COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING
VILLAGE OF VERNON HILLS
FEBRUARY 20, 2001
IN ATTENDANCE: President Byrne called the meeting to order at 7:19 p.m. The following Trustees were present: Ryg, Black, Cashman, Hebda, and Henley.
Also present were Manager Allison, Assistant Manager Kalmar, Assistant to the Manager Teich, Building Commissioner Gerth, Finance Director Nakrin, Public Works Director Laudenslager, Chief Fleischhauer, Corporation Counsel Citron, and Village Clerk Schwartz.
1. DEERPATH PARK – SITE CONSIDERATION
Assistant Manager Kalmar reported that the Park District received approval for the Deerpath Park site plan from Planning and Zoning subject to some matters of concern. The plan was revised to reflect these concerns and is presented to the Committee for approval. The renovation project consists of replacement of most of the playground equipment, new playground safety surface, additional sand volleyball and basketball courts, repair of the picnic shelter and deck, expansion of the existing parking lot and landscaping improvements. President Byrne opened the discussion to public comment.
Jill Kappan, a member of the resident committee formed for this project, stated that the committee does not want the parking lot, expects landscaping to be up to Village standards, and requested more trees on the berm. If a parking lot is approved, the committee requests 2 handicapped spots, 2 10-minute spots, and 4-6 parallel spots.
Craig Warner of 16 Greenvale stated that his right to address his elected officials and be received in a cordial manner was denied by the Park District Board. The residents were excluded from commenting on their concerns about the Warrington Park project. The parking lot poses a grave safety issue being located next to a tot lot, crossing a jogging path and endangering the children that live in the neighborhood.
Larry Richards of 22 Warrington commented that he was not asked to be part of the resident committee even though he resides by the entrance. He noted that many speeders already go down the street and the parking lot will only increase traffic. He asked why the Park District is building more when they cannot maintain what they have. He stated that in questioning the Park District about maintenance, their response was they did not have the money for maintenance. He commented on Commissioner Skidmore’s rude behavior toward the residents during Park District Meetings. His son made a videotape reflecting the residents’ comments and Park District Director De Graaf refused to show it to the Commissioners violating his right to free speech.
David Winter of 501 Exiter Place stated his concerns about traffic with small children present and commented that the Park District has never given a valid reason for building the parking lot.
Park District De Graaf stated that with the baseball program, parking is needed for fields 1 and 2. He also stated that Deerpath Park is a community park and needs more parking.
Lauren Holtz of 18 Warrington reported that the parking lot at Cherokee is never full.
Grant Topner noted that the park serves as buffer to commercial property. Why was the narrowest point picked to add more concrete? Landscaping is not adequate and the money should be used to enhance the park.
JT Heier of 3 Warrington stated he is the only member of the committee that lives on Warrington. He stated that the Park District does not care to cooperate with the citizens and the plan should be denied by the Board.
Jim Wessells of 13 Warrington stated he has seen firsthand that the Park District Board does not listen to the residents. He asked the Board to research the situation and give a valid reason why the parking lot is needed. He also noted that certain members of the Village Board should excuse themselves from voting on Park District issues.
Al Israel of 300 Albert stated the plan should be approved without the parking lot until it is proven necessary.
Stephen Gardner of 427 Elm Tree Lane noted that the Park District should listen to the residents.
Lisa Warner of 16 Greenvale commented that the reasons for needing the parking lot are not valid. The companies behind the park are willing to extend the use of their parking lot on the weekends and evenings. This accounts for 690 spaces. By not building the parking lot, more money would be available for maintenance, which is so desparately needed.
Trustee Ryg stated that it is the Park District’s responsibility to plan the parks.
Park District Director De Graaf stated the project was identified in the master plan and the current funding came from refinancing. A grant was applied for with Build Illinois First but has not been approved as of this date. The estimated cost of the project is $210,000.
Motion made by Trustee Ryg to approve the plan as presented. There was no second.
President Byrne recommended sending the plan to the Traffic Advisory Board. Motion by Trustee Cashman, second by Trustee Henley to approve preparation of an ordinance granting site plan approval of the improvements for Deerpath Park as presented and prepared by 3D Design Studio dated 2/6/01 without the parking lot, and refer the Site Plan to Traffic Advisory to determine if the parking lot is warranted. Roll call vote:
AYES: 5 – Cashman, Hebda, Henley, Black, Byrne
NAYS: 1 – Ryg
ABSENT: 1 – Koch
Motion declared carried.
Motion by Trustee Henley, second by Trustee Hebda to recess Committee of the Whole and reconvene the Board. Roll call vote:
AYES: 4 – Henley, Ryg, Hebda, Byrne
NAYS: 0 – None
ABSENT: 3 – Koch, Black, Cashman
Motion declared carried. Meeting recessed at 9:02 p.m. and reconvened at 9:35 p.m.
2. BUDGET OVERVIEW
Finance Director Nakrin referred to his memo dated February 1, 2001 on the proposed budget overview. When the General Fund is compared to last year not including transfers to other funds, debt service, and deducting last year’s capital reserve and contingency, the growth is 3.3%. If a 3.5% COLA is assumed, the growth is 5.5%. Budgeted revenues in the General Fund are increasing by 13.9%.
Chief Fleischhauer presented the budget for the Police Department stating the total budget request reflects a 2.3% overall increase from last year. The majority of the increase comes from personnel services. New requests include: 2 patrol officers, a new tele-communicator, communications center upgrade, additional K-9 unit, 9 laptop computers for patrol units, CAD gateway, 6 opticom system for patrol vehicles, evidence processing area, firearms purchase program, 8 replacement light bars for patrol units, NIPAS EST member, tele-trac surveillance system, 5 in-car video cameras, new copy machine for records, Explorer’s training conference, new police bike and reverse 911 upgrade.
Motion by Trustee Black, second by Trustee Henley to adjourn the Committee of the Whole meeting and go to Executive Session for the purpose of land acquisition. Roll call vote:
AYES: 5 – Ryg, Black, Hebda, Henley, Koch
NAYS: 0 – None
ABSENT: 1 - Cashman
Motion declared carried.
Meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
Jeanne M. Schwartz, Village Clerk Roger L. Byrne, Village President