Updates from the October Park Board Meetings

October 11: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff reviewed the Park District’s Fund Balance Policy and received consensus from the Finance Committee to maintain a minimum balance of 25% in the General and Recreation Funds, maintain a minimum balance of 15% in the Special Recreation Fund, and remove the Debt Service Fund policy.

Staff also reviewed the Draft Five-Year Capital Plan including projections for Fiscal Year 2022 and proposed Capital Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2023. 

Lastly, staff provide an overview of a proposed Recreation Sub-Fund for Park Avenue Boating Facility and received consensus from the Finance Committee to create the proposed Sub-Fund.

October 12: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved Resolution 2022-06 A Declaration Honoring Executive Director Brian Romes for his contributions to the Park District of Highland Park and the extended community in response to the Fourth of July Mass Shooting.

Staff provided construction updates for the Fink Park Athletic Field Development project, Centennial Ice Arena Facility and Site Renovations project and the Rink Floor Replacement project, Hidden Creek AquaPark Concrete Pool Deck and Shade Structure Replacement project, Findings from the structural survey conducted by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) for Deer Creek Racquet Club, Districtwide Lighting projects, Recreation Center of Highland Park Dehumidification System Replacement project, Moraine Beach Pathway project, and the Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp Replacement project.

October 18: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff provided an overview and recommendation of the 2023 Tax Levy. Further discussions will take place at the November 9 Workshop Meeting.

October 26: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved purchasing Replacement Shade Structures at Hidden Creek AquaPark; the changes to Policy # 3.02.4 Fund Balance; the changes to Policy # 3.15 Purchasing; the changes to Policy # 4.02 for Naming or Renaming Parks, Buildings, and Facilities in the Park District of Highland Park Policy Manual; purchasing Golf Maintenance Equipment; purchasing Capital Replacement Zero-Turn Mowers; purchasing Life Fitness Upright and Recumbent Exercise Bikes; the 2022-2023 Sunset Valley Golf Club Cart Path Bridge Replacement and Removal Agreement; entering into an agreement with Camera Corner Connecting Point for purchase of the 2023 Infrastructure Upgrade Project Phase 2 Equipment in the amount of $106,235.74; and Section 7.6 of Part-Time the Part-Time and Full-Time Employee Personnel Policy Manuals: Flexible Spending Account.

Updates from the September Park Board Meetings

September 14: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance 2022-05: Authorizing and Providing for the Conveyance or Sale of Surplus Personal Property and the First Amendment to the Centennial Ice Arena Locker Room License Agreement.

Staff provided construction updates for the Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp project, the Moraine Path Improvement project, the Centennial Ice Arena Renovation and Site Improvements project, the Millard Bluff Grading and Tree Removal project, the Fink Park Athletic Field Development project, and the Old Elm Trail Connection Feasibility Study.

Staff recommended elements from the approved Sunset Woods Master Plan for the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The competitive grant program provides up to 50% funding support to develop public outdoor recreation areas. This year $56M is available through the grant program, and the maximum individual award is $600,000. The application is due on September 30, 2022.

The Park District is working with a third-party consultant GovHRUSA to conduct an employee Compensation and Classification Study to attract and retain a productive workforce. Simultaneously, the Park District is redefining our Values to create a clear focus on what drives day-to-day decision-making, inspires leadership, and holds our organization, teams, and individuals accountable. The desired outcome of redefining Park District Values is a relentless focus on values-driven leadership, values-driven culture, and values-driven strategic initiatives that are simple, compelling, and aligned with our Mission (why we exist) and our Vision (what we aspire to do).

Lastly, staff reviewed the 2023 Proposed Budget Timeline.

September 28: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved the Athletic Fields Capital Campaign Project Change Order Agreement for the Non-Profit Coach consulting services, the base bid proposal, and alternates 1 and 2 from RES Environmental Operating Company, LLC in the amount of $319,300 for the 2022-2023 Millard Bluff Grading and Tree Removal project, and the OSLAD Grant Resolution Authorization, allowing the Park District of Highland Park to apply for funding assistance to implement the Sunset Woods Master Plan.

Staff provided an update on pickleball operations and recommendations to expand outdoor opportunities.

September 29: Policy Committee Meeting

The Policy Committee conducted an exercise to root the proposed redefined values into the District’s operational framework.

Updates from the September Park Board Meetings

August 10: Finance Committee Meeting 

Staff reviewed the long-term emergency replacement proposals for the compromised ice rink floor at Centennial Ice Arena and provided a recommendation. The Park Board awarded the project to Ice Builders, Inc. The emergency replacement project is estimated to cost approximately $1.5 million and will take approximately six months to complete.  

Staff also reviewed the bid results from the 2022 Centennial Ice Arena Renovation and Site Improvements Project and provided a recommendation. It was the consensus of the Park Board to proceed with the bid from Stuckey Construction which includes lobby renovations, removal of the concession area, updated locker and restrooms, along with an improved drop-off area and vehicle turn-around, resurfaced parking lots with more lighting and pedestrian connections, and drainage improvements to protect the infrastructure.  

Lastly, staff provided an update of the District’s Ten-Year Funding Model.

August 10: Workshop Meeting Of The Park Board

Finding in accordance with Park District Code, Article 8, Section 1, that–due to the unique circumstances present in this case concerning the nature of the work and the timing required–the replacement work for the Centennial Ice Arena is not adapted to award by competitive bidding; and, further, The Park Board of Commissioners authorized the Executive Director to enter into an Agreement with Ice Builders for design and construction services, labor and materials for the Centennial Ice Arena Rink Replacement Project in the amount of $1,391,790, subject to final contract document approval by Park District Corporate Counsel, Ancel Glink.

August 17: Facility And Recreation Committee Meeting

Architect consultants, Holabird and Root, and Construction Managers, Gilbane Construction Company, provided a progress of the conceptual plans and plan to deliver cost estimates at the next meeting.

August 18: Finance Committee Meeting 

Staff reviewed the quarterly treasurer’s report and financial forecasts by fund through July 31, 2022.

Staff also reviewed the bid opening for the 2022 Facility and Parks Asphalt Improvements Project and provided a contract recommendation. The project would replace cart path holes 2, 3, 4, and 5, repair the parking lot at Heller Nature Center parking, and stripe the parking lot at Sunset Woods Park. Staff received consensus from the Finance Committee to place the contract from Troch McNeil Paving Company on the consent agenda at the August 24 Regular Meeting.

August 24: Regular Meeting Of The Park Board

Staff provided a review of the design renderings and floor plan layouts for the facility and entry renovations for the 2022 Centennial Ice Arena Renovation Improvement Project. The Park Board of Commissioners accepted base bid Items 1-10 and 12-14, alternates 3,7,11,12,14 from Stuckey Construction for the 2022 Centennial Ice Arena Renovation Improvement Project, authorizing the Executive Director to enter into an Agreement in the amount of $3,533,755. The Park Board of Commissioners also accepted change order 1 amounting to a deduct of $36,858 from the project.

Staff reviewed the Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Ramp construction schedule. Mobilization begins September 6. The concrete launch ramp and sand ramp will be closed during construction, motorized watercraft can use the Lloyd Beach boat launch with the Winnetka Park District.  Non-motorized watercraft can launch from the south beach on weeknights and weekends.

Staff received consensus from the Park Board of Commissioners to sell the 552 Electric Zamboni and request approval of a ratified Ordinance Providing for the Conveyance or Sale of Surplus Personal Property at the September 14 Workshop meeting.

Updates from the September Park Board Meetings

June 15: Facility and Recreation Committee Meeting

Staff, along with architect consultants Holabird and Root, provided a progress update on the vision, site analysis and programming assessment of the West Ridge Park and Site Project.  The project team reviewed the anticipated timeline and discussed next steps. 

June 15: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

Sikich LLP presented the Park District’s audited financial statements for 2021 and issued an unqualified or clean opinion for the report.  This is the best opinion provided by an auditing firm and indicates that the Park District’s operations are in compliance with governance principles and applicable laws. The Park Board of Commissioners approved the 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. 

Staff provided an update on the Sunset Woods Park Playground Renovation since the project has experienced a variety of setbacks due to poor weather conditions and equipment supply challenges.  

The Park District received three bids for the Centennial Ice Arena Renovation and Site Improvements Project on June 10, 2022. Those documents are being reviewed, and references are being contacted. 

Staff provided an update on the Moraine Fencing Improvement Project which is intended to address access control for patrons who visit Moraine Beach. Based on staff’s findings, the Park Board favored the option to continue messaging that the beach is open for all patrons and will be entirely open for off-leash dogs.  

The Park Board of Commissioners approved Resolution 2022-05: authorizing the Executive Director to purchase natural gas for the District from Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative or Alternative Utility Service for a period of up to 36 months. 

June 22: Lakefront, Parks, and Natural Areas Committee Meeting

Staff reviewed the proposed improvements from Gewalt Hamilton Associates, the project timeline, and fundraising efforts between the Parks Foundation and the Athletic Boosters to support the renovation of the Fink Park Athletic Field Development. 

An Engineer from AECOM presented two repair concepts to address the damages along the southeast corner of the South Storage lot at Park Avenue Boating Facility. 

June 22: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff provided an update on the 2022 Capital Plan including a review of year-end projections. Staff also reviewed the 10-Year Funding Model.

Staff provided a brief update regarding the condition of the ice rink at Centennial Ice Arena. 

June 29: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners authorized the Executive Director to enter into an agreement with WJE Engineering in the amount of $38,700 to complete the investigation of the heaved ice rink slab at Centennial Ice Arena.

The Park Board of Commissioners adopted a Proclamation for the Designation of July as Parks and Recreation Month.

Staff provided an update on Summer Camp 2022 operations and the operational plans for Fourth Fest 2022.

Updates from the September Park Board Meetings

May 18: Workshop Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners adopted the Beach and Boating Safety Week Proclamation declaring May 23 – 30 as Highland Park Beach and Boating Safety Week and encouraged that these safe practices continue throughout the summer.

The Park Board of Commissioners reconsidered the approval to enter into an agreement with Securatex and rejected all the proposals received on April 13, 2022, for the 2022 Lakefront Security Services. As a result, an emergency approval to enter into an agreement with Gamma Team Security, Inc for Lakefront Security Services was approved by the Park Board of Commissioners.  

The Park Board of Commissioners approved Base Bid Items 1, 2, and 3 and Alternates 1 and 2 from Team REIL Inc. for the 2022 Moraine Park Path Improvement Project, and authorized the Executive Director to enter into an agreement in the amount of $586,314. Also approved was revisions to Section 8.9 “Participation in Programs and Use of Facilities” in the Part-Time Employee Personnel Policy Manual, Section 8.13 “Participation in Programs and Use of Facilities” in the Full-Time Employee Personnel Policy Manual, and Ordinance 2022-04 Authorizing and Providing for the Conveyance or Sale of Surplus Personal Property.

Other updates included a brief overview of the events in June to celebrate the grand opening of The Preserve of Highland Park, an engineering proposal from Gewalt Hamilton Associate to replace the concrete deck and shade structures at Hidden Creek AquaPark, a review of the Centennial Ice Arena renovation project and timeline, and progress reports for the bridge replacement and removal along with cart path resurfacing projects at Sunset Valley Golf Club.  

May 25: Annual Meeting of the Park Board

Commissioner Grossberg was elected for President of the Park Board and Commissioner Freeman was elected for Vice President. Executive Director Romes was appointed as Secretary to the Park Board, Coordinator Hejnowski was appointed as Assistant Secretary acting under the general supervisor of the Secretary, Director Peters was appointed as Treasurer, Director Kopka was appointed as the District’s IMRF authorized agent, Sikich LLP was appointed as the District’s auditor, and Ancel Glink was appointed as the District’s attorney.

May 25: Regular Meeting of the Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved the Executive Director’s Annual Salary and the Hidden Creek AquaPark Concrete Deck Replacement Engineering Services Agreement.

Manager Acevedo provided a programming and staffing update for summer operations at Hidden Creek AquaPark and Rosewood Beach. Manager Pierce provided an update of summer operations for Park Avenue Beach and Boating Facility.

May 26: Finance Committee Meeting

Sikich LLP presented upon the Annual Comprehensive Report and commended staff since there were no deficiencies and zero adjustments were made.

Updates from the September Park Board Meetings

April 13: Facility and Recreation Committee Meeting

Park Board Commissioners met with the principal architect at Holabird and Root to discuss conceptual planning for the West Ridge Park and Site Project.  

April 13: Workshop Meeting of The Park Board

The Park District of Highland Park received six sealed bids on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, for materials and labor to complete the 2022 Park Avenue Boat Launch Improvements Project. Staff provided an update on project funding options. 

April 20: Lakefront, Parks, and Natural Areas Committee Meeting

Staff provided an update on the Moraine Fencing Improvement Project which is intended to address access control for patrons who visit Moraine Beach. Based on staff’s findings, the Committee favored the option to continue messaging that the beach is open for all patrons and will be entirely open for off-leash dogs.  

Staff provided an update on Sunset Woods Park Playground, including landscaping and signage plans. The project remains under budget, with an anticipated grand opening in June of 2022.

Staff also provided an update on the welcome signage at Sunset Woods Park and the incorporation of the Sheahen Woods history. 

April 20: Finance Committee Meeting

Staff provided an update on the Dectron Mechanical System at the Recreation Center of Highland Park, which is budgeted to be replaced in 2023. 

Staff also reviewed the April request for proposals and bid results.  

April 27: Regular Meeting of The Park Board

The Park Board of Commissioners approved the base bid from Lakes and Rivers Contracting, Inc. for the 2022 Park Avenue Breakwater and Boat Launch Project, authorizing the Executive Director to enter an agreement in the amount of $2,221,890. Contributing funds for this project have been made possible from community donations to the Park Foundation of Highland Park, totaling $400,000. The Park Board also authorized the Executive Director to enter into an agreement with SmithGroup for the Park Avenue Boat Launch Construction Administration Project Proposal in the amount of $68,000. Consent Agenda items approved by the Park Board of Commissioners included the 2022 Park Avenue Dredging Project, the 2022 Lakefront Security Services Request for Proposals, the 2022 Heller Nature Center Entrance Improvements Project Bid, and the Recreation Center of Highland Park Mechanical Engineering Proposal. 

The Park Board of Commissioners deferred consideration to approve the Moraine Park Path Improvement Project Rebid to the May 11 Workshop Meeting.