Board of Trustees
The Village of Riverwoods is governed by a Mayor and a six member Board of Trustees. All are elected for four year staggered terms and the trustees serve without pay while the Mayor is salaried. The Board is the legislative body of the Village government. The administrative work is performed under the direction of the Mayor, who is elected to serve a four year term. Village Board meetings are held at 7:30pm on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. All meetings are open to the public and your are cordially invited to attend and participate.
Village Board of Trustees Meeting Notes
Summary of ordinances, resolutions, and non-routine matters considered by the Board of Trustees from the meeting minutes. Read the entirety of these minutes or view the video of the actual Board of Trustee meetings on the Village of Riverwoods website at www.riverwoods-il.net/Government/Videos/.
Trustee Ford distributed a report showing the first quarter, second quarter and month of July revenue and the expenses by fund. The report can be read in full under the Board Notes
Trustee Ford emphasized this report shows the cash position only. For the month of July, the overall Village revenues exceeded the expenses. Year to date, however, the Village is negative $115,000 which comes out of the General Fund. Trustee Ford noted that the report also shows the annual budget numbers for each fund, along with the percentage remaining of the budget. Trustee Ford explained that, on this report, she separated the net revenues by fund. Year to date, the operating funds in the Police and General funds are running a deficit of about $140,000. The Village should expect to see more of a deficit and a decreasing bank balance because of upcoming capital expenses.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
Mr. Durning reported that Orphans of the Storm will be getting some bat houses.
The temporary voting site for the March primaries will be at Chevy Chase. The Village will post signs before the election.
The Village received a demolition request for 719 Thornmeadow. There were numerous issues with the property. There are no plans to rebuild.
The Village received an unofficial request for a charitable donation from the Deerfield Education Foundation. Mr. Durning asked them to submit a formal request.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the August 4, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report is available to read in full on the Village of Riverwoods website. www.villageofriverwoods.com
Trustee O’Donnell brought up security concerns raised at the Thorngate Homeowners Association meeting, including people parking overnight, speeding, not stopping at stop signs, etc. He indicated there was a theft in the subdivision that raised some concerns. Chief Dayno noted he had received similar complaints and asked his officer to install a speed sign which he believes has been done but will verify it. He also stated that his officers have issued more speeding tickets than usual since the complaints were received.
VILLAGE ATTORNEY REPORT
Mr. Huvard noted that the Village is still dealing with a few problem houses one of which is uninhabitable and has a lot of debris. The Village filed a complaint but has not been able to serve the owner. The Village may need to take some extraordinary efforts to serve the owner.
Mr. Huvard stated that he and Trustee Baumann are working on a Village email policy and on storing and cataloging digital files.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Affordable Housing – Mayor Norris indicated that the Village was listed in the papers as one of the delinquent communities regarding the affordable housing act. Based upon legal research, it is his belief that, because the Village is a Home Rule community, that the Village is not subject to the requirement of the act.
In the past, the Village has filed reports of their plan which they will be doing again. The plan is to comply with the policy which is to have 15% of new housing being built to be affordable housing. Mayor Norris noted that when homes are built one at a time, it is very difficult to comply with that policy.
Appointment of Auxiliary Arborist – Mayor Norris noted that he and Trustee Chamberlain have found a certified arborist who will act as an auxiliary arborist as needed by the Village at a reasonable rate. He was the arborist for the Village of Northbrook.
LockUp/Terraco Consideration of NFR Letter Holdback Agreement – Mr. Huvard explained that Bruce White, the Village’s Environmental Attorney, asked the consultant who prepared the Phase II report to provide a ‘worst case scenario.’ The consultant came up with a budget of about $29,000, but he expects it to be what he originally projected which was approximately $10,000. Mr. Huvard went back to Terraco and explained that the Village requested a hold back of $30,000 but without a cap. Both Terraco and The Lock Up were okay with the holdback and want to move forward. Mr. Huvard would like the Board’s approval to notify Terraco of their intent to close on the property within the next three weeks. Mr. Huvard spoke with Trustee Haber who stated he would prefer a $60,000 holdback.
Mayor Norris recognizes the concerns of the Board about the potential risk of buying the property before it has been remediated. He believes the Village has done their due diligence and that a $30,000 holdback should be enough for what may occur. In addition, Terraco is still liable if there is a problem in excess of $30,000. Trustee Chamberlain questioned what the $30,000 worst case means. Mr. Huvard explained that the consultant listed costs for things most likely to arise such as additional sampling. Trustee O’Donnell noted that the worst case scenario would be that the Village does not get the NFR (No Further Remediation) letter. Trustee O’Donnell is unclear why the Village cannot get the NFR letter before closing. Mr. Huvard explained it could take up to six months to get the NFR letter and that the Lock Up wants to proceed promptly.
Trustee O’Donnell asked if a child day care center with an outdoor playground would be allowed. Mr. Huvard explained there would be additional cost remediating to a residential level. If the Board wanted the ability for residential use, the cost would be approximately $5 per foot higher.
Trustee Baumann would prefer to ask for more money upfront rather than coming back and asking for more. Mr. Huvard suggested that, to make a request for a higher escrow amount more palatable, the Village could stipulate that escrow money would be gradually released as interim decisions are made by the IEPA. As the process continues, there will be less work needed so the escrow could be reduced throughout the process.
