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May 11, 2021

In order to give as many visitors as possible an opportunity to speak and in the interest of adjourning the meeting by 9:00 p.m., please limit your comments to 5 minutes in length, unless further time is granted by Council. Thank you.

1. Call to Order

Mayor Barnett called to order the Village Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. and led those in the room in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. He explained the protocol for the meeting and the guidelines to submit public comment.

2. Roll Call

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

Non-Voting: Village Manager Dave Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Village Clerk Rosa Berardi

3. Proclamation

PRO 2021-8946 - A. Proclamation: Police Week

Mayor Barnett read and proclaimed May 9-15, 2021 as Police Week

Police Chief Gillette thanked the Mayor, Council and Manager Fieldman for recognizing Police Week and spoke of the officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty; including one of Downers Grove's own, Officer Richard J. Barth.  He thanked the Village for its support and is proud to be a part of the Village of Downers Grove Police Department.

PRO 2021-8955 - B. Proclamation: Historic Preservation Month

Mayor Barnett read and proclaimed May as Historic Preservation Month

Liz Chalberg, President of the Downers Grove Historical Society was presented with the proclamation and stepped to the podium to thank the Council and Village for bringing the history of the Village to the forefront and spoke of the Downers Grove Historical Society's upcoming events and awards. 

4. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2021-8953 - A. Minutes: May 4, 2021 - Council Meeting Minutes

Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion that Council adopt the minutes of the May 4, 2021 meeting, as presented. Commissioner Walus seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote.

5. Consent Agenda

BIL 2021-8952 - A. Bills Payable: No. 6592 - May 11, 2021

MOT 2021-8941 - B. Motion: Award a Contract to Strada Construction Company of Addison, Illinois, in the Amount of $183,473.58 for the 2021 Sidewalk Replacement Program

MOT 2021-8963 - C. Motion: Approve a Payment to Community High School District 99 in the Amount of $21,027.07 for Vaccination Clinic

Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion that Council adopt the Consent Agenda as presented. Commissioner Walus seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote

6. Active Agenda

7. First Reading

ORD 2021-8935  - A. Ordinance: An Ordinance Authorizing a Special Use for 2300 Wisconsin Avenue, Suites #201-203 to Permit a Personal Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Business

Summary: Community Director, Stan Popovich, presented the proposal of the Special Use for 2300 Wisconsin Ave., Suites, #201-203.  The location is in the Ellsworth Industrial Park, just west of Belmont Rd. The proposal is for a personal vehicle repair and maintenance business; a high-end repair and detailing shop focusing on both domestic and foreign vehicles. Mr. Popovich described the layout of the building and shared additional details.  He stated that the Plan Commission found that the standards of special use were met and recommended approval.   

Commissioner Hose thanked staff for bringing this forward and he thanked the business owners for coming to Downers Grove.  He commented that he thinks the standards are met and looks forward to supporting this.

Mayor Barnett asked about another similar use in the Ellsworth area.

Mr. Popovich confirmed that the 3 buildings in the area are becoming a service area for high-end automotive detailing and repair.

MOT 2021-8934 - B. Motion: Award a Contract to J Congdon Sewer Service, Inc of Carol Stream, Illinois, in the Amount of $2,150,498.34 for the 2021 Water Main Improvements Contract A

Summary: This awards a contract for the 2021 Water Main Improvements Contract A to J Congdon Sewer Service, Inc of Carol Stream, Illinois in the amount of $2,150,498.34

MOT 2021-8937 - C. Motion: Award a Contract to Gerardi Sewer & Water Company of Addison, Illinois, in the Amount of $1,303,831.50 for the 2021 Water Main Improvements Contract B

Summary: This motion awards a contract for the 2021 Water Main Improvements Contract B to Gerardi Sewer & Water Company of Addison, Illinois in the amount of $1,303,831.50.

MOT 2021-8951 - D. Motion: This Awards a Contract to Austin Tyler Construction, Inc. of Elwood, Illinois, in the Amount of $965,555.00 for the Highland Avenue & 41st Street Drainage Improvements

Summary: This motion awards a contract for the Highland Avenue & 41st Street Drainage Improvements to Austin Tyler Construction, Inc. of Elwood, Illinois in the amount of $965,555.00.

Public Works Director, Andy Sikich, used a presentation to give specifics on all three of the above water improvement projects.  There are 2 water main contracts; they were split to make it easier on the contractor and staff.  Mr. Sikich stated that the first contract (A) includes 4400 feet of water main and residential services up to the shut-off valves along with the resurfacing of the streets; he reviewed the specifics, including streets that will be involved. Of The 7 bids received, the lowest was received by J Congdon Sewer      Service that has completed work for the Village in the past. The second contract (B) consists of 4300 feet of water main and also consists of residential services up to the shut-off valves, along with the resurfacing of the streets.  Again, Mr. Sikich reviewed the specifics including the streets involved.  Of the 8 bids received, the lowest bidder was Gerardi Sewer & Water Company; though they haven't worked in the Village in several years, they come highly recommended by neighboring communities. The final contract (C) is a storm sewer replacement project.  It consists of replacing about 3000 feet of deteriorated clay storm sewer that has reached the end of its useful life, along with the resurfacing of the streets.  He reviewed the specifics including the streets involved.  Of the 7 bids received, the lowest bid was received by Austin Tyler Construction and they have done several projects for the Village in the past and are also recommended.

Commissioner Kulovany asked if the pipes in the sewer project would include those with a greater capacity.

Mr. Sikich stated that the same size pipe will be used because there was no immediate need to increase capacity.

8. Attorney's Report

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

An ordinance authorizing the Special Use of 2300 Wisconsin Avenue, Units 201 and 203, to operate a personal vehicle repair and maintenance business.

9. Public Comments

  1. Resident, Jim Kelly, spoke of his experience in Downers Grove, local businesses donating to charities, the Irish American Newspaper, including his newspaper Celebrating News.  He included contact phone numbers for businesses that care to donate and get recognition.
  2. Resident, Jeff Bolam, President of the Downers Grove Bike Club.  He spoke of the Ride of Silence that will take place next week on Wed, 5/19/21, in honor of National Bike Month (May).  He spoke of rides that have lost their life.  He also gave a history of the Ride of Silence and gave specifics about the ride.
  3. Brian Bentley, business owner of Brian's American Grill, requested that the Council consider allowing video gaming in the Village.  He gave a list of reasons why the Village would benefit from allowing video gaming, including attracting customers that would not normally dine in Downers Grove and the increase in Tax Revenue.
  4. A resident spoke of his disappointment with the rising cost of the trash pickup service in the Village.  He compared the prices with a surrounding community and is requesting the Village consider only charging for the actual amount of trash residents dispose of weekly.

10. Mayor and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Kulovany stated that the day marked his 6 month anniversary of being hospitalized with COVID. He encourages all to be safe and get vaccinated.
 
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said that she now works in the Health Care field.  She spoke of National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week, both in May.  She thanked all those in the Healthcare Industry and asked all to stay safe.
 
Commissioner Gilmartin thanked the nurses in honor of National Nurses Week.  Offered thanks to the nurses in the Community.  They are the "heart of healthcare".  Commissioner Gilmartin stated that for those residents seeking rental assistance due to hardships related to COVID, the Illinois Housing Authority will be offering grants up to $25,000.00 to cover up to 15 months of rent owed.  Applications will start to be accepted on May 17th. More information can be found at https://www.ihda.org/ or by calling 866-454-3571.  Commissioner Gilmartin recognized Freshman Gianna Kasper for being the first girl to ever earn a spot on the Downers Grove Baseball team.

11. Manager's Report

FY 21 Budget Update - Manager Fieldman provided an update on the current year budget via a slide presentation with a focus on the General Fund (the Village's primary operating fund). Manager Fieldman stated that staff expects that FY21 revenue will be about $3 million higher than budgeted; allowing the Village to proceed with filing vacant positions and avoid using money in the Major Building Fund for operating expenses in the General Fund. He stated that the FY21 Budget was prepared in the late summer of 2020 when there was economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, making the estimate difficult.  Manager Fieldman then gave a report consisting of 4 sections; the background of the budget, staffs updated revenue estimates for the year, recommended action based on current revenue estimates and the current expense estimates. Mr. Fieldman proceeded to thank staff, especially the Village Finance Department.

Mayor Barnett thanked Manager Fieldman.  He stated that the last Council was part of the decision making that went behind the budget planning; including holding off on hiring until further data became available.  Mayor Barnett said that there were positive results.  He said the sales tax number was supposed to start long before it did; in part that was due to the State of Illinois struggling to get its details in order due to the pandemic.  He said thankfully everything is rolling now and looking good.

Mayor Barnett asked for a Motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:47 p.m. and stated the meeting would reconvene after a five-minute recess, in the Committee Room, to begin the discussion on the Village's Long Range Plan for 2021-2023.

Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion to adjourn the meeting and to reconvene after a 5 minutes recess as presented. Commissioner Walus seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried via voice vote.

INF 2021-8948  - A. Information: 2021-2023 Long Range Plan

Mayor Barnett reconvened the Council meeting in the Committee Room at 7:54 to begin the discussion on the Village's Long Range Plan. He asked Mr. Fieldman to begin the presentation.

Mr. Fieldman said the long-range plan (LRP) combines strategic planning efforts with financial planning efforts and has a multi-year horizon. By doing both at the same time the Village's strategic initiatives align with financial resources.  The Village has been using this process for the last decade or so and it has served the Village well.  The LRP guides the annual budget and determines strategic initiatives reflected in the annual allocation of our limited resources. The LRP drives Council policy decisions and daily operations - the decisions staff makes on a day-to-day basis.  

The Plan has four components:

  • Strategic Goals (This will be discussed tonight)
  • Key trends and issues affecting the long-term future of the Village
  • Strategies and solutions to address the key trends and issues
  • Priority Action Items to be completed by April 2023

To put the LRP together, staff will use the policy direction of the Council. There will be at least 7 meetings scheduled with the Council throughout the next several months to prepare the LRP.  The discussions will be broken down into sections.  During tonight's first meeting Mr. Fieldman would cover the introduction of the LRP and will start a discussion on the Village's strategic goals. Mr. Fieldman proceeded to give a breakdown of the next four meetings that will take place, including the topics that will be discussed at each meeting.  There will not be an LRP meeting held in July; discussions regarding the Village's Governance Policies will take place with the Council at that time.  The schedule is flexible to accommodate any issues or requests made by Council.  In September the entire 2021-2023 LRP plan will be put together in its entirety and Council will have the opportunity to review and approve it at that time. 

Manager Fieldman discussed the "Flight Analogy" comparing the roles of the Village Council and staff with an airline flight.   Comparing "runway" levels of work as day-to-day work to the highest levels of work "at 50,000 feet".  During the "flight" from the runway to 50,000 feet, we have projects, planning and oversight, priority action items and strategic goals. 

Mayor Barnett stated that these meetings are critical and asked the Council to please make it a point to ask questions during the meetings and not to hesitate even after.  All 7 Council members need to understand all aspects of the LRP by the time September comes; as the LRP guides the Village's day-to-day actions.  The Council and staff's strategic goals need to be aligned. 

Manager Fieldman stated that staff meets with each Village Council member individually before meeting together so that Council and staff can interact better as a team. 

Manager Fieldman continued with the discussion and stated that the Village has five strategic goals. 

1) Steward of Financial, Environmental and Neighborhood Sustainability. Key phrases of what the Financial goal means: it's the alignment of revenue and expenses over the long-term; the concept of always controlling expenses; creating revenue sources and streams that can withstand short-term volatility/uncertainty; provide stability for the long-term.  Environmental sustainability is interpreted as delivering services that are mindful of the impact on the environment and our natural resources or "greening the operations of the Village".  These services should be delivered in a way that protects and enhances the environment.  Neighborhood sustainability is based on the idea that the Village should maintain the desired character of neighborhoods, or achieve the desired character of neighborhoods. There is much more on this concept in the Village's Comprehensive Plan; Commissioner Kulovany had a big role in putting it together over the years. 

2)  Exceptional Municipal Services assures the provision of high-quality, high-value services to the community that exceed expectations and that the Village communicates the value of those services.  The services are delivered at the highest value to those receiving and benefiting from those services; the mix of services and how we provide them reflects the needs and desires of the members of the Downers Grove Community.

3) Top Quality Infrastructure is the notion that the infrastructure system (roads, sidewalks, parkway tree system, stormwater, water) meets the established performance standards. Each of the infrastructure systems has recommended levels and established standards.  This allows the infrastructure systems to be maintained at the lowest life-cycle cost. 

4)  Strong, Diverse Local Economy refers to a resilient economy that provides revenue for the community that is sustainable for the Village as well as for the taxpayers and residents. Where a variety of different types of businesses can thrive in our community. This goal relies heavily on the partners at the Economic Development Corporation (EDC); the EDC will present its strategic plan in August.

5)  Continual Innovation is unique to the Village and a long-standing goal that we have achieved well over the years. The Council, staff and Boards and Commissions are discovering, developing and implementing leading ideas and practices.  As a team, we are challenging the status quo to make sure that we can achieve our strategic goals in a way that is unique, innovative and different.  In doing so, the Village will remain issue focused and results oriented.  Manager Fieldman stated that working with a team that innovates as a local government makes it a fun place to work.

All of the goals and descriptions that have been discussed are listed in the 2021-2023 Report that was given to the Council and can also be found here .

Manager Fieldman said after tonight's discussion and presentation, it is time for the Council to decide if their ideas and strategic goals are the same.

Mayor Barnett said that now is the time to discuss if the strategic goals discussed tonight align with what the Council believes.  He stated the goals have been in place, evolved, continued to change and will continue to change over the years.  This is the opportunity to dial-up on each other, anyone can make a comment and others can build on it.  Mayor Barnett stated that when the Village of Downers Grove decides to do something, they do it well.  He said when looking at neighboring Villages they service their residents in different ways and at different levels.  However, in Downers Grove no matter what the Council decides, value always plays a role. 

Commissioner Hosé said he agrees with these strategic plans.  They are part of the Village of Downers Grove's DNA.  It is how the Village does things as well as they do.  He said we will have discussions dissecting the goals over the next few weeks.

Commissioner Kulovany stated that he agrees with the Mayor and Commissioner Hosé's comments.  He agrees with the strategic goals and it does a good job articulating what was done in the past.  The bar has been reset at various service levels; for example after rainstorms and snowstorms - the amount of time it takes  to clean up; if you cut costs, clean-up will be affected.  He said that the Village is right in the middle for cost.  Commissioner Kulovany said it helps with maintaining staff and he has seen nothing but positivity when dealing with staff.

Commissioner Walus stated these are her goals as well.  She said the part of the goals stating "withstanding uncertainty" just happened when weathering the pandemic.  We didn't know how long it would last and our operations helped us withstand the pandemic.  We don't think about emergencies in our daily lives and as our Village faced an emergency.  She agrees with being Green-minded and maintaining neighborhoods.  Additionally, continuing to give value to our residents and maintaining relationships with our partners within the Village is very important, especially with the EDC.  She thanked staff for their work on the goals.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt stated these are her goals as well.  She mostly wants to push forward on the Environmental Sustainability goals.  She said anytime there's been an issue, the goals discussed have always been a part of the decisions to resolve the issues.  She said we want to deliver value to our residents. Regardless of what we are doing, we are going to deliver value while meeting the residents needs.  She said it's something we have done well and need to continue doing and need to emphasize it.

Mayor Barnett said not every community is going to create the same goals, but the goals we have created work well for the Village.  He asked Manager Fieldman if he is happy with the feedback he has received from the Council tonight.

Manager Fieldman said yes he received great direction tonight but wanted to and remind the residents and the Council this is not the final direction; this is just the front end and if at any time anyone wants to bring up a discussion they are welcome to do so.

12. Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a Motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.

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

Commissioner Walus seconded the motion.

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried via voice vote.

 Respectfully Submitted, Rosa Berardi Village Clerk