Financial Planning & Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date:   December 5, 2011

Location:  Administration Office – Conference Room

Time:  6:30 p.m.

Committee: J. Brault, G. Benz, J. Olvany, Chair D. Graham
Commissioners: M. Murdock, S. Shelly
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 November 8, 2011 subject to changes in the second paragraph of page 1 under 5. Old Business; a. 2012-2016 Capital Improvement Plan to say the “Staff indicated that recently received engineering estimates were close to $2 million but other items needed to be reviewed before a final estimate was placed in the CIP.” And in the second paragraph on page 2 under 5.a.i. “After much discussion, it was evident that the 5-year CIP could be accomplished by utilizing a material portion of the District’s reserves.”

3. Communications and Correspondence – None

4. Recognition of Visitors – None

5. Old Business
a. Consider 2011-12 Debt Issuance – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented information on the possible Debt Issuance. BMO Capital Markets prepared a Draft Term Sheet for an issue of $280,000 which would take the Debt Service Extension Base up to an amount allowed by tax cap legislation for use on capital improvement projects. The issue would be unrated but bank qualified. The Committee recommended a one-year, non-rated issuance up to the available DSEB. There was consensus of the Committee to prepare information to execute the action in February. The Bond Issue Notification Act (BINA) requires a Public Hearing before any debt can be issued. Staff will prepare the newspaper notice for a BINA Hearing in January, 2012. The Committee concurred and staff will begin preparation of the appropriate documentation.

a. Consider Fund Balance Policy – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented the Committee a final draft fund balance policy based on the GASB 54 requirement to sub-divide fund balances into five categories giving the reader of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) an indication of how the District will manage its reserves. New verbiage was added establishing an overall minimal reserve of $4 million and setting targets for each of the funds. The largest reserves are in the Corporate and Recreation Funds and should generally be reserved for capital improvement projects. The Committee would also like to see charts of the fund balances throughout the year as part of the 2012 tax levy discussion. The Committee recommended the Fund Balance/Net Asset Policy be approved by the full Board.

b. Consider 2011 Tax Levy, Ordinance 2011-O-3 – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented information on the proposed 2011 tax levy in the form of the Tax Levy Report.  The amounts for the aggregate levy are arrived through a review of the estimated expenses and the year-end special revenue fund balances versus targeted 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 recommended $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% requirement for Truth-in-Taxation hearings. Lastly, the Ordinance, although not required, lists the proposed tax funded bond retirements for 2012. This brings the total 2011 Tax Levy to $8,319,036 or an increase of over 2010 of 2.81%.  Discussion was held on the amounts needed to reach established fund balance targets; in particular, the Special Recreation Fund, since amounts will be needed for the ADA accessibility audit recommendations. The Committee recommended Ordinance 2011-O-3 be approved by the full Board.

c. Consider 2011 Tax Levy Reduction Resolution, 2011-R-13 – Superintendent Eppelheimer explained that the resolution directs the Cook County Clerk to reduce the Corporate Tax Levy, rather than across all funds if the total aggregate is greater than allowed under the tax cap. The Committee recommended Resolution 2011-R-13 be approved by the full Board.

6. New Business
a. Banking Resolution 2011-R-14 – Superintendent Eppelheimer reviewed the banking resolution with the Illinois Institutional Investors Trust (IIIT). The merger between the Illinois Park District Liquid Asset Fund and IIIT was approved by the account holders. This resolution allows the Park District to have funds on deposit with the surviving entity. The merger should allow slightly higher returns while still safeguarding the principal of the investments. There was a question of the investments having more risk since they are not all FDIC-insured. Since there is a cost involved in the FDIC-insured agency holding the funds, a lower rate may result. Given the current low rates of return, the Committee felt the cost of the FDIC-insured options might be minimal and should be considered further. Staff commented they need the flexibility of fund movement to satisfy cash demands rather than cashing in investments or having several small accounts that would meet FDIC coverage.

Staff also commented that the driving principal of a fund such as IIIT is to allow the needed flexibility while at the same time doing everything it can to best safeguard the principle investment. Staff was asked to keep a close review on all investments in money market funds. The Committee recommended Resolution 2011-R-14 be approved by the full Board.

b. 2012 Board Meeting Schedule – The Committee was presented with the 2012 regular Board meeting schedule and there were no changes recommended. The Committee then recommended the 2012 Board Meeting Scheduled be approved by the full Board.

c. GFOA Certificate of Achievement – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented information on the receipt of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This was the fourth consecutive year the District has been awarded the certificate for demonstrating the spirit of full disclosure in communicating its financial story. The District received about six comments from the review which helps in the preparation of the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

7. Next Meeting – The next meeting will be scheduled in January on a date to be determined and will include a discussion on the 2012 issuance of debt.

8. Adjournment – With no further business to discuss, the Committee adjourned at 7:25 p.m.

Minutes taken by Ken Eppelheimer