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 May 17, 2017

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

May 17, 2017


PRESENT                                                                  STAFF

Mike Eickman                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Audrey Johnson                                                           Steve Chapman, Finance

Gloria Lind                                                                   Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Cheryl Maggio                                                             Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Jake Henry                                                                  Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Ann Wasser, Education

Kim O’Malley, Volunteer Coordinator


Judy Barnard

Jeff Tilly



The meeting was called to order at 5:33 PM, by Board Secretary, Mike Eickman.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


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


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for April 19 were approved.  Minutes for April 26 were approved.   No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



No presentations or public participation at this meeting.



Lee Johnson’s retirement Party is May 21.  The Forest Preserves will be placing a sign at Sand Bluffs in honor of his 50 years of service to Sand Bluffs.



Bills for April – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Gloria Lind seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for April in the amount of $451,723.86.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Adopt Goal #6 into the Strategic Plan – The Board of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County adopted a Strategic Plan for the Preserves at the February 19, 2014 Board meeting.  The Board and Preserves staff review the Plan annually to determine the relevance of the Goals and Objectives of the Plan and make changes to the Plan as needed.  During the review of the Plan in 2017, it was determined by the Board that the Plan did not have a goal or Objectives related to the acquisition and purchase of land.  The Board appointed members to a Land Advisory Council and approved the refinancing of bonds so the Preserves could actively pursue the purchase and acquisition of land.  The Board has determined that a sixth Goal and Objectives relating to the purchase and acquisition of land, should be added to the Plan:


Goal #6-Acquire, protect and preserve land to protect the rich biodiversity of Winnebago County.

  • The Land Advisory Council will work with the Board of Commissioners to develop a prioritized plan to protect all remaining natural areas in the county in cooperation with other Organizations and agencies.
  • District staff will work with the Land Advisory Council to fill in gaps in existing preserves.
  • The Board will continue to seek ways to connect existing open lands to develop corridors for wildlife and for the benefit of the citizens of the county.
  • The Board will continue to seek funding to acquire, restore and maintain forest preserve land.


Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Gloria Lind seconded, that the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County amend the Strategic Plan by adopting the above Goal #6 and its related objectives. Motion passed 3-1 (Jake Henry voted no).


Jake Henry further went on to explain why he voted against the inclusion of Goal #6.  He takes issue with “…protect all remaining natural areas in the county in cooperation with other Organizations and agencies.”  When he asked this Board to step up and sign a Resolution to keep the Railroad out of the County, which would potentially wipe out natural areas such as farm land and wooded areas, the Board wouldn’t do it, yet that is one of the main goals.  Therefore he feels the Board is not sticking to the plan.  Tom Hartley added clarification to the definition natural areas.


Investment Policy – The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has funds for investment purposes.  The Preserves have an Investment Policy for the purpose of safe guarding funds, equitably distributing the investments and maximizing income and the Preserves.  This Investment Policy applies to the invested activities of all funds under the jurisdiction of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County Treasurer.  The Illinois Compiled Statutes will take precedence except where this Policy is more restrictive whereby this Policy will take precedence.  Steve Chapman proposed an amendment to the Investment Policy.  Under the Financial Institutions section he is proposing to remove the first part of the second sentence which reads “The Treasurer will take into consideration security, size, location, condition, service, fees and the community relation’s involvement of the financial institution should be considered when choosing a financial institution.  The second sentence will now read “Security, size, location, condition, service, fees and the community….”  Gloria Lind made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded to accept the proposed change to the Financial Institutions section of the Investment Policy. Motion passed unanimously. With the proposed change approved, Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Cheryl Maggio seconded that the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County Investment Policy be adopted and in full force and effect immediately upon its confirmation by the Board of Commissioners.  Motion passed unanimously.


Utility Vehicle Bid – There is a utility truckster at Macktown Golf Course that needs to be replaced.  $22,000 was allocated for a utility truckster in the 2017 budget in the Improvement and Development Fund.  Three bids were opened on May 11, with all three meeting or exceeding the required equipment specifications.  Even though the Toro from Reinders was not low bid for the utility vehicle specified, staff is recommending the purchase of the Toro HDX 2wd Workman from Reinders because the towing capacity is 3,500 lbs. versus 1,500 lbs. for the John Deere (low bid), and Reinders is providing an extended 2 years on the warranty for a total of 4 years versus a 2 year warranty for the John Deere.  Staff recommends awarding the purchase of the Toro HDX 2wd Workman to Reinders in the amount of $22,402.74.  As a result of the bid opening last month for the chemical sprayer which came in under the budgeted amount, sufficient funds are available in the 2017 Capital budget.  Gloria Lind made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded to approve the purchase of the Toro HDX 2wd Workman Truckster for $22,402.74 from Reinders.  Motion passed unanimously. 




Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Mike Holan submitted a written report.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.  Tom announced the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation did award the Preserves the grant for the Hoisington property on Kishwaukee Street.  It was funded for 80% of the acquisition costs.  The property was $626,000 and they funded $501,000 of that acquisition and they also funded $10,000 maximum for restoration, and that would be used in that particular project for erosion control.  The Preserves will be making a public announcement about the awarding of this grant.


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


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.


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


Executive Director – Meeting with Chairman Haney.  Mike met with Chairman Haney and Amanda Hamaker.  He thought the meeting went well and they discussed concerns about the healthcare plans, and Mike is getting quotes on an independent policy as well, but he does not feel the County is going to drop the Preserves as of yet.  The Chairman is still reviewing the Contract with the Preserves, and Mike is expecting a few changes to the Contract in the future.  Mike also announced that the liquor license through Machesney Park for Atwood Golf Course has been approved.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 5:58 pm to discuss Personnel.  At 6:21 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



May 20 – Nurture Nature at a R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday at Hononegah Forest Preserve, Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. –Noon

May 20 – Get Outside, Get Healthy! Kick-off Celebration at Hononegah Forest Preserve, Saturday, from Noon-3:00 p.m.

May 24 – Wildflower Walk at Rotary Forest Preserve, 6:00 p.m.

May 30 – Wildflower Walk at Colored Sands Forest Preserve, 6:00 p.m.

June 7 – Wildflower Walk at Kieselburg Forest Preserve, 6:00 p.m.

Hooked on Fun is also coming in early June.



Meeting adjourned at 6:31 PM.

Next regular Board Meeting/Tour at 8:00 a.m. Friday, June 16, Forest Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary