Here’s what’s going on at the Elmhurst Park District

By Chris Fox

For The Elmhurst Independent

The Elmhurst Park District Board held a regular meeting on April 10 at the district’s administrative office at 375 W. First Street. Commissioner Kevin Graf was absent from the meeting. Commissioner Doug Ennis participated via telephone.

Hawkins selected to provide pool chemicals

Board members voted unanimously to approve the meeting’s consent agenda, which included the approval of the purchase of liquid chlorine and liquid bisulfate for the 2017 pool seasons at East End Pool and Norman P. Smalley Pool. The board approved an agreement to purchase the chemicals from Hawkins, Inc., of Peotone. The district plans to use about 8,000 gallons of liquid chlorine and approximately 4,000 gallons of liquid bisulfate at the two pools this year. Hawkins was the only company to provide a bid for the district’s specifications. According to the agreement with Hawkins, Inc., the district will pay $1.56 per gallon for the liquid chlorine and $2.49 per gallon for the liquid bisulfate. If the district uses the projected amounts of both chemicals, it will pay Hawkins a total of $22,240. The district also purchased the chemicals from Hawkins in 2016.

Discussion of strategic, comprehensive plans continues

The April 10 board meeting also included a discussion related to the district’s formation of its comprehensive and strategic plans. The district’s current five-year strategic plan and 10-year comprehensive plan both conclude at the end of 2017. The board hired The Lakota Group and PROS consulting in 2016 to provide assistance in updating the district’s strategic and comprehensive plans. Representatives from both firms participated in the discussion during the meeting. According to information provided by the district, the upcoming comprehensive and strategic plan will drive long-range planning and direct decision-making for the district over the ensuing five years.

District ends 2016 with cash, investments worth $12.69 million

The meeting also featured a financial report for the fourth quarter of 2016. Christi Jacobson, the district’s director of finance and human resources, mentioned during the report that the district ended 2016 with cash and investments totaling about $12.69 million. That amount represents a decrease of about $1.6 million from the end of 2015. Jacobson attributed the decrease to the funding of several capital projects during 2016.

The district reportedly had total revenues of nearly $19.7 million in 2016, and total expenditures of about $20.6 million.

Referring to the 2016 budget, which indicated a total operating net loss of nearly $990,000 (about $16.25 million in revenues and about $17.24 million in expenses), Elmhurst Park District Executive Director Jim Rogers noted that the district does not budget for a loss. He said the budgeted figure indicating a loss of nearly $1 million is a result of the board’s decision to use the district’s built-up reserves to fund capital improvements.

Golden Meadows Park officially conveyed to City

Board members voted unanimously during the April 10 meeting to formally approve a resolution authorizing the conveyance of the western portion of Golden Meadows Park to the City of Elmhurst. Rogers stated that the Elmhurst City Council had recently approved a similar ordinance ratifying the agreement.

In 2016, the park district and the city reached an intergovernmental agreement for the district to deed the western portion of the park to the city. The city will use the western portion of the park—about 3 acres—for storm water detention. The park district will retain the eastern portion of the park. The eastern portion also takes up approximately 3 acres.

The park district acquired the park with grant assistance from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The portion of the park that will be deeded to the city, therefore, will have to be replaced with property of comparable size, value and recreational usefulness. The intergovernmental agreement between the park district and city required IDNR approval. Rogers noted that the IDNR formally approved the agreement in March.

According to terms of the intergovernmental agreement, the park district and city both agreed to conduct an appraisal of the site. The district and city each selected their own appraisers. Those two appraisers then chose a third appraiser. The intergovernmental agreement called for the city and park district to drop the lowest and highest appraisal figures, select the middle figure and submit it to the IDNR. The middle figure appraised the western portion of Golden Meadows Park at $1.13 million.

Rogers said the park district is already pursuing replacement property. He added that the city’s storm water detention basin at its newly acquired portion of the park will be operational in 2017. He said the city would place funds for that replacement property into escrow no later than April 21.

Purchase of two mowers approved

Board members also voted unanimously during the meeting to approve the purchase of two Toro 6000 Series 72-inch mowers in the total amount of $20.900. Additionally, the board unanimously approved the purchase of a Wright Stander X 61-inch stand-on mower for $7,950.

Spray park at The Hub to be resurfaced

The board also voted unanimously to approve a $38,000 expenditure to resurface the spray park at The Hub in Berens Park. The spray park was installed in 2013. According to information provided by the district, there are several deficiencies in the existing surface, which is deteriorated and unsafe.

Board agrees to fund ADA improvements at Eldridge, Depot

Board members also voted unanimously to approve the expense of about $40,500 to pay for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements at Eldridge Park and the Depot. The improvements call for removing and replacing asphalt and concrete paths at both sites. The work at Eldridge Park will cost about $35,400, while the improvements at the Depot will cost about $5,100.

Election results announced

At the end of the meeting, Rogers congratulated Commissioner Mary Kies on winning re-election to a six-year term on the board during the election of April 4. Additionally, Rogers extended congratulations to Tim Sheehan, who was also elected to a six-year term on the board during this month’s election. A newcomer to the board, Sheehan will replace outgoing Commissioner Anthony Pelosi, who did not seek re-election.

According to unofficial results from the DuPage County Election Commission. Sheehan received 2,834 votes in the April 4 race for two available seats on the board. Kies won 2,242 votes. Robert Smith received 1,797 votes.

The board will hold its next regular meeting on April 24.


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