Date: July 18, 2011

Place: Park District Conference Room

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Commissioners:  Murdock; Graham; Brault; Benz
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Wilson; Bowen; Eppelheimer; Specht
Visitors: See attached sheet
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
4) Recognition of Visitors
5) Manager’s Reports
     a) Lakefront
     b) Recreation
6) Early Childhood Fees
7) Park Permit Request from Henry Jiang
8) Old Business
9) Outdoor Ice Rink
10) New Business
11) Adjourn

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of June 20, 2011 and they were approved by general consent.

2) No Communications or Correspondence was received this month.

3) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported enrollment in the Aquatics Camp increased to 310 this year compared to last year’s enrollment of 281. Sailing has had similar increases with 120 this year compared to 66 in 2010. There was some damage to the Park District boats as a result of the storm on Monday, July 11. There was also some minor damage to a few of the private boats on the beach. Three buoys were also lost as a result of a seiche caused by the storm. A Regatta hosted by the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club was held this past weekend with the 420 fleet of boats. There were 63 boats participating from all over the country and Canada. They utilized the Aquatics beach and stored trailers on the inner drive of the park. There were no major problems other than the lack of wind for two of the days. The organizers were very happy with the results and the cooperation provided by the Park District. To date, 100 chairs and 100 umbrella rentals have taken place. From the original order, five umbrellas are left and the balance of them did not hold up to the heavy use.  

Superintendent Bingham reported that summer camps are entering week their sixth week and enrollments are still coming in. The second four-week session has higher enrollment than the same period last year. The late summer camps in August still have space and people continue to sign up for those. The power outage at the Lakefront as a result of the storm on July 11 left the Lakefront without power for two days. It did come back on very early on Wednesday. Generators were used to help keep phones and computers running. The biggest problem was with the lift station which was not functioning and the sanitary sewage was filling up the manholes and pipes. Staff was anticipating they would have to close the washrooms in the beach house and Lakeview Center. Luckily, the beach was not very busy those days. Staff is currently working on preparing for the fall programs to begin.

4) Superintendent Bingham reported that staff is currently working on budgets for Early Childhood Programs. Fees for the 2012/13 registration period need to be in the Winter Leisure Guide. Staff is working on completing the budgets and comparing fees to other Early Childhood programs before making a recommendation to the Committee. This work needs to be done ahead of the regular budgeting process.

5) The Committee reviewed a permit request from Henry Jiang to stage a carnival at Community Playfield on August 14. He informed the Committee he expects about 1000 people to attend the event which is meant as a fundraiser for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The intent is to have a wide range of activities similar to the New Trier Winter Carnival. Commissioner Murdock asked Mr. Jiang if he had organized anything like this before to which he responded that he had not. Commissioner Murdock also asked if he had any idea how much he hoped to raise, how much the event would cost to stage and how they were advertising it. Jiang stated they hoped to bring in about $4,000 and they are still calculating the costs. They also plan to advertise by word-of-mouth, door-to-door advertising, and passing out fliers. Commissioner Murdock asked if they had secured insurance and what the hours would be. Jiang reported they are working to get insurance but have not yet heard anything. The hours for the permit would be from 12 noon to 8 pm. That includes two hours to set up and two hours to clean up at the end.

 The Committee asked staff for their opinions who stated they are concerned about the impact on the neighbors. Staff also stated that other groups had been denied permits for using Community Playfield for that reason plus the fact that the site never is able to “rest” from all the sports programs that take place there. After further discussion, the Committee voted unanimously to deny the permit. They finished the discussion by commending Henry Jiang for his intent to raise money for the prescribed charity.

 The Committee also reviewed a permit request from the Winnetka Public Schools to use Wallace Bowl for the teacher’s “kick-off” meeting on Friday, August 26. Staff indicated it would take place on a Friday morning and last for about two hours. After discussion, the Committee approved the permit.

6) Under Old Business, the Committee reviewed the most recent proposal for relocating the outdoor ice rink to Thornwood Park. Superintendent Lambrecht reported that per the Committee’s request, the rink had been relocated to the southeast part of the park and would not impact either of the baseball diamonds. The Committee asked if the proposal included lighting. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that if lights are not included there is no point in doing the project. At that time of year the rink would be unusable during the week after school and only until about 4:30 pm on weekends. Commissioner Crowley asked that dasher boards be included as part of the project. He does not see the value in providing another recreational rink but rather that it should be different from the others. Commissioner Graham stated that he felt the cost for the lighting is incremental to the overall project. He added he does not see the value in moving the rink as a recreational rink to Thornwood from West Park given the proximity of Mallinckrodt. He went on to say he is willing to consider it if the rink is different from the other two. Superintendent Lambrecht expressed concerns over adding dasher boards to the rink stating that it makes cleaning the snow off that much more difficult because it cannot be plowed. It would involve having to bring a front end loader to the site to clear the snow off. The other issue is storage of the boards during the other eight months of the year.

 After some discussion, the Committee asked if the rink could be moved farther to the west to align with the west edge of the tennis courts and staff replied that location is flexible. Staff had previously moved it to that area of the park at the request of the Committee during earlier discussions. The goal is to keep it out of play for the outfield of the south baseball diamond. Commissioner Brault suggested just installing “horseshoes” at each end of the rink to stop the pucks behind the goals.

 Also under Old Business, Commissioner Murdock asked about soccer field alignment for the fall at Community Playfield. Staff replied that sports and park staff were meeting Thursday to evaluate possible field configurations.

 7) Under New Business, the committee reported to those in attendance that any discussion of the lease for the MWRD settling basin known as Wilmette Harbor would take place at the Park Board meeting following the Parks and Recreation Meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:58 p.m.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht