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 August 17, 2016

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

August 17, 2016


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                          Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Gloria Lind                                                                  Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Cheryl Maggio                                                             Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Mary McNamara Bernsten                                          Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jeff Tilly                                                                       Don Miller, Education



Lee Johnson

Dan Riggs – Klehm Arboretum

Jake Henry

Jeremy Oster

Barbara Chevalier – Speer Financial, Inc.

Allison Hense


ROLL CALL            – The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM, by President Barnard. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Judy Barnard led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES – Minutes for July 20 were approved. No changes or additions were made to the agenda. Motion passed unanimously.



Jake Henry – Jake Henry addressed the issue of the Great Lakes Basin Railroad. He presented the Forest Preserves map and brought it to the attention of the Commissioners that the railroad extension would potentially run through the forest preserves. His concern is that the railroads would tear up, or damage the preserves. He is urging the Board to come out against the Railroad and would like to see them stand up and say no.


Klehm Arboretum Capital Assets & Overview of Klehm projects – Dan Riggs gave a presentation on the improvements and renovations to the Clarcor Pavilion. He is requesting the assets be transferred to the Preserves. Dan then gave an update on a few restoration projects that Klehm has started that will add to the diversity of the property. Dan also showed plans for a proposed event pavilion that the Klehm Board has approved funding for.


Jeremy Oster – He is a volunteer at The Gathering and Macktown Historic Center. He is an Archery Instructor, and would like to donate a $500 target for the re-enactments at Macktown. Slabaugh Services is willing to donate the dirt to go behind the target. In addition, he feels that having an Archery program at Macktown would be a wonderful addition to their programming and would like the Board to consider it. Mike Holan asked him to email a proposal to him.



Bills for July – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Mary McNamara Bernsten seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for July in the amount of $472,077.77. Motion passed unanimously.


Klehm Capital Assets – Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has made improvements to the Clarcor Pavilion and Sensory/Demonstration Garden which is on the grounds of the Carl and Lois Klehm Forest Preserve. The improvements include reconstruction of stone retaining walls, associated landscaping in the Sensory/Demonstration Garden, and the addition of a deck and French doors on the Clarcor Pavilion. The Klehm Board of Directors has approved the donation to the District. Mike Eickman made a motion, Mary McNamara Bernsten seconded. Motion passed unanimously.


Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Bonds in an Amount Not to Exceed $1,100,000 for the Purpose of Land Acquisition and Setting of the Bond Issue Notification Act Hearing – The Board has approved the purchase of the Johnson & Larson properties. Contracts are pending.   Grants have been applied for which will cover up to 80% of the purchase. However, if the Preserves are not awarded the grants, bonds will be used to purchase the properties. In the event grants are awarded to the Preserves, the bonds will be used to cover what the grants do not. Steve Chapman explained the process of extending the bonds. The District seeks to acquire these additional lands for forest preserves. The estimated cost of the Project including the District’s costs in connection with the borrowing of money, will not exceed $1,100,000. The District does not have sufficient funds on hand or available from other sources with which to pay the costs of the Project or to pay the District’s costs in connection with the borrowing of money. It is necessary and in the best interest of the District to borrow the sum not to exceed $1,100,000 in order to finance the costs of the Project and the costs in connection with the borrowing of money as described in this Resolution and, to evidence its obligation to repay the borrowing to issue its limited general obligation bonds in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $1,100,000. The source of repayment for the bonds shall be property taxes. Speer Financial, Hinshaw & Culbertson and Perkins Cole, LLP will be assisting the Preserves to complete all work necessary. Public notice and a hearing are required under the Bond Issue Notification Act in order for the bonds to be issued. The public hearing will be held on September 21, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Preserves District Headquarters, 5500 Northrock Drive, Rockford. Audrey Johnson made a motion, Jeff Tilly and Gloria Lind seconded, to authorize the Resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds in an amount not to exceed $1,100,000 for the purpose of land acquisition and the setting of the bond issue notification act hearing. A roll call vote was taken. Resolution passed unanimously.


Resolution to Address IMRF Requirements – Mike Holan announced that the board approved the extension of his employment contract. In the contract is the vehicle stipend, which is considered taxable income. Standard Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) member earnings reportable to the IMRF do not include expense allowances. The governing body of an IMRF participating unit of government may elect to include vehicle allowances in IMRF earnings as taxable expense allowances. The Board is authorized to include taxable expense allowances as earnings reportable to IMRF and it is desirable that it do so. Mary McNamara Bernsten made a motion, Mike Eickman and Gloria Lind seconded, to elect to include as earnings reportable to IMRF the vehicle allowance for the Executive Director as a taxable expense allowance effective April 10, 2013. Resolution passed unanimously.




Preliminary Budget Review – Board members were given a draft budget to review. Steve Chapman highlighted a few items and reviewed the budget assumptions. Judy has asked Mike to work with the staff on the 5 year capital projections. Mike directed the Commissioners to call him with any questions regarding the budget. The public hearing on the budget will be in October.


Four Lakes – Judy, Tom, Mike, Vaughn and Dave Mullin met with Andrew Di Allesandro of the US Fish & Wildlife Service about Four Lakes and the fishing opportunities there. The lakes are shallow, and are silting in, and there have been some failures on the dike between the lakes and the creek. The Preserves brought the USFWLS to Four Lakes to see if they can assist the Preserves with dredging Four Lakes to make it deeper, either monetarily or in any other way. It has been 40 years since Four Lakes has been dredged. The cost for dredging is approximately $500,000. The USFWLS doesn’t provide funds, but they may provide assistance with connections to other organizations that may be able to help. In addition to Four Lakes, they looked at the Gasparini property. Judy would like to have a meeting in early November to discuss the campgrounds, Four Lakes and the golf courses to see if there are any funds out there to assist with improvements that need to be done.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report. Mike had a correction on the golf report, video gaming update $647.18 is incorrect, the correct number is $741.19, and year to date is $1,151.00.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report. Jamie announced that this Saturday, August 20, is a monthly R.E.A.P. work day, and the Boy Scouts are doing the work. It is Scout Day through the Blackhawk Council. Also, October 1 is Fall for the Forest Preserves at Atwood Homestead and October 15 is Volunteer Appreciation Picnic at Hononegah.


Education – Don Miller submitted a written report. Audrey thanked Don Miller for the wonderful canoe trip.


Law Enforcement – Terry Nordberg submitted written report.




August 20th – R.E.A.P. – Workday and Guided Butterfly Hike at Kieselburg Forest Preserve from 9am to Noon

September 17th – R.E.A.P. – Workday and Fishing on the Rock River at J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve from 9am to Noon




Meeting adjourned at 6:45 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, September 21st, Preserves Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary