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 of Commissioner Minutes Oct. 17


Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


District Headquarters

October 17, 2012


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Mary McNamara-Bernsten – President                       Tom Kalousek, Executive Director

Judy Barnard                                                              Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                          Mike Durand, Golf

Lee Johnson                                                                Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Gloria Lind                                                                 Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Cheryl Maggio – 5:44 pm                                           Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Randy Olson                                                               Judi Day, Budget & Personnel

Mike Scheurich, Attorney

Lori McGirk, Attorney



Lynda Johnson            Jeff Tilly

Eric Stromberg            Lanae Weichel



The meeting was called to order at 5:37 pm.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


INVOCATION and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Lee Johnson led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for September 19, 2012, 8:30 and 5:30 minutes were approved. There were no additions or changes to the agenda.



Prevailing Wage – Tom Kalousek informed the Commissioners that the District annually adopts the Illinois Department of Labor prevailing wage rates.  Any bidding contractors are required to meet the prevailing wage requirements.  Judy Barnard made a motion to adopt the Illinois Department of Labor general prevailing rate of hourly wages in Winnebago County for each craft or type of workman or mechanic needed to execute such construction contracts as certified by the Illinois Department of Labor.  Motion passed unanimously.


Agreement with Highway Department –Tom Hartley has requested that the Winnebago County Highway Department do inspections on six bridges located in Kishwaukee River East, Hononegah, Seward Bluffs and Blackhawk Springs.  The Highway Department will charge for the inspections at an hourly rate.  Audrey Johnson made a motion to approve the agreement between the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District and the Winnebago County Highway Department for inspection of the bridges named above.  Motion passed unanimously.


2013 Holiday Schedule – The District observes thirteen holidays, five of which are floating holidays wherein the District offices and shops remain open.  They are the same holidays that have been authorized by the Board for the last several years.  Gloria Lind made a motion to approve the holiday schedule for 2013.  Motion passed unanimously.



Payment of Bills  – Steve Chapman presented the invoices to be paid in October, which he reviewed and deemed accurate and appropriate for payment.  Audrey Johnson made a motion to authorize the payment of the October bills totaling $528,359.77, to be paid by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.    Motion passed unanimously.




Budget Ordinance – The Budget and Appropriations Ordinance was laid over from the September 5 board meeting.  There were a few minor revisions made, due to the fact that the new Executive Director has not yet been hired.  This change reduced the expenditures in the Retirement Fund, which reduced the tax rate necessary to maintain that fund balance.  So the reduced tax rate in the Retirement Fund resulted in an increased tax rate in the Corporate Fund.  Judy Barnard moved to adopt the 2012-2013 Budget and Appropriations Ordinance as revised.  Roll call vote was taken.  Motion passed unanimously.


Levy Ordinance – The Levy Ordinance was also laid over from the September 5board meeting.  The tax rate of .10576 and the total levy remain the same.  Judy Barnard made a motion to adopt the 2013 Levy Ordinance.  Roll call vote was taken.  Motion passed unanimously.




Strategic Planning – Gloria Lind would like to have Pam Clark Reidenbach do an overall review at Thursday’s strategic planning board meeting.  Mary McNamara-Bernsten advised that Pam is planning on doing a review.  Judi Day reminded the Commissioners that the meeting will be at 9 AM.


Klehm Arboretum – Mary McNamara-Bernsten, Tom Kalousek, Vaughn Stamm, Tom Hartley and Judi Day met with Klehm Arboretum President Alise Howlett, former President John Richards and the Finance Director Bridgett Coleman.  Klehm is in the process of trying to find an Executive Director.  Mary would like to have one of the Commissioners start going to some of Klehm’s board meetings, and have their Executive Director come to the District’s board meetings. Mary also suggested one or two Commissioners go to Severson Dells’s and Macktown Living History’s board meetings.  Gloria announced that she has been going to the Rockford Park District’s meetings, and thinks it is a good idea to come back and share information and ideas.


Commissioner’s Exposure – Gloria would like to see the Board meetings moved around to different areas of the County.  After the first of  the year, and of course with proper notification to the media, she feels it would be a good idea to have the meetings in different locations such as Rockton/Roscoe, Cherry Valley, possibly holding a meeting at Booker Washington or St. Elizabeth Centers. Judy Barnard liked the idea as well and suggested going to Macktown and the Pecatonica Outdoor Education Center.  She then suggested that maybe have one meeting a quarter at a different location.  Cheryl Maggio suggested having a meeting on a Saturday morning.  Audrey liked the idea but encouraged Commissioners to participate in other events as well so the public can also get to know the Commissioners.




Marketing – Jamie Johannsen reported that the first four hikes in the series of fall guided hikes that have been held throughout the month of October netted 40 hikers. The hikes were well publicized, and were held on three Sundays and three Wednesdays.   The last hike will be Sunday, October 21, at Kieselburg.  To publicize these events a news release was done, and flyers were sent through Rockford and Loves Park elementary schools.  It was also on the District’s website; flyers were distributed at the Winnebago County Wellness Fair; and on Facebook.  After each hike there were photos displayed on the website.  Two eblasts were sent out to the email subscriber list, and the Master Naturalists.


Jamie also announced that the last time Commissioners were running there was an online form for candidates to fill out to inform people about themselves.  Jamie now has that form ready and it has been sent to the current candidates.  The candidates responses are now up on the District’s website, and can be viewed by the public.  Jamie thanked everybody for taking the time to fill that out.


Finally Jamie announced that the Severson Dells fundraising breakfast is Tuesday, October 30 at 7:30 AM at Giovanni’s.


Land & Development – Tom Hartley showed pictures of Towering Pines and Indian Rest shelters that are undergoing renovation at Hononegah Forest Preserve.  They will be done within the week and ready for next years’ shelter reservations.


Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm reported that the campgrounds will be closed approximately mid-November.  It has been a good season.  He also announced that preserve gates will be open as long as possible so people can drive through and enjoy the weather.


Vaughn also reported that the Ducks Unlimited fall dinner is coming up.  If Commissioners are interested in attending, contact Vaughn.  The dinner is November 8, from 5-9 PM at Giovanni’s.


Vaughn also announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a heart saver AED grant program.  Vaughn applied on behalf of the District and it would entail the District getting a new unit.


Vaughn met with Jackie Pierce, the representative from PDRMA, and discussed the safety review process that will take place in 2013.  It is an ongoing process throughout the year in which they will meet and observe the staff, safety, and training.


Golf report – Mike Durand announced the end of golf season is near.  The Ledges will be open through October 31, Macktown will be open until approximately mid-November, and Atwood will remain open as long as turf and weather conditions permit.   As for golf statistics, the trend has continued where the majority is daily greens fees vs. season passes.  Mike also mentioned the PDRMA field review that will occur next year.  As the golf season winds down, the full time employees will be working on PDRMA requirements, maintenance and all of the compliance procedures that need to be in place by March 2013.


Law Enforcement report – Terry Nordberg reported that September was a busy month.  Terry also mentioned a letter of commendation that he sent to Chief Deputy Ditzler regarding Senior Deputy Tom Brimhall.  Deputy Brimhall went above and beyond by coming up with a plan to catch vandals in the Fuller Memorial Forest Preserve that have been a problem for the District for the last several years.  His plan was successful and the suspects were taken into custody.



Meeting adjourned at 6:12.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Monday, November 19, District Headquarters

Strategic planning meetings, 9:00 AM, Thursday, October 18 and 25, Headquarters


Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary