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 September 20, 2017

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County

BOARD MEETING

Preserves Headquarters

September 20, 2017

 

PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Mike Eickman                                                Mike Holan, Executive Director

Audrey Johnson                                            Steve Chapman, Finance

Gloria Lind – 5:34 pm                                    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

 

Attended Via Phone:                                                GUESTS

Judy Barnard                                                  Dan Riggs

                                                                       Shawn Hamilton

      Tyler Feeney

 

ROLL CALL

The meeting was called to order at 5:31 PM, by Vice President Jeff Tilly.  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 August 16, 2017 were approved.   The action items were rearranged and there were no additions made to the agenda.

 

PRESENTATIONS and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Klehm Update:  Future Feature in Children’s Garden – Dan Riggs – Dan Riggs gave a presentation on the Children’s Garden at Klehm.  He gave an update regarding future renovations and improvements in the Children’s garden, which includes the maze, the tower and the addition of a new water feature which would consist of a small water stream that ends at a splash pad.  This would add a play feature and better playability in the children’s garden.  The majority of the funds for this project are being funded by the Olson family.  It is anticipated that the renovations and improvements will be completed by July of 2018.  Dan is seeking approval from the Board for the renovations of this project.  Klehm is in a capital campaign to get the remainder of the funds for this project.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS/DISCUSSION

Ledges Pool – Jeff Tilly announced that he, Mike Eickman, and Mike Holan met with 3 of the Ledges Pool Association board members regarding the lease of the Ledges pool.  They talked about the shared aspects of the pool with the golf course which was the septic field, the dumpster, the parking lot.  They also discussed some of the expenses the Preserves has incurred as well as continues to incur.  Mike Holan calculated that average cost over the last five years that the Preserves has expended has been approximately $1,750 per year.  Mike is looking for direction from the Board as to rewriting the Pool Agreement.  Mike is suggesting a lease of approximately $2,000-$3,000 to cover costs of repairs and also build up a fund for future repairs, as well as including an inspection clause in the lease.  Since a 6 month notice is required to be given to The Ledges Pool Association, Mike gave them a 6 month notice that the Preserves was dropping their current lease and will be preparing a new lease.  Mike suggested an Evergreen lease that runs every year unless one party or the other notifies that the lease is no longer an interest to either party.  The Commissioners agreed that a $3,000 Evergreen Lease is the best solution.  Mike Holan will contact the Ledges Pool Association and advise them a new lease will be drafted.

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

Klehm Garden Pavilion – Transfer of Assets – Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has made improvements noted as the Garden Pavilion, which is situated on the grounds of the Carl and Lois Klehm Forest Preserve.  The improvements came to a total cost of $212,042.50 and include a concrete pad, electrical service brought to the concrete pad and landscaping of the area surrounding the concrete pad.  The Board of Directors of the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has approved the donation of the Garden Pavilion to the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.  Mike Eickman made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded, to accept the gift of the Garden Pavilion improvements, valued at $212,042.50, from the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden.  Motion Passed Unanimously.

 

Membership in Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative – Shawn Hamilton & Tyler Feeney spoke on behalf of The Northwest Health Insurance Pool Sub-Pool, which is a member of the Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative (IPBC).  The County’s insurance premiums have increased significantly and the Preserves is seeking to separate from the County’s insurance.  Mike Holan is recommending going with IPBC for the new fiscal year.  IPBC will be available during open enrollment for the Preserves.  There are a number of Illinois municipalities that have entered into an intergovernmental agreement to create an entity, which is to provide health and other related benefit coverages for the offices and employees of the Members of the Northwest Health Insurance Pool (NWHIP) Sub-Pool.  The NWHIP Sub-Pool has chosen to provide such coverage by becoming a member of the Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative (IPBC).  In addition, the Executive Director is directed to execute any documents necessary to indicate the membership of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County in the NWHIP Sub-Pool.  Judy Barnard made a motion, and Gloria Lind seconded to accept membership as a member of the Northwest Health Insurance Pool Sub-Pool which is a member of the Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative, and appoint Executive Director, Mike Holan as the signature for any documents for IPBC.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Bills for August – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Gloria Lind seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for August in the amount of $612,149.74.  Motion passed unanimously. 

 

Budget Assumptions – The Forest Preserve District’s fiscal year is from November 1 through October 31.  The budget planning assumptions and guidelines provide the framework by which the staff will develop the 2017-2018 budget.  The proposed budget was presented for review to the Board of Commissioners at the regular Board meeting on September 20.  The budget and levies were laid over at the September 20 meeting to October 25, 2017.  Due to the limited growth in assessed valuation and other revenue reductions, this budget will basically reflect a no-growth, cutback budget in order to live within the anticipated financial resources.

 

Acceptance of Budget & Appropriations Ordinance Layover – The Winnebago County Forest Preserve District fiscal year budget operates from November 1 through October 31.  The District’s Board of Commissioners has been presented the proposed 2017-2018 Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for review and adoption. The District is required to layover the budget for a period of at least 30 days for public review and comment before it is adopted by the Board. Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Gloria Lind seconded, to layover the 2017-2018 Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for public review and comment until the October 25, 2017 Board meeting.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Levy Ordinance Layover – The Winnebago County Forest Preserve District fiscal year budget operates from November 1 through October 31.   The District’s Board of Commissioners have been presented a proposed tax levy that must be approved to finance the 2017-2018 Annual Budget and Appropriations Ordinance that has been presented to the Board.  The District is required to layover the tax levy for a period of at least 30 days for public review and comment before it is adopted by the Board. Gloria Lind made a motion, and Mike Eickman seconded, to layover the tax levy for public review and comment until the October 25, 2017 Board meeting.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Employee Deferred Compensation Representative – The Preserves is a participating member of the Empower Retirement Deferred Compensation Plan.  As a member of the Plan, the Preserves is required to appoint an authorized signature agent to the Plan to execute certain documents and advise Preserves employees of Empower Retirement Rules and Benefits.  The Preserves currently has Bryan Cutler, Winnebago County Chief Deputy Auditor, as the Authorized Signature Agent on the Plan account.  The Preserves Board of Commissioners elect to dismiss Bryan Cutler as the Authorized Signature Agent and appoint Michael Holan, Executive Director, and Kimberly O’Malley, Human Resources Manager, for the Preserves, to be the Empower Retirement Authorized Signature Agents.  Judy Barnard made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded, to appoint Michael Holan and Kimberly O’Malley as the Empower Authorized Signature Agents.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Mileage Reimbursement – Board Member – Judy Barnard and Mike Holan attended the Illinois Association of Conservation and Forest Preserves District’s quarterly meeting held at the Lake County Forest Preserve District headquarters. Per the Travel Expense Policy, Commissioners are allowed to be reimbursed for their travel expenses, including mileage reimbursement for attending meetings with professional associations.  Judy Barnard is requesting reimbursement in the amount of $32.64 for mileage to the quarterly meeting.  Audrey Johnson made a motion, Mike Eickman and Gloria Lind seconded, to reimburse Judy Barnard her mileage to the quarterly meeting in the amount of $32.64.  Roll call vote was taken.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Budget Amendment – Land Improvements – There is a budget amendment for two projects added to the improvement and development fund.  Both projects have been funded by external or non-tax sources and were not included in the 2017 budget.  The first project is frost proofing the sewer line at the Macktown Visitor Center.  This project involves installing a sewer line 5’ below grade and insulating the new line.  This work is being funded by the monetary gift for capital improvements at Macktown that Ray Ferguson gave to the district at the August board meeting.  The second project is for erosion control at the Hoisington property.  This project has received funding through the restoration category in the Illinois Clean Energy grant for the maximum amount of $10,000.  The remaining amount will be spent from money left in the Seward Bluffs Campground Electric Improvements Phase II project.  Gloria Lind made a motion to approve, and Mike Eickman seconded to approve the budget amendment for the Macktown Visitor Center and the Hoisington erosion control projects.  Roll call vote was taken.  Motion passed 5-1 (Jake Henry voted no).

 

STAFF REPORTS

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.

 

Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.  Jamie and Ann gave an update as to the success of Forest Quest.  Sponsorship and participation feedback was great.  Jamie also announced that the Preserves was awarded a grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and it made the front page of the Rockford Register Star.

 

Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.  Ann gave an update on the lectures at Severson Dells and that they are very well attended.  Ann also announced the date of the Severson Dells annual breakfast fundraiser will be October 26 at 7:30 a.m. at Giovanni’s.

 

Human Resources/Volunteer Program Report – Kim O’Malley submitted a written report. Kim thanked Sand Bluff Bird Observatory for welcoming the R.E.A.P. Volunteer workers. She also announced that on Friday, September 22, RAI Marketing Services and UTC Aerospace will be volunteering at Deer Run Forest Preserve.  In addition, a few dates to look forward to are the Volunteer Appreciation Lunch on Saturday November 4, and the Employee Service recognition luncheon will be Friday, December 8.

 

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

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS

Public Budget Hearing meeting on Wednesday October 25, at 5:15 p.m.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 6:59 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, October 25, Preserve Headquarters

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson, Recording Secretary