Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Board Meeting Minutes Nov. 8

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
District Headquarters
November 8, 2011

Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard – arrived at 5:34 Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Tom Hartley, Land & Development
Jay Ferraro Mike Durand, Golf
Audrey Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Gloria Lind Steve Chapman, Finance
Cheryl Maggio
Lenae Weichel
Steven Alan Hilton, Sr.
Bernice Eisenbraun

The meeting was called to order at 5:32 PM. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Gloria Lind led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for October 11 were approved.

BINA Hearing – The meeting was suspended for Public Hearing required under Bond Issue Notification Act (BINA). Approved by Gloria Lind and seconded by Mary McNamara-Bernsten. President Randy Olson opened up the Public Hearing for comments. No comments were received, and the Public Hearing was then closed. Meeting returned to open session.

Steven Alan Hilton, Sr., a/k/a The Undertaker – Mr. Hilton has offered his services to run special events for the District that could be used to increase use and visibility. He has done similar special events for Rockford Park District and other not-for-profit organizations.

Bernice Eisenbraun – Equestrian Facilities Ms. Eisenbraun is inquiring about the property over by the Old Stone Bridge Trail. She expressed her concerns regarding the safety of riding to places such as Roland Olson and being respectful that it is now a bike trail and horses are no longer allowed on the path. She is hoping to use the new forest preserve and that the District would consider putting a path around it that is horse friendly. Old Stone Bridge Trail is a perfect property for people and equestrians. She expressed how people love to see horses on the trails in the parks, but there aren’t many places for people to ride their horses and would like to have more options. The equestrian community would help and simply wants safe access. She stressed she would like to have other places to ride and it would be a wonderful asset for the community. Randy Olson asked Tom Hartley to look into it.

Bids – Macktown Historic District Sewer – Tom Hartley explained that the holding tank has started to leak and is requiring frequent pumping. Therefore, to solve the sewer problem in a more permanent fashion, the District would like to connect to the already installed but not in use sewer line. Two bids were received. Tom and the staff recommended going with the lowest bidder, Stenstrom Excavation. Jay Ferraro made a motion to award the contract for repair of the sewer system at Macktown Visitors Center at Macktown Historic Village to the lowest bidder, Stenstrom Excavation & Blacktop, Rockford, for a total cost of $38,735. Judy Barnard seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Holiday Schedule for 2012 – Mary McNamara-Bernsten moved to approve the holiday schedule for 2012, seconded by Audrey Johnson. Motion passed unanimously.

Fee Schedule for 2012 – Judy Barnard made a motion to approve the 2012 fee schedules for shelterhouse, camping, flying field, equestrian, and golf. Motion was seconded by Mary and Audrey. The discussion included the potential use of the building at the new Four Lakes addition, and Randy suggested putting a fee rate on that to see whether it’s feasible and legitimate to use. Tom Hartley mentioned that he has done some work on that already, and will put together a report. Randy recommended $150 for rental per day, with the idea of keeping the cost low enough to get people used to using it. He believes it would be ideal to be used for retreats, wedding receptions, etc. Judy and Mary would like to hold off on setting a price. Tom Hartley says the bathrooms will need to be enlarged and it is unclear if it would be able to handle that kind of use. Gloria inquired about the electric, and Tom indicated that it is fine, but the big thing that might need adjustment is the septic. Gloria believes it would be a fantastic campground. Tom Kalousek said it would be helpful to have Tom Hartley finish his report. Tom Hartley added that the pond is scheduled to be shocked in the spring by the DNR. Randy recommended that the staff looks at what fees would be in the future to rent and what things would be needed to be done to use the facility for rental, etc. Motion passed unanimously.

Budget amendment – development projects from 2011 – Steve Chapman advised the Commissioners that at the end of fiscal year 2010-2011, some of the development projects budgeted for the 2011 season were not completed. The unspent funds for these projects need to be forwarded to the 2012 fiscal year in order for the projects to be completed and paid for. Audrey made a motion to approve the budget amendment moving appropriations from 2011 to 2012 for the Capital Development Fund for a total of $52,700, seconded by Mary. There was no discussion. Motion passed unanimously.

Report on meeting with Rockford Park District – Randy and Mary had a meeting with the Rockford Park District and they brought back a lot of information to share with the Commissioners. Mary distributed a packet of information containing facts, statistics, goals, etc. It was suggested that the Park District’s golf department and environmental education department meet with the District’s golf and environmental education departments to discuss ways to complement each other’s programs and ideas. Randy added that it is a good opportunity for us to see what other people are doing and to improve our programs. Mary mentioned the Park District’s volunteer task force was also discussed and it would be a great resource to tap into because it is a very successful part of their programs. Randy liked that the Park District has their goals and priorities all over their offices and as strategic planning is done, goals and priorities can be developed and visible to all employees. Audrey indicated that the District needs to get the public input before anything is done (focus groups need to be completed).

Report on meeting with Plug & Pellet Club – Randy and Judy met with approximately 50 hunters on October 19, at 7:00 PM. The hunters are very passionate about hunting and the one problem is there are not as many places to hunt as there used to be. Farmers don’t allow it like they used to because of liability. Judy indicated they also had big concerns about the deer reduction and would like to set up some sort of a lottery so they could apply to be sharpshooters for the District. They would like a youth hunting program with bow and arrow. The group Randy and Judy met with was only one of eight sportsman groups in this area. Judy would like to interview more of the sportsman groups and add them as a separate focus group.

Strategic Planning Committee Report – Judy Barnard reported that invitation letters have gone out to the contacts for the focus groups, which are starting on Monday, November 14 and will continue through Thursday, December 1. After this process is done, then additional input from the community will be used to continue with the strategic planning process. Judy thinks this is an exciting time and is looking forward to what people have to say. Jamie reported that there is a good response from the first focus group. Tom Kalousek then clarified that a hunting group will be added as a focus group. Judy would like to see if all eight sportsman groups could be contacted.
NRPA conference – Audrey Johnson and Tom Kalousek went to Atlanta to the National Recreation and Parks Association conference. Audrey came back with a lot of information and she distributed information on equestrian areas that she feels will be very helpful to the District.

Foundation Committee Report – Audrey chaired a Foundation Committee meeting on October 20, 2011 and handed out minutes of that meeting. She also attended a Foundations seminar while at the NRPA conference. She gave a brief summary of what she learned and handed out a proposal for developing the Winnebago County Forest Preserve Foundation.

Contract with Pam Reidenbach – Judy Barnard has requested that the District’s contract with Pam Reidenbach be expanded to assist the District in the search process for the Executive Director position. Judy reiterated that the District needs the assurance that the person hired has the District’s interests at heart, and she feels since Pam has been involved with the strategic planning, she knows the District’s needs and wants. In addition, her fee is extremely reasonable. Tom Kalousek then handed out brochures that the IAPD distributes for Executive Director vacancies. Randy would like to lay this over and have Pam come and talk to the Commissioners at the next meeting. Tom Kalousek will contact her.

Amendment to Code – Audrey Johnson requested an amendment to the District Code that would require an automatic layover before a final vote can be made on certain action items. She believes that this procedure will give the Commissioners time to research and gather pertinent information on an issue before voting. This has been held over until the next Board meeting on December 6.

Kilbuck Creek storm water – Judy Barnard gave a report on Kilbuck Creek and the unusual color of the water. The IEPA is aware of the problem and are trying to correct it. Judy would like to call the head of the IEPA, Chuck Corley, and ask if Nancy could come to the next meeting to talk to the Board about how they intend to resolve these issues.

New Milford/Cherry Valley TIF District – Tom Hartley distributed a list of public hearing dates that he wanted Commissioners to know about, along with a sample letter for the Commissioners to send to the ZBA. The District’s issue is that the soils on that property are poor quality for building and could cause some water quality issues. More than half the soil is not suitable for roads or buildings. Judy reiterated the problems of the industrial areas along the I-39/Baxter Road corridor and the runoff, running all the way down to Rotary Road. Long term water will run to Rotary and could end up with ravines that could be 150 feet deep, therefore the runoff and detention issues need to be addressed.

Land Trust Alliance meeting in Milwaukee. Judy went to two different sessions. The first was Winning Land Conservation Ballot Measures, and the second was Using Clean State Water Revolving Fund. The Land Conservation Ballot Measures session had information on how they deal with opposition, etc, so if the District ever needs to deal with this, Judy would like to have somebody come from the Trust for Public Land and talk to the Commissioners. The Using Clean State Water Revolving Fund is not currently being done in Illinois, but the District could build a relationship with IEPA to help deal with storm water runoff and protect water quality.

Executive Directors report – Tom Kalousek distributed a letter from Illinois Clean Energy announcing a grant the District has been given for the acquisition of the Deer Run Forest Preserve addition. He then gave an overview of what the staff has been working on since the last board meeting. Facebook is up and running, new TV ads are running promoting gift cards for the holidays, and the 2012 calendar is at the printer. Jamie will be attending the Kishwaukee River Awareness Campaign on behalf of the District on December 1. Campgrounds will be closing for the season on November 16, the Ledges Golf Course closes for the season on October 30, and Atwood and Macktown will remain open until further notice. Tom also gave the Commissioners the Quarterly Work Plans for September, October and November. Cheryl Maggio asked about the union contract. Tom Kalousek indicated that the first meeting would be November 9, and that he is hoping for a contract for the December 6 Board meeting. Tom distributed end of season revenue statistics. Mike Durand indicated golf was better than average this year due to the good weather.

CLOSED SESSION – The meeting was closed at 6:38 to discuss closed session minutes. The meeting re-opened at 6:42. Randy Olson declared no action was taken while in closed session.

Ducks Unlimited fall dinner – 5pm Thursday November 10 – Giovanni’s

Sheriff Meyers sent Tom Kalousek a letter indicating that the Sheriff’s Department agrees to the proposed contract adjustments.

Meeting adjourned at 6:50.

Next Board meeting – 5:30 Tuesday, November 29, District headquarters, for the sale of the bonds
Next regular Board meeting – 5:30 Tuesday, December 6, District headquarters

Ronelle Johnson, Recording Secretary