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 February 17, 2021

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

February 17, 2021


PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                  Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                 Steve Chapman, Finance

Jake Henry                                                      Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                              Ann Wasser, Education

Gloria Lind-via Zoom                                      Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program

Cheryl Maggio

Jeff Tilly


     Alex Mills, Klehm Arboretum



The meeting was called to order at 5:34 PM, by President Tilly.  Recording secretary Kristy Knapp called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Audrey Johnson led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for January 20, 2021 were approved. Casino was added under New Business. No other changes were made to the agenda.



Legal Services – Mike Holan gave an update regarding the legal records that are being sent to Forest Preserve Headquarters from Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. Mike also recommends using Sosnowski/Szeto LLP for all legal services.



Finance Report – The Interim Financial Results and the Corporate Fund Details for November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021 were distributed to the Board of Commissioners and staff. Steve Chapman reviewed the finance reports. There was discussion regarding the marketing budget.


Casino – Judy Barnard addressed the Board regarding the Casino Project. Judy recommends Mike Holan including a couple Board members speak with Mayor Tom McNamara about the 815 Community Foundation. Mike agreed to reach out to Mayor McNamara.



Bills for January – Judy Barnard made a motion, Audrey Johnson seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for January in the amount of $332,248.61.  Motion passed unanimously.


Acceptance of Bids for Fertilizers & Chemicals – Bids on fertilizers and pesticides were presented. These materials are used for application on our golf courses and forest preserve restoration sites.  These products are handled and applied by personnel licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  These quantities are similar to last year’s and are budgeted out of various departments. All the fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides included in this bid are registered through the Environmental Protection Agency and have been approved for use on public golf courses and forest preserves. Mike Eickman made a motion and Audrey Johnson seconded to approve the purchase of fertilizers and chemicals as per the attached list for a total price of $59,033.19.  Motion passed unanimously.


Closed Session Minutes – The Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County entered into a closed session meeting during several regularly scheduled monthly Board meetings to discuss the acquisition of three properties. Those closed session meetings took place at the August 21, 2019, January 15, 2020, February 19, 2020 and June 17, 2020 Board of Commissioners monthly meetings. The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has since purchased the properties discussed during those closed sessions. There is no longer reason to conceal the land acquisition information discussed during those closed sessions. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded to approve the closed session meeting minutes containing information regarding the acquisition of the Ferguson, Lithuanian Club and Funderburg properties be opened for public access.  Motion passed unanimously.


Personnel Policy – The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County utilizes a Personnel Policy Manual to dictate agency policies and protocols. The Personnel Policy Manual needed to be updated to be congruent and current with new laws, requirements, agency changes and technological advances. The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County administrative staff made revisions to the Personnel Policy Manual to make it congruent and current. The Personnel Policy Manual was reviewed by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County legal counsel, Sosnowski/Szeto LLP, and appropriate edits were made by legal counsel. The Personnel Policy Manual was presented for review to the Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County at the January 2021 Board meeting. The Personnel Policy Manual approved via this Resolution supersedes any and all Personnel Policies or Manuals previously in place prior to this Manual and will be distributed to all full time and part time staff and an abbreviated version of the Personnel Policy Manual distributed to all seasonal staff. Since distribution at the January Board meeting, the wording pertaining to the vacation policy was updated. A revised copy was handed out to the Board of Commissioners. Judy Barnard made a motion and Audrey Johnson seconded to approve the revised Personnel Policy Manual.  Motion passed unanimously.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Scott Stewart, Scott Wallace and Bryan Helmold submitted a written report.


Land and Development – The Natural Resource Staff submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman 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.



Judy Barnard asked about the Deer Management Program. Mike Holan stated there were 50 deer taken in 3-4 days, including one of the two at Klehm Arboretum. Staff wants to concentrate on getting the last deer at Klehm and then focus on the Funderburg property. All deer are tested for CWD. Judy also questioned the amount of wood duck eggs in the Natural Resource report. Mike Holan and Mike Eickman addressed her question.


Mike Eickman request that he be notified if Natural Resource staff cuts brush at Colored Sands due to wire/rebar concerns.


Jeff Tilly passed out copies of Mike Holan’s performance evaluation to the Board of Commissioners. The performance evaluation will be added under closed session at next month’s Board meeting.


Judy Barnard asked to start having discussion regarding the future of funding for land acquisitions. Judy also asked if the Forest Preserve can buy or borrow car counters for some of the busier preserves. Mike Holan stated he would look into the car counters but that they should be in the preserves for a full year for best results. It is not recommended to use them at the preserves with campgrounds. This may be a good idea for grant purposes.



Meeting adjourned at 6:15 PM.

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



Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Recording Secretary