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July 21, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Public comment will be taken electronically and in person.  To submit a comment electronically, please click on the "Submit Public Comment" link on the Current Week's Meeting page of the Village website any time before or during the meeting. Thank you.

1. Call to Order

Mayor Robert Barnett called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:01 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.  

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

2. Roll Call

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

Absent:  Commissioner Earl

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

3. Proclamations

A.  National Public Safety Month - Mayor Barnett proclaimed the week of July 19 - 25th as Dr. Floyd Meisner Week. Ms. Liz Chalberg, President, Downers Grove Historical Society, invited the Village Council and public to attend a celebration this Saturday, July 25, 2020, 10:00 a.m. at the Downers Grove Museum Campus to honor Dr. Meisner.

4. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2020-8621 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - July 14, 2020.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to approve the minutes of July 14, 2020.  Commissioner Walus seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

5.  Public Comments

David Rose, discussed his goal of challenging the Council's failure to live up to its purported goal of environmental sustainability and proceeded to explain how the pandemic has played a role in it and how unprepared not only was the Village but the world and the steps that should be taken to obtain sustainability in the future. 

6. Consent Agenda

Commissioner Hosé asked that item D. MOT 2020-8603, a motion awarding $1,426,526.25 to J. Congdon Sewer Service, Inc. for the 2020 Water Main Improvements Contract B, be removed from the consent agenda and considered separately.


COR 2020-8623 - A.  Claims Ordinance:  No. 6369 - Payroll, July 3, 2020

BIL 2020-8622 - B.  Bills Payable:  No. 6538 - July 21, 2020

RES 2020-8620 - C.  Resolution: Authorize an Intergovernmental Agreement for Participation in DuPage County Local Government COVID-19 Reimbursement Program

Summary:  This authorizes an intergovernmental agreement for participation in DuPage County local government COVID-19 reimbursement program




MIN 2020-8624 -   E. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Architectural Design Review Board - November 20, 2019; Board of Police and Fire - March 11, 2020


Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to approve Consent Agenda Items A, B, C, and E, as presented.  Commissioner Walus seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

7. Active Agenda

MOT 2020-8603 - D. Motion:  Award $1,426,526.25 to J. Congdon Sewer Service, Inc. for the 2020 Water Main Improvements Contract B.

Summary: This awards $1,426,526.25 to J Congdon Sewer Service, Inc. for the 2020 Water Main Improvements Contract B

Motion: Commissioner Walus moved to award $1,426,526.25 to J. Congdon Sewer Service, Inc. for the 2020 Water Main Improvements Contract B, as presented.  Commissioner Kulovany seconded the motion. 

Commissioner Hosé appreciated awarding contracts for infrastructure but voiced concern about this contractor in that it was not a union company and was not with Local No. 130.  He supported union labor and would not support the award unless someone from the Chicago Council of Laborers could correct him otherwise. 

Votes:  YeaCommissioners Walus, Kulovany, Gray; Mayor Barnett Nays: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Hosé

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried with a vote of 4-2.

8. First Reading

ORD 2020-8612 - A. Ordinance:  Establish Special Service Area #11 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area) in the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois and provide for a Public Hearing and other Procedures in connection Therewith.

Deputy Village Manager Michael Baker provided a brief background on this item, noting it was a Council priority action item established in 2019 and prior to that involved working with the Downtown Management Corporation in a coordinated effort.  Currently, the Tax Increment Financing District in the downtown, the current Special Service Area (SSA), and the agreement with the Downtown Management Corporation were set to expire at the end of this year.  Additionally, he relayed that the debt for downtown improvements will be retired at the same time, but upon expiration, on-going expenses will be incurred with insufficient revenue to support same, which was the reason to establish the new SSA. The result will be more detailed-level plans and actions that relate the infrastructure maintenance, service and operations to be provided, roles and responsibilities between the Village and the Downtown Management Corporation and funding sources and amounts. 

Attributes of the proposed SSA were highlighted on the overhead for commissioners, noting that the geographic boundaries will surround commercial properties within the downtown but exempt townhomes and condominium properties.  An explanation of how an SSA works followed with Mr. Baker pointing out the revenue associated with it will not be able to be collected until fiscal year 2022.  An explanation of the SSA's adoption process also followed.  Mr. Baker invited questions. 

Commissioner Hosé extended appreciation to Mr. Baker for his work on the SSA and coordinating the negotiation efforts of the businesses, residents and members of the Downtown Management Corporation.  Commissioner Kulovany also extended thanks to staff. 

Mayor Barnett encouraged all residents to review the documents that will be provided on-line, noting that many of the amenities that are seen in the downtown are funded by such SSAs. 

Deputy Village Manager Baker reported he received no on-line comments on this matter. 

9. Manager's Report

10. Attorneys Report

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


  1. An ordinance establishing special service area #11 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area) in the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois and providing for a public hearing and other procedures therewith


11.  Council Member - New Business

MOT 2020-8625  - A. Motion:  Direct Staff to work with the Architectural Design Review Board to Review, Evaluate, and Recommend Amendments to the Downtown Design Guidelines and Downtown Pattern Book and consider Amending the Review and Approval Process for Certain Construction Projects in the Downtown and at Catalyst Sites to require Review by the Architectural Design Review Board.  

Motion: Commissioner Kulovany moved to direct staff to work with the Architectural Design Review Board to review, evaluate, and recommend amendments to the Downtown Design Guidelines and Downtown Pattern Book and consider amending the review and approval process for certain construction projects in the Downtown and at Catalyst Sites to require review by the Architectural Design Review Board.   Commissioner Hosé second the motion. 

Commissioner Kulovany discussed that he and a friend have been working on this project for the past few years, which stemmed from residents being upset about the Trammel Crow development that was constructed at Main and Maple.  Issues that were voiced then included residents not really being listened to, not being able to provide input, and by the time the development came before the public, it was deemed pretty much complete.  Details followed with Commissioner Kulovany pointing out that such input is important because currently there is very little staff and the Village Council can do to encourage a developer to establish developments in accordance with the Downtown Design Guidelines.  As a result, he explained the buildings that are constructed in the next five to ten years will dictate what the downtown will look like in the future.  He supported having an attractive downtown and spoke with five communities on how to accomplish such a downtown, such as to speak with and provide input to the developer early in the process before the developer starts investing money, avoid projects that negatively impact the downtown, ensure that changes made by Village staff and council have "teeth" and avoid dictating architectural styles/details. 

Photographs of various developments followed, with Commissioner Kulovany describing what such downtowns should include, such as being pedestrian friendly, encourage the public to come together, dine, and create a high sense of community ownership.  With such elements in place, it encourages economic development, sets the guidelines for the community in advance and provides clear direction for developers up front.  Further details and photographs followed.  

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt suggested consideration for environmental sustainability, using recyclable materials, renewables, and providing adequate green spaces.  Commissioner Walus appreciated the work done on the presentation, was pleased to see the Architectural Design Review Board's role in the process, and reiterated the importance to remain competitive with other communities as it relates to shops, dining, and environmental sustainability.  Commissioner Hosé agreed clear direction up front was key from the presentation as well as updating the Pattern Book and the Design Guidelines.  Commissioner Gray extended his appreciation to Commissioner Kulovany for the informative presentation and pointed out that businesses that were interested in relocating to Chicago have changed course and are now interested in relocating to suburbs because of the current times.  It speaks to branding and having a desirable place for people to live, shop and work.  Mayor Barnett was also inspired by the presentation, asking staff and the ADRB to review the process.  Reviewing the pattern book made sense and having an efficient, welcoming and predictable process was welcomed. 

Votes: Yea:  Commissioners Kulovany, Hosé, Walus, Sadowski-Fugitt, Gray; Mayor Barnett Nay:  None

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.

12. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Gray discussed that during the past five months he has notice a common theme of "How can I help?" and how residents have stepped up by providing food, transportation and have donated funds to a local Downers Grove non-profit organization.  He asked the community and commissioners to relay any interested parties that want to donate to contact him at

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt emphasized to the community to continue to wear their masks and social distance. 

Mayor Barnett announced that the most recent update from the DuPage County Health Department reports that the county has eclipsed 10,000 positive COVID-19 cases where, back on June 23rd the county had its lowest 7-day rolling average of new cases of 33.  The figure has doubled to over 65 new cases per day.  Since the State's Phase 4 Reopening Plan went into effect in July, both new cases and new hospitalizations have turned downward for age, but increased in ages 20 to 29.  In the Village, 325 cases were reported as of yesterday, up from 266 just prior to the Phase 4 reopening or a 22% increase in less than a month.  The Mayor noted there is the risk that the State's public health department will reverse back a stage or more and strongly encouraged everyone to wear their masks, wash their hands and watch your distance, irregardless of politics.  He asked the public, "Are you building or reducing risk with your decisions?" citing examples to reduce the risk rather than disregarding the restrictions.    

13. Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn.

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

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:46 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,

Megan Miles

Village Clerk