Village of Grayslake Board of Trustees met March 18.
Village of Grayslake Board of Trustees met March 18.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
The Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Grayslake was called to order at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the Grayslake Village Hall, Mayor Taylor presiding.
Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – present.
Also present: Village Clerk Lee, various staff members, and two members of the public.
Mayor Taylor welcomed the Board members to the annual budget workshop. In his opening remarks he noted that the forecasts include the ending of host fee revenues and reiterated that the Village has time to respond to this occurrence. He noted that he has asked the team to investigate possible options to replace these dollars including pooling of various fund balances to generate more interest dollars, looking at refuse rates, adjusting the current capital fund set-up, and the possibility of an annual cap on capital spending. He reviewed some ways the Village has strengthened the General Fund as some other revenues have declined. He suggested that any discussion of the old fairgrounds in the context of budget impacts be held after the Board’s work on the pending financial matters is completed. He then asked Village Manager Mike Ellis to provide information on the updated Multi-Year Financial Forecast and the Draft FY 17/18 operating and capital budgets.
Mr. Ellis began the presentation by reviewing the meeting work plan designed to lead to direction on drafting a final budget for FY 17/18. He then reviewed the Grayslake Financial Plan including various strategies and financial approaches the Village uses to achieve financial health on an ongoing basis. The plan has eight main objectives including sufficient revenues for operating costs, the careful use of certain unpredictable revenues for operations so that essential services can be delivered in times where revenues are lower, avoiding service interruptions, maintaining the solvency of enterprise funds, preserving reserves for emergencies or opportunities, ensuring that funding for certain fixed assets is provided, setting aside dollars for road resurfacing and providing limited community improvement dollars without borrowing. He discussed ten plan components that are utilized together to attempt to meet these objectives and reviewed the structure of budget funds.
Mr. Ellis discussed the recommended changes to the financial plan language covering the elimination of the 9-1-1 Fund due to the Village’s participation in the Glenview Joint Emergency Telephone Board and two language clarifications on the allocation of dollars between the General Capital Project Fund and the Economic Development Capital Fund. Board members discussed the plan and the suggested changes.
Mr. Ellis provided information on major changes in the updated financial forecasts. These include property tax amounts will now be forecasted including the annual COLA and 50% of “new property” revenues as per previous Board direction. He noted changes to the basis of aquatic center revenues and the fact that approved residential building activity is now in the first half of the forecast period. In terms of cost the forecast does include the large 40% FY 17/18 North Shore Water Reclamation District (NSWRD) sewer rate increase and further projects a
2.5% annual increases after FY 17/18. He noted for the Board that NSWRD rates are likely to be higher than currently forecasted. Mr. Ellis stated that the NSWRD/LCPW agreement does not allow for review and input on NSWRD rate decisions. Mayor Taylor noted that these increases will need to be passed on to our customers. The 2017 forecasts include actual CLCJAWA FY 17/18 rates and anticipated rate declines in later years, maintain the current use level of part-time police officers, incorporate the lower police officer FOP contract costs and the Building Department post-transition cost basis. Capital costs include the usual annual expenses, Board determined FY 17/18 projects, projects selected by the Board for inclusion in the Ten Year General Fund Capital Improvement Plan, and resurfacing based on an approximate 18 year street resurfacing rotation. He referred the Board to the chart entitled Summary of Key Financial Indicators which shows ten year projected trends of rising operating dependency on certain unpredictable revenues and the amount of available capital project dollars after approved projects are paid for over the period.
Finance Director Bettina O’Connell presented information on the status of the Police Pension Fund including the results of a recent extra actuarial analysis of our fund based on a scenario of a greater rate of retirements. Due to the sound financial state of the fund the extra cost analysis showed little change from forecasted in our contributions over a 20 year period. Our contributions are projected to rise $60,000 to $70,000 per year. She reviewed the rising asset level of the fund and the Village’s annual contributions which have been consistently above the levels recommended by the Department of Insurance and our actuary. Funding level comparisons versus the state average and area municipalities were described and discussed. Ms. O’Connell noted that the Village’s fund remains in a healthy condition with funding levels well above the state averages. Mr. Ellis noted that a continued commitment to funding these police pensions will be required in the future to meet the Village’s commitments. Board members discussed the status of the police pension fund and it was noted that changing conditions over time can significantly change the outlook and our costs.
Village Manager Ellis then reviewed the Village’s overall financial health as depicted in the updated multi-year projections using six financial health indicators including dependency on unpredictable utility tax and economically sensitive shared revenues for operations, total operating and resurfacing dependency on these unpredictable revenues, General Operating Fund balances versus the target, effectiveness of enterprise fund multi-year rate plans in meeting target balances, available capital dollars, and meeting fixed asset plans. He provided specific information on each indicator and compared the results of this year’s projections to the last two years. Overall, the forecasts continue to show the impact of the large drop in General Fund revenues from the 2008 recession. The projections show a gradual decline in capital funding over the next ten years. In year ten 93% of shared revenues will be consumed by operating spending and resurfacing versus the Board target of 85%. Landfill host fees support the limited capital program until FY 22/23 when these dollar’s decline and end in FY 23/24. The forecast health indicators reflect a slight decline of the Village’s financial position versus last year due primarily to the ending of revenues from building activity as approved subdivisions are built-out. He noted that projected available General Capital Project Fund dollars are $8,206,808 over the next ten years which is down 23% from the 2016 forecasts.
Mr. Ellis discussed with the Board the requested alternate forecasts related to the anticipated Cornerstone project. The alternates project operating dependency, operating/resurfacing combined dependency and available capital dollars based on five different land use scenarios. The scenarios include the approved plan which includes residential and retail components with the other scenarios gradually replacing the residential and retail parts with office/manufacturing. He noted the most financially beneficial scenario is the approved plan with financial benefits present in the other scenarios but lessoned as the residential and retail are reduced. The Board discussed these scenarios, the likelihood of what the eventual land uses will be, and the resulting projected benefits.
Mayor Taylor asked Mr. Ellis to provide overview information on the draft FY 17/18 budget. Mr. Ellis stated that operating costs in the draft budget are up 2.8% to $17,590,049. He noted that operating costs excluding the NSWRD rate increase are up 1.7%. This increase includes the shift of the aquatic center annual fixed asset contribution from capital to operations. Excluding this shift and the NSWRD increase, operating spending is up 1.4%. Revenues are estimated at $18,490,795. The small increase in CLCJAWA water rates, lower budgeted health insurance costs, and stable non-police full-time staff salary costs help hold down costs in FY 17/18. Capital spending in the draft budget totals $7,280,926 to be paid for with budgeted revenues and on-hand dollars per the Village’s capital plan. Total operating and capital spending is $24,870,975. Board members discussed the overall budget numbers.
Mr. Ellis reviewed revenue sources and budgeted expenses by type and stated that police related costs are budgeted to be 33% of operating expenses, public works related costs are 41%, garbage services 10%, and building department at 4%. All other costs, including aquatic center, Retirement Fund, insurance, senior center, heritage center and a small management services budget total 12% reflecting the fact that the Village spends most on direct services with a small amount of overhead. Mr. Ellis reviewed operating budget areas describing cost areas that contribute to the increase in operating spending including police services and water/sewer services due primarily to the NSWRD rate increase. He confirmed that in the last three years increases from rising sewer rates from Lake County Public Works and the NSWRD have contributed more to operating cost increases than anything else. Specific budget revenues and cost areas were reviewed with Board members asking questions on the various expenses included in the draft. Mr. Ellis noted that the budget continues to reflect the 50% cut in the number of full-time non-sergeant/officer full-time positions.
Mr. Ellis reviewed the normal financial health indicators as they relate to the draft budget noting that the draft budget aligns with the Village’s health indicators resulting in favorable grades for four of the five indicators and a lower “C+” grade for rate plan sufficiency reflecting the need to adjust the water/sewer rate plan as a result of the new NSWRD rate increase. He specifically noted the improvement in the percentage of certain unpredictable revenues used for General Operating Fund expenses (41%) which is improved over the FY 16/17 budget. He reviewed the provided listing of all expenses that are shared between the various operating areas based on a set of specific formulas. Staff members answered questions on these expenses.
The Board reviewed the FY 17/18 capital projects and associated expenses as included in the draft budget including previous projects not yet closed out and FY 17/18 projects as previously selected by the Board. It was noted that the included costs are based on recent bids or the latest project cost estimates. Budgeted Economic Development Capital Fund, Water and Sewer Capital Project Fund and fixed asset projects were also discussed.
After discussion on various items included in the draft budget, Mayor Taylor asked the Board to consider the Grayslake Financial Plan 2017 and recommended changes and the Multi-Year Financial Forecasts. After discussion Trustee Vogel made a motion to accept the Grayslake Financial Plan 2017 and the 2017 Multi-Year Financial Forecasts. Seconded by Trustee Bassett. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Mayor Taylor directed the Board’s attention to the budget requests for miscellaneous projects, the Police Department forfeiture fund projects and fixed asset projects. Discussion was held on the proposed lists of various miscellaneous smaller projects as recommended by the operating departments. The Board consensus was to include the requested police projects, miscellaneous projects, and fixed assets in the final budget. Trustee Jarvis made a motion to waive competitive bidding and immediately award a contract to Rimflow Inc. in the amount of $27,150 for pool leak repairs. Seconded by Trustee Bassett. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried. It was noted that this contractor has completed previous repairs and is familiar with the facility.
Mayor Taylor commented on the Heritage Center Strategic Plan, business data for FY 16/17, and a report on the increasing attendance for the center activities. Trustee Vogel asked Board members to send him or Dave Oberg any suggestions they have for implementing the new strategic plan. The Board consensus was to include the heritage center budget requests in the final budget.
Mayor Taylor described the provided Economic Development Commission budget request information. Trustee Vogel noted that the budget was similar to past EDC requests. The Board discussed the renewal of the agreement with the Farmers Market and the consensus was to do this after finalization of agreement language. It was noted that the draft budget includes sufficient dollars to complete the current contract with the Grayslake Business Partnership (GBP) which ends on October 31, 2017. The budgeted amount is $72,500. The GBP is requesting $125,000 for FY 17/18 for a full year. Mayor Taylor commented on a letter he sent to the GBP on economic development priorities. Board members discussed enhanced communication on GBP activities, the benefits of additional Village direction on GBP activities in light of Village priorities and the need for negotiating a new agreement this year. Trustee Vogel noted that the GBP reports on their activities to the EDC with the reports usually included with EDC agenda packets and he suggested a new two to three year term if the discussed changes can be incorporated. The consensus of the Board was to include the requested EDC capital budget items and $125,000 in partnership support in the final FY 17/18 budget pending contract discussions with the GBP.
Board members discussed certain normal operating contracts that have been bid for FY 17/18. These cannot be executed at this time because a final budget including these contracts has yet to be adopted. The Board discussed the different contracts and the consensus of the Board was to authorize the Village Manager to execute these contracts prior to final budget approval for concrete work, facility cleaning, street sweeping, landscaping services, crack sealing, pavement marking, mosquito abatement (two years), aquatic center marketing, tree maintenance and HVAC maintenance as presented. Trustee Jarvis provided the Board with an overview of the options for phone services and made a motion to include in the FY 17/18 final budget funds for Option 2 as presented. Seconded by Trustee Waldenstrom. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
The Board discussed the request from Chief Perlini for authorization for a commander of investigations assignment in the department. Trustee Bassett asked the Chief if this was part of the staff development effort and the Chief confirmed that this is one reason for the request. Trustee Waldenstrom made a motion to include this additional assignment in the final budget. Seconded by Trustee Bassett. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
The Board then discussed the Water and Sewer Fund multi-year rate plan and noted that the plan does not meet financial objectives due to a large increase in Lake County/NSWRD sewer charges. After discussion of various presented options the consensus was to draft an ordinance using the presented Option B and to include revised figures in the final budget.
Mayor Taylor referred the Board to the financial performance of the Garbage/Recycling Fund under the current multi-year rate plan and also noted that no rate increases have been needed recently. He recommended that Option 3 as presented, which freezes rates at current levels, be used. The consensus of the Board was to draft an ordinance using this option and including revised figures in the final budget.
The Board discussed aquatic center daily admission and swim lesson rates in comparison to other facilities in our area. It was pointed out that our current rates put the fees in the middle-range. Also discussed was the revenue impact of the current adopted fee increases. After discussion, Trustee Jarvis made a motion to direct staff to prepare an ordinance amending the current rate plan to eliminate the FY 17/18 increases for daily admissions and swim lesson fees. Seconded by Trustee Davies. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Mayor Taylor asked Board members to consider the option for accelerating the water meter MXU replacement program and noted that the current Water and Sewer Capital Fund projections show the two year option can be paid for. Trustee Vogel stated that getting the replacements done sooner would save meter reading time and costs and the Board consensus was to include funding for the two year program in the final FY 17/18 budget.
Village Manager Ellis described for the Board the past efforts for obtaining federal highway dollars for work on eligible local roads. He noted that the Village has obtained millions of dollars in these outside funds in recent years and that the Village is always looking for possible new projects. He reviewed possible Atkinson Road intersection widening and turn lane projects with estimated costs totaling $6,654,000. Under current rules the Village’s estimated cost for all the projects would be $1,662,600. Mayor Taylor said he likes the proactive nature of looking at these projects in anticipation of additional Atkinson Road traffic when Route 83 is rerouted toward the south end of Atkinson Road. The Trustees discussed current traffic conditions, the likelihood of traffic increases, and which projects to pursue. Mr. Ellis noted that if the Board wants to proceed with any of the projects an initial FY 17/18 step would be to have discussion with the different agencies about the possible projects. If the agencies concur with the projects selected by the Board, design/permitting would take 2 to 3 years. The FY 17/18 engineering costs for these consultations would be $30,000. Trustee Davies expressed that the timing of the construction schedule should take into account other planned projects at that time since the local project costs would consume significant dollars in that year. After discussion the Board consensus was to include $30,000 in engineering costs in the final FY 17/18 budget to pursue all of the presented project options.
Board members reviewed possible options for the previously planned fountain adjacent to the clock tower. Different members expressed preferences on the presented options. Trustee Bassett made a motion to direct staff to arrange for the installation of Option 1. Seconded by Trustee Davies. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies – “aye”. Trustees Vogel, Shores – “nay”. Four “ayes” and two “nays”. Motion carried.
Mayor Taylor reviewed past Board discussions on possible uses of the Gelatin company property and said he felt having some additional professional planning expertise at this point in the process would assist in creating a draft plan. He referred the Board to the work order from our planning consultant. He asked for Board volunteers to help create a plan and Trustee Davies said she would be willing to serve. It was noted that a draft plan could be used to gather public input. The Board consensus was to include funds ($5,200) for the planning consultant in the final FY 17/18 budget.
The Board reviewed low bids for the Alleghany Road/School Street curb and gutter project from Maneval Construction ($408,560.56), Seymour Avenue curb and gutter from Chicagoland Paving ($379,900), Junior Avenue/Park Place curb and gutter from Chicagoland Paving ($327,900), sanitary sewer televising from National Power Rodding ($58,670.20), downtown streetscape from Copenhaven Construction ($189,880), sidewalk Center Street to north alley from Landmark Contractors ($45,440.05) and the Pierce Court drainage project from Mark Meade ($29,041). After discussion Trustee Bassett made a motion to spend no more than $1.0 million on curb and gutter projects in FY 17/18. Seconded by Trustee Vogel. Discussion ensued about the benefits and costs of each curb and gutter project with Trustees expressing various project priorities. Neighborhood disruptions from construction staging of the different projects were also discussed. Trustee Bassett expressed his understanding of the benefits of these projects but felt more than $1.0 million in a single year was more than should be spent. Mayor Taylor noted that these projects were previously chosen by the Board and communicated to the public. Board members discussed public reactions to past projects and how these projects fit with our capital program property value strategy. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Waldenstrom – “aye”. Trustees Jarvis, Davies, Shores – “nay”. Three “ayes” and three “nays”. Motion failed.
Trustee Jarvis made a motion to accept the low bids for all the presented projects and authorize execution of construction inspection work orders. Seconded by Trustee Waldenstrom. Roll call: Trustees Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – “aye”. Trustee Bassett – “nay”. Five “ayes” and one “nay”. Motion carried.
The Board discussed the plan to build a new parking lot on Whitney Street and the consensus of the Board was to include funding for the project including an engineering work order for design of the lot in the final FY 17/18 budget. Mayor Taylor directed Village Manager Ellis to execute a design work order when needed to make construction possible this year.
Trustee Vogel made a motion to approve the Ten Year General Fund Capital Improvement Program including projects discussed at this meeting. Seconded by Trustee Davies. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
The Board reviewed information on the Village’s various insurance coverages and policies and the idea of self-insurance in the form of higher deductibles was discussed. It was agreed that members would provide feedback, questions or ideas to Assistant Manager Timony in anticipation of our fall renewal process. Board members briefly discussed the Hillside parking lot revenue/cost projection and the sufficiency of our current parking fee for that lot. Trustee Vogel made a motion to approve the updates to the pay plan and personnel policy as recommended for FY 17/18. Seconded by Trustee Bassett. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Trustee Bassett made a motion to direct staff to prepare the final budget incorporating the discussion of the Board. Seconded by Trustee Davies. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Board members had a general discussion of land uses on the old Lake County fairgrounds in the context of the Village’s financial projections. Board members expressed use preferences with all members emphasizing the need for retail sales taxes from this site. Mayor Taylor emphasized the need for information gathering and appropriate processes will be needed to assess revenues versus costs of different plans in light of our financial objectives. It was noted that the Village has supported retail on the site and different land uses on non-retail portions of the site. Board members briefly discussed next steps on how our preferences should be pursued with interested development groups.
Trustee Vogel made a motion to go into executive session pursuant to Sections (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1)) and (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5)) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act and to have Village Clerk Lee and Village Manager Ellis and Assistant Village Manager Timony present in the session. Seconded by Trustee Waldenstrom. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Trustee Bassett made a motion to reconvene into the special meeting at 12:25 p.m. Seconded by Trustee Vogel. Roll call: Mayor Taylor, Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Also present – Village Clerk Lee.
Trustee Jarvis made a motion to adjourn the special meeting of the Board of Trustees. Seconded by Trustee Davies. Roll call: Trustees Bassett, Vogel, Jarvis, Waldenstrom, Davies, Shores – all “aye”. Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.