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/.
Village Attorney Roseth briefly discussed the Statement of Revenues and Expenses by Fund which Trustee Ford prepared. It is a cash flow statement in an easy-to-follow format. As of the end of June, the Village is $137,000 negative due to timing differences and specific annual occurrences. Mr. Roseth stated that it is an applicable report because even though the Village is financially sound, there are some major expenditures coming up.
Mr. Roseth indicated that the investment funds from Wells Fargo have been moved to JP Morgan. JP Morgan now controls $7.5 million. Over time, the Wells Fargo investments will be sold and moved into JP Morgan’s advisor’s strategy which is quite different from the Wells Fargo advisor’s strategy. The Village is proposing changing the investment policy to be more consistent and compliant with the State investment policy. The proposed change to the policy would allow the Village to invest in corporate bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
Trustee Ford noted that the Village's investment advisor wants the Village to be more proactive in letting her know when the Village is going to need funds. The Board agreed that cash projections were important. Mr. Roseth added that most of the Village’s investments were fairly short term ones.
Trustee Chamberlain asked at what point or how often should there be an in depth examination when expenses exceed revenues to make sure it's not an early indicator of some issue. Mr. Roseth stated that they could delve into the details of the report but suggested waiting until September considering the third quarter is almost done. Trustee O'Donnell noted that there was a significant bump in the police fund expenditures in the second quarter as well as in the MFT fund. Mr. Roseth stated that this report, on which Trustee Ford has spent many hours, is the first step in doing a financial analysis. Trustee Ford explained this is a point in time cash position. What she and Mr. Roseth are working on is a monthly history of revenues and expenses which the Village does not have. She further stated that the trend lines in the audits from the last several years were very interesting showing where the revenues are coming from.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
Mr. Durning reported that Clarke is spraying for mosquitos on a weekly basis. There were a number of advertisement signs along Portwine that have now been removed. He will meet with the architect for the Center for Enriched Living regarding the additional parking spaces and remodeling plans. There is a home on Duffy Lane applying for a permit for construction plans that do not conform to the Village's zoning code. They will need a zoning variance if they go further.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the July 7, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report is available to read in full on the Village of Riverwoods website.
Chief Dayno reported that they issued a 'notice to appear' for a cannabis violation during a routine traffic stop. Chief Dayno stated that there was an incident that is not on the report because it happened early this morning. He noted that a car crossed the yellow lines into oncoming traffic and took out a number of mailboxes and nearly missed a child and his babysitter waiting for a bus. The driver did not stop but they got a plate number. The driver was issued a number of tickets and a misdemeanor charge.
VILLAGE ATTORNEY'S REPORT
Mr. Huvard explained they are still working on the Lock Up / Terraco transaction. The Village should have the Phase II boring report this week. Mr. Huvard does not see anything unexpected, but will touch base with the Lock Up.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
IML September – Mayor Norris noted that the IML will meet September 17 – 19. He will send out the registration information.
Governor Signed E-Scrap Bill – Mayor Norris indicated that the governor signed the E-Scrap Bill. The SWALCO pick-ups, including electronics on the first tuesday of each month should continue through the end of the year. Mayor Norris noted Lakeshore is also working on a food scrap recycling program.
IT Contract – Mayor Norris explained that the Village is moving forward with DCS. He is meeting with them tomorrow to discuss the timing of the installation of the new server and the issues occurring on the Village computers.
Panera Bread – Mayor Norris was contacted by representatives from Panera, who may be interested in purchasing the remaining 1.9 acres on Milwaukee and Deerfield Roads.
ORDINANCE APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO THE LEASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS AND NEXTEL WEST CORP.
Mr. Huvard explained that the Village has three tenants on the water tower at Ravinia: AT&T, Sprint (formerly Nextel) and T-Mobile. After five years, the rent went up about 20 percent. The Village has been contacted by Verizon who is interested in the top of the water tower. Mr. Huvard requested that Verizon prepare a structural report to determine the feasibility. On the Holiday Inn property, which is not a Village property, there is a monopole that has two users. Verizon is looking at that site as well.
Sprint's initial proposal is lower than what they are now paying as well as what the other tenants are paying. They are asking for a 25 year lease with a 15% increase after 5 years. Trustee Haber noted that the increase should be 3% annually and not 15% after 5 years. Trustee Jamerson agreed. Trustee Haber further noted that 25 years would only be an option and that Sprint could decide not to exercise that option. Mr. Huvard suggested a 10-year lease; Trustee Haber agreed. Trustee Haber asked if the Village has considered selling the tower. Mr. Glenn noted that there may be an incentive to consider a sale as he is working on scheduling a structural inspection of the tower which hasn’t been done in a while. At the very least, the Village may have to paint the tower which could cost a few hundred thousand dollars. Mayor Norris would consider entertaining a good offer, but favors revenue source diversity.
The Board voted to renew the contract with Midwest Snow Removal.
Trustee Jamerson indicated that Midwest has over salted the parking lots. He would like to see if there is something more environmentally friendly than salt. Mr. Durning will ask them about other options. Mr. Huvard noted that if the melting material changes, the contract would have to be rebid. Mr. Glenn suggested going to more of a performance standard versus paying them by the ton. Mayor Norris stated that they will explore those other options and asked the Board to authorize him to negotiate a final contract. Trustee Jamerson suggested going forward, the Village should request pricing on both salt and a more environmentally friendly alternative.
NOMINATION OF MARK HIGGINSON TO THE PLAN COMMISSION
The Board voted unanimously to approve Mark Higginson to the Plan Commission.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
4th of July Parade – Mayor Norris stated that the Village received a 'Best of Parade' honorable mention at the 4th of July Parade. He thanked Rich Koomjian, Tracy Bertog, Rob Durning, Mike Corn and the Plant Committee for participating and/or helping with the event.
AES PROPOSAL: RIVERWOODS NATURAL COMMUNITY INVENTORY
Trustee Chamberlain explained that the Board has had various conversations about why some parcels of land may be preferable for open land, what the Board wants to do for our tree Ordinances, and basically, anything to do with the Village's ecosystem. The inventory would take the guesswork out of these conversations. The proposal would have Mr. Zimmerman (our new village ecologist) map and rate the parcels in a fact-gathering project.
Mr. Zimmerman explained that there are various types of woodland communities. He would like to inventory the entire Village to help inform decisions to improve the health of the woodlands. AES would inventory and map the various woodland communities and wetlands and rate them for quality. He would do a very detailed inventory of Village-owned properties and a broad inventory for private properties. Trustee Chamberlain noted that the RPC would fund half the cost. Trustee Haber asked if the former Village Forester already has this information readily available. Trustee Jamerson believes there may be data about the forest component, but it may not have all of the rest of the desired information. Mr. Zimmerman indicated the study would also map all of the drainage throughout the Village.
The Board voted to fund $23,250 for AES to conduct the natural resource study subject to matching funds from the RPC and Mr. Huvard’s review.
WOODLAND PRESERVE MAINTENANCE CONTRACT
Trustee Chamberlain noted that Village Forester Chuck Stewart put together plans for the Woodland Preserve three years ago for the initial planning and maintenance. The contracts have expired. The Woodland Preserve needs maintenance and a few changes. The Village received bids based on the written plan put together by Mr. Zimmerman. AES was the low bid at $34,599. Trustee Haber noted that the report from AES suggests that the last three years have been less than stellar. Mr. Zimmerman agreed. He noted that he had walked the site with Mr. Stewart. He stated that the formal areas by the police station have not been maintained. He suggested those areas should be maintained by a landscaper. Most of the rain garden plants did not survive because of the salt. The detention basin is mostly filled with non-native weeds. The woodland savannah area looks good. Trustee Haber expressed concern about the amount spent to date and the poor condition of several of the areas and a possible repetition going forward. Trustee Chamberlain explained that she would have liked to have had some things done differently, but that did not happen. Through experience, they now know what plantings work in the different areas and which do not. Mr. Zimmerman clarified that the Woodland Preserve area itself, where most of the money was spent, is doing well. Mr. Zimmerman further explained that the bid documents clearly outlined the areas and the tasks in each area that need to be completed. Trustee Chamberlain indicated that the bid is for a five year contract and that the prices submitted are a lot lower than what was previously spent. Trustee O’Donnell asked if anyone spoke with Tall Grass regarding the current state. He asked if there is any remedy in their contract. Mr. Zimmerman noted Tall Grass only maintained in the restoration area were maintained.
The Board agreed to award the contract for Woodland Preserve maintenance to AES in an amount not to exceed $34,599.
APPROVAL OF IT SERVICE PROVIDER
Trustee Baumann explained that at the last Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Norris, Chief Dayno and Trustee Baumann received approval to replace the Village server and to engage an IT service provider. They narrowed the choices down to two firms. Of the two, they favored Digital Currency Systems, the lowest bidder for proactive services. He asked DCS to provide an estimate for replacing the server and they came in with a recommendation that the Village did not consider. They suggested replacing the Village server and server at the police department which was replaced last year with a refurbished server. The existing police department server would then be repurposed to handle security and provide remote monitoring of all of the IT systems. DCS's proposal is $27,062.22 for installation of the two new servers, two new firewalls and upgrading the operating system from Windows 2008 to 2012. The proposal violates the not to exceed limits approved at the last Board of Trustees meeting which was $10,000 for hardware and $25,000 for maintenance. Another option would be to purchase one server and upgrade the software on the existing police department server and two firewalls. Trustee O’Donnell noted that the price difference of purchasing just one server would be between $6,000 and $8,000 for the hardware and labor. Mr. Huvard asked about what the cost of the annual proactive services would be. Chief Dayno replied that the monitoring cost, which would include performing software upgrades as needed, would be $9,000. If they needed to come in to install or repair something, it would be $125 per hour. Chief Dayno understands that once they setup the monitoring system, there should be no need for many service calls.
Trustee Baumann moved to authorize the purchase of two servers per the proposal from Digital Currency Systems in an amount not to exceed $27,063. Trustee Jamerson seconded the motion. Trustee Haber questioned the timing of the project based on the upcoming renovation. Mayor Norris stated that all of the vendors agreed that there wouldn’t be any issues moving the new server to the temporary quarters and then back again.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SERVICES REPORT
Mr. Durning explained that Meadowlake’s Homeowner's Association improved the appearance of their entrance with flowers and numerous plantings. A home in South Riverwoods had an illegal electrical fence which is now de-energized. A transportation planner from Discover contacted him about a possible long term additional parking plan. Center for Enriched Living is getting ready to submit an application for a permit for a parking lot. 3 Wildflower should be getting a permit soon to build a house on the vacant lot. 2880 Duffy requested a zoning variance application to remove a part of the existing second story and replace it in a different location. The house is a legal, non-conforming structure and the requested change would also be non-conforming. 9 Julie Lane has unauthorized fill on the property which has raised the grade causing water to spill onto the neighbor’s property. The Village had notified the receiver, and to date, nothing has been done.
ORDINANCE 15-06-09 AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY IN THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS (FROM DEERFIELD/MILWAUKEE)
Attorney Huvard noted that the due diligence period was changed from 30 days to 60 days. Everything else remained the same on the contract.
Trustee Jamerson questioned why the "hazardous/toxic materials" wording was removed in Article V. Mr. Huvard explained that their attorney may have wanted to avoid exposure for his client, but he was not concerned because the contract states that the Village is allowed to do an environmental investigation. Trustee O’Donnell wants to make sure that the Village has the right to have a Phase II study performed. Trustee Chamberlain believes that the wording may sound better to a third party, but that an environmental investigation absolutely encompasses hazardous or toxic materials. Mayor Norris added that if a property has an environmental problem, under Illinois law it's not a clear title. Trustee Ford asked about the ecologist’s report expressing the opinion that the Lockup’s portion of the property did not lend itself to native plantings. Mr. Huvard replied that their portion had limited planting areas. Trustee Ford then asked about the Village’s portion of the property. Trustee Chamberlain had the same question, but stated that she thought that the landscaping was covered in the redevelopment agreement. Mr. Huvard suggested having these discussions and voting on the redevelopment agreement before voting on the purchase agreement.
Trustee Jamerson moved to table further discussion until after the redevelopment agreement was discussed. Trustee Chamberlain seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.
ORDINANCE 15-06-08 AUTHORIZING A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT IN THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS (WITH LOCK UP RIVERWOODS, LLC)
Mr. Huvard explained that the ecologist will evaluate the entire site and will present a plan for Board approval. Mayor Norris stated that the Village wants the area to be attractive and to look natural and well maintained. He also reminded the Board that TIF funds would be used for landscaping of the Village's portion. Trustee Chamberlain asked about the process whereby the Board would get the opportunity to express their opinions and assert that the Lockup will do things agreed upon. Mr. Huvard replied that the Lock Up would go through the Special Use process and present their landscape plan at that time.
Trustee Ford expressed concern about the two acres that would be owned by the Village. She would like to know how much money it will take to improve the property. Mayor Norris noted it would be improved using TIF funds.
Trustee O'Donnell expressed concern about the residents' opinion of what is happening with the property. Mayor Norris indicated that the Meadowlake Board and numerous residents in other parts of the Village appear to be supportive of The Lock Up being at that corner.
The Board resumed discussion of the property acquisition.
Trustee O'Donnell asked for reassurance that there were no concerns about the Village’s ability to inspect the property for any environmental issues and that the Village would not proceed with anything other than green flags and would rescind the offer if there were any red flags. Mayor Norris stated that he had no intention of buying any property that has any possibility of a risk.
In light of Trustee O'Donnell's concerns, Trustee Jamerson asked who would make the determination to proceed or not to proceed after the Phase II study and any other due diligence is completed. Mr. Huvard explained that the Village’s consultant and environmental attorney would make recommendations based on the discoveries from the Phase II study. He expects that the study will determine the costs that are involved to the Lock Up to make it safe and useable for them. The Lock Up would then determine if the project is feasible. If they deem it to be infeasible, the Village would probably deem it infeasible as well. Mayor Norris reassured the Board that he will seek Board approval on all aspects of the findings and possible recommended remediation as the Village moves forward with their due diligence. Mr. Huvard added that the contract requires an affirmative notice to proceed at the end of the 60 day period. He would not feel comfortable submitting a notice to proceed without the Board’s approval.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Woodlands/Finance – Trustee Chamberlain reported that the Eagle Scout has put up a bat house at the Woodland Preserve and is looking for a second location. The dates for the strategic planning meetings have been confirmed. Trustee Chamberlain will e-mail them to the Board. Mayor Norris added that they have sent out RFPs for a 5-year maintenance plan at the Woodland Preserve. The Village has also made a slight change in their dead tree program. They will most probably have Davey Tree do the dead tree inspections as they are less expensive than the ecologist. If they determine that the tree is not dead or dying, they will refer it back to the Village.
Drainage/IT/Environment/Stormwater – Trustee Baumann noted that he will review the IT proposals and will hopefully have a recommendation for a new IT vendor at the next meeting. He will research the new Windows 10 operating system and suggested that the Trustees not assent to the free upgrade being offered until he completes his research.