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 October 21, 2020

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County

BOARD MEETING

Preserves Headquarters

October 21, 2020

 

PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                 Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                Steve Chapman, Finance (via phone)

Jake Henry                                                     Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                             Ann Wasser, Education

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

Jeff Tilly

 

ABSENT                                                        GUESTS

Gloria Lind                                                      Alex Mills – Klehm Arboretum

 

 

ROLL CALL

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

 

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

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for September 16 were approved. No changes or additions were made to the agenda.

 

PRESENTATIONS and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Introduction of AmeriCorps Members – Ann introduced two new AmeriCorps members, Addie Chambers and Henry Ernsberger, who will be working at Severson Dells as environmental educators. Addie and Henry started 4 weeks ago and are helping with school programs among other things. Addie and Henry gave a brief background on themselves.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Jake Henry asked if the Forest Preserve had been contacted about a property the Boy Scouts owned near Sugar River. Mike Holan told Jake that no one has contacted him about a property near Sugar River and if Jake’s neighbor has any questions they can contact him. Jake will get more information.

 

ACTION ITEMS

Bills for September – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Judy Barnard seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for September in the amount of $508,735.91.  Motion passed unanimously. 

 

Budget and Appropriations Ordinance – The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s Fiscal Year budget operates from November 1 through October 31.  The Board of Commissioners has been presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Budget and Appropriation for review and adoption.  The budget has been laid over for 30 days for public review and comment. Discussion was had between the Board of Commissioners and staff regarding raises for staff and the corporate replacement tax. Judy Barnard made a motion and Mike Eickman and Audrey Johnson seconded that the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Budget and Appropriations be adopted.  Roll call vote taken.  Budget & Appropriations ordinance passes 4-1.  (Jake Henry voted no).

 

 

 

Levy Ordinance – The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s Fiscal Year budget operates from November 1, through October 31.  The Board of Commissioners have been presented a proposed tax levy that must be approved to finance the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance that has been presented to the Board.  The tax levy has been laid over for 30 days for public review and comment. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded that the tax levy be adopted. Roll call vote taken.  Levy ordinance passes 4-1.  (Jake Henry voted no).

 

2021 Fee Schedule – Preserves staff is proposing the following changes for the 2021 Golf Fees and Charges and the 2021 Preserve Fees and Charges and will be reflected on the fee schedules.  The changes are as follows:  Golf pass and maximum greens fee prices will remain the same for 2021 as in 2020, increase daily cart rental rate by $1, a single rider cart request fee of $16 per 9-holes and $26 per 18-holes added to the 2021 Golf Fee Schedule in order to accommodate individual requests, increase in the rate for Tournament Greens fees from $15 to $20, increase in the maximum allowable rate for Outings and Playdays from $31 to $35, and an increase in the practice range pass fee of $25 for resident and non-resident use.  There will be no increase or change in shelters, campground or other fees in 2021. The Board of Commissioners and staff discussed the single cart request. Mike Eickman made a motion Audrey Johnson seconded to approve a resolution to revise the 2021 Golf Fees and Charges and the 2021 Preserve Fees and Charges Schedule.  Motion passed unanimously.

2021 Holiday Schedule – Certain days of the calendar year are designated as scheduled holidays. The Preserves has designated the holidays that will be observed.  Judy Barnard made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded, to approve the 2021 Holiday schedule to be observed by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County employees for the year 2021.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes the Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act & Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Forest Preserves of Winnebago County are committed to assisting employees affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with job-protected leave and pay, where applicable. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County developed an agency policy to be consistent and to comply with federal law regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The policy will be in effect until December 31, 2020.  Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has an Employee Personnel Policy Manual which does not include an adopted policy that provides leave and pay guidelines during the COVID-19 outbreak. Forest Preserves’ legal counsel, Sosnowski/Szeto LLP, reviewed the policy and agrees that it is in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Mike Eickman seconded, to adopt the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy. Roll call vote taken. Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy ordinance passes 4-1.  (Jake Henry voted no).

 

Infectious Disease Control Policy – The Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Forest Preserves of Winnebago County are committed to the safety of employees, patrons and community, including during an infectious disease outbreak. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County will take proactive steps to protect employees during any such time period and strive to operate effectively to ensure that all essential services continue to be provided. Forest Preserves of Winnebago County has an Employee Personnel Policy Manual which does not include an adopted Infectious Disease Control Policy that provides guidelines during an infectious disease outbreak. The Infectious Disease Control Policy puts the Forest Preserve in compliance with federal law under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Forest Preserves’ legal counsel, Sosnowski/Szeto LLP, reviewed the Infectious Disease Control Policy and agrees that it is in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Infectious Disease Control Policy will be a continuous policy. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Judy Barnard seconded, to approve the Infectious Disease Control Policy. Roll call vote taken. Infectious Disease Control Policy ordinance passes 4-1.  (Jake Henry voted no).

 

Election Day State Holiday – Mike Holan stated that on June 16, 2020, Governor Pritzker declared Election Day as a State Holiday. After the information was submitted to the Commissioners regarding Election Day, Mike was notified from Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) that the declaration of a State Holiday does not necessarily affect local governments. Mike is asking the Board of Commissioners to decide if they would like to approve Election Day as a State Holiday. This is a one-time Holiday on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Judy Barnard made a motion and Mike Eickman seconded to approve the Election Day State Holiday as an observed Holiday by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. Motion passed 4-1 (Jake Henry voted no.)

 

Delegate to IAPD Annual Business Meeting – The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) requires each member agency to select delegates to their Annual Business Meeting which will be held on January 30, 2021.  The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County is an IAPD member and therefore must assign delegates to represent the Preserves.  The Preserves typically assigns the Executive Director and up to three other individuals, comprised of staff and/or Board members as delegates.  Mike Eickman made a motion and Audrey Johnson seconded to appoint Mike Holan and Vaughn Stamm to represent the Preserves as the delegates for the Illinois Association of Park Districts.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Acceptance of Capital Asset – Klehm’s Children Garden Water Feature – Mike Holan mentioned that the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden Water Feature at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden started 2 years ago and the project is now complete. Photos of the Children’s Garden Water Feature were shown to the Board of Commissioners and discussed the process for improving and completing the water feature. The water feature improvements came to a total cost of $228,991.00 and include: multiple downhill flowing shallow streams, splash pad with associated water jets, porous pave rubber surfaces on pathways and splash pad, landscaping, stone, pavers and fencing, and a pump system to operate the water feature.  Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden intends to fund and perform regular and routine maintenance to the water feature to keep it operating in a safe and functional manner at no cost to the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. The Board of Directors of the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has passed a Resolution approving the donation of the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden Water Feature to the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. They are asking the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County to accept the gift of the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden Water Feature improvements, valued at $228,991.00, from the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Inc. The Board of Commissioners addressed  Alex with questions regarding the water feature in regards to safety and maintenance cost. Judy Barnard asked Mike to draft a letter to the children of Nancy Olson thanking them for funding the water feature. Judy will get their addresses to Mike. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded, to approve accepting Klehm’s Children Garden Water Feature as a Capital Asset.  Motion passed 4-1 (Jake Henry voted no.)

 

STAFF REPORTS

Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Scott Stewart, Scott Wallace & Bryan Helmold submitted a written report. Vaughn responded to Audrey Johnson regarding the campgrounds still being open until November 15th. The water will be on until temperatures become too cold.

 

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

 

Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman submitted a written report. Vaughn stated that Macktown Golf Course is now closed for the season, Ledges last day will be November 3rd and Atwood will remain open weather permitting.

 

Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report. Ann announced the Severson Dells Breakfast video is on the Severson Dells website and Facebook page. It is broken down into segments for easy viewing.

 

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

 

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

 

Mike Holan let the Board of Commissioners know that he contacted Steve Clark regarding the Pecatonica property that was discussed at last month’s meeting. Steve sent Mike several comps on the property which is estimated at $3,500-$4,000 an acre. Mike contacted Mr. Hillibrandt and told him the Forest Preserve is not interested at this time.

 

Jeff Tilly asked Kim O’Malley for a list of future new full-time employees so they can be welcomed and invited to the Board Meetings.

 

Judy Barnard asked about the three damaged golf carts at Ledges Golf Course. Vaughn replied letting her know this is not common and the Forest Preserve is seeking restitution on the three golf carts.

 

Cheryl Maggio asked if the Law Enforcement reports can be less detailed. Mike Holan said he will adjust the detail on the report.

 

Judy Barnard asked if there can be a meeting held in the future to discuss land acquisitions. Also, in the future she is asking for a report on a five-year plan for the Funderburg property in regards to improvements and restoration. Audrey Johnson mentioned there should be a plan for the Barn at the Funderburg property. Jeff Tilly asked for an updated report on the Land Acquisition Fund.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 6:40 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, November 18, Preserve Headquarters

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Recording Secretary