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 October 21, 2015

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

October 21, 2015


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

Mary McNamara Bernsten – via phone                      Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Jeff Tilly                                                                      Jamie Johannsen, Marketing


ABSENT                                                                    GUESTS

Cheryl Maggio                                                            Charles Fiddis



The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM, by President Barnard. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Judy Barnard led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES     Minutes for September 16 were approved. No changes or additions were made to the agenda.



Bills for September – Gloria Lind made a motion, Jeff Tilly seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for September in the amount of $549,615.17. Motion passed unanimously.


Legal Firm Services – The Forest Preserves decided to seek proposals from legal firms to best represent the Preserves in legal matters, other than employment matters. Request for Proposals were sent out and there were six legal firms that submitted proposals. The Committee, chaired by Commissioner Mary McNamara-Bernsten, chose to interview two firms that submitted proposals that they thought would best represent the Preserves. Both firms were evaluated based on their experience, experience and education of personnel assigned to the Preserves, previous work of similar nature, and cost. One of the firms was chosen through the interview and evaluation process. Gloria Lind made a motion to hire Prorok Law Firm to represent the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. Roll call vote was taken. Motion passed 5-1. Audrey Johnson opposed. Mary McNamara Bernsten voted via phone.


Hononegah Youth Soccer Association Agreement – This action item was dropped from agenda as HYSA will no longer be using the Preserves fields.


Budget and Appropriations Ordinance – Steve Chapman presented the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance that was previously presented at the September Board meeting. He announced it has been laid over for the appropriate amount of time. The public hearing was held prior to this Board meeting. The budget is effective November 1, 2015. Judy Barnard reported that no changes were made to the budget during the 30 day lay over. Audrey Johnson made a motion, Mike Eickman seconded, to adopt the 2015-2016 Budget and Appropriations Ordinance. Roll call vote was taken.   Motion passed unanimously. Mary McNamara Bernsten voted via phone


Levy Ordinance – The Preserves 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 2015-2016 Annual Budget and Appropriates Ordinance that has been presented to the Board. The tax levy has been laid over for 30 days for public review and comment. Steve Chapman announced that the overall levy for next year is $4,277,612, a reduction from the current year of $4,316,614. It has been laid over for 30 days and there have been no changes. Gloria made a motion, Jeff Tilly seconded, to adopt the Levy Ordinance. Roll Call vote was taken.   Motion passed unanimously. Mary McNamara Bernsten voted via phone


Administrative Services Contract – The Winnebago County Administrative Officials, office and departments have provided administrative services in the past under an intergovernmental agreement with the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. The intergovernmental agreement outlines the duties and responsibilities of the various County offices which assist the administration of Forest Preserve’s functions. The Winnebago County Board resolved the intergovernmental agreement on September 24, 2015. Steve Chapman announced that the intergovernmental agreement between the County and the Preserves is $67,000, which is an increase of approximately $12,000. This is the first increase since 2010. Audrey made a motion, Gloria seconded, to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County and the County of Winnebago for Administration Services. Motion passed unanimously.


Bids for Seward Bluffs Campground Electrical – Bids were opened for Seward Bluffs Campground and 1 bid from Special Power, Inc., was received. The renovation is expected to be completed in phases. Staff recommends the project be evaluated and negotiate with Special Power to reduce the project amount to fit within the available budget in order to stay on schedule and reduce disruption to the camping season, and that Special Power did excellent work on the Sugar River campground. Gloria made motion, Audrey seconded, to approve the bid as negotiated with Tom Hartley, not to exceed $76,000 without board approval. Motion passed unanimously.


Delegate to IAPD Annual Business Meeting – Mike Holan needs to notify the Illinois Association of Park Districts of the delegates for the annual conference, with 3 alternates. Mike Holan, is the delegate and the three alternates are Judy Barnard, Audrey Johnson and Jamie Johannsen.


2016 Holiday Schedule – The Board of Commissioners elects to set the scheduled holidays for all Forest Preserve employees. There are 13 total holidays, 5 of which the Preserves designates as floating holidays, in which the offices and shops are open. Audrey made a motion, Gloria seconded to approve the 2016 holiday schedule. Motion passed unanimously.



Executive Director – One of the Strategic Plan goals is to pursue non-tax revenue opportunities. Mike announced that he developed a proposal for the Forest Preserve staff to convert a large area of mowed turf to prairie at River Bluff Nursing Home. The proposal is a multi-year plan in which Preserves staff would do the initial prep and planting work and then the resource maintenance over the next 5 years.


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. Jamie added that the volunteer picnic was held on October 17 and approximately 45 people attended.


Education – Don Miller submitted a written report.


Law Enforcement – Terry Nordberg submitted written report.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 6:13 pm. At 6:33, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.


Personnel –   Audrey made a motion, Mike Eickman seconded, to pay Executive Director Mike Holan, his moving expenses, as indicated in his contract. Motion passed (4-2). Jeff Tilly and Mary McNamara Bernsten opposed.





Meeting adjourned at 6:35 PM. .

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, November 18, Preserves Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary