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An Attentive Municipal Organization that Connects with Community, Commerce, and Nature.

Committee of the Whole Minutes

Monday, May 16, 2022

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
via telecommunications.

Mayor Gaffino called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Mayor Mark Gaffino, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Todd Niedzwiedz, Trustee Carolyn Salazar

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Jason Paprocki, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel (via Zoom), Public Works Director John Laskowski, Police Chief Dave Fisher.



1. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fox River Dam Removal Study
Administrator Bosco updated the Village Board on the possible options presented to the Village by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in regard to potential dam removal. Bosco presented the Board with 12 options provided by the IDNR and asked for feedback on what they may have liked and/or disliked about the options presented. He reminded the Board that there was an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Village and the Fox Valley Park District with the IDNR for dam removal in 2015. The funding was frozen and the IGA expired. Later the frozen funding became available again and in 2020 the IDNR began exploratory research into the dam removal.
As Bosco proceeded through the presentation, he reminded the Board of considerations to bear in mind while reviewing the options, the flow of the mill race, environmental impact, cost, and the impact on the park, recreation and aesthetics.
Bosco stated that once the Board had reviewed the 12 options the feedback would be given to the IDNR and they then would provide further details on the narrowed options, such as cost and shoreline effect. The staff and Board would then revisit the IDNR’s findings at a future Village Board meeting.
The 12 options had been broken down into four categories, a General category, Channels, Culverts and Stonework. A channel was described as an open cut through the park leading to the mill race. A culvert would be an underground channel leading water to the mill race. Stonework would be laying rock down to slow the water flow. The general category included options looking at leaving the dam intact, full removal and partial removal.
Bosco explained that each option would have an effect on the mill race. It was still undetermined if the mill race would be a necessary feature for water runoff.
Three channel options were presented to the Board (options labeled 3, 4 and 5). The Board discussed the potential for each of the options. A common concern among the Trustees was a channel being a safety issue, however Trustee Guethle liked the option labeled 5. The Trustees decided to look further into options 3 and 5.
There were three culvert options presented (options labeled 6, 7 and 8). The culvert options were similar in that they were all below ground, the entry points differed. The Trustees discussed what reasons they would be presented a channel versus a culvert when a culvert seems a safer options, believing the reason to be the differing potential costs of the options as well as aesthetic preference. The Board decided to further investigate all options in this category.
The final options presented were stonework options. There were three options presented (options labeled 9, 10 and 12). The stonework options offered potential variations of stone installations in lieu of the dam to slow water flow and divert more water to the mill race. Bosco stated that the staff had expressed concern about maintain the stonework in the future. The Board discussed the safety of adding riffles to the river, potentially adding obstacles for boating and fishing. They decided to eliminate option 12 which added riprap to the existing dam creating a slope to slow water and eliminate the hydraulic roller.
The IDNR representative Wes Cattoor was in attendance via Zoom and offered information on the project. He explained that the dam creates an artificial high water level allowing the water to reach the existing culvert feeding the mill race. If the dam were to be removed, water levels would decrease and an alternate way to feed the mill race would be necessary.
The Board decided to further explore options 9 and 10, the installation of riffles.
2. Class B and Supplemental Video Game Liquor License Application: Tracy’s
Administrator Bosco stated that Tracy’s was seeking a Class B-Small Restaurant Liquor License and a Supplemental Video Gaming Liquor License. The restaurant is proposed to be located at 243 Genesis Drive and would serve such food items as burgers, sandwiches and appetizers. Bosco stated that the “Tracy’s” name is affiliated with gaming parlors, however there is a Tracy’s location that operates with a full menu. The owner, James Kapasoons, was on hand to present the project to the Board.
Kapasoons stated that he is the owner of Run-A-Ways and former owner of Wee-Dees, he is looking to partner with Tracy’s to bring the restaurant to North Aurora. He explained that Tracy’s has a larger pool of employees to access which would be beneficial to him because he is having a hard time staffing his Run-A-Ways location.
The Village Board stressed the need to have a full working kitchen to be in compliance with the requirements of the Supplemental Video Gaming Liquor License.
Trustee Niedzwiedz confirmed that a Supplemental Video Gaming License would be subject to review and could be pulled by the Liquor Commissioner should the parameters of the license not be met. Niedzwiedz also expressed concern that the name “Tracy’s” is associated with gaming parlors.
Trustees Curtis and Salazar expressed positivity for the proposed idea.
Mayor Gaffino reiterated the concern that the Village does not want gaming parlors and reinforced that the restaurant aspect is important. There was further discussion about having the “Tracy’s” name and the benefits it would bring in regard to attracting potential employees.
General approval was given by the Board.

3. Class B and Supplemental Video Game Liquor License Application: A World of Bowls
Administrator Bosco stated that the owners of 227 S. Lincolnway were looking to open a new restaurant and were seeking a Class B-Small Restaurant Liquor License and a Supplemental Video Gaming Liquor License. The location was that of the now closed MaMaw’s Kitchen, the same floorplan was being used by this new restaurant. The restaurant, A World of Bowls, would have a multi-cultural prepared bowls concept.
Bonnie and Tim Kennefick were on hand to present their concept to the Board. They informed the Board that they had been affiliated with Brown’s Chicken since 1970 when they opened their first Brown’s location at 227 S. Lincolnway, the location proposed for the new restaurant. Since 1990 they have had a restaurant in Aurora, Tia Wanna’s, which has alcohol and gaming. They are looking to bring a concept developed by Brown’s, the prepared bowls with “world flair”, as well as offering beer, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options to the restaurant.
Trustee Salazar asked for clarification on the establishment’s kitchen and whether or not it will be equipped for food cooking and preparation. The Kennefick’s explained that all the food would be made to order in the kitchen, the larger items like roasts may be cooked at their other facility.
Trustee Niedzwiedz asked when the Kennefick’s were hoping to open. Mr. Kennefick stated that they were having some trouble getting service providers in to do work but he was hoping for an opening in three months.
Mayor Gaffino asked about their staffing, the Kennefick’s stated they had no problem with staffing.
The Trustees expressed positivity and approval of the idea.
4. Golf Dome Concept
Director Toth introduced the item, a Golf Dome concept for the Village’s five acres of land located on Orchard Gateway Boulevard in the North Aurora Towne Centre. The property is located in the B-2 General Business District Towne Centre Planned Unit Development. The height of the proposed structure would trigger a need to go through the public hearing process. Toth stated that staff was looking for feedback on the concept.
Ron Walker of the Whitetail Ridge Golf Club in Yorkville stated that the idea of the golf dome is to bridge the five months of the year that the weather is inhospitable for golfing. The dome itself is proposed to be 200’ wide by 350’ long, it would have two levels of hitting bays equipped with innovative ball tracing technology. There would also be offices and a 40-60 seat restaurant within the establishment, and a 140-160 parking spaced lot.
Trustee Guethle asked if the establishment would only be open five months a year, Mr. Walker stated that he believes that they would be open all year.
Trustee Guethle expressed approval of the concept.
Trustee Curtis expressed approval of the concept and asked if there would also be putting greens and chipping areas, Mr. Walker stated that they would have putting greens but no chipping. Trustee Curtis also asked if the restaurant would be open if the golf dome was not, Mr. Walker stated that the restaurant would be there to service the golfers so the restaurant would only be open when the golfing was available.
Trustee Niedzwiedz stated that he liked the concept but he believed the aesthetic for the location is not a favorable one.
There was discussion regarding the dome and its aesthetic impact on the area. The golf dome is proposed to be over six stories tall.
Trustee Salazar stated that she liked the concept but she is unsure about the aesthetic impact on the location.
Trustee Guethle spoke about the potential influx of people entering the area to patronize the golf dome.
Trustee Lowery stated that the economic impact of the project would supersede the aesthetic concerns.
Mayor Gaffino expressed positivity for the concept and reservations about the aesthetics of the dome.
There was further discussion about the economic versus the aesthetic impact on the area and nearby homes.

1. Sale of Village Property
2. Personnel #1
3. Personnel #2


Motion to adjourn to Executive Session made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.

Mayor Gaffino called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Mayor Mark Gaffino, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Todd Niedzwiedz, Trustee Carolyn Salazar

Staff in attendance: Village Attorney Kevin Drendel (via Zoom).


Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jessi Watkins
Village Clerk

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