Skip to main content

September 07, 2021

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, Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gilmartin, Commissioner Glover

Council Attendance (Electronic Participation): Commissioner Walus

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

MOT 2021-9094  -  A. Motion: Motion to Allow Electronic Participation for the September 7, 2021 Village Council Meeting

MOTION: To allow electronic participation for the September 7, 2021 Village Council Meeting

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Sadowski-Fugitt,Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Walus, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

3. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2021-9091 - A. Minutes: Village Council Meeting Minutes -August 17, 2021

MOTION: To adopt the meeting minutes of the August 17, 2021 meeting as presented.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

 

4. Proclamations

 

Mayor Barnett recalled the tragedy of September 11th but also reminded everyone on how the Country came together that day to recover, rebuild and restart.  In recognition of this tragedy, September 11 has been designated as Patriots Day and is to be observed annually as a national day of service and remembrance.  The following proclamations for the month of September 2021 were read by Mayor Barnett, who encouraged residents to donate their time or volunteer.

A.      Hunger Action Month
B.      Suicide Prevention Month - Hope for a Day
C.      Community Adult Day Care - 35th Anniversary

Ms. Debbie Hare & Ms. Susan Sinderson from Community Adult Day Care were present to accept the Community
Adult Day Care Proclamation from Mayor Barnett.

5. Public Comment

No Public Comment related to items not listed on the agenda.

6. Consent Agenda

 

COR 2021-9077  -  A. Bills Payable: No. 6423, Payroll  - August 13, 2020  BIL 2021-9078  -  B. Bills Payable: No. 6614 -September 7, 2021

MIN 2021-9090 -  B. Note Receipt of Boards and Commissions Meeting Minutes

Summary: Note Receipt of Boards and Commissions Meeting Minutes: Zoning Board of Appeals 2-24-21; Fire Pension Quarterly Meeting 5-6-21

 

MOT 2021-9075  -  D. Motion: Approve a Building Permit Fee Waiver in the Amount of $11,479.00 for Minor Site Work and an Interior Remodeling of Senior Living Apartments at Immanuel Residences, Located at 1122 Gilbert Avenue

Summary: This motion approves a building permit fee waiver in the amount of $11,479.00 for minor site work and an interior remodeling of senior living apartments at Immanuel Residences, located at 1122 Gilbert Avenue

 

MOT 2021-9076  -  E. Motion: Approve a Building Permit Fee Waiver in the Amount of $10,990.00 for an Interior Remodeling of Senior Living Apartments at Peace Memorial Manor, Located at 3737 Highland Avenue

Summary: This motion approves a building permit fee waiver in the amount of $10,990.00 for an interior remodeling of senior living apartments at Peace Memorial Manor, located at 3737 Highland Avenue.

 

RES 2021-9074  -  F. Resolution: Amend the Existing Traffic Signal Contract with H&H Electric in the Amount of $67,687.20 for the Completion of the Interconnect from Main Street at Maple Avenue to Fire Station #2

Summary: This resolution amends the Village's existing traffic signal contract with H&H Electric for the completion of the interconnect from Main Street at Maple Avenue to Fire Station #2 in the amount of $67,687.20.

 

RES 2021-9072  -  G. Resolution: Authorize the Execution of a Three-Year Agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, Public Employees Division for Public Works Services Effective May 1, 2021-April 30, 2024

Summary: This resolution authorizes the execution of a three-year agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, Public Employees Division for public works services effective May 1, 2021-April 30, 2024.

 

MOT 2021-9082  -  H. Motion: Award a Contract to Marc Kresmery Construction of Elgin, Illinois in an Amount Not-to-Exceed $61,560.00, which includes a 20% contingency, for Modifications to the Brookbank Pump Station

Summary: This motion awards a contract for modifications to the Brookbank Pump Station, to Marc Kresmery Construction of Elgin, Illinois in an amount not-to-exceed $61,560, which includes a 20% contingency.

 

RES 2021-9080  -  I. Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with Midwest Meter, Inc. for a Total Price of $35,028.00 for the Purchase of 252 ACLARA 2-way Meter Transmission Units (MTUs)

Summary: This resolutions authorizes an agreement for the purchase of 252 ACLARA 2-way Meter Transmission Units (MTUs) from Midwest Meter, Inc. for a total price of $35,028.00.

 

MOT 2021-9093  -  J. Motion: Award a contract to Alliance Contractors, Inc. of Woodstock, Illinois in the amount of $526,298.30 for the 2021 DBD Crosswalk & Accessibility Upgrades

Summary: This motion awards a contract for 2021 DBD Crosswalk & Accessibility Upgrades to Alliance Contractors, Inc. of Woodstock, Illinois in the amount of $526,298.30.

 

MOT 2021-9092  -  K. Motion: Authorize the Purchase of an APC Galaxy VS 20kW UPS, Along with Installation Services from Graybar of Glendale Heights, Illinois in the Amount of $32,120.22

Summary: This motion authorizes the purchase of an APC Galaxy VS 20kW UPS along with installation services from Graybar of Glendale Heights, Illinois in an amount of $32,120.22.

 

MOT 2021-9086  -  L. Motion: Award a Contract in the Amount of $33,646.80, which includes a 10% contingency, to Microsystems Inc. to Scan Community Development Permit Files into a Digital Format

Summary: This motion awards a contract to Microsystems Inc. to scan Community Development permit files into a digital format in the amount of $33,646.80, which includes a 10% contingency.

 

MOTION: To adopt all items on the Consent Agenda

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

7. Active Agenda

MOT 2021-9023  -  A. Motion: Direct Staff to Construct Traffic Safety Improvements at the Intersection of Prairie Avenue and Forest Avenue

Summary: This motion directs staff to construct traffic safety improvements at the intersection of Prairie Avenue and Forest Avenue.

Mayor Barnett requested a motion concerning Option #1 - none was made. 

Mayor Barnett requested a motion concerning Option #2.  Commissioner Hosé made a motion "directing staff to install a 4 Way Stop Control at Prairie Avenue and Forest Avenue"; motion was seconded by Commissioner Glover. 

Mayor and Commissioner Comments Regarding the Motion

Commissioner Kulovany: In favor of putting the temporary closures at Forest at Prairie; this to deal more effectively with the problem that's gone on with the volume of traffic through a residential neighborhood; vision of temporary barricades is the orange and white striped signs that can easily be moved by Public Works or public safety people; wants for 3 seasons - into spring; also in favor of forcing northbound cars on Forest to make a right turn at Franklin and transfer that traffic over to Main Street; one of six railroad crossing in Downers Grove; don't have the luxury in Downers Grove of moving from our Business District to a transition block (i.e. includes insurance companies, dental, dental offices, small professional offices) before moving to straight residential district - we go from Downtown Business District to a residential neighborhood, right across the street; fair for the Village to take the position that we want people traveling and taking the tracks at Forest, but once they hit Franklin thinks it's reasonable to say they need to head over to Main Street; concerned about transferring the problem; having seen the videos of repeated accidents and people going through stop signs, he doesn't want problem transferred one block over to Princeton - the best way to prevent that is with physical measures such as pork chops, but not necessarily a median; he once entertained the idea of making Franklin a one way east bound at Forest but as long as we get traffic over to Main Street he thinks physical measures is the better solution; have learned with videos that people blow stop signs because they don't pay attention to them - saw video of car that blew stop sign, crossed a sidewalk and ended up in a resident's front yard.

Commissioner Hosé:  Thinks four way stop is the proper initial response; the video Commissioner Kulovany spoke of shows if the traffic from Prairie had been stopped, the person who illegally proceeded through the stop sign might not have hit the car that was coming eastbound; has no confidence forcing traffic onto eastbound Franklin to Main Street will work; more information \ coming from the Transportation and Parking Committee (TAP) on the matter and believes installing traffic calming measures will calm traffic.

Commissioner Walus: Supports Commissioner Kulovany's recommendation, recalling the last video: if there is a closure it be more than 60 days and for three seasons; while she supports a temporary enclosure, she clarified it did not mean she would vote for a permanent closure; she wants to review the traffic studies coming down the pipeline. 

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Given the numerous vehicles traveling on Forest Avenue, supports closing the south leg of the intersection but not doing a one-way on Franklin. 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Recalling the video, believes many factors played into the intersection: speed, sight lines, traffic volume, etc. He supports the temporary closure but wants to consider the traffic data coming in the future.

Commissioner Kulovany: Reminded the Commissioners that due to the pedestrians in the area, traffic calming measures needed to be installed for vehicles to slow down.

Mayor Barnett: Noted the Prairie Avenue from Main to Belmont is a concern; but despite the recent traffic accident, he supported the installation of the permanent four signs and wants to hear the results from the next TAP meeting. 

Roll Call:   AYES: Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Glover, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: Commissioners Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadlowski-Fugitt, Walus RESULT: Motion failed 3-4 by roll call

Mayor Barnett requested a motion concerning Option #3 - none was made. 

Mayor Barnett requested a motion concerning Option #4.  Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt made a motion "directing staff to install barriers closing the south leg of the intersection at Prairie Avenue and Forest Avenue, on a temporary basis, at the corner of Prairie Avenue and Forest Avenue"; motion was seconded by Commissioner Walus.

Public Comments

Mr. Pete Lao, resident of 28 years

  • Spoke difficulty crossing Prairie Avenue due to the traffic.
  • Speed of cars on Prairie is an issue - used radar gun average car driving 8 mph over the 35 mph speed limit.
  • Compared the current situation at Forest and Prairie to the intersection of Lincoln at Prairie; installation of stop signs at Lincoln and Prairie works well and thinks a 4 way stop would be the solution for Forest and Prairie as well.
  • Questioned whether the problem was Forest Avenue or the speeding vehicles on Prairie, pointing out other safety concerns on Prairie.
  • Questioned why the engineer did not produce a speed study on Prairie, or a time study on Forest Avenue.

Colette Sommerfeld, 4601 Forest Ave.

  • Resident since 1997 at the corner of Forest and Lincoln
  • Once four-way stop was installed it helped the issue at that intersection.
  • Read letter from Ms. Jean Zack - who could not attend meeting.
    • Cars have tailgated Ms. Zack on Prairie from Belmont to Main St. because they speed and she doesn't.
    • Suggests adding some well-placed stop signs on Prairie.

Caroline, resident of the 4800 block of Forest

  • Agrees with speeding on Prairie and suggests stop sign on Prairie at Oakwood (not at Prairie and Forest) or enforcing calming measures.
  • Wants dramatic measure at Forest at Prairie - stop sign will only cause traffic backups.
  • Forest and Prairie scary intersection to try and cross with children.

Stephanie Slavkin, 4640 Forest Ave.

  • Asked if the motion passed for the temporary signs, what would be the criteria used to keep them.
  • Asked why the installed signs would not work and recommended installing the permanent 4-way stop signs.

Mayor Barnett: Doesn't know yet and that will be evaluated once they are up and the speeds and volume of cars are observed. There are 7 people on Council developing opinions based on input received from residents on both sides of the issue - including observation, data and commentary from our professional team. Each Council member making their best decision and stop signs aren't sufficient enough to cause the effect the Council is seeking.

Brandon Gabry, 4826 Forest Ave.

  • Relayed there was no perfect solution but agreed the temporary closure, traffic calming measures on Prairie with programmable signal on eastbound Prairie would be good.

Brian Shields, 4820 Forest Ave.

  • Noted the existing stop signs and the vehicles traveling through them without stopping.
  • Believes the temporary barriers are a great idea.

Karen Laio, 4608 Forest Ave.

  • Believes reducing the speed on Prairie would be helpful.
  • Believes Village should install the 4-way stop signs because closing the street would set a precedent.

Vito Siciliano, 4808 Forest Ave.

  • Reminded everyone of the traffic accident that occurred and the neighbors have seen many of the accidents. Recommends blocking the street temporarily to see what occurs.

