Village Board of Trustees Meeting Notes
The following is a summary of ordinances, resolutions, and non-routine matters considered by the Board of Trustees from the meeting minutes of June 6, 20, July 5, 18, and August 1. Read the entirety of these minutes on the Village of Riverwoods website at www.villageofriverwoods.com.
Community Services Report
Director of Community Services Rob Durning explained that 3 out of 11 homes have failed to submit an inspection report on their septic system. They may be cited and required to appear before the Village Adjudication Officer.
Plan Commission Report
Plan Commission Chairman David Niedelman indicated that the Plan Commission will discuss at their next meeting the widening of Deerfield Road and the underlying zoning of the 37 acres in the Comprehensive Plan. Ch. Niedelman, Trustee Hollander, Village Engineer Pat Glenn, Mayor Norris, and the Village’s consultant for the project met with the developer and its architects for the 37 acres. The Village’s consultant was very impressed with the architects who presented four drafts with 300 – 350 residential units distributed in various ways. A plaza was indicated in the front near Milwaukee Avenue for the Village gathering area but Village representatives did not feel it was the best spot and they will look at other locations. Trustee Hollander noted that they were amenable to having a canoe/kayak launch ramp at the Des Plaines River. The Village stressed its desire to have the developers use stone and wood for the exteriors and to have lots of trees and open space.
Road Maintenance Program – Village Engineer Pat Glenn reported that the road maintenance is moving along. He expects to have the Rose, Maple and Whigam binder completed this week. Work will then start on Sherry and Hazelnut. He attended the LCDOT preconstruction meeting for the resurfacing of Saunders Road. He expects the work to be completed by the end of October. There will be periodic road closures during the construction.
Woodman’s – Mr. Glenn reported that he attends a standing Friday meeting with Woodman’s engineers. He alerted the engineers about their need to obtain a watershed development permit from Riverwoods and about our ordinance which requires them to provide for storm water detention.
Meadowlake – Mr. Glenn has confirmation that the EPA received the plans for the water main replacement on the east side of Meadowlake. It is still on pace to be built this year. Brian Meltzer of the Meadowlake homeowners’ association expressed concern about the water main on the west side. He urged the Village to have it replaced shortly after the east side. Mr. Glenn replied that there has been only one break on the west side. Mayor Norris added that the Village reviews the status of all of the water mains each year.
Mr. Meltzer asked that the Village work with FEMA to ask them to recognize that Meadowlake is not in the poor condition regarding flooding as FEMA thinks. This would help Meadowlake residents by reducing the cost of flood insurance and helping with property values. According to FEMA, a 100 year flood would have about 50% more flow than what the Village received in the most recent event. He will work on a technical memo after doing some more analysis and speaking with Storm Water Management and the County. Mayor Norris added that the Village will look to see if there is a way that is feasible to approach FEMA and ask them to reevaluate Meadowlake’s status.
In Chief Dayno’s absence, Mayor Norris presented highlights from the Police Report since the July 18, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. The full police report may be accessed on the Village of Riverwoods website under ‘Village Government’.
The Village has received the new police vehicle which is being equipped and should be on the street next week. There was an arrest in a fraud case.
Five residents requested assistance in picking up sandbags. Chief Dayno is compiling the flood damage report for the County.
Informational Items & Comments from the President
Public Use of Village Hall Board Room – Mayor Norris noted that the Village has received several requests to use the Village Hall Board Room. He suggested making the board room available to homeowners’ associations and possibly to residents for special events. He believes that the Board needs to discuss other types of uses as well as usage frequency. Mr. Huvard suggested drafting a use agreement policy for the Board consider at. Such an agreement could include such variables as whether food and/or alcohol would be served. He suggested that the Village start with known, current uses such as the knitting club and other non-profit community activities.
