. He indicated that the Village would potentially put in place a TIF district that would allow the Village to capture revenue for the project in the form of TIF financing.

Mr. Baker said the next meeting would focus more on the schedule from design, permitting, site improvements, etc. One thing that is critical to this project is that the police department will not have to move to another location during the demolition and destruction of the building.   

Mayor Barnett thanked Mr. Baker for his presentation. He said that this was intended to be a first presentation. He said two things were decided last fall - the scope and the timeline. The next meeting is designed to address any questions. He recommended that those present review the materials presented. He asked the Council members for questions regarding the presentation and plan before them.  He said that the goal tonight was clarification as well as time to discuss details.

Commissioner Kulovany asked about the difference between Option 2a and 5, where 5 allows the larger apartment complex building which creates more TIF revenue funding.

Mr. Baker said that was correct and would include a larger building with no school district partnership.

Commissioner Gray said that when this process started, he asked whether 2a provides the control that the Village thought it did not have previously with a partner.

Mr. Baker said it does allow the Village control. Regardless of the option, the Village project goes first and then the private design takes place later

Patrick Comer said that at the Washington/Burlington crossing he doesn't see either the RTA or BNSF as a partner. How do these people get to the station? Does the RTA or BNSF have a way to provide this? 

Mayor Barnett replied that in the online version the Washington/Burlington design allows them to reconfigure the Village's portion of the crossing. The crossing will remain where it is.  What happens after that is the Village will have the opportunity to reconfigure.  If you spend a lot of time at that crossing during either of the rush hours it is chaos.  There are cars everywhere and nobody is sure where they're support to go. He again referenced the on-line information noting that much of this is theory right now, and is being reviewed by traffic engineers. They are still working on how to get people from potential apartments or other developments to the railroad crossing.

Mr. Fieldman said the question of improving pedestrian access through the site and to the train platform is absolutely driving the site plan concepts, and they will get more into that public discussion when they get to the design aspect of Washington and the tracks. One of the design aspects is to find a way to make it safer and easier for outlying groups to get to the train station platform. They are working to achieve pedestrian connectivity in Zone A, and they expect to talk more about that as they move forward. He explained that one area along Zone A cannot be used as it is an area of sensitive police work that is protected from the public.

Mayor Barnett said they are going to try and get the pedestrians where they are going safely. 

Mr. Fieldman reminded everyone that these plans are still preliminary, and are not set in stone yet.

Mayor Barnett said pedestrian safety is going to be a top priority no matter what the final design of the site plan is.

A resident applauded the concerns on pedestrian concern, but said they would like the same level of forethought to environmental issues. No allowance of environmental concerns has been built in to the plan and seems to be an afterthought.

Mayor Barnett replied that they are not at that stage yet. If Council decides to do this, they will choose an architect who does municipal buildings. That will be part of the conversations. 

A resident asked if FGM is not the architect, and Mayor Barnett said that an architect has not yet been selected.

Mr. Fieldman said an architect has been engaged to help with the preliminary site plans, footprints, etc. The architect for the project has not yet been chosen.

Laura Hoyt asked whether the apartment concept would contemplate on-site parking.

Mr. Baker said it assumes parking in the lower level. Guest parking would be accommodated through a shared agreement with the Village.

Mayor Barnett said that there are zoning requirements for onsite parking.

A resident asked what the projected height would be.

Mr. Baker replied that Village Hall/Police Station would be a two-story building and one below ground.

Mr. Fieldman said the office building would be three stories. For the townhomes they are contemplating 2.5 stories similar to Georgian Courts. For the two apartments, the footprint is exactly the same as the Burlington Station footprint. Option 5 is somewhere between the Burlington Station and the apartment at Main and Maple, four or five stories.

A resident asked the occupancy rate and the demand.

Mayor Barnett replied that basically the new developments are all filled. As for a traffic study, they would do a traffic study if the need arises.

David Rose asked for an elaboration on the impact of school partnerships, timing and plan. 

Mr. Fieldman responded by saying that both school districts have been given an opportunity to partner. District 58 will continue to speak about their concerns and issues related to Longfellow where they have administrative operations. Their Administrative Services Center building on 63rd Street near the Indian Trail School is an issue that is front and center to them. He said they will be addressing that on a time frame that he suspects will be similar to the Village's time frame. There have been preliminary discussions with District 99, and he does not believe based on those preliminary discussions that they have an eminent pressing need on their administrative center. The partnership would allow for that type of building sharing. There is no particular schedule. The Village has made the offer to both superintendents who are working with their boards. District 58 might have a better timing alignment than District 99. If the Council directs staff to continue to pursue Option 2 or 2a, staff will then get with those school districts to figure out a detailed level of their interests and then develop a shared scheduled, come back and report it to the Council.

A resident asked where the front of the building is.

Mr. Fieldman said there are two doors, one facing Washington Street, and one facing east to the parking lot.

Sue Farley asked why they are not building a parking garage.

Mr. Fieldman said that's based on the cost of the garage. It's $35,000-$40,000 per space, versus $10,000 per space for surface parking.

Mayor Barnett said a garage is really expensive.

A resident said she was curious as to when the plan would be approved, and when an architect would be selected - she is curious as to the timeline.

Mayor Barnett said that they would move quickly, and move forward in April.

Mr. Rose asked if the logic is based on first choice, second choice, etc.

Mayor Barnett said the goal is to get to a preferred option. They haven't talked about ranking the options.

Mr. Fieldman said staff is looking for one preferred option based on past experience. For most of these options Zone C is exactly the same for 5 of the 6 options, which would not affect the site plan.  

Mr. Fieldman said they would like to know early in the process whether they have the school as a partner or not. The school district would need one row of parking. They have built-in flexibility to meet the needs of the partner. If both School Districts say yes, then they would need more planning on both the building and the site.

Mayor Barnett said that they have learned to prioritize themselves. They have to take care of Village needs to deliver the services to the community. He noted that one option is as likely as all options. Partnering reduces cost.

Mr. Rose asked for a space comparison of the building.

Mr. Baker responded that the space of these two buildings is not dissimilar. The Police Department is smaller than it needs to be. They cannot swap buildings.

A resident asked where the police department egress would be.

Mr. Fieldman pointed it out on the site plan, saying it would be for police officer cars. He also showed where the police department vehicles would enter. As to emergency, it is rare that there are emergency vehicles around the police department.

Commissioner Kulovany asked if there is any estimate when the Transportation and Parking Commission will make its recommendations.

Mr. Fieldman said that they would start their discussion in April. They'll talk about existing resources first. They expect it will be summer before they make a recommendation to the Village Council.

Commissioner Gray asked whether the Village has been contacted with respect to residential spaces. 

Mr. Fieldman said that both apartment buildings are leased at 100% at higher rental rates than the developers projected. He said the rental market is very strong. Apartment developers are contacting the EDC constantly because the demand is high.

Mr. Rose asked whether there is a notion of providing public meeting space.

Mr. Fieldman said that nothing is precluded. The numbers here do not include a performing arts center. They looked at past reports and that report didn't have a square footage recommendation.

In response to a resident, Mr. Fieldman said that Option 1 in Zone C is additional parking, and is 1.65 acres in area. They could put a smaller apartment here. There is not a lot of opportunity for meaningful green space. There is a minimum threshold of apartment size though it might be less financially viable.

Mayor Barnett this is a decision about values and priorities. He referenced the annual gap Mr. Baker discussed and said $500,000 is a lot of money, but it is also not a lot of money when looked at in terms of services for 50-70 years. Decisions must be based on values and priorities.

Commissioner Kulovany said they haven't mentioned the elephant in the room. He asked about the fleet garage. 

Mr. Fieldman said the current location might be the last place to choose, but it was built here because this was the land we had. He said he thought everyone would like to move this to an industrial space or shared with other communities. 

Mr. Fieldman said that further on the site plan there are flood plain issues. He noted that they can park in flood plains, or store water there.

Commissioner Barnett said that is a good place for stormwater.

In response to a question, Mr. Baker showed on the plan where the creek runs.

Commissioner Kulovany asked how large the pipe is, and Mr. Baker said it is 11 feet in diameter.

In discussion of St. Joe's Creek, Mr. Rose spoke about exposing the Creek for a green space area.

Mayor Barnett said they haven't looked at it in decades and they would have to remove Curtiss Street. The cost and timing is not worth it.

Commissioner Earl asked about the proposed location of a new tower, and whether they would be relocating to a pole. She asked how that was decided.

Mr. Fieldman said that there is a lattice pole with Village, Fire, Police and emergency communications as well as three private sector telephone and data carriers. He said it needs to be replaced. They've hired a communication tower specialist, and they have learned they can never be without it for even one moment. They actually have to build all new emergency communications for the new building. That leaves us with the question as to where will they put the tower. They might be able to slide it in where it is currently or perhaps move it along the back corner. The tower will be hardwired to the fleet and Village Hall so they want to keep it closer to the building, but not too close to a new development.

Mr. Baker said another concern is whether it is too close to the Maple properties.

Mayor Barnett thanked staff for the presentation.

12.  Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.    

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Megan Miles

Village Clerk