Trustee Chamberlain moved to raise the escrow to $60,000 with the intention of returning it in stages. A majority of the Board voted in favor.
The discussion continued – Mr. Huvard asked Trustees Ford and O’Donnell if there were any other items they wanted Mr. Huvard to negotiate. Trustee O’Donnell believes the Village should get the NFR letter prior to closing on the property. He feels that the Village is assuming an unnecessary risk. He asked if there was any discussion with The Lock Up about waiting until the NFR letter was received before moving forward. Mr. Huvard stated that the Lock Up wanted to proceed but will ask them if they would be willing to wait until the letter is received. Trustee Ford believes Terraco should develop the property rather than the Village.
Ordinance approving an Amendment to a Lease Agreement between the Village of Riverwoods and Nextel West Corp – Mayor Norris indicated this would be continued while the Village further investigates their options. Mr. Huvard got information on the four largest companies that purchase cellular antennas and leases. He suggests that the Village would be better served by having someone with in-depth knowledge helping the Village with the decision to possibly sell the cellular tower.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the July 21, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report can be found on the Village of Riverwoods website. www.villageofriverwoods.com
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Amendment to the Village Personnel Manual – Mayor Norris explained they are working on amending the Village Personnel Manual. This was prompted by the fact that the manual states that the Village gives vacation time to part-time employees, which Mayor Norris does not recommend be done. Mayor Norris will send a copy of the manual to the Trustees and ask them to review the manual and submit any other changes they would like to recommend.
“Phase 2” Findings on the Lockup/Terraco property – Mayor Norris indicated that the Phase 2 findings have come in. Environmental attorney Bruce White explained that the Phase 1 study results suggested that a Phase 2 study be done. Anderson Environmental sampled water in three of the four wells they had dug. There were no volatile chemicals found. One semi-volatile was found, but at a very low level. The three wells showed the same metals that were found in the landfill well. The levels were not significant, but could be an issue if the ground water was used.
Mr. White asked Anderson to contact the IEPA about the metals, to determine if the findings were considered a significant risk. The IEPA stated that the findings would not be a serious risk to the environment or to public health. The IEPA indicated that, in all likelihood, the owner could get a ‘no further remediation’ letter based on the information that currently exists without additional sampling and analysis. Anderson estimated that the cost of obtaining an NFR letter would be approximately $10,000. An NFR letter is a statement from the IEPA that there are no further claims against the property under Illinois law. It would protect everyone in the chain of title including Terraco, the Village and the Lock Up. Mr. White noted that the applicant for the NFR letter must be the owner of title. The Trustees believe Terraco should pay for the NFR application.
The Trustees discussed possible uses in regard to the groundwater exposure. Mr. White explained that the Lock Up or a fast food restaurant would be acceptable uses. Trustee Chamberlain noted that there was potential interest in putting in a day care center and, therefore, feels there should be some further investigation of this possibility. Mr. White replied that he would talk with the environmental consultant about this possible use. Mr. Huvard correctly assumed that the Board requires an NFR letter be issued, which could not be obtained within the timeframe they have for the closing. Mr. Huvard didn’t think either party would be happy with a request to postpone the closing for, possibly, up to six months. He noted that another option would be that the Village could close with a contractual undertaking between the Village and the Lock Up that they will cooperate to get to the NFR letter. The Lock Up could then close and begin the zoning process which could take several months. Mr. Huvard will talk to the Lock Up and work on the details discussed and have something to present to the Board at the next meeting.
Trustee O’Donnell and Trustee Chamberlain asked what would happen if the NFR letter could not be obtained. Mr. White stated that, based on the uses, all of the findings and the history of the property, all indications show that there should be no problem getting an NFR letter. At worst, the IEPA may require some additional sampling or remediation which should not be extensive or expensive.
Mr. Huvard asked if the Board has enough information to move forward or if they want two additional weeks for due diligence. The Trustees agreed that Mr. Huvard should ask Terraco for two additional weeks.
Village Resident Handbook – Mayor Norris indicated that the Village used to have a handbook as part of their welcome package. It listed Village services, phone numbers, cab numbers, etc. Trustee Chamberlain is working on the cost-share program and general land maintenance issues part of the handbook. Trustee Haber suggested adding it to the Village website rather than printing it.
Bannockburn BBQ Challenge – Mayor Norris noted that the Bannockburn BBQ Challenge will take place on Saturday, August 22, 2015 from 2 – 4:30.
Ordinance rezoning property at 320 Portwine Road – Mr. Huvard indicated that the property is currently in the R-2 district. The Plan Commission recommended rezoning the property to the Public Lands district consistent with the zoning of other Village-owned property.
The Board voted in agreement.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Police/Building/Zoning – Trustee Jamerson sent out the Building Report for July. The construction value is down but the fees are up.
Woodland/Finance – Trustee Chamberlain met with the Village Ecologist to go over revisions to the cost-share programs. She added that, with Chuck Stewart gone, the Village still needs the services of a certified arborist from time to time. She and the Mayor have found someone who is interested in working for the Village on an on-call basis. Mayor Norris stated that the arborist’s fee would be $75 per hour.
NEW VILLAGE RECEPTIONIST
Mayor Norris stated that the Village hired a new, part-time receptionist. Michelle Smith is a Village resident and will work three days per week.