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November 10, 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 to order the Village Council meeting at 7:01 p.m. and led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.  He explained the protocol for the meeting.

2.  Roll Call

Council Attendance:  Mayor Barnett, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, 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 

3.  Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2020-8716  - A.  Minutes:  Council Minutes - October 20, 2020

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé moved that the Council adopt the minutes of the October 20, 2020 meeting, as presented.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.    

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

4.  Public Comments

5.  Public Hearings

PUB 2020-8704 - A.  Public Hearing: 2021 Budget Public Hearing

Mayor Barnett summarized the procedures to be followed for the public hearing.

Deputy Village Manager, Mike Baker, reviewed the process for the public to follow in order to provide comments on the Village's proposed FY2021 budget.  Key points of the budget that were reviewed in more detail by Mr. Baker, included:  1) uncertain revenue performance due to economic uncertainty; 2) how the budget follows the recommendations of the long range plan; 3) addressing the financial gap in the general fund; 4) discussion for filling vacant positions; 5) the property tax levy increase required for public safety pensions; 6) $22.3M dollars of investment in infrastructure; 7) the planned retirement of the Downtown TIF; 8) funding for Priority Action Items; and 9) an active and responsive implementation to the budget.

Questions/comments from Council members included 1) the fact that the Village was able to use the cash on-hand; 2) revenue was being increased in areas that did not impact the residents the most; 3) costs were controlled by holding vacancies open while still investing in the Village's infrastructure; 4) the Priority Action Items were still moving forward, 5) the Triple AAA bond rating was expected to be retained, 6) the public was encouraged to review the budget in greater detail, and 7) the revenue sources that are stable, can carry over year to year, such as property taxes, motor fuel tax, and ambulance fees.  Additional commissioner questions followed as to when the Priority Action Item dealing with the review of the diversity, equity, and inclusion practices would take place, how the numbers in Quarter 3 were determined, and the various resources that staff obtained to calculate the numbers.

Resident, Mike Smetana, came forward and complimented staff for the budget and proceeded to express his concern about the Village's long-range plan in terms of tax increases, seeing that the current increase for the citizens was $1.16M dollars.  He voiced concern about the amount being doubled in contributions, the fact that funding was down, and asked what future tax increases would have to sustain in order to get some sort of funding of the pension

Mayor Barnett noted contract negotiations were always part of the conversation.  He explained how Village services were broken down. 

Mr. Smetana inquired as to what other avenues the Village was looking at to bring in new revenue rather than raising existing rates, to which the Mayor Barnett and Mr. Fieldman addressed briefly. 

Commissioner Kulovany added and discussed how the Village's negotiating system worked, citing the recently- negotiated contract with the Village's fire fighters.  Another clarification he further noted was that the property located at 75th Street and Lemont Road was not Village-owned but owned by two individuals who the Village was promoting to work together. 

Commissioner Hosé echoed similar comments about the Grove Center Shopping Center and raised the fact that the Village's pension obligations it had for public safety, staff, etc., were earned.  Details followed. 

Commissioner Walus pointed out to Mr. Smetana that those on the Village Council were residents too who wanted to remain in the Village and, therefore, would continue to balance the budget. 

Mayor Barnett encouraged the residents to view the budget on-line, noting the Village does not operate a deficit budget and was a service-delivery organization. 

Commissioner Hosé moved to adjourn the public hearing.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion. Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

The public hearing was adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

6.  Consent Agenda

COR 2020-8721 - A.  Claims Ordinance: No. 6383 - Payroll, October 23, 2020

BIL 2020-8720 - B.  Bills Payable:  No. 6558 - November 10, 2020

RES 2020-8703 - C.  Resolution:  Authorize an Agreement with Hastings Air Energy Control, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes an agreement with Hastings Air Energy Control, Inc.



MOT 2020-8719 - D.   Motion: Award a Contract Not to Exceed $64,000.00 to F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC for repairs to the Fairview Train Station

Summary: This awards a contract not-to-exceed $64,000.000 to F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC for repairs to the Fairview Train Station

RES 2020-8710 - E.   Resolution:  Authorize Submittal of a Grant Application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Illinois Transportation Enhancements Program

Summary: This authorizes submittal of a grant application to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Illinois Transportation Enhancements Program



MOT 2020-8711 - F.   Motion:   Authorize the Purchase of Bulk Road Salt from Compass Minerals America Inc. via the State of Illinois Contract

Summary: This authorizes the purchase of bulk road salt from Compass Minerals America Inc. via the State of Illinois contract

RES 2020-8726 - G.   Resolution:  Extend and Amend Resolution No. 2020-54 and Certain Emergency Orders regarding Outdoor Dining

Summary: This extends and amends resolution No. 2020-54 and certain emergency orders regarding outdoor dining



MIN 2020-8715 - H.   Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Liquor Commission - July 2, 2020; Transportation and Parking Commission - August 12, 2020; Human Services ad hoc Committee - September 22, 2020; Library Board of Trustees - September 23, 2020

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

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

7.  Active Agenda

8.  First Reading

ORD 2020-8717 - A.  Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use for Approval of an Additional Theater within an Existing Building located at 5201 Highland Avenue

Planning Manger Jason Zawila explained this request was for a special use being requested by the applicant (Tivoli Theater) for an additional 32-seat theater in a vacant retail space located west of the main entrance.  The existing entrance and windows would be removed and replaced to offer the appearance of a storefront similar to the facades along Warren Avenue.  The Plan Commission recommended approval of the special use, along with conditions.  The proposal met the requirements of the Village's Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines.  Further details followed by Mr. Zawila.  Applicant, Mr. Chris Johnson, was present. 

Commissioner comments were positive, given the state of the economy during the pandemic.  To see such activity taking place at the Tivoli was refreshing.  Appreciation was extended to the Johnson family for being good partners with the Village and for investing in the Village.  A bit of historic information followed regarding the Tivoli and the joy the theater has brought to the Village and community. 

Mayor Barnett invited public comment.  None received. 

9.  Manager's Report

REP 2020-8730  A. Report:  Human Service Ad Hoc Committee Report

Village Manager Fieldman extended appreciation to Public Works Local 150 for their services.  Members of the budget team were also extended appreciation.

Regarding the Human Service Ad Hoc Committee report, Mr. Fieldman provided a background review of when the committee was formed and its purpose - to make recommendations to Village Council after hearing from organizations that provide social services in and around the Village.  What the committee found after hearing from eight different organizations, is that there is a general lack of awareness of those services. The Village recommended increasing awareness of the services and to connect service providers to individuals in need of such services - similar to a referral service.  Mr. Fieldman provided a summary of the top, high and medium priorities found in the Ad Hoc committee's 2019 report. He thanked the Ad Hoc Committee members for their work on the report and expected the report to be considered over time in conjunction with the budget and as the Council moves forward with other high priority action items.

Mayor Barnett thanked the following Ad Hoc Committee members:  Samantha Aycock, Rebecca Campbell, Tom Connolly, Chris Gilmartin, Azizi Marshall, Kimberly Nagy, and Stephanie Williams for their service. 

Commissioners provided their input and hoped that both Council and the Village take the Ad Hoc committee's priorities seriously, have a social worker on staff, and allocate resources to address ways to promote inclusion and diversity in the village's leadership.  The report's information was informative and overwhelming but having someone, such as an ombudsman, to direct people to the right agency, was a positive.  Seeing how the Ad Hoc Committee will be managing the information/resources for the Village will be interesting as well as leveraging the community volunteer network and getting that information out to the community.

Additional comments included that the management analyst and social worker positions and the inclusion/diversity/equity conversation would be interesting to hear; collaboration with other government agencies was possible; and it would be interesting to see how other municipalities utilize their social workers, if any. 

Referring to an earlier comment about the structure of the committees/boards/commissions and how they interact with Village Council, it was pointed out that typically such entities are giving information and providing recommendations to the Council rather than driving an agenda and that structure had to be respected.  

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 authorizing a special use for approval of an additional theater within an existing  building located at 5201 Highland Avenue.  

11. Mayor and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Gray commented on some text messages he received as well as a news report on COVID.

Commissioner Earl encouraged residents to stay safe, try different masks, and consider an alternative plan in case traveling to a store cannot be done. 

Commissioner Hosé reminded residents to visit the restaurants for takeout meals. 

Commissioner Kulovany also encouraged residents to patronize the restaurants but also bring down the COVID numbers so that residents can visit the restaurants in the future. 

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt echoed the same comments and asked residents to think of the public health implications. 

Commissioner Walus asked residents to wear a mask, commenting that schools are returning to virtual learning.  She voiced the challenges of that.  She mentioned that handmade ornaments (8" inches in diameter/weather-proof) were needed to decorate the downtown holiday tree.  Ornaments should be delivered to the Public Works building at 5101 Walnut Avenue by Friday, November 20, 2020. 

Mayor Barnett read a statement discussing that while everyone is tired of the pandemic, it may last for years.  School administrators and teachers do want the children to succeed and they are concerned about the children's health and safety.  However, they do answer to different groups.  Mayor Barnett elaborated on the challenges of small businesses, the privileges that are taken for granted, yet the strength that each has to find to keep things together for the sake of the children, the community and for one's own well-being.  The Mayor emphasized not to get angry with each other because once the virus has passed, the community will be together.  He asked everyone to choose to be glad to have each other and asked the community to mind the three "W's" and to minimize social gatherings. He asked to extend grace to each other and emphasize what others are experiencing. 

12. Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. 

Motion:  Commissioner Hosé made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.  

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

Megan Miles
Village Clerk