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August 04, 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):  Chairman Barnett, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gray

Absent: None

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


MOT 2020-8636  A. - Motion:  Permit Electronic Attendance

Summary: This allows Commissioner Kulovany to participate in the August 4, 2020, Village Council meeting electronically.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved that the Village Council allow Commissioner Kulovany to participate in the August 4, 2020 Council meeting 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 2020-8632 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - July 21, 2020.

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved to adopt the minutes of July 21, 2020.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

4.  Public Comments

Mayor Barnett reminded the public that it has had numerous opportunities to have discussions with the Village Council over the years and asked that the public keep the subject matter to items that the council has influence over.  Examples followed. 

David Rose, explained that his point has been to make environmental sustainability and its significance to motivate the council to address some of the issues he has been discussing over the past year.  Mr. Rose discussed the pandemic and how one learns to deal with it through experience, the overall uncertainty of the matter, the challenge of dealing with a major health crisis/major economic crisis and how techniques for dealing with one adversely affect the other.  Examples of both followed.  Mr. Rose summarized that the economy will continue to decline until a vaccine replaces the current social vaccine.  And until Downers Grove understands what environmental sustainability means and entails, the Village will not get out of its predicament into which it has put itself.

5. Consent Agenda

COR 2020-8634 -  A.  Claims Ordinance:  No. 6371- Payroll, July 17, 2020


BIL 2020-8635 -  B.  Bills Payable:  No. 6540 - August 4, 2020


RES 2020-8628 - C.  Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with CHC Wellbeing, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes an agreement with CHC Wellbeing, Inc.




RES 2020-8630 - D.  Resolution:  Authorize the Disposal of Personal Property owned by the Village of Downers Grove

Summary:  This authorizes the disposal of personal property owned by the Village of Downers Grove




RES 2020-8633 -   E. Resolution:  Authorize a Renewal Quotation and Addendum with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes the disposal of personal property owned by the Village of Downers Grove




MOT 2020-8631 -   F. Motion:  Award a Contract in the amount of $111,600 to Denler, Inc. for the 2020 Crack Sealing Project

Summary: This awards a contract in the amount of $116,000 to Denler, Inc., for the 2020 Crack Sealing Project


MIN 2020-8629 -   G. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Stormwater and Flood Plain Oversight Committee - December 16, 2019; Human Service ad hoc Committee - February 25, 2020; Transportation and Parking Committee - March 11, 2020; Library Board of Trustees - June 24, 2020

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.

6. Active Agenda

ORD 2020-8612  - A. Ordinance:  Proposes to 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

Summary: This proposes to establish special service area #11 (Downers Grove Downtown Service Area) in the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois and provides for a public hearing and other procedures in connection therewith



Motion: Commissioner Hosé moved to adopt "An Ordinance that proposes to 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", as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

7. First Reading

8. Manager's Report

INF 2020-8588  - A. Information:  2019-2021 Long Range Plan Update

Village Manager Dave Fieldman confirmed this was the third meeting of five planned meetings on the Long Range Plan for the Village and proceeded to discuss a brief background on the original adoption of the Long Range Plan back in 2019.  This update would address key issues which have been identified since that time and would also establish new strategies, solutions, and develop priority action items for the next several months.  A timeline of the update followed.   Key issues to be addressed included:   1) a $1.2M to $2.0M Dollar increase in police and fire pension funds; and 2) the estimated shortfall of $8.3M Dollars in revenue for 2021 due to the economic down-turn caused by the pandemic.  Revenue projects were depicted on the presentation shown in the Council Chambers.

Strategies and solutions to address the key issues were explained by Manager Fieldman as well as some of the challenges to predict revenues in the budget cycle.  Examples followed.  Reviewing four objectives, Mr. Fieldman asked council members to provide feedback as it pertained to the objectives:  1) achieve/maintain financial sustainability; 2) maintain service levels; 3) maintain low life cycle costs for infrastructure systems; and 4) align the response with the magnitude and duration of the pandemic.  Examples of how the pandemic was affecting various Village funds followed as well as key concepts. 

Manager Fieldman presented a copy of the financial response plan that was being proposed for discussion by council members tonight, pointing out the plan will be the guiding principle for the preparation of the FY20-21 budget to be prepared by staff and presented to the public in October. While staff's goal was to control expenses, Mr. Fieldman said the plan also called for revenue enhancements of up to $1.0M Dollars, which was a new action step germane to the FY20-21 budget planning process.  At the planning level, staff would need direction as to pursue revenue enhancements up to $1.0M Dollars.  The plan also discussed the shifting of funds from the Capital Fund to the General Fund to cover operating expenses, the use of reserves in the Capital Fund, and finally, to use General Fund reserves up to $3.0M Dollars, as a last resort.  Additional details followed. 

In closing, Mr. Fieldman explained that staff was seeking input and direction on the strategies and solutions as well as a review of the objections. 

Mayor Barnett reiterated the challenges before the council and opened up the matter for discussion. 

Commissioner Hosé agreed that the Village's goals were always to be financially sustainable, but the pandemic was presenting some challenges, and the Village had to continue to use what it had to stabilize itself to return to the sustainability it had in prior years.  He supported maintaining service levels but at the same time to consider efficiencies and opportunities for moving things around.  Per Commissioner Hosé, infrastructures would have to be maintained yet it may have to be a short-time consideration.  He favored the tiered approach.  At the same time, he voiced his disinterest for increasing various taxes, including the electricity tax, local gasoline tax, and the natural gas use tax.  He did not support tax increases for video gaming, the real estate transfer tax, or the home-rule sales tax.  He did support, however, raising the food and beverage tax by one-half percent and the ambulance fee. 

Commissioner Earl shared her comments about revenue increases and the fact that there was not much to cut given the current situation yet the Village needed to determine where it could generate extra money, keeping in mind that residents, too, were struggling financially.  The food and beverage tax appeared to be acceptable, as well as the fire recovery and EMS refusal billing. 

Commissioner Walus referenced a news article she read regarding the creation of a strong town and the key takeaways from the article: 1) observe where the community struggles financially; 2) what is the smallest item the Village can do to address the struggle; 3) do it; and 4) repeat.  She supported maintaining service levels, institute the food and beverage tax, and asked for clarity regarding the ambulance fee. 

Commissioner Gray extended appreciation to staff and agreed that many of the commissioners were of the same consensus as far as the Village's financial sustainability.  Potential revenue items that he supported were the food and beverage tax, maintaining low life of low-cost infrastructure and maintaining service levels. 

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt voiced support for maintaining service levels but considering some shifts in that area.  She voiced concern about holding off too long on infrastructure systems, supported the food and beverage tax, and suggested a discussion on video gaming at some point. 

Regarding the above comments about capital and the maintenance of infrastructure, Mr. Fieldman clarified that the shifting of money away would only occur beyond essential projects.  He further elaborated that the capital projects fund will be in a good financial position to support the General Fund due to the Rebuild Illinois grant program, or receiving about $3.0M Dollars (over two years), to pay toward new transportation-related projects.  Details followed on what that might entail. 

Commissioner Kulovany also agreed that maintaining financial sustainability and maintaining services levels made sense as well as maintaining the low lifecycle cost on infrastructure.   He supported using up to $3.0M Dollars in the Village's fund reserves and still maintain the good AAA rating for the Village.  He favored the food and beverage tax, ambulance fees, and local gas tax.   Pointing out the large increase in the pension fund, Commissioner Kulovany discussed how that tax will affect those residents who are unemployed and suggested that it may be time to consider meaningful pension reform.  He further suggested reaching out to the unions to see if a pay cut could be implemented first before going to the taxpayers.  He supported a wage freeze and having a two-year sunset period to review the items again. 

Mayor Barnett agreed with the comments regarding achieving financial sustainability.  However, spending the Village's cash on hand over this year and next year only solved half of the Village's problem, which was not sustainable.  He believed many questions were unanswered at this time and while the tiered approach made sense, he was of the opinion that the council should be considering a permanent change to the revenue streams or a reset.  He believed maintaining service levels was good but to think in terms of shifting and also think about improving services versus just maintaining them.  As far as revenue, he agreed that the council needed to think about minimizing the impact on the residents since many were on fixed incomes.  He supported vehicle sticker taxes, real estate transfer taxes, was interested in discussing gaming, and did want to stay away from utility taxes.

Mr. Fieldman explained the next steps in the process and appreciated the input.  Mayor Barnett also invited the public to review tonight's video and provide input.

Deputy Village Manager Michael Baker noted he received no additional comments on the above topic.

9.  Mayor and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Earl announced the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is seeking volunteers to work at the COVID-19 testing site in Wheaton in the areas of traffic management and registration.  Openings were through the end of August.  Visit

Commissioner Gray reiterated the need for the public to wear their masks and social distance to lower the numbers. 

Commissioner Kulovany noticed that upon entering the State of Colorado, an electronic sign states that masks are mandatory in all public places.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, from a school district perspective, emphasized to everyone to be kind, accept, and recognize that those who are in charge still have students' best interest.  She said the same followed for the council members and the Village's long-range plan. 

Commissioner Walus also agreed to be kind to each other.  She announced that the Downers Grove Park District is holding their BBQ Bolt Race and Walk on Saturday, August 29th in person or virtually.  Visit for more information. 

Commissioner Hosé announced there is a police department citizens' survey on the Village's web site through the end of the month at  On August 5, 2020 there will be a listening session about policing in the Village from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the park district recreation center. Visit to provide written comments. 

No additional comments were received from the public.  As for comments on the Manager's report, Mr. Rose inquired about maintaining service levels and asked staff to better explain what that meant.  Secondly, he asked what "adjusting as time goes forward" translated to.  Lastly, Mr. Rose inquired about the earlier comments about the reluctance to raise rates due to their affect on certain parts of the community and asked whether the rates could be adjusted in variables, i.e., larger users could be charged a higher rate.

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 and the meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,

Megan Miles

Village Clerk