January 11, 2022

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

Council Attendance (Not Present): Commissioner Hosé

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

3. Proclamation

A.  Martin Luther King Jr. Day

4. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2021-9275 - A. Minutes: Village Council Meeting Minutes - December 21, 2021

Summary: Village Council Meeting Minutes - December 21, 2021

MIN 2022-9280  -  B. Minutes: Executive Session Meeting Minutes for Approval Only - December 14, 2021

Summary: Executive Session Meeting Minutes for Approval Only - December 14, 2021

MIN 2022-9292  -  C. Minutes: Executive Session Meeting Minutes for Approval Only  - December 07, 2021

Summary: Executive Session Meeting Minutes for Approval Only  - December 07, 2021

MOTION: To adopt the meeting minutes of the December 21, 2021 Village Council meeting and the meeting minutes of the December 14 and December 7, 2021 executive session meetings, as presented.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Walus

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

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

NAYES: None 

5. Public Comment

Marshall Schmitt of 4923 Seeley Avenue

  • Not in favor of amendment to the zoning ordinance for the Longfellow property as discussed at the Public Hearing during the Plan Commission meeting last night.  
  • In favor of the Village's current Comprehensive Plan.

David Rose, resident

  • In favor of environmental sustainability.
  • Not in favor of amendment to zoning ordinance.
  • Concurs with Marshall Schmitt regarding the Longfellow property.

Tom Schroeder, 4815 Forest Ave

  • Thanked Village employee, Judy Buttny, for her service at the Village; Judy retired last week

6. Mayor's Report

Mayor Barnett stated that many of the comments made tonight regarding the Longfellow issues are untrue. The Village Council and members of the Plan Commission are all volunteers and residents of the community; they too have neighborhoods and developments that go in near them and have to endure those changes as well. The process taking place is the same process that has been followed for decades in the Village of Downers Grove.  The Plan Commission meeting was round one.  The process will continue at upcoming Village Council meetings, with a first and probably a second reading.  This is the process the Village Council has taken for every item the Council takes up and this item is no different. Mayor Barnett read the statement the Village put together before there was a buyer for the Longfellow property: "The former Longfellow property consists of twelve lots in the Branigars Woods (wooded home sites) subdivision platted in 1920, located in the R-3 detached housing zoning district.  Single family houses are permitted in the zoning district, therefore, the owner of the property may construct single-family houses on these lands provided each house meets the requirement of the Village." There was no error or mistake.  There have been many examples over the years, one of which was brought up at last night's Plan Commission meeting; which was nearly the exact situation.  That situation involved another governing body, the Park District, which sold a park to a developer that had previously been plated just like Longfellow with multiple lots (some with non-confirming widths less than 75 feet).  The Park District removed the previous structure, chose not to consolidate the lots and sold the property to a residential home builder.  The Village issued a permit for a home to be built on one of those non-conforming lots; because that is the way our code was written and has been interpreted since it was written.  It is exactly what was intended.  The current zoning ordinance regulations allow for one house to be constructed on each of the 12 lots where Longfellow now stands. The Village is in the process of amending those regulations to be more clear. The Mayor continued that it is not uncommon for the Village to issue clarifications to codes and often those clarifications are  spurred by specific situations that demand additional attention; that if nothing else, is what Longfellow has done. The proposed language approved by the Planning Commission will not result in any changes in the application of the regulations, nor will it result in any expanded property rights for any property owner. The Mayor concluded by saying before the property was sold, the 12 Longfellow lots brought with them the same rights as any other R-3 property in the Village of Downers Grove.

7. Consent Agenda

BIL 2022-9281  -  A. Bills Payable: No. 6638 - January 11, 2022

Summary: No. 6638 - January 11, 2022


COR 2022-9282  -  B. Claims Ordinance: No. 6439, Payroll - December 17, 2021

Summary: No. 6439, Payroll - December 17, 2021


RES 2021-9270  -  C. Resolution: Authorize the Disposal of Personal Property Owned by the Village of Downers Grove RES 2022-01

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


MOT 2021-9272  -  D. Motion: Appoint Robin Lahey as Village Treasurer

Summary: This motion appoints Robin Lahey as the Village Treasurer.


RES 2021-9273  -  E. Resolution: Appoint Robin Lahey as an Authorized Agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) RES #2022-02

Summary: This resolution appoints Robin Lahey as an authorized agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).


RES 2022-9276  -  F. Resolution: Authorize an Extension to the Contract with Western Gradall Corporation of Naperville, Illinois in the Amount of $45,461.40 for Roadside Ditch Maintenance Services RES #2022-03

Summary: This resolution authorizes an extension to the contract with Western Gradall Corporation of Naperville, Illinois in the amount of $45,461.40 for Roadside Ditch Maintenance Services.


RES 2022-9277  -  G. Resolution: Authorize a Second Extension to the Contract with Boughton Materials, Inc. of Plainfield, Illinois in the Amount of $43,353.46 for the Supply of Crushed Limestone. RES #2022-04

Summary: Authorize a contract extension with Boughton Materials, Inc. of Plainfield, Illinois in the amount of $43,353.46 for the supply of crushed limestone.


RES 2021-9271  -  H. Resolution: Authorize a Local Agency Agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for the Use of Grant Funding to Resurface Fairview Avenue between 55th Street and Ogden Avenue RES #2022-05

Summary: Authorize a local agency agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for the use of grant funding to resurface Fairview Avenue between 55th Street and Ogden Avenue.


MOTION: To adopt all items on the Consent Agenda, as presented

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Walus

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

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

NAYES none

8. Active Agenda

There were no Active Agenda items.

9. First Reading

ORD 2021-9274  -  A. Ordinance: Amending Certain Traffic Control Provisions at Prairie and Forest Avenues

Summary: An ordinance amending certain traffic control provisions at Prairie and Forest Avenues.

Manager Fieldman stated this ordinance would make the temporary four way stop sign at Forest and Prairie permanent and remove the existing no left turn from westbound Prairie to southbound Forest. The Village Council is working on two objectives:

  1. To reduce the frequency and severity of crashes at the intersection of Forest and Prairie.
  2. Explore ways to reduce speeds on Forest Avenue from Prairie to Franklin.

The ordinance up for discussion tonight would create a permanent four way stop sign and stop control at Forest and Prairie (in place since October 2021) and would remove the existing no left turn. In December of 2021, the Village Council directed staff to start the process to make the four way stop permanent.  With the four way stop in place, the left turn restriction could be removed if directed by the Village Council. Staff is looking for direction from the Council on that topic regarding the no left turn restriction. 

Mayor Barnett stated since tonight's discussion is only about stop signs and no left turn, there would not be  discussions regarding speeds; that will be taken up at tomorrow night's Transportation and Parking Commission (TAP) meeting. The Mayor is In favor of leaving the no left turn sign for now.  He said we have seen what we hoped to see with regard to accidents and improved safety at the intersection with the stop signs. The TAP Commission will be considering speed reduction efforts at their meeting tomorrow night and the Village Council will then consider their recommendations, likely in February.

The Council concurred with the Mayor's comments.

Manager Fieldman stated since the Mayor and Council are in favor of leaving no left turn sign, the ordinance that will be presented next week will allow the no left turn sign to remain in place.  

Public Comments

Connie Larson, 4800 block of Forest

  • In favor of keeping no left turn sign.

Tom Schroeder returned to podium:  

  • In favor of keeping no left turn sign.
  • Agrees four way stop is doing what it should be doing (preventing accidents).
  • Asked what will replace the orange barricades.

Manager Fieldman said they will be replaced with permanent versions of the orange barricades with a center median.

Vito Sicliano of 4808 Forest

  • In favor of keeping no left turn sign.
  • Questioned how to keep cars from turning left even with no left turn sign; two cars turned left today.

Mayor Barnett recommended Vito attend tomorrow night's TAP meeting.

Council/Mayor Comments/Questions

Commissioner Kulvany

  • In favor of permanent four way stop and keeping no left turn in place; temporary four way stop has worked well.

Commissioner Gilmartin

  • In favor of four way stop; should keep temporary stop signs until the rest of the data is collected and decisions are made.
  • In favor of revisiting ways to help in reducing traffic on this street.
  • In favor of temporary orange barricades to prevent left turn.
  • Questioned what will replace orange barricades as permanent solution and if there is a way to extend a physical barrier to prevent left turns even with a no left turn sign.

Manager Fieldman stated he is open to look into options, as requested by Commissioner Gilmartin, when the median is designed.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

  • Agrees with Commissioner Gilmartin; happy there are no accidents at four way stop, but still have a volume and speed issue.
  • Cautioned that we will never be able to stop actions like left turns, but will do what we can to prevent them.

Commissioner Kulvany

  • Agrees with Commissioner Gilmartin; does worry about volume.
  • In favor of trying to reduce volume.
  • Must do whatever we can to prevent left turns.
  • Really interested to see what creative things TAP comes up with.

Mayor Barnett

  • Issue is two-fold, need to do things incrementally and is likely that we would come up with a solution that might have some applicability elsewhere.
  • Agrees stop signs have made a difference, agrees with doing one thing at a time.
  • Ideas from TAP to manage speed better; believes reducing speeds will reduce volume.
  • Create an environment to be conducive.

Mayor Barnett concluded the discussion by encouraging the public to email any concerns they may have.  The subject will be on the agenda next week and will once again be open to public comment.

ORD 2022-9291  -  B. Ordinance: An Ordinance Calling for a Public Hearing and a Joint Review Board Meeting to Consider the Designation of a Redevelopment Project Area and the Approval of a Redevelopment Plan and Project for the Village of Downers Grove (Washington and Curtiss Street Tax Increment Redevelopment Project Area)

Summary: An ordinance calling for a public hearing and a Joint Review Board Meeting to consider the designation of a redevelopment project area and the approval of a redevelopment plan and project for the Village of Downers Grove (Washington and Curtiss Street Tax Increment Redevelopment Project Area).

Mayor Barnett stated the establishment of this TIF District is what will help us build a new facility.

10. Manager's Report

A. FRSP Discussion Regarding Exterior Design and Environmental Attributes
Deputy Mike Baker presented the FRSP (Facilities Replacement Sustainability Plan). Presentation can be found here. There are two primary topics:

  1. The preliminary exterior elevations of the new facility.
  2. The environmental attributes of the building and the site.

Mr. Baker said the current issue at hand is a 42 year-old Police Station and 90+ year-old Village Hall that are in below average condition.  There are a significant number of challenges in terms of how the Village can serve customers, perform basic functions and the overall maintenance of the buildings. The project includes a building which will include the Police Station, Village Hall and District 58 Administration Offices.  The plan also includes a portion of the property (where the current Civic Center is located) to be used for the construction of an apartment development, which will help pay for the project.  Construction is scheduled to occur between 2022 & 2024, with multiple phases of construction occurring.  The cost will range from $48-$54 million, which will come from cash on hand and a bond issuance; for which the Council approved the Parameters Ordinance last month. Mr. Baker reviewed the schedule of milestones to take place moving forwarded.  First on the schedule for Q1 2022 is general direction regarding exterior elevations and sustainable attributes.
Preliminary Exterior Elevations
Mr. Baker presented the preliminary site plan. Included in that plan are two options for the exterior elevation:

  • Option one is a flat roof; various views of the building with a flat roof were presented.
  • Option two is a sloped roof; various views of the building with a sloped roof were presented.

 Mr. Baker continued with further details of both of the elevations including:

  • Desired attributes of the exterior elevations.
  • Preliminary exterior elevations.
  • Building views for both elevations from the southeast, southwest, northwest and bird's eye view from southwest.

Mr. Baker introduced Brian Meade and David Yandel, with FGM Architects, and Nicole McElroy, with Leopardo Companies.  They would be responding to questions posed by the Council and public.
Mayor and Council Member Questions/Comments
Commissioner Leslie Sadowski-Fugitt

  • In favor of flat roof option; likes the look and considering the environmental aspects of accommodating solar arrays.
  • Asked if there is a difference in maintaining a flat roof versus a sloped roof.

Brian Meade stated there would not be much difference in maintenance; maybe a little more cost involved in the sloped roof.
Commissioner Rich Kulvany

  • In favor of flat roof option, resembles McCormick Place, a major iconic building in downtown Chicago.
  • Likes the columns, the double horizontal limestone banding and the overhang, which provides a nice vertical break to be mindful of the height.

Commissioner Nicole Walus

  • Likes the entrances to the lobbies.
  • In favor of the flat roof option, which appears to have more windows and lets more light in.

Commissioner Danny Glover

  • In favor of flat roof option, as it is timeless and blends in with downtown.

Commissioner Chris Gilmartin

  • In favor of flat roof option
  • Agrees with what has been said so far, loves pillars; has the perfect mix of classical and modern.
  • In favor of the building view from the train to have some substance since this will be the Village's flagship building (referred to view in slide #12 of the presentation).

Mr. Meade said that has been discussed and understands the importance of the image.
Resident Comments
Jim Kelly, resident:

  • In favor of flat roof option and a "green roof".

Unidentified resident

  • Asked if over doorway there's a porte-cochère, as sometimes it is hard to find the entrance without that.

David Rose, resident

  • Asked if overhang on the flat roof is design to accommodate deflecting the sun in summer and allowing the sun to shine in to the south facing direction.

There was a response made by the architect that was not clear on audio. 
Mayor Barnett summarized what the architect stated: The design is not complete but the overhang will be considered; there may be some trellis aspects of those overhangs to try and work on minimizing weight, but still managing some of the solar impact on the building.
Environmental Attributes
Mr. Baker presented the environmental attributes of the new facility.  He stated there are a significant number of environmental attributes that are already included in the baseline project budget and scope as a result of code requirements and other factors; it is what is already going to be built before there is a discussion of any enhancements. Additionally there are two recommended packages for allocating $2.6 million of environmentally sustainable enhancements to the building design and construction. These were prepared in consultation with the architect and construction management firm; included are what are believed to be the most desirable in terms of attributes that would provide for the $2.6 million. Mr. Baker reviewed the following:

  • Environmental attributes in the baseline budget/scope

The items on this list (slide #20) are expressed quantitatively, many of them qualitatively. The items touch on areas of the building itself and the site.  They demonstrate how the new facility will be much more energy efficient, consume less water and provide a significant number of benefits. This is before any of $2.6 million of environmental enhancements are even applied.

  • Mechanical System Energy Efficiency Comparison

This shows how the existing Village Hall building is energy inefficient, compared to what is recommended. In the new combined facility energy costs will be reduced by 32% and the energy use intensity reduced by over 50%. The buildings are roughly the same size, the combined size of the Police Station and Village Hall, compared to the square footage of the new facility; this is a factor that's weighed in that calculation. The carbon dioxide reduction as well reduced by 37%; this relates to the mechanical systems that will be incorporated into the new building compared to the systems and the energy required to operate those systems in these existing buildings.

  • Environmental enhancements recommended for each exterior elevation option (Recommended $2.6 million enhancements)

The focus on this portion of the presentation is on the flat roof option, since that is the option the Council has expressed as their preference.  The enhancements include permeable pavers, a lower cost in the flat roof option, where about 20% of the parking areas are covered with permeable pavers. A higher cost for photovoltaic panels, but a greater capacity to accept more PV panels as compared to the slop roof option. Also included is an enhancement to make the HVAC system function more efficiently; enhancements to the exterior building envelope of $900,000 to improve insulation and get better temperature control; the green roof on 10% of the roof areas; the PV (or solar panels) would offset about five to 10% of the electrical load on the flat roof option; bioswales and rain gardens would cover 50% of the landscaped areas; rain harvesting for the irrigation system, where the rainwater coming off the roof of the building would be captured in a cistern and used to irrigate a landscaping around the site.

  • Additional Environmental Attributes (Above the $2.6 million of enhancements)

The additional environment attributes, beyond the set of enhancements previously presented, include enhancements to the mechanical or HVAC systems including a hybrid geothermal system; this would cost an additional $2.5 million. An entire parking area made with permeable pavers would cost an additional $975,000.  Photovoltaic panels could be expanded into other areas - this could require the installation of carports in the parking lots that would have panels located above the carports and would cost an additional $775,000.  Achieving 80% of landscaped areas with bioswales and raingardens would cost an additional $150,000.  Enhancements for rainwater harvesting, including the installation of two cisterns - one for irrigation and one for Greywater- with an addition cost of $400,000 would include the necessary plumbing and requirements to support a Graywater system given the plumbing codes.

Mr. Baker explained this list of additional enhancements could total $4.8 million more beyond the $2.6 million that was previously presented.

  • Options that are not Practical or Feasible

There are three areas determined not to be practical or feasible.

  1. The installation of a complete geothermal system, this is inhibited by the construction phasing of the project.  The current Civic Center and Police Station locations will still be occupied and therefore a full geothermal field would not be feasible.
  2. The use of wind energy was determined to not be feasible.
  3. The construction of a facility that would be a net zero energy building at the time of construction has been determined not to be practical or feasible.

Mr. Baker explained that it could be possible to construct the building in such a way that over time it would achieve a net zero energy status. 
Mayor and Commissioner Questions/Comments
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

  • In favor of additional attributes, no reason not to consider everything available to us.
  • In favor of the attributes to recapture water including the permeable pavers, bioswales and rainwater havesting for graywater to minimize the stormwater impact.
  • In favor of offsetting electrical load with renewable energies as much as we can.
  • In favor of all the additional attributes.
  • Asked what the bang for the buck with geothermal system.

Mr. Mandel answered saying the biggest challenges with geothermal is the size of the site and the phasing in order to get the wells in place. The study was of a hybrid solution which would be about 40/60 geothermal.  Further details were given.  Mr. Mandel also explained that there would be a cost involved in increasing the square footage of the building to accommodate the system. He concluded by stating from an energy saving standpoint, the couple of points above where we are at with the recommended system doesn't seem valuable.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

  • Asked if we could even benefit moving forward since we still won't have the space once we sell off the land.

Mr. Mandel said that we could possibly reach an 80/20 geothermal system at the high end but he doesn't think we would ever get to 100% - where it is our only geothermal system or where it is the only source of heating and cooling. He continued with details about the stormwater attributes that Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt mentioned previously.
Commissioner Chris Gilmartin

  • What is energy use intensity?

Mr. Mandel answered it's BTU used divided by the square footage of the building - it's a newer criteria that is being used.  
Commissioner Chris Gilmartin

  • Asked why given the age of old the buildings being replaced, why isn't the saving of the new building more than 32% and 37% savings; why not closer to 50%, 60% or 70% -given technology and sustainability we have now and didn't have 40 and 90 years ago.

Mr. Mandel stated he thinks this is pretty high. The baseline code compared to the current buildings is 28% greater.
Mr. Baker stated one factor that might contribute to this is that the boilers were replaced in the current municipal building two years ago because they were at catastrophic failure; this is attributing to some efficiency gain.
Commissioner Chris Gilmartin:

  • Wants to know where the gains are; how much are these additional environmental attributes saving us in costs? 

Mr. Mandel answered he will make sure that staff has the full kind of support that picks up the summary of both.
Commissioner Rich Kulovany

  • Not in favor of $2.5 million for the hybrid geothermal system.
  • In favor of looking further into permeable pavers to help with stormwater issue.
  • In favor of PV panels; believes more is better but wants to see analysis on the breakeven point.
  • In favor of bioswales.
  • In favor of the irrigation system; less sure about the graywater and how much the water savings cost and water consumption would be.
  • In favor of looking at investing more in a total budget; not convinced $4.8 million is worth the investment.

Commissioner Nicole Walus

  • Not in favor of hybrid geothermal system.
  • In favor of everything else on the additional environmental attributes list.
  • Asked if the percentage of savings would go up from what it's currently estimated at if we add some of the additional environmental attributes.

Mr. Mandel said with Council's direction, he will study the additional attributes further and come back with further information.
Mayor Barnett:

  • Can you explain initial occupancy and the path forward that is improving from that point?

Mr. Mandel explained net zero is challenging with the technology at hand and the constraints that have been outlined. There is a limit to how much renewables we can get. Everything being done from the mechanical systems, to the building envelope are geared towards reducing energy usage and minimizing co2 emissions.  The team is trying to get the Village as far down the road as they can to make sure the infrastructure is in place.  Technology is expanding at an infinite rate, so the technologies that are here today are only going to improve years from now. 
Mayor Barnett

  • We have two obligations - do the best we can with cost of operations and model what we expect of the rest of the community.
  • In favor of finding a way to do everything on the list, aside from geothermal system, in the new facility.

Resident Comments
Jim Kelly, Resident

  • In favor of looking into local companies with environmentalists that can help us with energy savings.

David Rose, Resident

  • Asked about a "heat sink" in a building this size.
  • Asked if geothermal is the preferable type for building like this.
  • Asked if all these cannot happen at once and can they be separated.

Mr. Mandel answered that site constraints and size of building are the two biggest challenges with these.
Mayor Barnett stated we are very early on and none are necessarily linked or separated.
Mr. Baker concluded the presentation saying that we have direction from Council to go ahead and pursue consideration of some of these additional enhancements. He reviewed the Preliminary Project Budget slide that includes the $2.6 million in enhancements prepared by Leopardo back in September, 2021. If costs exceed the $2.6 million it may require staff to go back and re-look at the financial plan that supports the ways that costs are being covered tor this project.  As the schematic design phase of the project is wrapped up, Leopardo will update the cost estimates of the schematic design package.  This should occur in the month of February.

11. 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 amending certain traffic control provisions at Prairie and Forest Avenues.
  2. An ordinance calling for a public hearing and Joint Review Board meeting to consider the designation of a redevelopment project area and the approval of a redevelopment plan and project for the Village of Downers Grove (Washington and Curtiss Street Tax Increment Redevelopment Project Area).

12.    Council Member Reports

13.     Adjournment

Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.


MOTION: To adjourn the January 11, 2022, Village Council meeting.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Walus

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt

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

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