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 24, 2018

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

October 24, 2018


PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                  Mike Holan, Executive Director

Audrey Johnson                                             Steve Chapman, Finance

Gloria Lind                                                      Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Cheryl Maggio                                                Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Jeff Tilly                                                          Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jake Henry                                                     Ann Wasser, Education

      Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program


ABSENT                                                        GUESTS

Mike Eickman                                                 Ian Linnabary – Rockford Park District

      Jay Sandine – Rockford Park District

                                                                        Alex Mills – Klehm Arboretum


The meeting was called to order at 5:31 PM, by President Barnard.  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 September 19 were approved. Severson Dells was moved to the beginning of the agenda and there were no other changes or additions made to the agenda.



Ian Linnabary and Jay Sandine – Rockford Park District – Tax Abatement – Ian and Jay announced that a lease for Magic Waters was approved between the Rockford Park District and Six Flags Great America but is contingent upon the property taxes for Magic Waters being abated.  There are no taxes paid on the property now as it is owned by the Park District.  The Township Assessor has been consulted and the value of the property is estimated to be approximately $278,000.  Assessor Ken Crowley believes that this is an over-valuation and he believes it would be approximately half to a third of that, since it is only open 2 ½ months of the year.  The dollar amount that the Park District is asking to be abated is a very small amount from the Forest Preserves.  The Magic Waters deal is contingent upon 100% of the taxing authorities agreeing to abate the taxes.  There are eleven taxing authorities.  Retaining the tax base is very important, and this is one more way to keep families in Rockford and involved in the community.  With regards to the terms of the deal, Six Flags is paying the park district $425,000 per year for 10 years, and then it goes up to $450,000 or the next ten years.  The community has expressed to the Park District that they want their tax dollars focused on neighborhood parks.  It is important to try and take the liability off the backs of the tax payers and put it into the private sector.  With Six Flags leasing Magic Waters, it gives season pass holders added value because their passes will be valid at all Six Flags theme parks.  Jay and Ian believe it is a good deal as well as they feel it will bring more people into the community.  They are seeking approval from the Board to participate in the tax abatement.   Judy advised them that it would be put on the Agenda for November.



Washout on the Road at Hinchliff – Mike Holan has talked with Joe Vanderwerff from the Highway Department and the washout at Hinchliff is being addressed and is on their list to be repaired.




Klehm Capital Planning Committee – Judy Barnard and Mike Holan were asked to attend the capital planning committee meeting at Klehm.  Sam Darby is the chairman of that committee.  While the committee has not met for quite a while the meeting went very well.  Judy would like a Commissioner to attend future meetings.  The meetings are the first Tuesday of the month at 1pm.  Alex thanked Judy for her participation in the meeting and announced that there were future capital projects discussed, including new signage.



Bills for September – Gloria Lind made a motion, Jeff Tilly seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for September in the amount of $514,658.11.  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 have been presented the proposed 2018-2019 Annual Budget and Appropriation for review and adoption.  The budget has been laid over for 30 days for public review and comment.  The only change since September was the Severson Dells marketing assistant position, which is reflected as a personnel expenditure in the Corporate budget and an education reimbursement in the Corporate budget.  Audrey Johnson made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded that the 2018-2019 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 2018-2019 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.  Jeff Tilly made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded that the tax levy be adopted. Roll call vote taken.  Levy ordinance passes 4-1.  (Jake Henry voted no).


Memorandum of Understanding – Severson Dells Agreement – The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County executed an Agreement in 2012 with its partner group Severson Dells Education Foundation (SDEF).  By means of the Agreement, the Preserves and SDEF mutually agree that four Severson Dells education staff will be employees of the Preserves and SDEF will provide funds to help offset the Nature Center’s operational and staff expenses and any future staff changes will be agreed upon by both parties.  SDEF has requested the addition of a part-time Development and Marketing Assistant position to work no more than 999 hours annually to be employed by the Preserves and be included in the terms of the Agreement.  The Preserves agree to the Development and Marketing Assistant position provided SDEF funds the position in its entirety, including any and all costs associated with unemployment, retirement or workman’s compensation.  A Memorandum of Understanding will serve as Addendum #1 to the Agreement between the Preserves and SDEF allowing for the addition of the Development and Marketing Assistant position per the mutually agreed upon terms.  Audrey Johnson made a motion and Jeff Tilly seconded that the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County Board of Commissioners approve the Memorandum of Understanding to serve as an Addendum #1 to the Agreement between the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and Severson Dells Education Foundation.  Motion passed unanimously.


2019 Fee Schedule – Preserves staff is proposing the following changes for the 2019 Golf Fees and Charges and the 2019 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 2019 as in 2018 to maintain affordability and to remain competitive in the local golf market; however, an additional “Capital Improvement Fee” will be assessed to each regular golf round.  For pass holders this will be a single one time flat fee of $60 charged at the time of their pass purchase in order to make it more convenient.  For daily greens fee players this fee will be assessed at an additional $2 per round on that day’s current daily greens fee price.  Funds collected for this purpose will be directed towards Capital Improvements at the golf courses and facilities.  There will be no increase or change in shelters, campground or other fees in 2019. Gloria Lind made a motion Jeff Tilly seconded to approve a resolution to revise the 2019 Golf Fees and Charges and the 2019 Preserve Fees and Charges Schedule.  Motion passed unanimously.


The Grove Donation – Severson Dells Education Foundation (SDEF) has made improvements to Severson Dells Forest Preserve by developing a nature play area designated as The Grove Nature Play Area.  The improvements include the construction of the Art Pod, Leopold’s Shack, Tone Zone music area, Block Lab building area, Performance Stage, Inspiration Tree Fort area, Poetree platforms and the Spider Climbing feature.  The Board of Directors of the SDEF has approved the donation of The Grove Nature Play Area to the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.  This donation is valued at $150,600.56.  The donation is subject to the following condition:  SDEF will cover the first $2,500 of needed maintenance annually on The Grove improvements, with the Preserves to cover the next $2,500 of maintenance annually and any additional maintenance costs above $5,000 will be negotiated on a project by project basis between the Preserves and SDEF.  After much discussion, it was decided to table this item until the November meeting.  Jake Henry made a motion and Cheryl Maggio seconded to table the Grove Donation until the November meeting.  Motion passed unanimously.


2019 Holiday Schedule – Certain days of the calendar year are designated as scheduled holidays. The Preserves has designated the holidays that will be observed.  Gloria Lind made a motion and Audrey Johnson seconded, to approve the 2019 Holiday schedule to be observed by the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County employees for the year 2019.  Motion passed unanimously.


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 26, 2019.  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. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Gloria Lind 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.



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


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.  Tom also announced that the Preserves will receive a restoration habitat grants from the IDNR for rusty patch bumblebee habitat improvements which will occur at five preserves, Cedar Cliff, Four Lakes, Severson Dells, Stone Bridge and Kieselburg, for approximately $110,000 in grants from various granting agencies.  In addition a grant was received from that same habitat grant, $10,000 was awarded for the wetland scrape at Ferguson Forest Preserve.


Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman submitted a written report.  Vaughn announced that the Ledges Golf Course is closed, Macktown will be open until the end of October and Atwood will remain open until further notice.


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 6:42 pm to discuss personnel.  At 6:53 p.m., the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



October 25 – Severson Dells Annual Benefit Breakfast at The Pavilion at Orchard Ridge Farms, Thursday from 7:30am-8:30 am

November 3 – Volunteer Appreciation Picnic at Pecatonica River Forest Preserve – Stone Barn, Saturday from 11:30am-1:30 pm.

Alex Mills announced that a tree planting grant was awarded to Klehm and next Arbor Day there will be trees planted.

Saturday, October 27, 9-11am, Klehm Arboretum tree planting project and three trees will be planted.



Meeting adjourned at 6:53 PM.

November board meeting 5:30 PM, Monday, November 12, Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary