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 Commissioners Minutes Dec. 6

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

District Headquarters
5:30 December 6, 2011

Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Mike Durand, Golf
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Jay Ferraro Tom Hartley, Land and Development
Audrey Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Gloria Lind Steve Chapman, Finance
Cheryl Maggio Mike Scheurich, Attorney
Jim Pirages, Attorney
Mark Szula Tom Beissel Frank Ostling Brian Leggero
Dave Reithmeier Russell Heinrichs John Nelson Stanley Campbell
Richard Eertmoed Jake Henry Bob Lindstrom Dan Osborne
Mark Eucker Bill Brown Ron Weckemp Lisa Weckerly
Jane Snively Jim McFarlane Lenae Weichel John Reynolds
Don Krizan Dan Palmer Ruth Wagner Michael Kearney
Doug Dufford Lena Verkuilen Chuck Sweeney Kevin Haas
Steve Anderson Bill Shull
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Randy Olson led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES Minutes for November 29, 2011 were approved.

Randy read statements regarding the deer management program, the suggested employee bonuses, and the proposed process to fill the commissioner vacancy. He amended the agenda, removing those items.

Mark Szula, Operating Engineers Union – Mark Szula is the Business Agent for the Operating Engineers Union Local 150. Mark advised the Commissioners that the employees have worked hard and done very well with less. Dave Reithmeier, aborist/equipment operator for the District, has been a union steward for approximately 6 years. He would like to see this all straightened out quickly. Mark Eucker introduced himself as the assistant golf course superintendent at Macktown. He is concerned that the negotiations are at a stalemate. Finally, Richard Eertmoed, assistant superintendent at Atwood, is also a union steward for the golf division. He told the Board they have all applied for a newly created position of Golf Maintenance Supervisor, but they have not heard whether the positions will be a bargaining unit position. This point seems to be holding up negotiations for the union contract for everybody. Everybody’s interest is to move forward and get the new contract settled.

Kilbuck Creek pollution report – Don Krizan, Highway Department Storm Water Control – Don Krizan gave the Board an update on the Kilbuck Creek degradation 2011. He showed the general degradation on the map and the landfill operated by Rock River Environmental Services. He outlined a timeline from 1994 through 2013 and gave a background of the Rock River Environmental Services permits issued for the crossing of Kilbuck Creek and then went on to explain the current problems that now exist. In August 2011 the Soil and Water Conservation District observed silt discharge into Kilbuck Creek due to dewatering by the Rock River Environmental Services. Soil and Water determined this pollution was coming from the truck crossing at the landfill between a clay pit and the landfill. IEPA contacted Rock River Environmental Services, and the stream crossing was closed in October 2011. The Winnebago County Highway Department has observed the silt load and has inspected the sites of dewatering and stream crossing, noticing a reduction in silt since November 2011. It is believed that the cause is storm water runoff, since there are no ditches to hold storm water. Rock River Environmental Services is communicating directly with IEPA and the Highway Department and will continue to monitor the conditions.

IDNR deer management report – Doug Dufford and Tom Beissel – Doug Dufford, Tom Beissel and Frank Ostling from IDNR distributed informational packets to the Commissioners regarding the deer management report. The IDNR believes hunting can be managed safely in state parks and fish and wildlife areas. A PowerPoint presentation was then done regarding Chronic Wasting Disease, the history, what it does to the deer population, how it is transmitted, and its fatality rate. There is no cure or treatment for the disease. Most of the CWD within this area is a narrow band along the Boone/Winnebago line. There is an infected population along the Kishwaukee River. He advised the Commissioners of the CWD management strategy, focusing on intensive sharpshooting in known CWD areas. He then showed a graph showing the number of deer the District has eliminated. IDNR believes deer population has been cut in half in the forest preserves, which they believe is a good thing. (Letter from IDNR Director Mark Miller is attached.)

2012 deer management program – Randy Olson read into the record a letter regarding the deer management program, and struck this action item from the agenda.

Donation of pavilion – Jane Snively – Klehm – Jane Snively, the Executive Director of Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, recognized Tom Kalousek and Tom Hartley for their hard work and assistance to Klehm. She then presented the donation of the newly constructed Nancy Olson Children’s Garden Pavilion to the District. She explained it is an outdoor classroom which provides shelter for children of all abilities working at picnic tables in the pavilion. Judy Barnard made a motion to accept the donation of the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden Pavilion from Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, seconded by Mary McNamara-Bernsten. Motion passed 6-0, with Jay Ferraro abstaining.

Nature Preserve dedication – John Nelson, Nature Preserve Commission – On July 20, 2011, the Board approved the plan to add buffer areas to the Sugar River Alder and Colored Sands Nature Preserves. John Nelson distributed two proposals to the Board, then asked for approval to move forward with the designation on January 24, 2012. Russell Heinrichs gave an overview of the proposals. Gloria Lind made a motion to designate Nature Preserve status for additional buffer areas at Colored Sands and Sugar River Alder Forest Preserves, seconded by Audrey Johnson. Motion passed 6-0, with Jay Ferraro abstaining.
Land acquisition – addition to Deer Run Forest Preserve – Tom Hartley presented the resolution to purchase 80 acres adjacent to Deer Run Forest Preserve from Larry Bernier. Two grant applications were successful, the Grand Victoria Vital Lands grant and the Illinois Clean Energy grant. Because of these grants, there will be very little cost associated with this land acquisition. Judy Barnard moved to approve the purchase of 80 acres from Larry Bernier for the purchase price of $374,000, seconded by Audrey. Motion passed 6-0, with Jay Ferraro abstaining. Judy said that, with the $250,000 that the District is getting from the November 29 sale of bonds, she would like to see some of that money be used for match money for this purchase.
Tree removal contract – Tom Hartley is requesting approval to remove pines at three different forest preserves, Pecatonica River, Roland Olson, and Fuller Memorial. Fuller Memorial is more of a thinning of the existing pines that are there. The overarching resource goal for the District’s conservation property is to restore or recreate it to its pre-settlement status of the early 1800’s. The first survey that describes vegetation of the county from 1836-1840 indicates there are no pines listed in the survey records as naturally occurring in Winnebago County. Tom recommended entering into a contract with Premier Forest Products, starting this winter. He indicated there will be some cleanup costs, but no removal costs. Audrey Johnson moved to approve a contract with Premier Forest Products, Inc., of Oregon, Illinois, for removal of pine trees in specific areas of Roland Olson, Pecatonica River, and Fuller Memorial Forest Preserves during the winter months, 2011-2013, seconded by Mary. Motion passed 6-0, with Jay Ferraro abstaining.
Revised Board schedule¬ – At the November 29 Board meeting there was discussion about moving the Board meetings from Tuesdays to Wednesdays to avoid the District’s meetings coinciding with the Rockford Park District’s and others. This would also give the media a chance to attend the District’s Board meetings and be better informed of the issues facing the District. Mary made a motion to move the Board meeting dates to the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Motion passed, with two No votes and one abstention. The meetings will remain at 5:30 at District Headquarters, and will be on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
Employee Bonus – Randy Olson read into the record a statement regarding the proposed employee bonus issue and struck this item from the agenda.
Revision to Code and Review of Code – Audrey moved that all non-budgeted action items with corresponding background be distributed at least 15 calendar days in advance of a scheduled Board meeting, seconded by Judy. Jay commented that by voting for that it would mean that the District couldn’t accept the donation from Klehm because there was no 15 day notice, or that the District couldn’t accept the nature preserve dedication because there was no 15 day notice and asked for clarification from the Attorney Mike Scheurich. Randy then indicated it takes five votes to change the Code. Roll call vote was taken, and the motion failed.
Review of Code – At the November 29 Board meeting, the Commissioners discussed the possibility of reviewing the District’s Code, just a review, not a change, to become better educated, after being in office for a year. Attorney Mike Scheurich then indicated that there are a few things he has noticed that need to be reviewed. Judy Barnard then made a motion to establish a committee to review the Code of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District, seconded by Mary. Motion passed, with two No votes and one abstention. Randy Olson then appointed the Committee to be Attorney Mike Scheurich, Mary McNamara-Bernsten and Cheryl Maggio.
Strategic planning/focus groups report – Judy Barnard and Pam Clark Reidenbach – Judy introduced Pam from the Not for Profit Center for Excellence. Pam gave a brief update on the status of the focus groups, indicating there has been a good turnout in each group. Pam was told that the Commissioners thought that a Media focus group should be created. Pam recommended waiting to talk with the media, because the purpose is to collect relevant data to plan for the future of the District. She recommends that once the plan is complete, then meet with the media and offer to answer questions to the plan, goals, core values, and objectives. She explained that once the focus groups are complete, she will compile all the information and give a presentation to the board with the findings. Next steps will be the presentation in January, then the Commissioners will identify critical issues, create goals, and finally, a strategy for the future.

Process to fill Commissioner vacancy – Randy Olson read into the record a statement striking this item from the agenda.
November financial report – Steve Chapman – Steve Chapman presented the November financial report. Replacement tax money came in higher than anticipated because of a state amnesty program. Improvement and Development Fund revenues were higher than anticipated primarily due to a few reimbursements received, and expenses were on target. Golf operations ended with a $58,000 surplus.

PDRMA award – Park District Risk Management Agency – The District was given a $1,500 cash award acknowledging the District’s loss prevention efforts. Tom told the Commissioners that this is a true testimony that the District’s employees are observing safety standards for the citizens who use our preserves.

Letter re: Baxter Road redevelopment project – Tom Hartley sent a letter to Cherry Valley Village Trustees, New Milford Village Trustees and the Village of Cherry Valley regarding the I-39/Baxter Road Redevelopment Project. The letter stated that the District would like to be able to comment on the proposed project area and future development plans regarding storm water runoff quantity and quality to determine any potential impact to the Forest Preserve District property.

2012 Calendars – Jamie distributed a Forest Preserve District calendar to each guest in attendance and to the Commissioners.

The meeting was closed at 7:59 PM to discuss union contract negotiations. The meeting re-opened at 8:50. Randy Olson declared no action was taken while in closed session.

IAPD annual conference – Tom Kalousek reminded the Commissioners that the Illinois Association of Park District Conference is January 26-29. Those who said they would be attending are registered and there is still time to register for those who haven’t.

Meeting with RPD – Tom announced that the first strategic scoping meeting with the Rockford Park District will be December 9 at noon. Tom Kalousek and Executive Director Tim Dimke from Rockford Park District will be attending.

Parks & Rec conference – Audrey announced that in January she will have a written report from the National Congress of Parks and Recreation, which she attended in Atlanta.

Strategic planning – Tom Kalousek announced that when Pam Reidenbach finishes the focus groups, she would like to have dates for strategic planning, possibly two meetings in January, and one would be a review. The second would be to finalize a strategic plan.

Resignation of Commissioner Jay Ferraro – At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Jay Ferraro turned in his resignation to President Randy Olson.

Meeting adjourned at 9:04 PM.
Special Board meeting announcing Commissioner Vacancy – 5:30 Wednesday, January 4, Headquarters.
Strategic Planning meeting, 5:30 Wednesday, January 11, District Headquarters.
Next regular Board meeting 5:30 Wednesday, January 18, District Headquarters.

Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secretary