Committee of the Whole Minutes
VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
MARCH 19, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Carroll, Trustee Mark Guethle, Village Clerk Lori Murray. Not in attendance: Trustee Tao Martinez.
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Public Works Director John Laskowski, Police Chief Dave Fisher, and Village Attorney Kevin Drendel.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. 194 Alder Site Plan and Variance
Marcia Arb and Shelley Henderson – business address: 194 Alder Drive, North Aurora, IL
The proposal presented was for a parking variance at 194 Alder Drive (Abelei Flavors). They are also looking for site plan review since the addition is over 25% threshold. They are proposing to do a 21,000 square foot addition for a total of a 33,000 square foot building. Use of the facility is considered light industrial which requires two parking spaces per 1000. The facility currently has a total of 42 parking spaces. Per the expansion they would be required to have 66 spaces. They are requesting the variance for this reduction. Mike Toth noted that the Plan Commission discussed this at the March 6th meeting. Staff in now looking for feedback from the Board. Shelley Henderson stated that they put an addition on 2 years ago and added another 25 parking spaces for a total of 42 spaces. There are 18 employees and the buildout will only result in hiring one or two additional employees. The addition will be used for increased production, labs and for incoming and outgoing materials. The new parking lot is never used and they do not want to spend the money on additional parking and would rather put that money into the addition.
The Board did not see any issues with the request.
2. Silo Concept
M&M Consultants (David, Kurt and Gustavo) provided a concept design for the proposed silo project.
Some of the items discussed for this project:
1. New parking planned to the south.
2. Topography of the site. There is not a continuous grade from the Harner’s restaurant down to the river edge.
3. Existing bike thoroughfare. Will make some adjustments to that in order to gain more space in front of the silo.
4. There will be a series of walkways to get people from the new parking are to the lower level seating area as well as an upper level observation deck.
5. Playground feature to the riverbank edge.
6. Walkways are accessible throughout and will be accessible to someone in a wheelchair.
7. Key consideration was to transform the silo to a full height observation tower.
8. Concept for lighting the silo at night. The lighting would help make it a dynamic icon throughout the seasons. Lighting could highlight the top or project through the existing openings. Can also light up the silo from below.
Silo Repairs and Exterior Coating: $245,000
Lighting design features: $182,000.
Walkways & Seating and 2nd level observation area: $996,000.
Reconfiguration of the Bike thoroughfare and Playground: $650,000
Full Height Stair & Outlooks: $591,000
Curtis asked about the total cost of the project. M&M consultant stated $2,666,177.55. Steve Bosco noted that the numbers are conservative and features can be designed so that they are more cost effective.
As far as funding, this is in the TIF district and is a park improvement. Lighting the silo was one of the first priorities. Staff always planned for some of the money in the budget to go towards the silo project. The Village will also apply for grants and partner with the Fox Valley Park District and NOARDA. In reference to lighting, Staff suggested the lighting aspect be completed first and use TIF funds for most of the cost. Trustee Curtis said she does not agree with spending this type of money on the silo, adding that $3 million can take care of a lot of roads in the Village. Curtis said she liked the concept of lighting the silo but did not think it was a good fiscal concept. Trustee Guethle said he would like to see some of the grant money that can be obtained and that TIF Funds is a smart idea. Trustee Carroll asked if the FVPD has any stake in this in terms of funds. Bosco said that Staff had not discussed finances with the park district, but that the FVPD would be working with the Village on an intergovernmental agreement to provide the land. The Village has fund balance that has to be used in the TIF district and the money is to be used for these type of projects. Trustee Gaffino said that he does not want to spend a lot of taxpayer money, but likes this idea and the idea of grants and is excited about downtown development. Lighting would be a good idea to start the process. Trustee Lowery said it would make a dramatic improvement to the visual aspect of the Route 31 corridor. Lowery said he is in favor of the project but concerned about the cost. Bosco said that in the draft budget, the Village has put money in the TIF fund for next year. That money will be in the upcoming budget.
Curtis asked how much the Village has in the TIF Fund. Bosco said that what has been allocated is in the TIF Fund. The Village will have to put $350,000 - $400,000 in the fund. The Village has just over $1 million in the TIF Fund and then the Village has an increment that comes in next year of $400,000. Out of the $1.5 million next year, there are projects lined up including $400,000 for the silo project. Lowery said we should look at the long term effect of this project. If we develop this over the years, the impact will put North Aurora at a significant point on the map in the Fox Valley. Trustee Carroll agreed and added that North Aurora has a couple of restaurants on Route 31 that are struggling and this will bring foot traffic to the area. Carroll said that the Village has been talking about getting people down to the river for the last 10 years. This is one of the first steps in the process. Gaffino said that if we truly believe in this and Route 31 is our focus, we need to take a step forward. Curtis asked, from a liability issue, what will happen at night with the silo and if it will be locked. Bosco said it will be locked at night and there would be a camera system. Curtis asked if the Village will have to hire people and how will it be maintained. Bosco said that the Village will have conversations with the FVPD and would discuss the potential of having the FVPD maintain it at night.
Carroll said that since this is the only project of its kind, would like to push the FVPD to have more involvement in this project such as funding. Trustee Gaffino agreed. Gaffino noted that most of the revenue does not end up in North Aurora from the park district. This project would be a nice thing the park district could tag onto so that the residents can see where their tax dollars go. Do not want to just be provided with the space, but have actual dollars from the park district go into this project.
Mayor Berman concluded that this is definitely a long term project and the Village can use some of its funds to get the project started.
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Gaffino and seconded by Trustee Guethle. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray