Village of Lake Bluff Board of Trustees met October 23.
Village of Lake Bluff Board of Trustees met October 23.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
1. Call To Order And Roll Call
Village President O’Hara called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Lake Bluff Village Hall Board Room, and Village Clerk Joy Markee called the roll.
The following were present:
Village President: Kathleen O’Hara
Trustees: Barbara Ankenman
Absent: Drew Irvin, Village Administrator
Also Present: Joy Markee, Village Clerk
Peter Friedman, Village Attorney
Bettina K. O’Connell, Finance Director
Michael Croak, Building Codes Supervisor
Jeff Hansen, Village Engineer
David Belmonte, Police Chief
David Graf, Fire Chief
Jake Terlap, Public Works Superintendent
Glen Cole, Assistant to the Village Administrator (A to VA)
2. Pledge Of Allegiance
President O’Hara led the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Village Board Sets The Order Of The Meeting
At the request of those present, Trustee Meyer moved to take Agenda Item #11 then return to the regular order of the meeting. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
4. Item #11 – A Resolution Honoring The Public Service Of Fire Department Member Gregg Marsh
President O’Hara read the resolution honoring the public service of Assistant Fire Chief Gregg Marsh.
President O’Hara stated recognition is not just for individual volunteers or dedicated volunteer firefighters but for their entire family. As such the Village would like to honor the Marsh Family for their support and understanding especially for his absence from various family events. President O’Hara stated the character of Lake Bluff truly is resident volunteers like Assistant Fire Chief Marsh as well as many others that selflessly give their time to make the Village a special place. She thanked him for his service then presented him with a framed copy of the proclamation and a certificate of achievement from the Fire Department.
Assistant Fire Chief Marsh thanked his family, Fire Department, Police Department, and Village Board for their support and stated it has been an honor to serve the community.
5. Item # 3 - Consideration Of The Minutes
Trustee Towle moved to approve the September 25, 2017 Board of Trustees Regular Meeting Minutes as presented. Trustee Dewart seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
6. Item #4 – Non-Agenda Items And Visitors
President O’Hara stated the Village President and Board of Trustees allocate fifteen minutes for those individuals who would like the opportunity to address the Village Board on any matter not listed on the agenda. Each person addressing the Village Board of Trustees is asked to limit their comments to a maximum of five (5) minutes.
President O’Hara read the 2023 Village Strategic Plan Guiding Principles. She stated these are our guiding principles as stated in our 2023 Strategic Plan and affirmed by our community. Yesterday, there were several signs around town that appeared to have a definite racist overtone. She do not know where those signs came from or who is responsible for them. She does know that those signs do not represent what our community stands for. Our seven guiding principles do. She can only hope that whoever put those signs up did not understand the racist inferences or perhaps that it was a parody or sick joke.
President O’Hara stated she does not believe that the residents who have stated their positions on either side of this issue would allow such a message as that sign implies to represent them. The issue of short term rentals, as well as any other issue in our village, will be discussed and decided in a civil and respectful manner by all concerned. All of us must embrace and adhere to the guiding principles which define us as a community. There is no other way.
Ms. Sheila Leahy (resident) stated she was disturbed by the signs. She posted her opinion, “Keep Lake Bluff open to all homeowners, renters and overnight guests” on a sign in her front yard. She received positive feedback from the silent majority regarding the sign and her opinion.
Ms. Daria Andrews (resident) addressed short term rentals from a realtor and resident perspective. She said realtors not only sell houses but also a community. She said Lake Bluff is an easy place to sell because of its physical beauty and facilities, but we must consider how adverse actions could affect the community. Ms. Andrews said she understands the signs were not intended to be perceived negatively but they expressed the wrong message about our community. Ms. Andrews stated she does not want anyone to give up their passion, fight, or dedication to the Village but she thinks the battle needs to be taken off the streets to allow Village officials an opportunity to reach a conclusion that will benefit the entire Village. Ms. Andrews shared a personal story and noted it is a loss for everyone when people no longer desire to invest in Lake Bluff.
Mr. Kraig Moreland (resident) commented on past signage that had a positive effect on the community such as safe house signage and expressed his opinion that the current sign conditions are a sad reflection of the community. Mr. Moreland stated children are very observant but he thinks their voices have been forgotten and he wonders how the signs are affecting the children in the community.
Ms. Julie Astbury (resident) expressed her agreement with Ms. Andrews and stated the opinions regarding short term rentals have divided the community and the ongoing issue needs to be resolved.
Ms. Kate Briand (resident) provided information expressed by a representative of Urban Land Institute regarding small town preservation and her opinion that action should have already been taken regarding short term rentals. She said it is important to remember that Lake Bluff is a small community which may not be able to wrap its arms around this matter, and if not, she believes the issue will continue and it is not healthy for the community. Ms. Briand expressed her opinion that there will be unintended consequences whatever the decision. She asked the Board to consider saying “No to short term rentals” and move forward with other community matters.
Ms. Lisa Doyle (resident) stated she lives next door to an Airbnb and has never had an unpleasant experience with any of the renters or felt that neighborhood children were in any danger. She said an Airbnb could have been used during her time of grieving to keep her family close, but this was not an option. A neighbor offered their home which is an example of Lake Bluff neighborly kindness.
Mr. Greg Claus, a representative of Congressman Brad Schneider’s Office, provided information on the assistance offered at the Congressional Office and stated a representative will be available to speak with residents on Tuesday, October 31st (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.) at the Lake Bluff Library.
Ms. Caryn Wilcox (resident) expressed her concern with the flooding on West Sheridan Place and she asked the Board to prioritize the flooding caused by storm drainage systems.
President O’Hara stated that two Village Board members (Trustees Grenier and Lemieux) and Village Administrator Irvin along with supporting Staff are studying short term rentals and will provide feedback at a future meeting. President O’Hara stated it is good government practice not to make quick decisions. She asked that residents not blame bad behavior on the Village Board taking the time needed to make a fair decision. She responded to the flooding comment and noted a resolution establishing a capital projects fund will be considered at tonight’s meeting.
7. Item #6A – Warrant Reports For October 1-31, 2017 And September 2017 Payroll Expenditures
President O’Hara reported expenditure of Village funds for payment of invoices in the amount of $445,237.23 for October 1-15, 2017, $629,549.78 for October 16-31, 2017, and payroll in the amount of $344,259.74 for September 2017.
As such, the total expenditures for this period is in the amount of $1,419,046.75.
As there were no questions from the Board, Trustee Dewart moved to approve the Warrant Reports. Trustee Meyer seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux, Meyer and Towle
8. Item #6B – September 2017 Financial Report
At President O’Hara’s request, Finance Director Bettina K. O’Connell provided a brief summary of the September 2017 Finance Report highlighting major revenue sources and expenditures for the period.
• Sales tax revenue for May-June 2017 is in-line with the previous year with less than a 1% divergence. The July collection or September distribution of $268,371 is now posted to the States website and with that additional information the revenue actually increased approximately 1%;
• Home rules sales tax for May-June 2017 is 13.6% lower than the previous fiscal year. She noted this is the first quarter which the administrative fees were deducted from the home rule sales tax revenue which is approximately $1,500 to $1,800 a month for a total of $3,600 to date;
• Building permit revenue for May-September 2017 increased approximately $367,000 compared to the previous year. The significant increase is due to the building permit fees which amounted to approximately $84,000 for remodeling of the Deerpath Medical Building located at 71 S. Waukegan Road; and
• Year to date expenditures are consistent or less than the budget.
Trustee Grenier moved to accept the Finance Report. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
9. Item #7 – Village Administrator’s Report
President O’Hara stated Village Administrator Drew Irvin is attending an out of state conference.
10. Item #8 – Village Attorney’s Report
Village Attorney Peter Friedman had no report.
11. Item #9 – Village President’s Report
President O’Hara reported on the upcoming Police Department annual hot dog roast during trick-or-treat hours as well as recent automobile burglaries. She asked residents to be vigilant and lock their valuables to make the Village a safe community unattractive to criminal elements.
12. Items #10 – Acceptance Of The Correspondence
President O’Hara introduced the correspondence from the Informational Reports on September 22, 29, October 6 and 13, 2017.
Trustee Towle moved to accept the correspondence as submitted. Trustee Ankenman seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
13. Item #12 – A Resolution Establishing A Capital Projects Fund
President O’Hara reported the resolution is to establish a Capital Projects Fund as originally discussed by the Finance Committee at their December 3, 2016 meeting and as contemplated in the FY18 fiscal plan. The Finance Committee agreed to recommend the creation of a capital fund financed with the General Fund excess reserves; the General Fund unassigned/unreserved fund balance will be utilized for high priority capital projects lacking a designated funding source. She further reported at its February 20, 2017 meeting the Finance Committee reviewed long term General Fund balance projections and concluded that a transfer of $2 million into a new fund would keep projected fund balances at or about the target of 50% of operating expenditures pursuant to the Village’s financial policies. On October 2, 2017, following its review of the FY17 ending General Fund balance, the Finance Committee recommended that the Board create the fund and transfer $2 million in initial funding by resolution.
Trustee Lemieux emphasized that the fund would be used for high priority capital projects lacking a designated funding source and not to artificially reduce excess reserve.
President O’Hara stated the increase in sales tax revenue contributed to the establishment of this fund and it will be used for designated unfunded capital improvement projects throughout the community.
As there were no further comments from the Board, Trustee Dewart moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Meyer seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux, Meyer, Towle and Ankenman
14. Item #13 – Acceptance Of Fy2016-17 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)
President O’Hara reported the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) provides a complete picture of the Village’s financial health and is comprised of the basic financial statements with footnotes, a transmittal letter, a management and discussion analysis, detailed fund level statements with budget comparisons, and statistical information for the past ten years. She further reported the Village received an unmodified opinion from its auditors, Sikich, LLP that the financial statements are fairly presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. This represents the highest opinion that an organization can receive.
President O’Hara reported at their October 2nd meeting, the Finance Committee (i) reviewed the draft CAFR, (ii) met with Daniel Berg, Partner with Sikich, and (iii) voted unanimously to recommend to the Village Board acceptance of the FY2017 CAFR. The FY2017 CAFR is available on the Village’s website and printed bound copies are available at Village Hall, the Public Safety Building, and the Lake Bluff Library.
Trustee Ankenman moved to accept the FY2016-17 CAFR. Trustee Grenier seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
15. Item #14 – A Resolution Authorizing The Execution Of A Construction Contract With Marc Kresmery Construction, Llc. For The Village Of Lake Bluff’s Wimbledon Lift Station Equipment Replacement Project
President O’Hara reported on October 18th bids were opened for the Village’s Wimbledon Lift Station Equipment Replacement Project. Two bids were received, with the lowest responsive bid of $86,350.00 submitted by Marc Kresmery Construction of Elgin, Illinois. She further reported the project includes replacing the pumps, guide rails, and existing control system at the lift station. The improvements will improve the reliability of the lift station which has had required significant maintenance and repairs in recent years.
President O’Hara reported the Village’s FY18 Budget includes $347,500 for lift stations improvements to several lift stations within the Village. Of this total, the Village has previously committed $141,700 to engineering services and a construction contract for work at the Tangley Oaks and West Blodgett lift stations. Approving the current project will leave $119,450 in the budget. This remaining budget is intended to be used on construction inspection and the rebuilding or replacement of pumps at the Tangley Oaks and West Center lift stations. She further reported the Village Engineer is recommending that an award be made to Marc Kresmery Construction for the low bid amount of $86,350.00.
In response to questions from Trustee Lemieux, Village Engineer Jeff Hansen stated the project will be completed by March 2018. He stated there will be approximately $119,000 remaining after the $86,000 and it is a sufficient amount for the remaining projects.
In response to a question from Trustee Dewart, Village Engineer Hansen stated the approved Tangley Oaks/West Center lift station contractor included replacing a water value at the Tangley Oaks facility and after it is replaced the final sewer project repair for that station will be the pump rebuild.
As there were no further questions from the Board, Trustee Lemieux moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Meyer seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Grenier, Lemieux, Meyer, Towle, Ankenman and Dewart
16. Item #15 – A Resolution Authorizing Change Order No. 1 For The Village’s Fy2017-2018 Motor Fuel Tax Street Improvement Project
President O’Hara reported on April 10th the Village Board approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a construction contract with Peter Baker and Son Company of Lake Bluff, Illinois for the 2017-2018 Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) Street Improvement Project in the amount of $426,171.05. She further reported the bid price was below the allocated budget for the project and the Village Board requested that additional work be done to use a portion of the remaining budget to increase the amount of street improvements.
President O’Hara reported the Village then increased the amount of asphalt patching to include areas of East Scranton Avenue, Vincent Court, East North Avenue and Kohl Drive. Additionally, the curb and gutter was replaced on West Witchwood Lane and the amount of pavement markings was increased. She further reported the budgeted amount for construction and inspection services for the MFT project was $530,000. The original contract award amount of $426,171.05 and the inspection services contract ($36,256) totaled $461,000. With this change order and related additional inspections, the total project cost will be approximately $518,000.
As there were no comments from the Board, Trustee Meyer moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Grenier seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Lemieux, Meyer, Towle, Ankenman, Dewart and Grenier
17. Item #16 – A Resolution Authorizing Change Order No. 1 For The Village’s Moffett Road Emergency Repair Project
President O’Hara reported on August 28th the Village Board approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a construction contract with V3 Construction Group, LTD to perform the emergency repairs of Moffett Road in the amount of $82,000. This land bridge remains threatened by damage suffered during major rainfalls in July 2017. She further reported the Village Board approved resolutions to acquire easements in the ravine just east of Moffett Road. The easement agreements provide that the Village participates in the funding of a streambank erosion control improvements downstream of the Moffett Road Bridge up to $40,000. V3 Construction provided the Village with a proposal to do the streambank erosion control improvements in conjunction with the emergency repairs for a sum of $47,000. Rather than wait until spring and in order to take advantage of the Village borne mobilization costs from the emergency repairs, Dan and Karen Myers (owners of 145 Moffett Road) have agreed to reimburse the Village for the amount above the $40,000 and wish to complete the project now.
President O’Hara reported the Village Engineer recommends that the Village Board approve the change order to allow for V3 Construction to complete the streambank erosion control improvements and fulfill the obligations of the Village in regards to the easement agreements.
As there were no comments from the Board, Trustee Dewart moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Meyer, Towle, Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier and Lemieux
18. Item #17 – A Resolution Approving A Final Plat Of Dedication For Property Located On Quassey Avenue
President O’Hara reported Quassey Avenue is located in unincorporated Lake County and a portion of the street is a public street owned by Shields Township and the remainder is a private street owned by the adjacent property owners. Four property owners on the private portion of the street wish to dedicate a 40’ right of way to Shields Township and make the portion in front of their property a public street. The street currently exists in an easement and Shields Township has been maintaining the street for several decades. Shields Township has agreed to accept the dedication portion.
President O’Hara reported the property is within one and a half miles of the Village of Lake Bluff’s corporate boundary and is therefore subject to the Village’s subdivision ordinance and requires Village approval prior to recording. The plat of dedication does not create any new buildable lots. The three lots on the south side of Quassey Avenue involved are all existing single family homes. The one lot on the north side of Quassey Avenue is a 2 acre vacant lot that is not yet subdivided. She further reported Section 11-2-6(D) of the Subdivision Code allows for the Village Board to waive any substantive or procedural requirements for subdivision involving parcels outside the Village limits. The applicant is requesting that the Village Board approve the final plat.
In response to a comment from Trustee Lemieux, Village Attorney Friedman stated the Municipal Code provides that when a community has a Comprehensive Plan and a subdivision occurs outside of its limits, but within one and a half miles of the Village corporate boundary, subdivision approval from the County and local Municipalities are required. The requirements only applies to unincorporated areas and are used as a planning tool to determine if major subdivisions, within one and a half miles of a municipality could impact the municipality.
Trustee Grenier inquired of any significant impacts on municipalities associated with this proposed action. President O’Hara stated this is essentially maintaining the status quo with the exception of dedicating the property to Shields Township.
As there were no comments from the Board, Trustee Ankenman moved to adopt the resolution. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Towle, Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux and Meyer
19. Item #18 – Trustee’s Report
Trustee Grenier stated residents did express to him their discomfort with the political message signs related to the short term rental conversation, particularly the ones regarding children safety and asked if the signs could be removed after the policy has been decided.
20. Item #19 – Executive Session
At 7:53 p.m. Trustee Dewart moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing Property Disposition (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(6)) and Executive Session Minutes (5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21)). Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on the following roll call vote:
Ayes: (6) Ankenman, Dewart, Grenier, Lemieux, Meyer and Towle
There being no further business to discuss, Trustee Grenier moved to adjourn out of executive session. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion and the motion passed on a unanimous voice vote at 8:16 p.m.
21. Item #20 – Consideration Of The Minutes Of The September 25, 2017 Executive Session Meeting
Trustee Grenier moved to approve the September 25, 2017 Executive Session Meeting Minutes as presented. Trustee Lemieux seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
22. Item #21 – Adjournment
Trustee Meyer moved to adjourn the regular meeting. Trustee Towle seconded the motion and the motion passed on a unanimous voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m.