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March 10, 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 let those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Roll Call

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

 

MOT 2020-8528 - A. Motion:  Permit Electronic Attendance

Summary:  This allows Commissioner Kulovany to participate in the March 10, 2020, Village Council meeting electronically.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to allow Commissioner Kulovany to participate in the Village Council meeting of March 10, 2020, electronically.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote and welcomed Commissioner Kulovany to the meeting.

3. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2020-8525 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - March 3, 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.

1.   A man came forward to speak on "Simple Recycling," noting that materials had been distributed to the Council prior to his presentation.  He indicated that "simple recycling" is similar to what is done at Goodwill and other such stores, but this is done at curbside where the items are picked up and recycled. He said that 2,000,000 pounds of items from Downers Grove go to the landfill at a cost of about $62,000 per year.  This can result in a rebate program ranging from $3,100 - $6,200 over the course of the year at no cost to the city or to the residents.

Mayor Barnett thanked the gentleman for his comments, saying that the Council received his emails recently. The gentleman stated that they have been in touch with other communities.

2.   Ron Nowicki, landscape architect and member of the Clean Energy Task Force, commented about sustainability in Downers Grove. He encouraged Village residents to attend future Village Council meetings to express their thoughts on sustainability, as the Mayor has encouraged residents to voice their opinions. Mr. Nowicki said that residents should go to www.cleanenergy.org for information. He said that they must navigate through "massive climate challenges." He said that people cannot delay taking action.

3.   Frances Soresi commented that he spoke last week after his court date. The Anti-Cruelty Society has contacted him. He commented that everyone has seen his dog, because his neighbor called the Anti-Cruelty Society to investigate his care of his dogs. He said he knows the Village can do nothing to help him, but he has been told to begin documentation of items happening. They want to know what the situation is.

5. Consent Agenda

BIL 2020-8526 - A. Bills Payable: No. 6514, March 10, 2020

 

MOT 2020-8520 - B. Motion:  Award $520,000.00 to Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc., for Forest North Parking Lot Improvements

Summary:  This authorizes a contract for Forest North Parking Lot improvements to Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc., Lake Zurich, IL, in the amount of $520,000.00.

 

RES 2019-8523 - C. Resolution: Authorize an Integrated Supply Agreement with Genuine Parts Company

 

Summary:  This authorizes a contract with Genuine Parts Company/National Auto Parts Association (NAPA) for fleet parts and inventory program services for a total not to exceed $741,757.00.

 

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN INTEGRATED SUPPLY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND GENUINE PARTS COMPANY

RESOLUTION 2020-15

 

RES 2019-8499 - D. Resolution: Authorize a Loan Repayment Agreement (L175338) with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

 

Summary:  This authorizes execution of an amendment to a loan agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

 

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A LOAN REPAYMENT ADMENDMENT (L175338) BETWEEN THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE

RESOLUTION 2020-16

 

MOT 2020-8521 - E. Motion:  Authorize a Rock Salt Allocation of 1,700 Tons from the State of Illinois for the 2020/2021 Season

Summary:  This authorizes a rock salt allocation of 1,700 tons with the State of Illinois in the joint purchase of bulk rock salt for the 2020/2021 season.  The Village will be obligated to authorize execution of a purchase contract with this allocation at a future date.

 

MOT 2020-8510 - F. Motion:  Award $3,760,357.89 to Geneva Construction Company, Aurora, IL, for the 2020 Street Resurfacing Contract B

Summary:  This awards a contract for the 2020 Street Resurfacing Contract B to Geneva Construction Company, Aurora IL, in the amount of $3,760,357.89.

 

RES 2019-8522 - G. Resolution: Authorize an Extension to the Contract with K-Five Construction Corporation

 

Summary:  This authorizes execution of a second extension to the contract with K-Five Construction Corporation, Westmont, IL, for the supply of hot asphalt materials until December 31, 2020, for a total price not to exceed $51,759.90.

 

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN EXTENSION TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND K-FIVE CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION

RESOLUTION 2020-17

 

MOT 2020-8524 - H. Motion:  Award $26,900.00 to Allied Door, Inc., for Replacement of Three Overhead Doors at Fire Station #5

Summary:  This awards a contract to Allied Door, Inc., in the amount of $26,900.00 for replacement of three overhead doors at Fire Station #5, located at 6701 Main Street. 

 

MIN 2020-8527 - I. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary:  Plan Commission - February 3, 2020

 

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

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote. 

6. Active Agenda

ORD 2019-8485 - A. Ordinance: Approve an Amendment to Planned Unit Development #18 to Permit Off-Premise Electronic Message Board Signs at 7221-7451 Lemont Road

Summary:  This approves an amendment to Planned Unit Development #18 to permit off-premise electronic message board signs at 7221-7451 Lemont Road.

Mayor Barnett read the revised ordinance into the record including Condition #2 - Display screens shall be at least two hundred feet (200') from any right-of-way;  #9 - Petitioner shall make available to the tenants in the shopping center an opportunity to advertise on the signs; and #10. - No later than twelve (12) months from approval of this Ordinance the Petitioner shall be subject to a review by the Village Council to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of this Ordinance.  Based upon this review, the Village Council shall have the authority to modify and amend the terms and conditions of this Ordinance.

 

AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT #18 TO PERMIT OFF-PREMISE ELECTRONIC MESSAGE BOARD SIGNS AT 7221-7451 LEMONT ROAD

ORDINANCE NO. 5813

Motion:  Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt moved to adopt "An Ordinance Approving an Amendment to Planned Unit Development #18 to Permit Off-Premise Electronic Message Board Signs at 7221-7451 Lemont Road," as presented.   Commissioner Gray seconded the motion.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said this was a difficult decision for her and she regrets that the petitioner is asking for forgiveness rather than permission.  She suggested the 200' setback. The Commissioner said she would approve this Ordinance as she believes the community benefit is there.

 

Commissioner Kulovany said he supports this Ordinance as it helps businesses in the shopping plaza. He supports the use of electric vehicles and the Village needs to take leadership. The idea of range anxiety is a real one. He prefers to have shoppers here in Downers Grove, and this will not set a precedent.

Commissioner Hosé said he loves the electric car charging stations, but hates the signs and doesn't want those signs anywhere. He thinks they are distracting to drivers and unbecoming, and he hopes the Council doesn't change the Sign Ordinance. The application was inaccurate and the sign was installed against our Code.  He doesn't want to reward that type of behavior, which is what he thinks will happen. The economic development aspect is misplaced and this won't revitalize the shopping center. All of that said he thinks the changes proposed tonight are very good. Extending the boundary from the right-of-way is a good one. He wishes there was more interest in slowing down the changing nature of the sign to a minute or two. He said there is no doubt that technology has changed, but the copy change nature of these signs is a bridge too far. Because this is part of a PUD with a 200' setback is the tiebreaker. He has zero interest putting these elsewhere unless there's 200' from the right-of-way. He struggled with this. He is in favor of charging stations, green technology, and other things they can do which are more consequential than what this Ordinance presents. He is going to vote in favor of this despite not wanting these signs in the Village.

Commissioner Earl echoed much of what Commissioner Hosé said because they agree on several points, but the flagrant violation of the Code and the application that was presented give her pause. She will not vote in favor of this.

Commissioner Gray stated he was in favor of the electronic charging stations trying to provide something of value to the Village. Last week they discussed marketing information that he didn't feel applied to the decision they had to make. Personally he doesn't see the signs as obtrusive, but appreciated the additional setback that was proposed, and he is comfortable with the proposed distance changes. He asked how those businesses could access the signage. He saw in the Plan Commission notes a sentence that shows that local businesses will be able to participate with this technology. Going forward, he hopes that they will make the necessary changes that will continue to benefit the Village.

Commissioner Walus commented that not a single one of the Council members has an issue with the charging station itself or adding more such stations to other places in town. Her issue is whether to allow the electric signs that violate the Sign Ordinance. There is not enough time to change the Ordinance for this item. Volta was well prepared last week. She was confused as to why electronic signage was not included in the application.  In addition, the sign timing was not working properly over the weekend. She noted that the Village denied this to the School District in 2015. She is against violating the current Sign Ordinance. She will be voting no on this despite the revisions. She appreciates the changes.

Mayor Barnett commented that the Sign Ordinance is a long-standing Ordinance that should not be changed lightly. He believes they should revisit components of the Ordinance periodically. The question is a sign question. A PUD overlay is specific to allow certain parcels to operate outside the existing zoning. He commented that the Village has made other unique changes over the years with PUDs. He noted that everyone on the dais is making serious decisions. He liked the last condition the best which is a dramatic change.  This is not necessarily a precedent setting action. He read condition #10 noting that this is going to be viewed as a test case for twelve months. If there's a nuisance factor, they will hear about it.

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

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried 5:2.

 

MOT 2020-8508 - B. Motion:  Award $3,529,394.33 to Campanella & Sons, Inc., Wadsworth, Illinois, for Burlington Highlands Drainage Improvements Project

Summary:  This awards a contract for Burlington Highlands Drainage Improvements project to Campanella & Sons, Inc., Wadsworth, IL, in the amount of $3,529,394.33.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to award a contract for Burlington Highland Drainage Improvement project to Campanella & Sons, Inc. in the amount of $3,529,394.33.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote. 

 

MOT 2020-8509 - C. Motion:  Award $215,572.50 to Doland Engineering, LLC, Palatine, Illinois, for Burlington Highlands Drainage Improvements Project

Summary:  This authorizes execution of a contract for construction engineering services for Burlington Highlands Drainage Improvement Project (SW-080-17B) to Doland Engineering LLC in the amount of $195,975.00 plus 10% contingency in the amount of $19,597.50 for a total not-to-exceed $215,572.50.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to authorize execution of a contract for construction engineering services for Burlington Highlands Drainage Improvement Project (SW-080-17B) to Doland Engineering, LLC in the amount of $195,975.00 plus 10% contingency in the amount of $19,597.50 for a total not-to-exceed $215,572.50.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

7. First Reading

8. Mayor and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Earl said that she has new business.  She has spoken with the Village Manager. Especially this last week everyone has put in a lot of time and work into their responsibilities to the Village.  She noted that this body has not had a pay raise since 1991. They make $2, 400 per year. She said that it's becoming discriminatory when it is such a low amount because it blocks others who don't have the income from being a Council member. Those who have given to their community deserve to have the ability to allow for their children. The pay raise would not take effect until after the next election cycle.

Mayor Barnett appreciates her bringing that up. He agreed that a lot of work is done by the Council. It's a fair subject to discuss. It should not be political suicide to raise the subject.

Commissioner Hosé reminded everyone that early voting is taking place through March 14 at Village Hall. He encouraged people to exercise their right to vote.

Commissioner Walus said that the 2020 Mustang Trot is being sponsored by the Key Club. It is being held on April 19 at Downers Grove South High School.

Mayor Barnett said that the meeting would recess briefly and reconvene with the Manager's Report.

9. Manager's Report

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

The meeting reconvened at 7:40 p.m.

Village Manager Dave Fieldman explained that they are meeting in the Chambers because of early voting. The Council and staff will be reviewing the Facilities Replacement and Sustainability Plan. He turned the discussion over to Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker who is the Project Manager for this project.

Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker stated that this is the third of five planned meetings that would result in the Facilities Replacement and Sustainability Plan due to be completed in late April. The plan relates to five key questions relative to the placement of the Police Station and Village Hall.  The questions are: what will be constructed? Where will construction occur? When will the project take place? How much will the project cost? How will the project be paid for? 

Mr. Baker said this evening they will have discussion on three specific topics: 1) discussion of the six options presented on February 18; 2) discussion of the schedule in public input process; 3) beginning of a discussion regarding environmental sustainability attributes of the project.  Mr. Baker said a brief introduction of each topic would be made, followed by a discussion by the Mayor and Village Council, and then public comment.

Mayor Barnett said is they have to start making some choices as to what will take place next. He suggested working through the six options first and then the schedule. The options are:  Option 1:  Construct additional parking; Option 2:  Partner with School District(s); Option 2A:  Partner with School District and an Apartment Developer; Option 3:  Partner with Office Developer; Option 4:  Partner with Townhome Developer; Option 5:  Partner with Apartment Developer.  He asked the Council members to be candid.

Commissioner Hosé commented that his preferred option is Option 2A. He loves the idea of partnering with District 58. He finds one of the positive points the fact that the Village will have its own building. The Village and District 58 share the same taxpayers, and if District 58 doesn't come with the Village as a partner, the Village will still need to build a building. He said that if they cannot partner, he would favor Option 5. They have to pick an option and move forward.

Commissioner Walus said they always talk about how important it is to work with other governmental agencies. She finds it exciting to think they could actually do that. She would go with Option 2A as it's the second lowest financial gap. She is also not opposed to Option 2. She is open from there. She feels that now that there have been some successes with apartment buildings, she has opened her opinion a bit. She would be open to discussion about another apartment building.

Commissioner Gray said that three things stood out for him from the last discussion. The first was that our area still has a demand for additional apartment rentals, which was eye opening for him. His preferred option would be Option 2A as he loves the idea of an intergovernmental partnership, but he's also intrigued by the numbers that show what residents spend within the Village. Those numbers put a face on how and why Option 2A and Option 5 are his choices.

Commissioner Earl commented that her choice would also be Option 2A, as she'd be thrilled to partner with the school district. She thinks the site needs people and she would like to see apartments there. It is a transit-oriented site. She specified she's not interested in townhomes. She noted that the apartments have filled up. Her second choice is Option 5.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt chose Option 2A for all the same reasons already expressed. She went back and forth for a while about putting something on the site or potentially leaving it as green space; however, this spot of land is a better option for residential knowing that perhaps down the road they could green in a portion of the site. Her second option would be Option #5.

Commissioner Kulovany also chose Option 2A.  He also flipped over to apartments from townhomes. He likes cooperation with District 58. If there were some delay, then he would move to Option 5.

Mayor Barnett said he agrees entirely with all the logic expressed. He also chooses Option 2A and Option 5. He noted that they are deciding for a building for services to residents of Downers Grove, independent upon whether District 58 joins them in partnership. He hoped they would join, as it would be a great thing for the community.

Mr.  Fieldman said that is very clear direction.

Diane said she likes Option 2. She is for more green spaces. As a commuter, she looks at this on the train into the city.

Andrew Palazzo commended the staff for persevering and moving the process forward. The Village waited long enough for this project. This project brings us back to basics. He applauds the staff and the Village Council. This is a controversial topic because it involves spending money. Not everyone is going to buy houses in the future, and this plan sensibly reduces the Village footprint and maintains vital Village services.

Brad Phillips said he prefers Option 2A also, and likes that they would be saving money on the school side. He recognizes the importance of good schools. If we have developers coming to us, he said they should look at the requirements for a green project for the apartment building.

A resident said she was looking from a different point of view, saying they should look at this in terms of beauty, as it makes a life difference. She noted that famous people are struck by beauty and taste and she would like to attract those people to the Village.

Ron Nowicki wanted to present some ideas he has for making the structure more efficient. Mayor Barnett asked him to make his presentation under Subject #3.

Mr. Baker then reviewed the four possible scheduling options. He showed a chart showing the schedule. He noted neighborhood meetings that would be held for each of the options as well as two meetings of the Plan Commission to consider the zoning petition related to this project. The options vary based on the amount of public input that is incorporated into the schedule during the schematic design phase. Option 1 is the baseline option and includes two Plan Commission meetings and neighborhood meeting as well as public input during regular Council meetings.  Option 2 allows for additional public input that could include design charrettes, additional neighborhood meetings, etc., and assumes an additional eight weeks to the project schedule.  Option 3 includes formal use of Boards and Commissions.  Option 4 includes informal public input and formal use of Boards and Commissions.

Mayor Barnett said he expects this to be more of a struggle here. What level of public input do they want, and does this Village Council feel compelled to own every decision, or is the Village willing to entertain some risks by putting some decisions off to an unknown future group.

Commissioner Hosé said all the risks - the risk of the economy, of interest rates, of the 2021 election, of the Council changing significantly, of wasting all the work that's taken place up until now - all of those issues militate in favor of Option 1. They have 14 weeks in which to take public input in a variety of ways including various official meetings as well as meeting in the grocery stores. Residents of Downers Grove are not shy and he thinks the public input will absolutely pour in. But the bottom line is to build this building. They've been talking about this since 2007. They have to own their decision and live with it.

Commissioner Walus stated that she struggles with this because public input is so important. Fourteen weeks sounds like a lot of time, but she remembers when they had events for the public. She said we have Boards and Commissions that want to be more involved and engaged.  Public input time in Option 1 is 14 weeks, and then it almost doubles at subsequent options. Taking advantage of interest rates, she would prefer the expediency of Option 1. She is open to discussion, however. She would hate for the public, the Boards and Commissions to feel they are being left behind but she wants to complete this in a timely manner.

Commissioner Gray is concerned about creating more uncertainty if this is pushed out. He values the conversations, and would go with #1, although Option 2 is a very close tie.

Commissioner Earl commented that she agrees they cannot take a risk that turnover in the Council will taint this whole project. This is the first time that all seven members agree. Something good has come out of this every time they've reviewed this, but she asked how much better can it get. Her only concern is they will not get enough from the Boards and Commissions. She favors Option 1, and likes special invitations to Boards and Commissions in the audience. They can maximize their efficiency if they are asked to join in the process.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said she is closely aligned with Commissioner Earl. Her personal preference is Option 3. She struggles with this. The Commissioner said she would compromise with what Commissioner Earl said with the special invitation (Option 1). They need and should use the expertise that they have.

Commissioner Kulovany said he favors Option 1. He is impressed that there are two more meetings, and then this will go before the Plan Commission. They have received some great input. He said he received emails from the Downers Grove Clean Energy Task Force and the Pierce Downers Heritage Alliance. There is no reason that members of the Plan Commission or Architectural Design Review Board do not attend. He commented that the public should be aware that this is not being jammed down anyone's throat, but the Council is taking a leadership position in moving this forward.

Mayor Barnett agreed with all his colleagues, and said he understands all the issues. He thinks they should be able to do this through the normal course of meetings. The Mayor said that Boards and Commission meetings are staff prepped and facilitated, minutes are prepared and disseminated and information is provided to the Council - it is a lot more than just adding another meeting. They should minimize the risks to our community and one of the risks is time.  He would like to pursue this as quickly as we can.  He also wants everyone with expertise to engage in every meeting. He favors Option 1.

Mr. Fieldman thanked the Council for the clear direction. He reviewed some of the input. They will take the direction to invite Board and Commission members to multiple meetings. He said that the design phases of this are all approved by the Village Council. The Village Council always takes public input.

Andrew Palazzo said his motto is "think deliberately and act decisively." He supports Option 1. The public needs to understand the urgency. He supports a reasonable time frame but insures an opportunity for everyone to participate.

Brad Philips said he understands the difficulty to get everyone to agree, and is aware of the history of this project. He suggested looking at Option 4 with skepticism. For that reason, he would support Option 1 to get the project done.

Vera Miller said she appreciates everyone's agreement and decision not to delay. She shares the concerns about the Environmental Concerns Commission and what their role is going forward. It is currently inactive.  She wanted to assure that the input from the ECC is also included.

Mayor Barnett commented that there are other groups including the ECC, and all are important groups to help rally residents. He said they have to work hard to demonstrate the sense of urgency, and they have to move fast to get input.

Mr. Baker said the final topic is the beginning of environmental sustainability and will address 1) Which attributes would they like to see in the projects? 2) Why? 3) Which attribute is the most important to you? He said the staff report prepared before the April 17 meeting will be more budget specific.

Mayor Barnett said they intend to take two nights to talk about this. Tonight they want to find what systems are important, what processes are important. He asked that they address the three questions tonight.

Commissioner Hosé said he would like to see a Cadillac option.  What impact is there on the budget? What's the most important in terms of issues as a Village? Stormwater is the universal issue. He would be most interested in impervious pavement, rainwater capture, etc. He wants to see numbers on all of these, but in his opinion stormwater is the most important.

Commissioner Walus said she found it difficult because the question asks her opinion. She noted that this isn't about her but about our community. Option 1 gets less input. She hopes to get input on this. Stormwater is incredibly important and she is interested in water usage and sustainable construction. She struggles answering any of these questions.

Commissioner Hosé added that he wants measureable impact for the community's investment.

Mr. Feldman said the Cadillac option would be a combination of two things - the maximum treatment of stormwater options and a carbon neutral building.

Commissioner Gray said he is interested in energy conservation and more green space. Outside of those he would count on the direction of their developer, as well as the expertise of people in the community.

Commissioner Earl commented that there is nothing on the list that she would not consider-she would really like to see some trees, definitely water usage and permeable pavers. She loves the idea of a green roof but doesn't know whether they can afford that. In the absence of a green roof she would like to see green space. She also mentioned stormwater/water recapture, and solar as well as electric vehicle stations, and recycled materials.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said she agrees with Commissioner Earl and wants to see something from every part of the list. The key is energy usage. They need a carbon neutral building. There is no excuse and they should aim for carbon neutral or as close as they can get. Energy conservation is #1 for her. Solar is likely. She wants to see sustainable construction practices, recyclable materials, stormwater management including permeable pavers, rain gardens, green space and trees. The green roof is nice but very expensive. She would also be interested in light pollution reduction.

Commissioner Kulovany commented that he agrees with his colleagues. They have to find out the costs and then decide about the green roof expense. He is for solar included, water usage, dual flush toilets, bicycle and EV stations, and reduced light pollution. He agrees with the sustainable construction practices, recyclable materials, more trees, evergreens on the north side and deciduous on the south side. He would also like larger caliper trees and native plantings. He is more interested in getting the job done and not spending extra funds for certification, and doesn't think they should get hung up on that aspect of that.

Commissioners Earl and Walus both agree with that comment on certification.  Commissioner Kulovany said if they build this for 75-100 years they can amortize the costs.

Mayor Barnett said this is a long-term tool for the Village for perhaps 100 years. He is not interested in building anything that's not carbon neutral. They are building something that will have to operate for a long time, and it needs to be built in such a way that's sustainable. He wants the Village to be carbon neutral, which will include a lot of elements beneficial to the building. They need to set an example and establish priorities. He thinks every one of the elements listed should be included.

Commissioner Earl said one thing not touched on is the use of available light during the day, which is beneficial to employees. Lack of sunlight is detrimental. We want to do the best by our employees as well. 

Mr. Fieldman and Mr. Baker asked about thoughts on certification. The Mayor said building performance and operations and systems are far more important.

Mr. Fieldman commented that staff will generate two to four options with price ranges for the next meeting.

Ron Nowicki said he built a solar home 40 years ago and he's impressed with the Village Council solutions. He's surprised and overjoyed. Clarendon Hills along Maple Avenue has a windmill - it's a simple one that can fit on a roof. That might be a way to go. He could find out the cost of them. In their home he used exterior window overhangs to reduce the sunlight entering the building in the summer, but the trees have now grown so much that they have become obsolete. They rarely use their air conditioner because the trees absorb some of the solar energy. They have interior honeycomb shades on the inside and they regulate the use of the heating system. He mentioned having a sign illuminated at night at the Washington Street Crossing - welcome to Downers Grove - Chicago's Greenest City, which would attract green businesses.  That would create a new, fresh and positive image, and be an inexpensive way to attract green businesses.

Ken Lerner spoke on behalf of the Pierce Downers Heritage Alliance. He commented about taking the long view and structure its service for a long time. There will be additional investment now but it will have a long-term payoff. He said the Village should also think in terms of accommodating future staffing and future needs. With regard to landscaping, Mr. Lerner said they should consider native species of trees, and support local wildlife. There are concerns about doing things that seem experimental, but he said they should look at what's been done before and look to other villages. Any structure is a symbol of Downers Grove and reflects our values.

Vera Miller commented that she shares the consensus with the Clean Energy Task Force and is pleased with the discussion tonight. She is interested in many options on the list, with the top priorities being renewable energy and energy conservation. The Village will attract new families and new businesses. She recommended including solar panels, an energy efficient design, carbon neutral, EV stations, native tree plantings. She said the building would be used for 70-80 years. Solutions are doable.

Ron Nowicki recommended that they look at Oberlin College in Ohio for examples. 

Rick Aikens is the co-owner of a solar power construction firm. He hosted a meeting for the Green Energy Alliance recently. He mentioned that longevity for solar panels is about 40 years and they are maintenance free. Looking at the plan, it's a multistory building and they can use techniques including solar panels over parking lots. He mentioned that there are people who lease out space and sell the power back to the Village at a discount. There are ways to incorporate through aggregation where they use other buildings in town.

Ken Kuchar said he is proud to be a resident of Downers Grove after the deliberations tonight. He focused on energy conservation, and they haven't mentioned energy storage use at night. He noted there would be a presentation on climate change at the Downers Grove Library tomorrow evening.

Brad Philips wanted to emphasize that this issue has driven him to political activism. The building is something that will last a long time and he wants to see it done right. He says he is trusting this group to do the right thing for this Village. He understands the budget constraints, but they should spend the money up front for a payoff in the long run.

A resident said that the strategy should be to keep high tech people here. They should attract new people here.

David Rose said he hoped equal attention would be given to sustainable practices as construction practices apply to the demolition of the existing building and parking lot. He then asked about scheduling and working with the school districts and coordinating with them. Mr. Rose then mentioned the uncertainty that exists right now because of the coronavirus and what its impact would be here in terms of a slow down on planning.

Robert Schultz said he has seen changes in Downers Grove, as it's lost some green over time. He encouraged the Village with its discussion on renewable energy. They should do something positive, look ahead. What they do now will save a lot of work in the long run.

Mr. Fieldman said this has been a very successful meeting from the staff perspective.

Mr. Baker thanked everyone for coming out, and asked that they stay in touch with the project.

Mr. Rose said there is an email discussion available for residents to view.

Mr. Baker commented that all discussions are on the Village website available on video.

Mr. Fieldman said that emails are not posted, but an archive of resources is available.

10. 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 9:34 p.m. 

 

Respectfully submitted, Megan Miles Village Clerk