Development Committee Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017
CALL TO ORDER
Trustee Guethle called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m.
Committee Members in attendance: Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Laura Curtis.
Staff in attendance: Steve Bosco, Village Administrator; Mike Toth, Community and Economic Development Director; Cindy Torraco, Exec. Assistant.
Absent: Trustee Mark Guethle.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion to approve the June 21, 2017 Development Committee Minutes made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Gaffino. All in Favor – Motion Approved
1. TIF Façade Grant request in the amount of $12,605.49 for the property located at 102 S. Lincolnway.
Toth presented information regarding a T.I.F. grant application from Garage 31 requesting $12,605.49 in TIF funding for exterior façade enhancements including parking lot improvements, resurfacing striping and parking stops, dumpster pad and enclosure, and exterior paint and landscaping.
The property owner included a request to enhance existing freestanding sign, however it does not qualify as it is non-conforming. Parking lot improvements have already been completed and staff is recommending reimbursement for half of the parking lot improvements. Parking lot improvements were done when storm drain was installed and staff had recommended to reduce costs, that the entire parking lot be improved at that time. The Property owner has worked with the Village and been very patient. The Plan Commission asked for a more detailed landscape plan which will be provided.
Trustee Curtis asked what their plan was for the sign, noting she is not in favor of tall aerial signs along Route 31 and prefers the ground level signs. Toth noted they will enhance the current sign and spruce up the base of the sign for now. Gaffino agreed regarding ground signs preferred over aerial signs and noted the property is looking good.
2. Community Sign
Bosco provided a recap of the Community sign project and noted that per the contract with Western Remac, they have provided three design concepts with a rough cost estimate OF 59,000 TO $69,000 depending on the size and materials of the sign. He asked the committee to not think of the cost or materials at this time, but to focus on the 3 design concepts and comment on their preferences. Bosco noted he would not be in attendance at the next C.O.W. meeting and as the Public Facilities meeting was cancelled, wanted to get Trustees Curtis and Gaffino’s opinion in order to keep the project moving along.
The design concepts include A.) a brick based sign, B.) a mostly metal sign depicting the bridge as its base and C.) a flagstone based sign.
Curtis noted she preferred concept A. noting it was the most conforming to the entry way signs. She was not impressed with C. the bridge based design, noting it was too busy and detracted from the LED sign. Gaffino concurred that concept A. was more traditional and also C., however, he also noted B. with the bridge would be distracting. Bosco noted that Trustee Carroll also picked A. Bosco stated it looked like A. was the favored design and this issue will be presented to the Committee of the Whole at the September 18 2017 meeting.
Toth provided an update on the hotel projects in the Village. The My Place Hotel is scheduled to break ground this fall and the townhomes would come in at a later date as phase II of the project. Trustee Gaffino asked about any restaurants that may be coming in and Toth noted the current two lots are reserved for the hotel, so not at this time.
Regarding the Marriott Hotel that was first brought to the Village in 2014, along Deerpath Road, Toth noted someone is stepping in to take over this project and he received a call from the architect who will be creating a site plan.
The Baymont Hotel has converted to a Comfort Inn and they have completed a lot of updates with the lobby and some of the rooms. They are also in discussion with the Village regarding expansion to include banquet facilities. Toth recommended stopping in and seeing the improvements they have made.
Toth noted he is working with the North Aurora Hotel to become a Rodeway Inn which would be more recognizable and make them subject to corporate standards.
Trustee Curtis asked if Toth could reach out to Naf Naf Grill about locating in North Aurora. Toth noted he had reached out to them, and could call again to inquire. Bosco noted staff went through the ICSC book to see if there were other options for a Mediterranean grill or restaurant.
Toth noted that areas down Route 31 near I-88 are shaping up, and some of the properties with homes are getting cleaned up. Trustee Gaffino referenced one house that is south of the Edens Supportive Living and Toth noted Code Enforcement has met with them. Toth also noted that Marcy Augustyn, is handling commercial areas and doing an inventory of sites around town for code enforcement to review, while Rhonda, part-time code enforcement, is concentrating on non-commercial properties.
Bosco noted the tree removal bids will be going out this fall, and noted for the first time since he has been Administrator, the Village has not had to remove a huge amount of trees as in the past with the infected ash trees, noting 95% of the ash trees have been removed.
Trustee Curtis asked if the Police Department is on top of safety with West Aurora High School and if they are aware of what Aurora Police is doing to ensure student safety. She noted that have been shootings and a lot of gang activity around the area, and with students parking 3-4 blocks from the school in this area, as well as being at the school after hours for activities, and she is concerned about their safety. Bosco stated he would speak with Chief Fisher to find out what Aurora Police Department does and what resources are available after hours for after school activities. Gaffino stated, when his daughter went there, she unknowingly parked in front of a “gang” house, which he found out about later, noting she had no idea, adding North Aurora students aren’t aware of the type of neighborhood it is near West Aurora.
Trustee Curtis asked if the C.E.R.T. team could patrol the area after school or if there is some kind of list of “gang” houses in the area. Bosco noted the C.E.R.T. team is made up of strictly volunteers who assist with events and most likely would not be in a position to patrol the area. Further, there are no “gang” house lists, like a sex-offender list, as gang members are not required to register that they are in a gang. Trustee Curtis noted she would like to get ahead of this issue before something happens. Bosco noted we can have our Police Department work with the Aurora Police Department and have an officer go out and survey the situation. Bosco also noted that with the Strategic Plan coming up, staff and the board can look at more operational goals for the department with Chief Fisher being new in his position, this would be a good time to set some goals. The Strategic Plan goals tend to focus on community improvements, but now is the time to also focus on operation goals.
Bosco stated he is excited about the Silo Park project and staff has received 16 responses to the request for qualifications. He noted a meeting is scheduled with Mike Toth and John Laskowski, PW Director, along with a member of NOARDA and the Fox Valley Park District to review the qualifications and narrow them down to about 5. He noted there are some extremely qualified companies who have done multi-million dollar projects. As the Village is looking for a more moderate priced project, but want to do something different and exciting to draw people to the park, we will apply for grants and possible T.I.F. funds and possibly create the Silo park in phases as budget and grants allow.
Toth noted he has received a lot of positive feedback on North Aurora Days this year, especially for the Sunday activities that were added.
MOTION TO ADJOURN
Trustee Gaffino made a Motion to Adjourn, seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in Favor.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:02 a.m.
Executive Assistant/Deputy Clerk