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Board of Commissioners Minutes April 16

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


Klehm Arboretum

April 16, 2014


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                              Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                          Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Gloria Lind                                                                 Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Cheryl Maggio                                                            Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Mary McNamara Bernsten                                          Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Randy Olson                                                               



                                                                                    Dan Riggs

                                                                                    Gloria Lundin

                                                                                    Jerry Paulson

                                                                                    John Bates



The meeting was called to order at 5:35 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 March 19, 2014 were approved.  Minutes for Committee of the Whole meetings for March 11, March 14, and March 17, 2014 were approved.  No changes were made to the agenda.



Gloria Lundin and John Bates –Community Foundation of Northern Illinois – Gloria Lundin introduced herself as the Director of the organization and explained that the CFNIL is interested in partnering with the District to develop an endowment agreement for the purpose of potential land purchases.   She explained how the CFNIL operates and how their organization can assist the District with an endowment fund.  John Bates then introduced himself and explained the benefits and logistics of an endowment fund.  Judy then advised that it would be discussed further amongst the Commissioners at the next board meeting and that the Board will notify CFNIL of any action that will be taken, if any.


Jerry Paulson – Land Advisory Council – Jerry advised that they are close to getting the land advisory council established.  He distributed a list of nominations of the people whom have agreed to serve on the counsel.  Jerry went through the list of nominees.  He advised that the Committee will be updating the District’s strategic conservation plan, looking at state and federal conservation programs for potential funding, as well as what policies the District will need to implement for land acquisitions.  Judy thanked Jerry for spearheading the Committee.  Mary McNamara Bernsten, and Gloria Lind seconded, made an informal motion to affirm the Committee.  All Commissioners voted yes to accept the new Land Advisory Council members.


Dan Riggs, Executive Director of Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden – Dan distributed his Executive Director’s Report for the past year.  His report included programs implemented, upcoming events and programs, fundraising, volunteers and volunteer recruiting, marketing, administration and improvements.  He feels it has been a productive year, and is looking forward to this year.  He mentioned that the budget and funding are tight, but they are hoping and confident they will make their fundraising goals for this next year.  He then thanked the District for the constant help and assistance throughout the year.



Bills for April – Mary McNamara Bernsten made a motion, and Gloria seconded, to authorize the payment of the April bills totaling $449,635.48.  Motion passed unanimously.


Acceptance of canoe trailer – The District has partnered with Severson Dells Foundation to apply for a Take Me Fishing grant through NRPA to begin a canoeing program.  The District received a $15,000 grant and needed to provide a 25% match of monies ($3,750).  The District purchased canoes and some accessories with the grant money.  The Foundation has provided all additional money needed to jumpstart the program including purchasing a 10 place MoTrailer canoe trailer for $5,450.  The Foundation would like to donate and transfer ownership of the trailer to the District so it remains a District asset.  Mike Eickman made a motion, and Audrey Johnson seconded, to approve a resolution to accept the donation of a 10 place MoTrailer Canoe Trailer from the Severson Dells Foundation at a value of $5,450.  Motion passed unanimously.


Sugar River Campground Electric award of bids – Tom Hartley has received the bids for the Sugar River Campground Electric.  He is recommending that the District accept the bid from Special Power, Inc., in the amount of $51,980.  He is anticipating the project will be complete by May 21, in time for Memorial Day weekend.  Gloria made a motion, and Mike Eickman seconded, to approve a resolution to accept a contractor’s bid for the Sugar River Campground electric service upgrade to Special Power, Inc.  Motion passed unanimously.



Strategic Plan– Jamie distributed the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan brochure which she created.


Logo Update – Mike received logo suggestions from KMK Media Group and he did not care for their first presentation of the new logos.  Jamie and Mike met with them and they are hoping to get more logo choices within the next few weeks. 


Judy Barnard mentioned that Tom Hartley has been working on developing golf course master plans, as they will be meeting with State Senators regarding legislative initiative monies.  There is a meeting scheduled with Senator Stadelman on Monday, April 21.  Judy asked Tom to go over his master plans with the Commissioners.  Tom then went over the master plans for each of the courses.  At Atwood, ideally the parking lot would be relocated and the maintenance shop would be removed and moved down the road out of view.  There are old bunkers that need to be filled in as they are out of play.  Ideally, there would be prairie established on some of the courses.  Macktown needs to have the maintenance shop moved because it sits in the historic district of Macktown.  Moving the maintenance shop would allow it to function better as an historic village.  There also needs to be new configurations of a few golf holes.  Ledges master plan is more of a fantasy plan because the building is in need of repair.  The clubhouse needs to be removed and a new one built.  The image would be improved from the roadside since it has a bad image from the road.  Tom said it would take approximately $1million to do everything in each of the master plans. 



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report. 


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report. 


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.  She also mentioned the new website is up and running and she has received positive feedback.  Jamie also reminded everyone of the Atwood Award Presentation, Thursday, May 24 at 5:30pm at Klehm.  Let Jamie know if planning on attending. 


Education – Don Miller submitted a written report.  Randy inquired about transportation to Severson events and getting people from the various housing projects and into nature and attending some of the programming that the District has to offer.  Mike Holan and Don have talked about this issue and are brainstorming ideas to bring more people to Severson and other District events. 



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 7:35pm to discuss personnel.  At 8:45pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



Campgrounds open for the season Wednesday, April 16

Equestrian Trails to open Friday, April 18, weather and trail conditions permitting

Family Tree Planting Event at Blackhawk Springs, April 26, 1-3pm

Atwood Award presentation and reception, Thursday, April 24, 5:30pm, Klehm Arboretum

The 2014 Gathering at Macktown, April 26 & April 27, Macktown Forest Preserve

June Board Meeting will be held at Severson Dells, June 25, 5:30pm

Birdfest, May 10, 8-4, & May 11, 8-3, Colored Sands




Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, May 28, District Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary