of the Special Meeting
of the City Council of the
CITY OF DARIEN
AUGUST 12, 2002
CALL TO ORDER
Carmen D. Soldato called the Special Meeting of the City Council of the
City of Darien with the Darien Park District Board of Commissioners to
order at 7:00 P.M.
ROLL CALL - The Roll Call of Aldermen by City Clerk Coleman was as follows:
Richard Biehl David Hagen
Morgan Cotten Joseph Marchese
Sean P. Durkin James Tikalsky
Absent: Kathleen Moesle-Weaver
Also in Attendance: Carmen D. Soldato, Mayor
Joanne F. Coleman, City Clerk
Bryon D. Vana, City Administrator
Patricia Kampwirth, Darien Park District Commissioner
Donald McGreal, Darien Park District Commissioner
Scott Nerger, Darien Park District Administrator
DECLARATION OF A QUORUM - There being six Aldermen present, Mayor Soldato
declared a quorum.
DISCUSSION OF JOINT USE FACILITY
Soldato welcomed everyone and gave a brief background on the joint use
facility. He noted that Public Works requested more land for equipment
storage and that acreage east of the current site became available for
purchase. He said that State funds were obtained for a joint facility,
which included other taxing bodies (County, Fire Districts, School District,
Park District) for a multi-functional facility.
Nerger said that the Darien Park District had been involved with the process
and formal discussions with City Staff; he referred to a drawing dated
August 13, 2001. He noted that money had been earmarked for the facility
but that it had been utilized to purchase the Marion Hills building after
the referendum failed. He stated that he wrote a letter to the City in
March/April, 2002, which informed the City that the District needed to
withdraw from the proposed joint use facility. Mayor Soldato commented
that the City Council did not receive the referenced letter.
Soldato spoke as a citizen and inquired if the District could partake
if money became available through other means. Administrator Nerger spoke
about two parcels owned by the District: 7201 Cass Avenue and 802 Plainfield
Road, which could possibly be sold. The parcels are both zoned R-2 and
are surrounded by residential.
Kampwirth inquired what the timeframe was for the construction of the
joint use facility. Mayor Soldato responded that the City was trying to
obtain confirmed interest from other entities. She asked if the District
could join the City at a later date; Mayor Soldato responded that the
City owned the land but there would be additional costs for construction,
which was upward of $6 million for a 92,000 sq.ft. building.
Soldato stated that Council discussed storage of school buses at their
Goal Setting Session, that he had met with the School Board and that there
was a decision to store the school buses outside, which would decrease
the square footage and cost of the building. He indicated that the District
needed to decide what they really needed in order to consider other reductions.
Alderman Biehl asked if the District was serious in remaining a participant
in the joint use facility. He suggested that if the City had the building
constructed, that when the District was financially stable they could
join the City. Alderman Hagen agreed with Alderman Biehl who suggested
design of the facility with the option for expansion in the future, which
would make the facility a cooperative venture.
McGreal stated that the District had not revisited the facility issue
because they needed to focus on their primary objective. He said that
the long-term goal was to build a recreation center and that the Marion
Hills facility was only a short-term solution. Discussion of the District's
debt ensued. Commissioner Kampwirth stated that if the two parcels were
sold that the District could commit to the joint use facility in less
than ten (10) years.
Alderman Cotten noted that the City currently owned more property than
needed for the construction of the joint use facility. He was concerned
that if the City sold portions of the parcel it could eventually need
more land for future expansion.
Biehl suggested waiting a few years to accommodate the District because
all of the entities interested in the joint use facility were separate
taxing bodies, which would make consideration easier on the taxpayers.
Commissioner Kampwirth stated that the item would be placed on the August
20, 2002 Darien Park District Board Agenda for consideration.
Durkin stated that the City and District should enter into an Intergovernmental
Agreement with a timetable. He suggested something be done prior to the
end of the current year.
Coleman asked what the term of the lease was for the property at 7201
Cass Avenue; Administrator Nerger responded that it was on a year to year
basis with a kick-out clause. Clerk Coleman also asked if the District
would be willing to Quit Claim Deed the property to the City; Administrator
Nerger said that mechanism had not been considered.
Cotten wanted assurance that the District was committed and willing to
continue with the development process in order to make effective decisions.
Nerger asked if Council had reviewed the three studies that were submitted;
they included separate buildings, similar to a condominium association,
partial consolidation and full consolidation. He said that previously
all staffs struggled with the cost and what would work due to the volume
of vehicles and needed space.
Soldato noted that Council at the recent Goal Setting Session informally
agreed that housing buses inside did not make sense. He said that Council
had been informed that the District was no longer interested in the joint
use facility and that was the purpose of the meeting. He commented that
the City would like to continue working with the District; Administrator
Nerger said that he had not heard of any proposed changes, i.e., bus storage
and reiterated that the issue would be proposed to the District at its
meeting on August 20th.
formal response was requested from the Darien Park District Board in regard
to the joint use facility. There was discussion about the importance of
the facility in regard to size, function, cost, timeframe and consultant.
Administrator Vana stated that two consultants were utilized; one provided
a space needs assessment and the other provided the conceptual design.
was discussion about National Semi-Trailer Corp. and their leasing agreement
with the City. The Mayor noted that National indicated that they would
like to continue leasing the South Frontage Road property from the City.
McGreal thanked Council for the invitation to discuss the issue.
Mayor Soldato asked if the public had questions. A resident inquired as
to the value of the properties located at 7201 Cass Avenue and 802 Plainfield
Road. Administrator Nerger responded that the parcels had an approximate
value of $500,000 and both were currently zoned R-2. He stated that 7201
Cass Avenue contained 2.1 acres and was recently appraised for approximately
$310,000, and that 802 Plainfield Road contained 1.4 acres, was on well
and had previously been appraised in the low $200,000 range.
Soldato said that the City was approached by a developer in regard to
the 10-acre parcel on South Frontage Road who was interested in purchasing
eight of the acres.
being no further business to come before the City Council adjourned at
supporting documentation and report originals of these minutes are on
file in the Office of the City Clerk under File Number 08-12-02.
Special Minutes of 08-12-02 CCM
August 12, 2002