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 April 19, 2017

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Klehm Arboretum

April 19, 2017


PRESENT                                                                   STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                                Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                               Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                            Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Gloria Lind-6:40pm                                                       Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Cheryl Maggio                                                              Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jeff Tilly                                                                       Ann Wasser, Education

Jake Henry                                                                  Tyler Knapp, Maintenance Supervisor

Ellen Rathbone, Nature Educator

Kim O’Malley, Volunteer Coordinator



Jason Askin

Chad Lucas

Ray Ferguson

Dan Riggs



The meeting was called to order at 5:33 PM, by President Barnard.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Mike Eickman led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for March 15th and March 23rd were approved.  No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



Sikich – Audit Report – Jason Askin and Chad Lucas from Sikich presented the audit report. Chad Lucas went through the report and highlighted the different funds.  He then went through the Notes to Financial Statements and gave the highlights, including IMRF contributions, and post-employment benefit plans.  Lastly he went through the Management Letter which lays out any issues, problems or concerns.  Sikich reported no significant material weaknesses or significant deficiencies.  There were a few recommendations and improvements that Sikich reported.  In an Audit Report, recommendations and improvements are typically minor in nature, and do not fall into the material weakness or significant deficiencies category.  However, governmental agencies usually like to have the recommendations and improvements also listed in the Management Letter.  Sikich reported those minor recommendations and improvements in the Preserves audit report, and Chad Lucas went through those and gave their recommendations to resolve the issues.  Judy Barnard asked Mike Holan to come up with a plan to resolve the minor deficiencies.


Severson Dells – Ann Wasser introduced the newest Severson Dells employee, Ellen Rathbone.  Ellen is the new Educator.


Klehm Report – Dan Riggs gave an update to the Board as to the property transfer and annexation request with Rockford regarding the triangle piece of property located outside the Klehm entrance.  Dan also reiterated his gratitude for the in-kind assistance from the Preserves forestry and natural resource crews as they give Klehm a lot of assistance.  Dan then advised the Board that Klehm will be doing their own payroll soon, as opposed to having the County Human Resources Department do it as they have done for many years.  Dan again thanked the Preserves for their collaboration with the Preserves for GetOut Winnebago, Guided Meditation Hikes and volunteer coordination efforts.  The collaboration helps Klehm immensely.  Lastly, he announced that the new Pavilion and Terrace should be poured next week, and there was $13,000 in landscape materials donated to Klehm by Beaver Creek Nursery and Song Sparrow Nursery.


Financial Update  – Steve Chapman gave an update of the Actual and Estimated Fund Balances as of October 31, 2016.  He then gave the 2017 Fiscal Year Actual versus Projected Property Taxes update.


Property Funds Donation – Ray Ferguson – Ray reminded the Commissioners that The Gathering at Macktown is April 29 & 30.  He then announced that he has sold a piece of property and would like to give the proceeds to the Forest Preserve.  It is his hope that the proceeds would help Macktown and/or the Land Acquisition Fund.




Strategic Plan – Goals 4, 5 & Possible Additional Goal – Goal 4 is to promote community-supported, value-driven mission-centered revenue streams.  Goal 5 is to fulfill high standards of compliance, safety, and maintenance of property, infrastructure and equipment.  Judy began by asking if anything needed to be added or changed to Goals 4 and 5.  There were no changes or additions to Goals 4 and 5.  Judy then announced that due to a very active Land Advisory Council, a new goal has been proposed for the strategic plan.  Goal 6 would be to acquire, protect and preserve land to protect the rich biodiversity of Winnebago County.   Commissioners will consider Goal 6, and it will then be brought up again at the May meeting.



Spring Tour – Mike Holan inquired as to what the Commissioners would like to see for the Spring tour.  Tom Hartley proposed a more detailed site visit where the volunteer program has had the most impact.  Kishwaukee Gorge and Severson Dells would be the two places to highlight, and then possibly canoeing from Kishwaukee Gorge across to Rotary.  Mike Holan passed out a sheet with possible dates for the tour.  Commissioners are to give their available dates to Mike.



Bills for March – Audrey Johnson made a motion, Gloria Lind seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for March in the amount of $568,517.81.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Sprayer Bid – The Golf department had requested a new sprayer to replace the old sprayer which was purchased in 1992.  This item is a replacement of a chemical sprayer to be used at all three golf courses.  $38,000 was allocated for a golf course chemical sprayer in the 2017 budget in the Improvement and Development Fund.  Three bids were opened on April 14th, with all three meeting or exceeding the required equipment specifications.  Staff recommends awarding the purchase to the lowest bidder, J.W. Turf in the amount of $36,783.13, which comes in under the budgeted amount.   Jeff Tilly made a motion, and Mike Eickman seconded to award the contract for the purchase of a John Deere HD 300 Select Spray chemical sprayer to the low bidder meeting specifications, J.W. Turf, for $36,783.13.  Motion passed unanimously. 


IMRF Agent – The Preserves is a participating member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).  As a member of IMRF, the Preserves are required to appoint an IMRF Authorized Agent to execute certain documents and advise Preserves employees of IMRF rules and benefits.  The Preserves Commissioners appoint Mike Holan, Executive Director for the Forest Preserves to be the IMRF Authorized Agent.  This appointment would be effective immediately upon its confirmation by the Board.  Gloria Lind made a motion, Jeff Tilly seconded to approve Mike Holan as the IMRF agent.  Motion passed unanimously.


Investment Policy – The Preserves have funds for investment purposes.  It is prudent for the Preserves to have an Investment Policy for the purpose of safe guarding funds, equitably distributing the investments and maximizing income of the Preserves.  This Investment Policy applies to the invested activities of all funds under the jurisdiction of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County Treasurer.  Since it has been a while since the Board has seen or talked about the policy, Judy would like to have a meeting on Wednesday, April 26 at 5:30 pm.  Steve Chapman will explain in greater detail the Investment Policy and all it entails.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report.


Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.  Ann announced a new program at Severson, Science Saturdays from 10-2 on the last Saturday of the month.


Law EnforcementThe Sheriff’s Department submitted a written report.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 7:19 pm.   At 9:05 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



April 29 & 30 – The Gathering at Macktown Forest Preserve, Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm

May 13 & 14 – Birdfest 2017 at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory, Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm

May 20 – Nurture Nature at a R.E.A.P. Volunteer Workday at Hononegah Forest Preserve, Saturday, 9:00 am-Noon

May 20 – Get Outside, Get Healthy! Kick-off Celebration at Hononegah Forest Preserve, Saturday Noon-3pm.



Meeting adjourned at 9:06 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, May 17, Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary