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 of October 21 and November 4. 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/.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the April 7, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report is available in detail on the Village website.
Chief Dayno reported that Officer Joe Peterson, who was in the auto accident reported at the last meeting, should be cleared to come back to work on April 28, 2015. The Department is going through their own insurance company for vehicle repairs. They just received a check for $21,350 from their insurance company and should get back the $500 deductible once it is collected from Progressive, the other insurance company. Chief Dayno noted that he expects to receive an additional $3,164.80 to cover the cost of equipment transfer from the old vehicle to the new one and replacement of damaged equipment.
Officer Bob Salmon is retiring. He started in 2002 part time and became full time shortly after that. He will be retiring at the end of May. Mayor Norris noted he is one of the last of the original police officers in Riverwoods.
THORNGATE RESERVOIR OPERATIONS
Village Engineer, Pat Glenn explained that the computer, which was installed in 2007 and used to remotely operate the Thorngate reservoir, is past its useful life. Based on advice from Mr. Glenn’s IT guys, he purchased a new desktop computer for approximately $1,100. He then reached out to Wunderlich-Malec Environmental, who was the subcontractor that did the original programming. He would like the Board to authorize him to have Wunderlich purchase, install and configure the updated software for a total of $8,000.
The Board voted to authorize Mr. Glenn to purchase SCADA software system updates and installation from Wunderlich-Malec Environmental in an amount not to exceed $8000.
ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY IN THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS (FROM DEERFIELD MILWAUKEE, LLC) – FIRST READING
Village Attorney Huvard explained that the Ordinance would authorize the Village to purchase approximately 3.74 acres pursuant to a purchase contract attached to the Ordinance. The contract allows the Village 30 days for due diligence and property examination. Mr. Huvard noted that the Village could back out within 30 days. The closing would take place 30 days after the due diligence period expires.
Mr. Huvard explained that the Village would acquire all of the property and immediately sell the easternmost parcel, consisting of 2.03 acres, to The Lock Up pursuant to a redevelopment agreement with a lot of covenants and some economic terms. The intent is to acquire the property with a good title. Both the Village and The Lock Up will have a due diligence period.
The Village has asked for and has received a Phase I report. Trustee Jamerson noted that the Phase I report does not entail any soil samples. Mr. Glenn confirmed that Phase I would include a site visit but no actual testing. Mr. Huvard explained that the Village is contemplating whether to do soil and/or water testing. Trustee Haber expressed concern that if testing is done and problems are found, the 30-day due diligence period might not be sufficient. Mr. Huvard explained that the closing could be adjusted if necessary.
ORDINANCE APPROVING A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT IN THE VILLAGE OF RIVERWOODS (WITH LOCK UP RIVERWOODS, LLC) – FIRST READING
Attorney Huvard explained that the Redevelopment Agreement does several things: convinces the Village to transfer title to the part of the site that The Lock Up wants; establishes the price for that portion; and assumes that the Village would authorize a series of Text Amendments to allow another self-storage facility in the district. The Lock Up has stated that if they cannot get the rezoning, they would want to have the right to sell the property back to the Village. Mr. Huvard stated that The Lock Up predicated their offering price on what their model said real estate taxes should be. They requested that, if real estate taxes were more than $1.10 per rentable foot, the Village would reimburse them for the excess for up to 10 years, with a maximum of $300,000.
Geoff Dickinson, with S. B. Friedman & Company, tested the feasibility of using the TIF funds from the Lock Up project to service the internal loan from the General Fund to the TIF fund. The General Fund would loan money to the TIF fund and be paid back from incremental property taxes. Mr. Dickinson tested two different models. In the first one, the Village would pay $1.8 million for the property and The Lock Up would pay $995,000 to the Village leaving a remaining loan of $805,000. The Lock Up wants the taxes adjusted to $1.10/net square foot but, based on his research of rates for storage facilities in the area, he thinks that the assessor will probably be at $1.50/net square foot. Mr. Dickinson’s projections of cash flow from the incremental taxes, less TIF administrative expenses and payments to The Lock Up, would have the loan paid off in 20 years. Mr. Dickinson then discussed an alternate approach. Instead of giving a 10-year cash flow to the developer, the Village could give the developer the entire amount up front by selling them the property for $250,000 less than market value. Mr. Dickinson explained that the note would be $1.06 million but the Village would have a greater cash flow. The payoff would be the same year and the same considerations would apply. The Village would have less control of the developer with this option.
Trustee Ford would be interested to know the downside to these scenarios. She asked what would happen if the assessed valuation stayed the same or decreased. Mr. Dickinson explained they assumed a 2% escalation and that he would work up numbers based on her scenario.
Trustee O’Donnell believes the bigger risk would be if The Lock Up goes belly up. Mr. Huvard explained that after The Lock Up put up their building, there would be a facility there and it would have an assessed value. Taxes would have to be paid regardless if they were to go out of business. Mr. Huvard explained that The Lock Up establishes a new LLC for each location and would not be subject to other debt.
Trustee Chamberlain asked what the Village could require for landscaping and building aesthetics. Mr. Huvard explained that The Lock Up provided pictures of their newest facility in Park Ridge. They propose a building with similar architectural style and components. They agreed to keep it two stories and orient the building per the Village’s request. Mr. Huvard explained that Exhibit B in the Redevelopment Agreement lays out design parameters and that the project must substantially conform to these design parameters. Representatives from The Lock Up told the Village what they are about and what they want to do. They will use Riverwoods-style landscaping and bioswales. Mr. Huvard explained that the Village is trying to be tight, but also reasonable.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
Mr. Durning reported that the Headache Clinic at 2610 Lake Cook Road passed their building inspection. The house at 2010 Deerfield Road has passed inspection. Progress at the hoarding house at 1310 Big Oak has been made; it is getting very close to occupancy. Kings Kennel has requested a ground sign on Saunders Road.
VILLAGE ATTORNEY’S REPORT
Mr. Huvard explained that the Plan Commission met last week to discuss the regulatory environment concerning group homes and the Village’s obligation to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. He made some suggestions on how the Village should deal with it. Mr. Huvard stated that the concept discussed was to add some language in the Zoning Ordinance to have a procedure to make reasonable accommodations for more than three non-related individuals to live together. He will prepare a draft text amendment to address the issues. The Plan Commission will then discuss it further and there will be a public hearing. There is nothing pending at this point, but there is a demand for this type of housing and there is no mechanism in the Village Ordinance to address it. Trustee Ford asked if group housing would be considered business or residential. Mr. Huvard noted case law states it would be a residential use. Trustee Jamerson asked if the Village could require a business license to ensure that safety inspections could be made. Trustee Haber noted that some group homes are licensed by the State or their local municipality and that part of the license requirement is regularly scheduled inspections. Mr. Huvard will look into it. Mayor Norris noted that the Village’s intent would be to ensure that group home residents are safe.
Mr. Huvard noted that the Plan Commission also discussed commercial vehicle parking. The current regulation states that there can only be one commercial vehicle up to 2.5 tons parked outside a residence. The Plan Commission feels that the Ordinance is too restrictive and believes more than one commercial vehicle could be parked outside if it were screened. After some discussion, the Trustees agreed that the provision should be moved to its own section in the Ordinance and not to make any changes to it.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the March 17, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report is available in detail on the Village website.
Chief Dayno stated there was an 83-year-old Village resident that was a victim of a fraud scheme. The Department is currently investigating it. Chief Dayno put out an automated alert reminding residents not to fall for scams. Trustee Ford explained that some senior residents are isolated. Chief Dayno noted that there used to be a senior resident group, but it is no longer active. Chief Dayno plans to reach out to known senior residents.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENT
Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) – Chief Dayno introduced Commander Tony Gallagher from NIPAS EST (Emergency Service Team) of the Buffalo Grove Police Department. The NIPAS EST team is, what most people would call, a SWAT team. For a long time, Chief Dayno has wanted to use the NIPAS team rather than Lake County. They have state-of-the-art equipment, they are well trained and have a great response time since they draw from nearby departments. In order to use NIPAS, the Village would have to have a candidate that NIPAS would accept to be on the team. It’s a big commitment that entails a lot of training and participation in addition to a cost of $15,000 to $20,000. Chief Dayno has been in contact with NIPAS to see if the Village could get on the team without having to supply an operator and, instead, pay an annual fee. NIPAS is currently looking for a hostage negotiator and Chief Dayno has an ideal candidate for that position. Unlike in the past, NIPAS will allow a department to supply just a hostage negotiator and not an operator also. A hostage negotiator goes through less training than an operator and has fewer callouts. The cost would be a $3,300 per year membership fee plus $1,500 for equipment. Chief Dayno stated that one of his officers has interviewed for the position and NIPAS has found him acceptable. The officer still has to go through a couple more tests before being accepted on the team.
Commander Gallagher has been on the NIPAS EST team since its inception. NIPAS has three functions: a SWAT team, a mobile field force team, and a car team. The team responds to calls from the Wisconsin border to I-55 and Lake Michigan to just east of Elgin. Most of the equipment is stored in our general area. The EST training is very extensive. There are 90 members on the team. Commander Gallagher noted that the number of callouts has been reduced because local officers receive special training from their NIPAS officer. NIPAS EST requires a 10-year commitment. Commander Gallagher briefly discussed the NIPAS equipment.
Mayor Norris stated that a formal agreement will be brought to the Board for their approval.
Terraco Property – Mr. Huvard explained that the Village will need money to close on the property. The Village has the ability to issue a TIF note, whereby the General Fund loans money to the TIF Fund. The loan would be repaid from the TIF increment at market rate. Mayor Norris explained that there is no formal agreement, as yet, but that the Board is looking to purchase the entire parcel with a simultaneous sale of two acres to The Lock Up for $1 million. Mayor Norris stated that he is working on getting the numbers together, but feels that this is a viable deal. The Village would determine whether the remainder of the property should be developed or if it should remain green space. Resident Sherry Graditor asked whether the Village would be responsible for road improvements. Mayor Norris indicated road improvement would not be necessary at this point.
New Utility Billing Clerk – The Village has hired Pearl Swindler. Mayor Norris explained Ms. Swindler is a retired special education teacher. He believes her duties will be expanded in the future.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Police/Building/Zoning – Trustee Jamerson presented highlights from the March building report. The building report is available in detail on the Village website. The building permit numbers are slightly behind last year.
Trustee Jamerson spoke with the Village’s architect who is waiting for test boring to be done, which is needed to determine the geothermal requirements. They are waiting for a permit from Lake County and hope to start next week. Once the boring is done, the drawings and bidding should be completed in a couple weeks.
Mayor Norris stated that the wiring for the computer and telephone systems has been completed for the 320 building. All that is left to do is the painting. He is looking for additional volunteers to help.
Woodlands/Finance – Trustee Chamberlain asked Mayor Norris to report that the budget numbers are done but that they are working on the groupings that the Board asked for. The audit is in place and they are working on their report. The Village ecologist interviews are being set up for next week. The planning committee is contacting facilitators.
Chief Dayno provided the Board with the Police Department activity since the March 3, 2015 Board of Trustees meeting. The Police Report is available in detail on the Village website.
Chief Dayno reported that a female subject from the Panera burglary has been arrested. Both the male and female subjects are awaiting extradition.
Chief Dayno noted that, as part of a Lake County Opioid Initiative in response to the problem of heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses, Riverwoods officers are being trained to carry and administer the drug Narcan, which counteracts the effects of opiates.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS & COMMENTS FROM THE PRESIDENTJoint project with RPC for design of a conceptual landscape plan for Village Hall campus, including 320 Portwine and Chianti Trail Properties – Mayor Norris explained that the Village should soon have an integrated plan which includes traffic circulation. There may be some concern about including the Chianti property in the plan, but the Mayor stressed that it’s only to help the Board determine whether to keep it or not. Part of the initial plan is to have the landscape architect, Nancy Hannick, come in and present the conceptual plan to the Board to see if it is acceptable.
Trustee Chamberlain likes the ideas and working with the RPC, but expressed concern that the ideas, thus far, have been presented by sources other than the Board. The Planning Committee has discussed developing a plan that, she hopes, would have the Trustees on the same page and with the same priorities, especially where spending money is involved. She would like to move quicker with the strategic plan before a lot of decisions will have already been made by others.
Mayor Norris believes that the Trustees all share the same basic values, but without a broad conceptual plan, it will be difficult to move forward. Mayor Norris explained that the landscape architect will present a plan, but that the Board will review and discuss it. He said it certainly is not the final plan. Mr. Huvard thought that the landscape plan would give the Board a quick means of evaluating the various options so that the Trustees can make a better decision.
Trustee Haber would like to see a more cohesive plan. He thought that, at the last Board meeting, the Trustees had authorized Mr. Glenn to develop such a plan with a long term view for the two properties. Mayor Norris spoke with a couple of consultants and they agreed that there is a need to have a better idea of the use of and landscaping options for the properties. In that vein, they all agree that an integrated landscaping plan, along with the costs of the various options, is necessary in order to make decisions concerning all of the properties.
Trustee Ford, who was not present but was watching the meeting on live video, stated that this is research that needs to be done at some point, so why not do it now. Trustee Jamerson thinks the Village should get an overall landscape plan before getting the engineers involved.
Resident Mike Clayton who resides on Blackthorn, stated that Ms. Hannick is working with the architect and the engineer. She is very qualified and has some of the same skills as do architects and engineers. He stated that the she will produce a report showing various options for each property.
Trustee Chamberlain stated that maybe all of the Trustees have the same values, but that the Board has not discussed priorities to be able to say what they are. Depending on the goals, the plans would be totally different if, for instance, the plan is designed with environmental education in mind or something different. Mayor Norris believes the Trustees should discuss this in the meeting in which they will be presented with Ms. Hannick’s plans.
Ordinance Amending the Colony Density Requirements or Hobby Beekeeping in the Village of Riverwoods – Mr. Huvard explained that the Village allows hobby beekeeping. The current limitation provides for not more than two colonies on a lot of 80,000 square feet or less and not more than four colonies on lots more than 80,000 square feet. Trustee Jamerson lost both of his hives. Based on his own experience, and a request from another beekeeper in the Village, he suggested increasing the number of colonies to a maximum of four on 80,000 square feet or less and six on lots of more than 80,000 square feet. Mayor Norris noted the Village has not received any complaints.
Trustee Chamberlain remembers when the Village originally adopted the Ordinance, they had experts come in to answer questions. She wondered if anyone remembered their recommendation for number of hives based on property size. Trustee Jamerson stated that the new numbers are well within the guidelines. The Board voted in favor of the increase.