Mayor and Commission Comments/Questions

Commissioner Kulovany: Inquired when the traffic study on Prairie is to take place and what it will entail; inquired about how long it would take for Public Works to remove the temporary signage (20 minutes, per staff).

Manager Fieldman: Relayed that Neighborhood Study No. 7 was underway, including Prairie Ave. from Lee Street on the east, Ogden on the north, Warren on the south and Belmont on the west; this is our typical neighborhood traffic study, looking at speeds, volumes, crashes, etc. and results would be in front of TAP in a few weeks; on that TAP agenda there are some alternatives and ideas proposed for the stretch of Prairie from Belmont to Main Street - many of which have been discussed at this Council meeting; the proposals are based on observations from both Traffic Study No. 7 and Neighborhood Traffic Study No. 2 (done in 2012 and encompassed Lee Ave. to Main Street) were being considered. 

Commissioner Hosé Asked to consider signage at Prairie and Forest; recalled in previous minutes, Commissioners supported a four-way stop and were also interested in making data driven decisions; since August 17, 2021, the only one new data point existed - changing policy due to the video was based on emotions and fear and not on data; though a four-way stop could have prevented the accident, the council usually relied on data to make its decision; if Commissioners supported closing the street without reviewing the data, then the council was ignoring the data and its process, which was counter to what he believed the Village Council was about; if the closing was temporary, he asked when it would be open and how would Commissioners respond to the residents residing on the other streets such as Saratoga; he believes installing signs and doing a traffic study is necessary.  He would not support the motion.

Commissioner Kulovany: In reviewing the TAP's recommendations, did not recall anyone recommending closing the northbound segment; he mentioned that if the Council followed TAP's recommendation and the closure did not work, the street could always be reopened in a matter of minutes; he believed the data received reflected that there was too many accidents at the intersection, too much speed on Prairie, and too much traffic in the neighborhood.  He supports the three-way stop and the street closure.

After much discussion and public comment, Commissioner Kulovany made a motion to amend the motion to also add "a 3 way stop sign at the corner of Forest Avenue and Prairie Avenue"; motion was seconded by Commissioner Hose'.  Commissioners discussed the amendment. 

Mayor and Council Comments/Questions

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Agrees speed and traffic reductions on Prairie Avenue need to be done and will most likely be a combination of stop signs, bump outs, medians etc.; Traffic Study will put some of those things in place; was open to both stop signs and closing off Forest from the beginning but got wrapped up in worrying about the "slippery slope and the political outfalls" and tried to make a decision on what she thought would be the best at that intersection; went back to look at traffic volumes and speeds and that led to her final decision and the smartest move because of the uniqueness of Forest and the fact that it is one of the only traffic crossings; it is a much more common thoroughfare than any of the other streets surrounding it; in rethinking the issue again, believed the amended proposal would best to address the situation and its uniqueness. 

Commissioner Hosé: Believes the amendment to install the 3 stop signs on Prairie would be helpful; would rather see it stop in four directions and believes keeping the intersection open would help with the study.

Mayor Barnett added that anything being added to the intersection would be temporary and assessing the neighborhood made sense.  As for "clogging traffic" on Prairie, he supported slowing down the traffic because it was the best outcome.  He agreed speed on Prairie was the issue.  Furthermore, Mayor Barnett explained that closing the street may set an expectation which was his concern.  The Mayor stated it was an impact on the people who wanted the street closed, as well as for those who did not.  It is a balancing act and the action being taken is"temporary." 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Agreed the speed on Prairie is an issue however, it is the culmination of all the issues at that intersection; while the 4 way stop would work somewhere else, this intersection is different and he believes a temporary closure is the right choice. 

Commissioner Kulovany: Agrees more information is needed to be considered and the locations of the stop signs need to be determined; another challenge is the traffic safety issue related to Downers Grove North High School, which is why he recommended a temporary solution; he pointed out the challenges of discussing this matter with other Commissioners.

Commissioner Hose: Thanked Commissioner Kulovany for his motion but believed closing the street was not a good idea and would not support it. 

Roll Call on the amendment:

AYES: Commissioners Kulovany, Hosé, Glover, Gilmartin, Sadowski-Fugitt, Walus, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None RESULT: Motion passes unanimously by roll call

 

Roll Call on the Amended Motion:

AYES: Commissioners Sadowski-Fugitt, Walus, Gilmartin, Kulovany

NAYES: Commissioner Glover, Commissioner Hosé, Mayor Barnett RESULT: Motion passes 4-3 by roll call

Manager Fieldman: "This will be taken as Council direction and work will begin immediately on the temporary South leg closure and the temporary three way stop. We recognize that this is a temporary measure and that the Council makes decisions based on data. What we plan to do is proceed, not only with Neighborhood Traffic Study No.7 and the additional ideas on Prairie coming up to the Council in October, but we will provide monthly updates on this intersection. We are gathering data at the surrounding streets including Prairie and Forest that have information about traffic volume, traffic speed, vehicular crashes, and heaven forbid any pedestrian or bicycle crashes.  We will present this data on a monthly basis as we go through this journey; that will allow the Council to take any action they see fit at any time during those monthly updates."

8. First Reading

ORD 2021-9069  -  A. Ordinance: Amending Downtown Review Standards and Renaming the Architectural Design Review Board

Community Development Director Popovich discussed the Council's direction to staff to create the Downtown Design Review standards as it pertains to the Downtown Business District, the Downtown Core District and the Downtown Transitional District.  Mr. Popovich reviewed the various design renovations that would require a Certificate of Design Appropriateness and those renovations that would not.  Details of how a design renovation would travel through the Village's process followed.  A description of the appeal process, penalties for not following the CODA process, and the annual review of the program were explained.  The Architectural Design Review Board also recommended to change its name to the Historic Preservation and Design Review Board. 

Commissioner Hose: Inquired how the remand process would work specifically which staff explained in greater detail.  Per Village Attorney, Enza Petrarca, it was explained that the remand process existed because additional information could be presented by the petitioner. 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Inquired if the standard for the appropriateness of the character of the area was necessary, since he believed it was part of the guidelines already approved. 

Staff felt it was necessary and to ensure that petitioners were looking at other buildings in the area and to have a focused discussion. 

Commissioner Gilmartin felt the matter was too open-ended and proposed to strike the language since it was duplicative.  

Commissioner Kulovany shared some of the history behind the guidelines, as initiated four years ago.  He explained why the "character of the area" language was inserted into the ordinance.  He also supported the name change and extended appreciation to staff.

Commissioner Walus supported moving the ordinance forward.

As far as the "character of the area language" Mayor Barnett voiced his concern about including that language if it was already in the guidelines.  He preferred that the language be removed.  He also believed that Council be allowed to have a say in the appeal process. 

Attorney Petrarca stated that the remand process currently existed within the Plan Commission process and, again, it allowed the petitioner to bring forth new information and not start the initial application process over again.

Commissioner Gilmartin recalled the 12-month review process and looked forward to seeing how this matter would play out in the future.   Manager Fieldman extended appreciation to his staff for their exceptional work on the matter.

9. Manager's Report

There was no Manager's Report.

10.     Attorney's Report

An Ordinance amending the downtown design review standards and renaming the Architectural Design Review Board.

Commissioner Hose announced the Downtown Economic Development Corp. is holding its 2021 annual luncheon on Friday, October 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the Double Tree Suites Hotel; Mayor Barnett is to present the Cornerstone awards.

Commissioner Kulovany announced the Downers Grove Historical Society will be hosting the Montrew Dunham Awards on Saturday, September 18 at the Downers Grove Museum.

Mayor and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt announced this Saturday is the Grove Foundation annual golf outing.  Also, the First United Methodist Church is looking to add a youth outlook drop in center for its LGBTQ youth and is looking for volunteers.  Go to www.youth-outlook.org or speak to Pastor Andy if interested in volunteering or if any youth are interested in joining.

11. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the September 7, 2021, Village Council meeting.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus,

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosa Berardi

Village Clerk