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 June 21

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
BOARD MEETING
Severson Dells Nature Center
June 21, 2011 – 6:30 PM

PRESENT STAFF
Randy Olson – President Thomas Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Mary McNamara-Bernsten Tom Hartley, Development
Jay Ferraro Mike Durand, Golf
Audrey Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Gloria Lind
Cheryl Maggio SEVERSON BOARD GUESTS
Dan Kasten, President Don Miller
Jack Armstrong Constance McCarthy
Don Barrett
Lenae Weichel
ROLL CALL
At 6:38, recording secretary Judi Day called the roll. All seven Commissioners were present.

PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE
Mary McNamara-Bernsten offered an inspirational reading and led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL of MINUTES Minutes for May 10 were approved.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION and PRESENTATIONS
Severson Dells Nature Center – President Dan Kasten introduced the board members present and Don Miller, Severson’s Executive Director for 22 years. After a video presentation, Don gave an overview of the Nature Center’s educational outreach. Over 3,000 students visit Severson Dells and other preserves annually. Another 2,000 students receive environmental classes in their schools. Unfortunately, school budget cuts are resulting in reduced funding for field trips. The staff administers walks and lectures for all ages year-round, including some at the former Pecatonica Education Center. The Nature Center operates with an annual budget of $271,000, of which $191,000 is personnel expense. All this with only four full-time staff and 70+ volunteers. Much of the Center’s revenue results from their fundraising breakfast held in November each year. Dan and Don both thanked the Forest Preserve District for its assistance in grounds and building maintenance as well as monetary support for Severson.

ACTION ITEMS
Board schedule – Mary McNamara-Bernsten moved to change the regular meetings of the Board from Tuesdays to the third Wednesday of each month and Audrey Johnson seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Tax abatement – The District received a request from the City of Rockford’s Department of Economic Development to abate real estate taxes for Rail Construction Equipment Company for two years. Jay Ferraro moved to approve and Mary seconded. After discussion, Audrey moved to lay over this item for further review, and Gloria Lind seconded. Motion to lay over passed unanimously.

Community Tree Advocate Program (CTA) – Mary moved and Jay seconded to approve the District’s involvement in the CTA. Motion passed unanimously. Four agencies – the County, the Park District, the City of Rockford, and the Forest Preserve District will each contribute $10,000 for three years to spearhead this community outreach program for public education in tree health, management practices, and tree selection. Grants and donations will also be sought. Judy Barnard will represent the District on the CTA advisory committee. The resolution was amended to specify a one-year involvement, with the remaining two years after annual evaluation of its effectiveness.

Prevailing wage – Jay moved and Gloria seconded to approve the determination of the prevailing rate of hourly wages as of June 1, as supplied by the Illinois department of Labor. Motion passed unanimously.

BOARD DISCUSSION
2012 budget calendar – Tom Kalousek reviewed the dates set aside for budget reviews, etc. Guidelines used for budget preparation will be presented on July 20.

COPS grant application – Randy Olson submitted an application to the U.S. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services for a COPS Hiring Program grant on behalf of the District.

ADA consultant – Cheryl Maggio inquired whether the District could perform this function in-house. Tom Hartley explained that the consultant is already on site and conducting the audit and that the process is too complicated; the consultant hired for the job is expert in the requirements expected for ADA compliance. Tom Kalousek added that the District needs to establish a compliance plan by March 2012. We can begin prioritizing the needed projects during budget preparation.

STAFF REPORTS
Public auction – Vaughn Stamm told the Board that the public auction netted the District $9,491, besides the $17,000 gained from selling three pickup trucks to the County.

Revenue statistics – Vaughn explained the revenue sources for camping, shelterhouse, flying field, equestrian tags, etc.

Golf – Mike Durand described the challenge of overcoming the 71 days revenue already lost due to course closings this spring.

CLOSED SESSION
At 7:54, the meeting was closed to discuss land acquisition. At 8:28, the meeting reopened. No action was taken while in closed session.

Land acquisition – Audrey moved and Mary seconded to approve the submission of a grant application to the Illinois Clean Energy Community Fund for the purchase of the 81-acre Bernier property, adjacent to Deer Run Forest Preserve. Openlands will also apply for a grant, to the Grand Victoria Foundation. Motion passed unanimously.

ANNOUNCEMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS
• Special Districts Forum will be held September 25 to 28 in North Virginia.
• Letter from Jane Snively, Director of Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden, thanking us for providing golf cars for use at the Garden Fair.

ADJOURN
At 8:30, President Olson adjourned the meeting.
Judi Day
Recording Secretary