VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
MAY 4, 2020
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Committee of the Whole meeting was conducted live remotely
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, Trustee Tao Martinez, Village Clerk Lori Murray.
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Public Works Direct John Laskowski, Police Chief Dave Fisher and Village Attorney Kevin Drendel.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. Independence Day Fireworks
The Village Board approved a fireworks contract with Melrose Pyrotechnics for the Village’s Independence Day Fireworks Celebration. It is planned for July 3rd, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event may need to be postponed or cancelled. The original contract only allows a postponement if it is weather related. Melrose has provided an addendum that would allow the Village to move the fireworks show to any date within the next year which would include July 3rd, 2021.This addendum would also help avoid any cancellation fees that would otherwise apply and provide a deposit towards the original contract amount. According to the addendum, the Village would provide Melrose a deposit of half of the $25,000 original contract cost. This deposit of $12,500 would count towards the original contract amount and must be paid by the original firework show date which is July 3rd, 2020. The Village would provide the other half of the contract amount when the firework show actually occurs. If the Village signs the addendum the deposit would work as a down payment towards the firework show. If the Village does not sign the addendum and decides to cancel the show, the cancellation cost would be about $15,000 – $20,000. The addendum would need to be signed at least 30 days prior to July 3rd, 2020.
Bosco said that staff will bring an addendum to the village board two weeks from now for $12,500 and the village could be able to reschedule for another time. The village can also cancel outright or keep the event as July 3rd.
Trustee Guethle said he was in favor of putting the money towards next year and cancelling this year’s show. Mayor Berman was in favor of the addendum.
Trustee Curtis asked if there is a way to still have a fireworks show. Bosco said if the village signs the addendum, can still have a fireworks show at a later date. Another option is to look at another location to fire from.
Trustee Gaffino suggested either moving it to next year or tying it in to North Aurora Days and postpone it to the fall.
After further discussion, the board voted in favor of the addendum.
Trustee Carroll suggested waiting and if the restrictions ease, can have people there in masks to enjoy the fireworks. Trustee Martinez said if we could manage having the event and meet new criteria for the public, it would be uplifting for the community.
Bosco said he would review the addendum with Attorney Drendel and keeping the July 3rd date open as a possibility.
Trustee Martinez suggested using the Target parking lot for this year’s fireworks.
2. North Aurora Days Update
The North Aurora Days Committee has been monitoring Covid-19 and how it has affected festivals. They are planning to reassess the situation in early May. Concerns include: safety for the public, uncertainty about what the social distancing guidelines will be, not being able to get volunteers, whether or not the public will be comfortable attending and funding the event.
There have not been any sponsorships received at this time. If the village does not receive any sponsorships from businesses, the village is looking at $50,000 to run the event. The North Aurora Days Committee is not at the point of making a decision yet and has until the June meeting.
One of the options is to cancel and then decide to possibly do a smaller event later in the year (September or October) such as an Octoberfest.
Trustee Curtis suggested not making a decision and see what happens in a month. Mayor Berman agreed that the board could wait on making a decision.
Bosco said he would bring this back for discussion in June.
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Carroll and seconded by Trustee Guethle. All in favor. Motion approved.
Lori J. Murray