Mayor Norris spoke with the Village’s insurance advisor, who stated that the Village will need to get event insurance. Trustee Haber asked about any damage that may occur. Trustee Chamberlain had sent Mr. Huvard her church’s policy. It allows rentals, but has limitations regarding the size of the event, the purpose of the event, etc. They also require an event coordinator and, for some groups, security. Trustee Hollander suggested making the policy narrower to begin with.
Illinois Municipal League Annual Meeting (IML) – September 21 - 23 – The Village will pay for the Trustees to attend the IML annual meeting, a seminar with a number of training sessions.
Trustee Chamberlain reported that her committee spoke with Blue Stem Communications regarding a proposal on branding. The committee would like to coordinate their ideas in conjunction with the development of the Village website, Village signage and social media.
Standing Committee Reports
External Communications/Bike Path/Environment – Trustee Chamberlain sent a memo to the Board regarding the DBR Chamber of Commerce meeting where both Deerfield and Bannockburn introduced brochures they had prepared for their residents. Trustee Chamberlain will make available the brochures to anyone interested in seeing them.
Communications/IT/Budget – Trustee Goldstein stated that the Village met with Ms. Bielski, a resident who is a website developer, that has volunteered to work on the Village website without charge. However, the Village decided to pay a small monthly amount to Gamma Partners for its services. Gamma Partners is developing a plan for the new website. It may not provide website hosting, but will, at minimum, provide guidance on whom to use which will cost much less than what the Village is currently paying. Trustee Goldstein will work with Trustee Chamberlain on branding of the website.
Village Treasurer Hal Roseth reported that the overall fund position is almost identical to the one reported at the last meeting. The interest rates have not changed. Mr. Roseth spoke with representatives from Chase regarding reinvesting $350,000 in assets coming due at an interest rate of somewhere between 1.48% and 1.6%. He indicated that the Board will soon receive a report showing budgeted versus actual revenues and expenses.
Chief Dayno presented highlights from the Police Report since the July 5, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. At a prior meeting, he reported on a domestic battery that had occurred at the Mobil Station. The State’s Attorney has upgraded the charge to kidnapping. On July 9, an officer arrested a person for trespassing. There was an auto theft on Gemini Lane; the keys were left in the vehicle. Chief Dayno reminded everyone to lock car doors and not to leave the fob in the car. Trustee Goldstein reported that there were a few vehicles with smashed windows in Lincolnshire.
Informational Items & Comments From the president
Report on Flooding – Mayor Norris reported that there was considerable surface flooding. The Village put into effect the emergency operating plan that Police Chief Dayno had prepared. The Village made sand and sandbags available. Mayor Norris noted that, in addition to several workers that they were able to hire for the day, there were more than 50 volunteers including some from Deerfield. Trustee Jamerson and Village Clerk Gagerman spent numerous hours volunteering. Seven residents picked up clean-up kits from the Village.
Chief Dayno will ask residents to fill out reports for both the Village and the County, in hopes of getting Federal funding. Chief Dayno explained that residents were kept up to date through the Village notification system. Mr. Glenn arranged for the delivery of 4 truckloads of sand which were available before the flooding started. The police responded to several calls of downed trees including some that had fallen on electric lines. By 11:00 am, there was standing water on Milwaukee Avenue north of Deerfield Road. Some of the Village roads were deemed impassable. Fortunately, the weather forecast changed and the water did not get as high as expected. There was a water main break and some residents were asked to vacate their homes. Fortunately, Lake County was able to make repairs the next day, but there was a boil water order alert issues for some residents.
Chief Dayno attended the Lake County Emergency Management Workshop. The process for a federal declaration is that the municipalities must send their expenses to the County, and it will take it to the State and then to FEMA. He noted that Mr. Durning will visit affected homes to assess water damage.
Mrs. Graditor read an article about the possibility of wells being contaminated with groundwater. Mrs. Graditor does not know if it would affect wells in Riverwoods. Mr. Glenn noted that the County will sample and test the water from wells, but he will check this out with the County and Health Department.
