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 December 20, 2017

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Severson Dells

December 20, 2017


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                                                Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jeff Tilly                                                           Ann Wasser, Education

Jake Henry                                                      Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program



The meeting was called to order at 5:32 PM, by President Barnard, at Severson Dells.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Jeff Tilly led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for November 15 were approved.  No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



Severson Dells Nature Center Update – Ann Wasser gave an update on a few of the changes at Severson Dells.  A few of those changes are that Severson now has Wi-Fi, and the path leading to the building has been re-surfaced and landscaped.


2018 Restoration Manual – Tom Hartley distributed the 2018 Restoration Manual.  He highlighted a few items in the manual including clarification of duties of the resource staff, as well what the resource staff has accomplished this year.  Lastly, he reviewed the goals for the upcoming year.


PDRMA Agency Summary Report – Vaughn Stamm distributed an Agency Summary Report.  Every three to four years PDRMA performs an audit for safety, workman’s compensation issues, and risk management.  The report Vaughn distributed was the summary of that audit.   The Preserves received an overall score of 97.51%.



Drive Thru Preserves – Judy would like the staff to look into whether or not any of the Preserves can be more accessible to people that are unable to get out of the car.  She would like to see a drive thru Preserve that would allow people to be able to see things from their cars.  She is asking the Staff to look into what Preserves may qualify.  In addition, she would like to see better signage along the roads that identify Preserves.

Changes to Ledges Golf Course Entrance – The Ledges Golf Course entrance is not very aesthetically pleasing and some things are not very appealing to the users of the courses.  The golf staff has put together a list of ideas that they would like to see at the Ledges, and other golf courses, to try to get the clubhouses and courses more attractive.  A few of the changes staff has made already are moving dumpsters, and clearing trees from the course.



Bills for November – Mike Eickman made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for November in the amount of $354,871.92.   Motion passed unanimously. 


Bills – ACH Account – The Preserves incurred monthly operating expenditures paid through the ACH account in fiscal year 2017.   The invoices have been reviewed by Finance Director, Steve Chapman and he avows them to be accurate.  Gloria Lind made a motion and Jeff Tilly seconded, that the payments were reviewed and confirm that they were made during the 2017 Fiscal year, in the amount of $51,208.32.  Motion passed unanimously.


Sheriff’s Contract – The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department has provided police services in the past within the Preserves located in Winnebago County under an intergovernmental cooperation agreement.  The Sheriff is agreeable with continuing to provide police services within the Preserves and the Preserves are agreeable to continue those services that the Sheriff’s Department is providing.  Due to a typo in the contract, Audrey Johnson made a motion and Jeff Tilly seconded, to amend the contract to be changed from 5 vehicle squad cars, to 3 vehicles.  Motion passed unanimously.  Once the amendment was passed, Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Jeff Tilly seconded to accept the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department for Police Services in the amount of $185,430.74, as amended.  Motion passed (5-1) Jake Henry voted no.


Budget Amendment – Insurance Fund – The Preserves have decided to change their Health, Dental and Life Insurance effective January 1, 2018 from Winnebago County to Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative.  A new Health Insurance Fund account is needed due to a change of insurers.  The expenditures for Health, Dental, Life, Voluntary Life and Vision will be paid from that fund.   The expenditures will be paid by contributions from the District and the employees.  Gloria Lind made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded to amend the Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance for the period November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018 to include a new Health Insurance Fund.  Roll Call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously.


Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy – The Preserves has an Employee Personnel Policy Manual which includes a Prohibited Harassment Policy as Appendix B that does not comply with all of the new language.  The Preserves amended the current Policy based on a template provided by the insurance carrier, Park District Risk Management Agency.  The Corporate Attorney, Chuck Prorok, of Prorok Law, reviewed the amended policy and agrees that the policy complies with the amendment to Public Act 100-0554 Section 70-5, which states that all governmental entities shall adopt an ordinance or   resolution establishing a policy prohibiting sexual harassment which includes language that (1) prohibits sexual harassment; (2) details how an individual can report sexual harassment and confidentiality of the report; (3) prohibits retaliation and protection under the Whistleblower Act; and (4) explains the consequences of a violation or knowingly making false reports.  Jeff Tilly made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded that the Preserves adopt the amended Prohibited Harassment Policy now titled Non-Discrimination and Harassment Policy.   Roll Call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously.


Advance Approval for Commissioner Expenses – Pursuant to the Travel Expense Policy, which allows Commissioners to attend educational conferences related to their duties and be reimbursed for their expenses related to such conferences, Commissioner Judith Barnard wishes to attend the 2018 Vital Land Illinois Summit in Champaign on January 30-31, 2018.  The advance costs being requested is approximately $225.  Audrey Johnson made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded, that Commissioner Judith Barnard will either be reimbursed for expenses she incurs while attending the conference and/or will have those related expenses paid for in advance by the Preserves.  Roll Call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.  Vaughn also included an In-Kind Service Report with relation to Severson Dells.

 Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.

 Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman submitted a written report.

 Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.

Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.

Human Resources/Volunteer Program Report – Kim O’Malley submitted a written report.

Law Enforcement – Sheriff’s Department submitted a written report.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 6:46 pm.  At 7:20pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



December 21, Winter Solstice Concert at Severson Dells Nature Center, 7:00pm

January 20, Citizen Science Spotlight:  Celebrate the Impact of Local Citizen Science, Preserves Headquarters, 9:00 am-Noon



Meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, January 17, Preserve Headquarters


Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary