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 20, 2021

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

January 20, 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 Mill, Klehm Arboretum

      Michael Marti, Sugar River Adventures



The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM, by President Tilly.  Recording secretary Kristy Knapp called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE       Jake Henry led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for December 16, 2020 were approved. Harassment training was moved to the end of the meeting.  No other changes were made to the agenda.



Mike Holan addressed the Personnel Policy that was handed out to the Board members. Legal counsel has reviewed the Policy and it will be brought to the next Board meeting for approval. Mike also announced that Jim Pirages, legal counsel for the Forest Preserves has left Hinshaw and Culbertson. Mike asked the Board to decide what should be done with the Forest Preserves’ records. The Board’s consensus is to have the files sent to Forest Preserve Headquarters. Lastly, Mike discussed the Ledges clubhouse and the needed repairs of the building. There is money in the budget to do some of the repairs to the clubhouse but now might be a good time to talk about the possibility of demolishing the building and replacing it. Mike’s concern is that the building is to a point where the repairs are going to be too costly. There was discussion between the Board and staff regarding the clubhouse, deferred maintenance and the possibility of collecting money from the casino project. The Board has asked Mike to provide a list of the top 20 most needed projects.



Sugar River Adventures Agreement – Mike Holan addressed the Board regarding the relationship between Sugar River Adventures and the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. In the year 2020 the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County issued Sugar River Adventures a permit to launch tubes and kayaks at the Colored Sands and Yale Bridge canoe launches and to use the Sugar River canoe launch as a takeout location as part of Sugar River Adventures’ business venture. Sugar River Adventures operated at the canoe launches in the summer of 2020 and was compliant with all stipulations of the permit. Sugar River Adventures made a request to renew their permit and requested to do so for more than one year. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County felt that Sugar River Adventures was a responsible permit holder and is willing to enter into a license agreement with Sugar River Adventures for multiple years instead of just issuing a permit. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s legal counsel Sosnowski/Szeto drafted a license agreement between Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Sugar River Adventures for a period of two (2) years beginning on March 1, 2021 and ending on February 28, 2023 with the possibility of a two (2) year extension if both parties agree. The Board discussed the proposed contract in regards to the 2-year extension, an out in the contract and where the revenue should be allocated.  Judy Barnard made a motion, Mike Eickman seconded to authorizes the License Agreement between the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Sugar River Adventures for a period of two (2) years with a possible two (2) year extension. Motion passed unanimously.


Bills for December – Judy Barnard made a motion, Audrey Johnson seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for December in the amount of $512,308.98.  Motion passed unanimously.


Purchase of Replacement Truck – As part of the 2021 capital budget, the board approved for replacements of the following trucks: #143 North Area Preserve Maintenance – 2003 GMC 2500 4×4 pickup truck w/ snowplow & salt spreader with over 176,300 miles. This truck is prioritized for replacement because of corrosion & mechanical issues. #355 South Area Preserve Maintenance – 2008 Ford F250, 4×4 pickup truck w/snowplow & salt spreader with over 135,000 miles. This truck is prioritized for replacement because of body, bed, & frame corrosion and mechanical issues with the snowplow. There are currently no active State Bid Contracts available for these vehicles so a call for bids was sent out to area dealerships. Sealed bids were opened on January 8th, at 10:00am at Headquarters and the low bid received was from Manley Ford in Belvidere, Illinois for two (2) 2021 Ford F250 4×4 standard cab pickup trucks with snowplow and salt spreader. The cost as specified is $39,716.15 for each 2021 Ford F250 4×4 standard cab pickup trucks with snowplow and salt spreader, totaling $79,432.30 for both trucks, for which the staff budgeted $96,000.00 for these trucks collectively in the 2021 budget.  Audrey Johnson made a motion, Gloria Lind and Mike Eickman seconded to approve the purchase of replacement pickup trucks.  Motion passed unanimously.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Scott Stewart, Scott Wallace & Bryan Helmold submitted a written report. Vaughn addressed the submitted 2020 in-kind service report for Klehm Arboretum.


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


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


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report. Ann spoke on the virtual training that is being done for the community science program. She also mentioned that all the AmeriCorps positions are now posted.


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


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



Harassment Training – Kim O’Malley presented a harassment training video.  All employees are required to watch the video annually.



Cheryl Maggio asked about the OSLAD grants and Mike Holan stated the grants are on hold indefinitely.







Meeting adjourned at 6:44 PM.

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



Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Recording Secretary