Mrs. Graditor, a former Village Trustee, asked about disposal of sand bags. Mayor Norris indicated that the sand bags do not have special handling requirements. He will investigate whether the County or the waste hauler will pick up the sandbags.
Trustee Ford noted that a resident sent a letter to the Trustees requesting a study to determine whether the potential widening of Deerfield Road would have a negative impact on flooding. He suggested that the Village launch a flood and water level study and/or task force to explore some remediation for the situation in the affected flooded areas.
Mayor Norris received emails congratulating the Chief for getting out continual updates on flooding to residents. Staff will review everything that was done to determine what worked and what could be improved.
Ribbon Cutting – Café De Oro had a ribbon cutting. It is a lovely facility and the Mayor encourages people to patronize the business.
Information Items and Comments from the president
Recognition of Allan Hirsch – Mayor Norris recognized Riverwoods resident Allan Hirsch for his achievements in hockey. Mr. Hirsch recently graduated from Deerfield High School and has skated since he was three years old. He has accomplished a number of milestones in hockey. Mayor Norris proclaimed July 6, 2017 as Allan Hirsch Day in the Village of Riverwoods.
Deerfield Road Planning – Stakeholder Investment Group (SIG) – Trustee Hollander stated that he had 11 points that he wanted to share arising from the latest SIG meeting. They are as follows:
1) Skepticism remains that the process and decision may already be partially “baked in” and the public input or ability to influence the outcome is limited or non- existent; 2) A point of concern was how the County determined population. This data includes an area outside the Village boundaries; 3) It appeared that the County was offering the Village the ability to prefer curb and gutter vs. ditch and shoulder, minor change in lane width, and bike path vs. multiuse path; 4) There would be lighting only at intersections, the road will need to be rebuilt with some type of non-motorized path regardless of the decision to widen or not; 5) The County presented its method for scoring each type of item that might be impacted by reconstruction of the road in order to allow it to make decisions on what should be done; 6) Although there were representatives from other interests, the great majority of the questions and comments were from Riverwoods stakeholders; 7) The County will allow us to send in our preferences after july 14, but would like our answers soon. The official document said that these would be “memorialized separately”, whatever that means; 8) The County seemed to say that at the next SIG meeting this Fall it would have more than one option to recommend and we could comment at that time on our preferences; 9) The discussion of the Milwaukee – Deerfield intersection permit would be finalized this week, although no details were confirmed. It is apparent that two left turn lanes from Milwaukee southbound traffic onto Deerfield will be built with a merge ending somewhere west of the bridge; 10) There did not seem to be any consideration for delaying the Deerfield Road project until the intersection was completed, when one could re-evaluate the “needs” again. Also, there did not seem to be any support from the County on adding a dedicated right turn lane from Deerfield to Milwaukee when the new intersection was built to again determine the need to widen Deerfield; and 11) At a separate “interested residents” meeting there was continued interest in contacting the political representatives, a preference for the narrowest pavement footprint, and a strong desire to explore a right-turn-only lane on Deerfield to Milwaukee before considering full widening.
Trustee Hollander indicated that there will be information on the Village website asking for resident comments and thoughts. Trustee Jamerson noted that the County also has a website, deerfieldroadcorridor.com.
New Police Vehicle
Chief Dayno reported that there was a non-injury accident with a police vehicle on June 21, 2017. The Police vehicle, a 2015 Chevy Tahoe, received $24,940 in damage and the Village insurance company declared the vehicle a total loss. The Village is looking for a replacement vehicle and estimates the cost, with the silver police package, to be approximately $36,500. Chief Dayno requested up to $50,000, as he does not know whether the equipment on the current vehicle can be reused. The Village would be responsible for the $1,000 deductible and the difference between the amount of the new vehicle and the amount received from the insurance company.
Trustee Jamerson moved to authorize the purchase of a replacement police vehicle and related outfitting in an amount not to exceed $50,000. The Board voted in favor of the motion.
Building Department Records Scanning
Trustee Jamerson reported that he researched digitizing the old Building Department house files and received pricing from three companies. There are 90 file drawers of Building Department records, so it is a major undertaking. There are also thousands of pages of rolled up drawings at the police station.
Trustee Chamberlain questioned the benefit of digitizing information that is already on file in paper form. Trustee Jamerson explained that the Village gets FOIA requests and requests from new homeowners and it is not easy to find all of the information easily. He believes that, moving forward, the Village could possibly require digital documents. Mr. Durning stated that contractors may find it difficult as they are used to paper documents, especially for the smaller jobs. Trustee Haber suggested requiring digital submittals otherwise imposing a digitizing fee for paper submittals.
Clerk Gagerman stated that she had an intern starting next week to start digitizing permanent records with a small scanner. The intern will work 25 hours per week during the summer and will continue to work fewer hours during the school year. Clerk Gagerman will also track and report on the approximate number of documents that can be scanned during a 25 hour work week.
Standing Committee Reports
External Communications/Bike Path/Environment – Trustee Chamberlain reported that her committee is talking about education and branding. There will be an announcement in the Village Voice that the Village is looking for people to be designated as “Stewards of the Woodland”. The idea is to train a group of resident volunteers as woodland stewards who will assist in educating people about our woodland ordinances and the cost-share programs.
Mr. Roseth reported that the Village’s available funds are $11.6 million, which is a decrease of about $500,000 since March. In spite of the use of funds for the Village Hall construction and other expenses, the Village is maintaining its assets. The amount invested hasn’t changed much, but now that the Village Hall project is almost done, he will look at investing more of the cash especially since interest rates are rising.
Director of Community Services Report
Mr. Durning found 10 bottles of larvacide for mosquitos, which are available for residents with standing water.
Plan Commission Report
Chairman Niedelman, Mayor Norris, Trustee Hollander, Village Engineer Glenn and Attorney Huvard met with a planning consultant that the Village will engage, as well as with the developers, Oculus, who have a letter of agreement for the 37 acres. Oculus discussed possibilities for the 37 acres and was agreeable to a development with the feel of the Village of Riverwoods. It was also amenable to having a community gathering area within the property, similar to Market Square in Lake Forest. The next step will be to look at the density and how it is spread over the property. Oculus will come up with a rough plan in the next 30 days.
Items & Comments from the President
Rivenberg Property – Mayor Norris spoke with the Lake County Forest Preserve (LCFPD) about restoring the Village-owned 1.7 acres next to Ryerson in exchange for a deed for that area and a conservation easement on the remaining 9.2 acres which LCFPD would maintain. The Trustees questioned why the LCFPD wants the easement. Mayor Norris will get more information for the Board.
2017 Road Maintenance Program
The 2017 Road Maintenance Program includes a bid summary and recommendation for; A) Resurfacing of Whigam Road and Whigam Lane; B) Miscellaneous Pavement and Drainage Maintenance on Village Streets; C) Resurfacing of Rose Terrace and Maple Place (SSA 5); D) Reconstruction of Sherry Lane and Hazelnut Lane (SSA 31), and E) Patching on Timber Trail (SSA 32)
Mr. Glenn noted that this year the Village work is fairly small.Most of the work is for Special Service Areas. The low bid came from Chicagoland Paving Contractors in the amount of $379,905.86. Mr. Huvard indicated that the Village will issue a bond for the SSA 31 work. SSA 32 was formed recently so it does not have the necessary money in its account. Mr. Huvard suggested that if the Board is uncomfortable with advancing the money, the SSA could wait a year or a bond can be issued. The Board does not want to set a precedent of lending money to SSA’s, but, on the other hand, wants to encourage residents to maintain their roads. Mr. Huvard will weigh the legal cost of issuing a bond versus doing a loan. The Trustees prefer the least costly option. The Board also agreed that there should be a written policy governing Village loans to SSA’s.
Trustee Haber moved to approve the 2017 Road Maintenance Program. The Board voted in favor of that motion.