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 June 16, 2021

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

June 16, 2021


PRESENT                                                      STAFF

Judy Barnard-5:32pm                                     Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                 Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                              Vaughn Stamm, Operations -7:19pm

Gloria Lind                                                       Ann Wasser, Education

Cheryl Maggio                                                 Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program

Jeff Tilly                                                           Samantha Crooks, Communication


ABSENT                                                        GUESTS

Jake Henry                                                      Alex Mills, Klehm Arboretum

       Greg Ragan

       Gary Acaley



The meeting was called to order at 5:31 PM, by President Tilly.  Recording secretary Kristy Knapp called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Mike Eickman led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for May 19, 2021 were approved. New Position-Severson Dells was added to closed session. No other changes or additions were added to the agenda.



Private Golf Carts – Greg Ragan, 7042 Kinnikinnick Dr., Roscoe addressed the Board of Commissioners on behalf of his neighborhood. Greg stated that there are many people in his neighborhood that are interested in possible options to allow them to use their own golf carts. Gary Acaley, 1237 N. Ledges, Roscoe addressed the Board of Commissioners. He is one of the 18 that are grandfathered to use their private carts and hopes the forest preserve continues to honor what they committed to 12 years ago. He does not want this option to be eliminated for the current private cart owners.


Mike Holan introduced Samantha Crooks, the new communication coordinator. Samantha gave a brief background on herself and spoke on her goals for the forest preserve.  The Board welcomed Samantha and is excited about the changes.



Solar Power for Klehm – Mike Holan addressed the Board of Commissioners regarding the three concerns from last month’s meeting. The Forest Preserves’ attorney looked over the agreement and saw no real concerns and thinks it would be beneficial for Klehm if the Forest Preserve allowed the solar panels. Mike has some concerns regarding the integrity of the roof and coming up with a maintenance plan. Also, the agreement states if the nonprofit organization leaves another nonprofit organization would have to take over, insinuating the solar panels will stay with the building. A qualified tenant agreement will need to be signed for Klehm to proceed. Mike asked the Board of Commissioners for a consensus on the solar panel program. The Board’s consensus is to approve the solar panel program and authorize Mike Holan to sign the agreement.  Mike Holan also stated that some type of maintenance agreement will need to be created whenever the asset is turned over to the Forest Preserve. Alex Mills mentioned how excited they are for this program and if they do not qualify there is an Illinois Clean Energy solar program coming up in August. Judy Barnard asked if the forest preserve has explored solar panels for the Administration building and Mike Holan stated we have not at this time.



Quarterly Finance Report – The Interim Financial Results and the Corporate Fund Details for November 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021 were distributed to the Board of Commissioners and staff. Steve Chapman reviewed the finance reports with the Board of Commissioners. The Board thanked Steve.



Bills for May – Mike Eickman made a motion, and Gloria Lind seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for May in the amount of $517,172.00. Motion passed unanimously.


Budget Amendment – Mike Holan spoke to the Board of Commissioners about the Budget Amendment that did not get approved at last month’s Board meeting. The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s revenues in FY 2019/2020 were higher and expenses lower than projected, creating a fund balance in the Corporate Fund that will allow Forest Preserves of Winnebago County to complete additional projects totaling approximately $300,000.  There are three projects that the total cost can be completed within this price range.  The first project is a deep well pump replacement at Ledges Golf Course for $24,080, second is the replacement of the septic field at Central Shop totaling $15,721, and lastly is the asphalt replacement of the entrance road, turnaround and upper two parking lots at Klehm totaling approximately $240,000. The farthest north lot at Klehm will not be done with this project. The $300,000 in appropriations shall be added to the 2020-2021 fiscal year Corporate Expense Fund under expenses in Capital Outlay. Audrey Johnson stated the bridge to the parking area at Klehm looks like it also needs some repairs, Mike Holan will look into it.  Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Judy Barnard seconded to approve the Budget Amendment.  Roll call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously (6-0).

Mitchell Farm Acquisition Contract (Moved before New Position-Severson Dells due to closed session) – Mike Holan presented a map and spoke on the details of the property with the Board of Commissioners. Mike Holan was approached by the owner of property in the north central part of Winnebago County inquiring if the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County might consider buying the property, known as the Mitchell Property, which is adjacent to Calvin & Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve. Mike presented the Mitchell Property to the Board of Commissioner in closed session and the consensus of the Board was to allow Mike to make an offer on the property. Mike made an offer and came to an agreed upon price, based on the appraised value, with the property owner of $110,882.00 for the Mitchell Property excluding approximately 1.1 acres of land, that includes the residence, garage and vacant parcel to the north of the residence. The seller’s attorney wrote up a purchase contract and contract rider that has been reviewed and edited by Mike Holan and the Forest Preserves’ attorney, Aaron Szeto. The Forest Preserve may sell off sections or all of the Mitchell Property that contain encroachments by neighboring land owners to those owners that in total will be no more than two (2) acres in area. The encroachments will be surveyed and offered for sale to the neighboring land owners, which the land owners will need to accept the property. The property encompasses approximately 29.7 acres in its entirety.  The Board of Commissioners authorize the President of the Board of Commissioners to sign the purchase contract and rider for the Mitchell Property. The sale of the property will also go to estate court for approval.  Mike Eickman made a motion, and Judy Barnard seconded to approve the purchase of the Mitchell Farm Property.  Roll call vote taken.  Motion passed unanimously (6-0)


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


Land and Development – 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. Ann announced that all the youth camps and grandparent camps are full with waiting list. The Readings from the Rookery is fuller than it ever has been.


Human Resources/Volunteer Program Report – Kim O’Malley submitted a written report. Kim announced the R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday this weekend at Deer Run Forest Preserve from 9am – 12:00pm.


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


Judy Barnard asked if money from the memorial benches go to an endowment fund. Mike Holan stated that the benches are priced for double the amount of the bench for a one-time replacement, if needed, in the seven-year warranty period and the money goes into the general fund.



Audrey Johnson made a motion to go into closed session at 6:14 pm.  At 7:19 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



New Position-Severson Dells – After much discussion by the Commissioners in closed session, Audrey Johnson made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded that the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County Board of Commissioners will Lay on the Table the new position at Severson Dells to review the funding with the Severson Dells’ Board.



June 19 – Nurture Nature at a R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday at Deer Run Forest Preserve, Saturday from 9:00am – 12:00pm


July 17 – Nurture Nature at a R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday at Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve, Saturday from 9:00am – 12:00pm


Mike Holan announced the Employee Appreciation Picnic on July 28th. The menu will be passed around to make a selection.



Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Next board meeting, 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 21, Forest Preserve Headquarters


Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Recording Secretary