Financial Planning & Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date:   November 8, 2011

Location:  Mallinckrodt Center – Conference Room

Time:  6:30 p.m.

Committee:  J. Brault, G. Benz, J. Olvany, Chair D. Graham
Commissioners: J. Crowley, M. Murdock
Staff: S. Wilson, K. Bingham, B. Lambrecht, J. Bowen, K. Eppelheimer

Agenda Topics:

1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Communications and Correspondence
4. Recognition of Visitors
5. Old Business
6. New Business
7. Next Meeting
8. Adjourn

Discussion Items

1. The Meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.

2. The Committee approved the minutes of October 12, 2011

3. Communications and Correspondence – None

4. Recognition of Visitors: Fred Watson, 1601 Ashland Avenue; Pat McCann, 617 Hunter Road; Frank Charhut, 139 Riverside Drive, Northfield; and Eric Anderson, Managing Director BMO Capital Market

5. Old Business
a. 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan – The five-year CIP was briefly reviewed and two changes were made. The first change was to remove the $300,000 paddle tennis item from 2013 and the second change was to remove the $800,000 outdoor ice rink at Centennial from 2016. These items were removed for several reasons. The Committee then reviewed those items over $150,000 that are outside of the protection of the District’s existing assets. Normal replacement and repairs that may be required as safety or law will not be placed on the five-year CIP unless directed by a Committee. The Committee felt comfortable not showing the large Lakefront Master Plan item on the CIP.

The Committee discussed the Centennial compressor replacement project and how the project’s cost has reached the $2.75 million listed in 2013. Staff indicated that they recently received engineering estimates that were within the amount and which included painting and other remodeling items.

The Committee discussed the Golf Master Plan and whether this project should be on the CIP; in particular, the engineering work for $300,000 in 2012. Comments were received from the public as well as Committee members and the other Commissioners in attendance. The soon-to-be-released golf user survey was distributed and suggestions offered by the Committee. The Committee decided to leave the Golf Master Plan engineering item on the CIP.
i. The Committee discussed the possible funding options including increased fees, use of surplus fund balances from the Corporate and Recreation Funds, and the future issuance of debt certificates. This debt would be retired by using the surplus from operations. After much discussion, it was evident that the five-year CIP could be accomplished without challenging the District’s reserves. There is time for a more detailed plan before any of the funding is needed in 2013. The Committee recommended the 2012 amount of $1,341,900 be included in the Annual Budget.

b. Consider 2011-12 Debt Issuance – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented a background on the Debt Service Extension Base, its general use for capital improvement projects and the two options requested from the October meeting. One- and two-year issuance options with and without a rating were presented. Eric Anderson explained the issue rating – although obtained an estimated lower interest rate – actually resulted in less funding as the saving in interest was lower than the cost of the rating. Discussion centered on the impact on real estate taxes and the timing. The Committee recommended a one-year, non-rated issuance up to the available DSEB. This was done so that another review could be performed on the next five-year CIP.  There was no action required by the Committee.

6. New Business
a. Fund Balance Policy – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented a draft fund balance policy to the Committee based on the GASB 54 requirement to subdivide fund balances into five categories providing the reader of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) with an indication of how the District will manage its reserves. The largest reserves are in the Corporate and Recreation Funds and are generally reserved for capital improvement projects and rainy day funds. The Committee discussed that the policy should include a general statement of intent and an aggregate amount of fund balance that the District should not go below. Changes will be made and brought back to the Committee next month.  There was no action required by the Committee.

b. 2011 Tax Levy and Truth in Taxation Resolution – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented information on the proposed 2011 tax levy. The amounts for the aggregate levy are derived from a review of the estimated yearend special revenue fund balances versus targeted fund balances. The remaining aggregate is then calculated for the Corporate and Recreation Funds and kept within the tax cap legislation (1.5% for 2011).  Next the Special Recreation Fund levy is calculated by the member contributions and companion fees paid to NSSRA plus funding of ADA improvements needed as a result of our ADA audit (we requested $100,000 for 2011). This then calculates the increase for the Truth-in-Taxation Law. Staff recommended an increase of 3.62% or a total of $160,973, which is under the 5% limit for Truth-in-Taxation.   

The Board normally holds a tax levy hearing to take comments from the community.  The last portion is the debt which comes from filed bonding ordinances. Since the Committee recommended the use of the DSEB, an exhibit with a new one-year issue of $280,897 was used. This resulted in a total proposed tax levy of $8,319,026 or a 2.81% increase over 2010. After much discussion, the Committee recommended the 2011 Truth-in-Taxation Resolution be prepared with the amounts discussed ($4,607,600 for the Resolution) and that it be approved by the full Board.

Other items:
President Brault asked about an update to the Crisis Management Plan. Executive Director Wilson responded that the plan was updated about two years ago but the contacts needed to be updated and will then be redistributed to the Board.

Superintendent Eppelheimer mentioned that the merger of the Illinois Park District Liquid Asset Fund (IPLAF) and the Illinois Institutional Investors Trust will be confirmed on November 10. Since it is a new entity, a banking resolution will need to be considered by the Board. This will be brought up for discussion at the next Committee meeting.

7. Next Meeting – The next meeting was scheduled for December 5, 2011, beginning at 6:30.  There will be discussion on the 2010 Tax Levy, a banking resolution and information on the possible issuance of debt.

8. Adjournment – With no further business to discuss, the Committee adjourned at 9:13 p.m.

Minutes taken by Ken Eppelheimer