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 Aug. 24

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

District Headquarters
August 24, 2011

Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Tom Hartley, Land & Development
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Mike Durand, Golf
Jay Ferraro Judi Day, Budget
Audrey Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Gloria Lind Ron Nelson, Assistant Operations
Cheryl Maggio
Kevin McCanne
Lenae Weichel
Constance McCarthy

The meeting was called to order at 5:35 PM. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll. All seven Commissioners were present.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Mary McNamara-Bernsten led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for August 9 and 10 were approved.

Presentation – Kevin McCanne of Speer Financial gave a presentation regarding possible financing options for land acquisition and capital development. He gave a brief explanation of how much bonding authority the District has, the two types of bonds that the District can issue (e.g. limited bonds and referendum bonds), and the bond ratings. He distributed informational packets showing the principal and interest repayment schedules of several different types of bond issues.

Irrigation repair at Ledges – Mike Durand gave an overview of the irrigation system repair at Ledges Golf Course that was damaged by lightning. Mike recommended Midwest Irrigation, LLC do the repairs and upgrade as they are the vendor of record for the existing system. Jay Ferraro thought we needed to get outside bids. Audrey Johnson moved to approve the contract for the repair and upgrade of the irrigation system at Ledges Golf Course to Midwest Irrigation for an estimated cost of $56,000, seconded by Judy Barnard. The motion passed with 6 yes votes and 1 opposed (Jay Ferraro).

The meeting was closed at 6:18 to discuss land acquisition. The meeting reopened at 6:34 PM. Randy Olson declared that no action was taken while in closed session.

Land acquisition – Gasparini property – Jay Ferraro made a motion that the District purchase the Gasparini property adjacent to Four Lakes Forest Preserve for $216,500 with no interest for 5 years, seconded by Gloria Lind. Gloria Lind then said, “I call the question”. After discussion, the motion passed with 4 yes votes and 3 opposed (Judy Barnard, Mary McNamara-Bernsten, and Audrey Johnson). President Randy Olson directed the staff to contact Don Gasparini and make the offer to purchase. In the event he accepts the offer, move forward with the process of purchasing; if not, bring his response back to the Board. Tom Hartley indicated he would contact Gasparini before the next board meeting. Judy Barnard also wanted the staff to look for grants for this property. Tom Hartley indicated there was not much available for this type of property, but would look again.

Budget & Appropriations Ordinance – The Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance for fiscal year beginning November 1, 2011 and ending October 31, 2012, was submitted to all the Commissioners. There was discussion as to individual expenses. Cheryl Maggio inquired about the 125 flex health plan – is there good participation in those pre-tax benefits? Judi Day responded that there is good participation from the employees. Tom Kalousek advised that every year there is open enrollment and most people look at it from what is in their best interests. Jay Ferraro would like a breakdown for the $215,000 for various personnel expenses added since the August 9 meeting. Tom replied that is made up of wage increases, filling vacant positions, seasonal adjustments, and reorganization and that it is an accumulation of all personnel adjustments. Judy Barnard had a question about why the Capital Improvement Fund budget was lowered and the Corporate Fund was increased from this year’s budget. Tom’s response was that the Corporate Fund is more flexible in that it may be used for capital expenses and land acquisition, when necessary. Mike Durand noted that the mowers were taken out of this year’s budget to provide for the irrigation upgrade at Ledges.

Randy Olson made a motion to take the $25,700 allocated for Public Safety Coordinator out of the law enforcement budget and move it into the contingency line item, seconded by Jay Ferraro. Randy feels at this time we don’t need a part-time Public Safety Coordinator; Chief Kurt Ditzler has agreed to take over scheduling duties. Judy Barnard would like Chief Ditzler to come and talk to the Board. Randy clarified he doesn’t go out and patrol, he makes the schedule. Motion carried unanimously to reduce the law enforcement department budget by $25,700 by eliminating this position and put it into the contingency line item. Judy Barnard made a motion to move the $25,700 from the contingency to land acquisition. Motion was then withdrawn. The Annual Budget & Appropriations Ordinance was voted on and unanimously approved for layover to October 18, 2011.

Levy Ordinance – A motion was made by Judy Barnard and seconded by Audrey Johnson to approve the Levy Ordinance. Motion carried unanimously and approved for layover to October 18, 2011.

Marketing – Jamie Johannsen reported that the booth at the Winnebago County Fair went well. There were a total of 223 surveys filled out. This was the beginning of the public input for the strategic planning process. Most people were very happy to do the surveys.

Land and Development – Tom Hartley announced that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportun-ity has awarded $50,000 in stimulus money to the District for the construction of a barn to screen existing utility structures located within the Macktown Historic District.

Golf – Mike Durand explained that right now there is a noticeable drop in play because the courses are less busy when school begins. Greensfees are down because of the discounted fees and package pricing. We need to be very aggressive in keeping daily fee play up, including more exposure from advertising and a more aggressive approach for filling peak and non-peak times.

Strategic Planning Committee – Judy Barnard distributed a Land Classification Matrix, which gives the Board some criteria for future land acquisition, if adopted. Tom Kalousek handed out a Priority Acquisition List. Tom also wanted to schedule strategic planning with Pam Reidenbach for September 12 or 13 to review the questions of each of the focus groups that Pam would be facilitating. He would also like to have her at the next board meeting, September 13.

Speer Financial – The Commissioners voiced some thoughts on the bond reduction option. Randy would like to refinance, get reduction and pay off debts. Judy thinks the District should wait to decide, and feels it is premature to borrow money. Randy thinks the corporate rate needs to be increased and would like to give Tom Kalousek direction to go ahead with refinancing the bond issue. Judy thinks we need to talk more about how to spend the money. Tom would like to talk with Steve Chapman to get his thoughts on the best place to put the money.

Forest Preserve District Foundation – Audrey presented the attached proposal for a Forest Preserve District Foundation. The Commissioners would like to have Gloria Lundin from Community Foundation come in and speak to the group more in depth.

Meeting was closed a second time at 7:30 to discuss Judy’s presentation at the Zoning Board of Appeals; Tom’s replacement for Executive Director; the inquiries the Board has received regarding Tom’s replacement; and Jay Ferraro’s upcoming resignation from the Board.

Meeting reopened at 8:10 PM. Randy declared no action was taken while in closed session.

Public hearing on budget at 5:30 on Wednesday, September 7, at District Headquarters.
Next board meeting at 5:30 on Tuesday, September 13, at District Headquarters.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 PM.

Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secretary