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 January 15, 2020

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

January 15, 2020


PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                  Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                 Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                              Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Cheryl Maggio                                                 Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

     Ann Wasser, Education

     Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program


ABSENT                                                        GUESTS

Gloria Lind                                                     Alex Mills, Klehm Arboretum

Jeff Tilly

Jake Henry



The meeting was called to order at 5:29 PM, by Vice President Mike Eickman.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE      Cheryl Maggio led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for December 18, 2019 were approved.  No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



No presentations or public participation on this date.



Strategic Plan Meeting – The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 8 at 11:00 a.m.  Judy mentioned that Pam Reidenbach will meet with the Commissioners to discuss the existing objectives and see if any new goals should be added.  Mike then mentioned that the Board should talk about the future of the Preserves in relation to what services the Preserves will provide, not provide, etc.  He would specifically like to talk about the campgrounds, review the golf course plans, including future upgrades, and services to the golf courses. Judy requested the numbers for the last 5 years of shelter house rentals and campground use.


Dog policy at Severson Dells –Cheryl Maggio asked how the new dog policy was going at Severson Dells.  Previously, there was a no dogs allowed policy.  Currently there is a “dog must be leashed” policy and the Severson Dells board members and staff want a no dog policy.  Some of the Commissioners would like to see a no dog policy at Severson only.  It was decided to discuss the policy at the Strategic Plan meeting in February and come up with a policy.



Attorney – Mike contacted Chuck Prorok last week to let him know we will need his services soon.  Attorney Prorok let Mike know that he will no longer be able to represent the Preserves due to health issues.  As a result, Mike would like the Board to decide how they would like to proceed in seeking out a new Attorney for the Preserves.  Judy suggested all Commissioners email Mike their suggestions so a decision can be made quickly.  Steve Chapman suggested when calling firms, be sure to ask who would actually be representing the Preserves, in addition to asking about their background/experience.



Bills for December 2019 – Judy Barnard made a motion, Audrey Johnson seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for December 2019 in the amount of $339,378.03.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Budget Amendment for Vehicle Repairs – On the morning of November 17, 2019, a pickup truck with snowplow and a trailer attached driven by an employee was involved in an incident. The employee was traveling south bound on Meridian Road when the tire caught the edge of the pavement and veered off of the roadway and when the driver attempted to correct it, the truck and trailer spun into the northbound ditch causing significant damages to the driveline of the pickup truck, the plow frame assembly, and the trailer frame.  An incident report was filed with PDRMA who subsequently assigned an adjuster to assess the damages and advise on repairs. The pickup truck and snowplow assembly was repaired however the trailer was deemed too old to be repaired and was scrapped.  After the Preserves covered the $1,000 deductible, PDRMA reimbursed the Preserves for all repair costs and for the value of the trailer which collectively totaled $8,429.11.  Typically, there is a nominal amount budgeted annually for each department to cover minor contractual equipment repairs when the Preserves cannot perform them or to cover the cost of a deductible when there is an incident or accident.  Because of the dollar amount associated with this incident and the subsequent cost of contractual repairs staff is recommending amending the budget in order to pay for these costs directly from the Preserve Supplies Services budget (Equipment Repair), which should facilitate the audit process much better.  Audrey Johnson made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded to amend the Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance for the period from November 1, 2019 through October 31, 2020 to amend the Preserves Supplies and Services Budget (Equipment Repair).  Roll call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously.


Purchase of Mowers on State Bid –As part of the 2020 capital budget, the board approved replacement of 3 zero-turn 72” front deck diesel powered mowers for the preserve maintenance departments.  They are replacing three of the older front deck mowers.  The mowers have been identified and prioritized for replacement because of the age of each unit, and because of worn decks and drivelines.  The current State Bid Contract awarded to John Deere Corporation provides for a diesel powered zero-turn 72” front deck mower which meets the specifications needed by the Preserves for this application.  These mowers would be new 2020 model year John Deere Z997R Diesel powered unites with 72” mower deck.  Total cost as specified for these mowers is $48,601.80 ($16,200.60 each x 3).  Retail price is listed as $25,349 each.  As part of the 2020 Capital Budget $60,000 has been budgeted for these mowers.  By participating in the State Bid, the Preserves would be getting the best price possible.  Judy Barnard made a motion and Audrey Johnson seconded to approve the purchase of 3 zero-turn 72” front deck John Deere Z997R diesel powered mowers.  Motion passed unanimously.



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


Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman submitted a written report.  Vaughn reviewed the annual year-ending expense report for the golf course.  He applauded the staff for doing a great job.


Land and Development – Natural Resource Staff 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 6:01 pm.  At 6:54 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



Alex Mills announced that Klehm received a $15,000 grant in November from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust.

Mike Holan announced that Joe Vanderwerff from the Highway Department is retiring.

Ann Wasser announced that Mick Johnson, Director of Operations from Boone County is retiring.



Meeting adjourned at 7:29 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, February 19, Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary