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 July 20

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
District Headquarters
July 20, 2011 – 5:30 PM
Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Mary McNamara-Bernsten Tom Hartley, Land and Development
Jay Ferraro Steve Chapman, Finance Officer
Audrey Johnson Mike Groves, Natural Resources
Gloria Lind Judi Day, Budget & Personnel
Cheryl Maggio
John Nelson
At 5:39 PM, recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll. All seven Commissioners were present.

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

APROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for June 21, June 27, July 12, and July 19 were approved.

Illinois Nature Preserves Commission – John Nelson from the INPC distributed the brochure, “Saving Our Natural Treasures”. He gave an overview of the INPC and how it can work with the District’s nature preserve expansion. INPC is very unique in that it does not own land in the state; it works with land owners to protect the lands. It was started in 1963 under George Fell, who also founded the Nature Conservancy and Natural Land Institute. The INPC was established under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act of 1963. Nature preserve dedication provides the highest level of legal protection of any land within the state. The video presentation included pictures of Illinois Beach, Herron Pond, Little Black Slough, Fultz Hill Prairie, Wolf Road Prairie, and Elizabeth Nature Preserve. Sugar River Alder and Colored Sands would be good candidates for nature preserve expansion. If a Nature Preserve is designated, its status or use cannot be changed without approval. Mr. Nelson indicated the time frame for the designation of the two sites would be approximately January or February of 2012.

Nature Preserve Designation – Judy Barnard made a motion to approve the expansion of designated Nature Preserves at Sugar River Alder Forest Preserve and Colored Sands Forest Preserve, and the motion was seconded by Mary McNamara-Bernsten. Motion passed unanimously. John Nelson will start the necessary process at the Nature Preserves Commission. After approval by the INPC, an ordinance will be brought before the Board.

Bids – Whitman Trading Post repair – Tom Hartley gave an overview of the repairs needed to shore up the foundation of the Whitman Trading Post. Tom recommended we award this contract to Hayward Baker, Inc. Gloria Lind made the motion to approve the contract for repairs to the Whitman Trading Post to Hayward Baker, Inc., Roselle, Illinois, for a total cost of $105,500, and the motion was seconded by Audrey Johnson. Motion passed unanimously.

Identity Protection Policy – Tom Kalousek presented the Identity Protection Policy that would ensure the confidentiality and integrity of employees’ and contractors’ Social Security numbers. Audrey Johnson made a motion to approve the Identity Protection Policy for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District and the motion was seconded by Judy Barnard. Motion passed unanimously.
Tax Abatement Policy – Jay Ferraro made a motion revising the tax abatement policy and that the abatement of taxes is not in the best interests of the District. The motion was seconded by Audrey Johnson. Motion passed unanimously. A letter will be sent to the Rockford Planning Department.

Financial report – Steve Chapman gave a financial report through June for the Corporate Fund and the Capital Improvement Fund.

Budget Planning Assumptions and Guidelines – Tom Kalousek presented the 2011-2012 Budget Planning Assumptions & Guidelines. There was discussion about the ratio of health insurance premiums the employees pay versus the District. Cheryl Maggio requested that Judi Day prepare a report on how many current employees elect each of the four health plans provided by the District. Judy Barnard requested that Judi prepare a 10-year report on annual personnel increases. Jay Ferraro requested that Judi prepare a report on the total amount spent on labor attorney services. A motion was made by Judy Barnard to approve the 2011-2012 Budget Planning Assumptions and Guidelines, seconded by Audrey Johnson and Mary McNamara-Bernsten. The motion was passed 6 to 1; Cheryl Maggio voted No.

Tour of the preserves – The Board toured a number of preserves on July 19, starting at noon and ending around 4:30. The Commissioners covered approximately 83 miles on their tour.

Zoning and land use issues – Randy Olson stressed that the Board needs to take a stand on the zoning and land issues that come up, e.g. wind turbines, cell towers, etc. being so close to preserves. The zoning issues that arise are, if it borders District properties, the Board needs to discuss it with the zoning board. Tom Hartley indicated zoning issues are time-sensitive, and Tom Kalousek suggested sending them to the Board once Tom Hartley and/or Judi Day get them. Judy Barnard indicated if the Board is going to take a stand on these issues, there needs to be a lot more research done as to the effects of migrating birds, etc.

Strategic Planning Committee – Committee chairman Judy Barnard reported that the Committee has a few suggestions for succession planning for Tom Kalousek’s eventual retirement. Also, the Board should have a plan and a policy in place for future land use, acquisition, and development. Judy would like to know if there is a list of properties that should be acquired, or property available for acquisition that the former Land Advisory Council had compiled. She also pointed out a few articles from Parks and Recreation Magazine and would like Elizabeth Kessler or Dr. Deanna Glosser to come and speak to the Board.

Preserves – Revenue statistics were provided for shelterhouse reservations, camping, and equestrian tags, etc.

Golf – The decrease in revenue thus far this season in golf operations is blamed on a late spring and the ongoing heat wave.

At 7:42 the meeting was closed to discuss land acquisition and personnel reorganization. At 8:45, the meeting was reopened. No action was taken in closed session.

At 8:47 the meeting was adjourned.
Ronelle Johnson
recording secretary