Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) Board Meeting
November 17, 2020
Cook County Forest Preserve District (FPDCC) Board Meeting
Regular Monthly Meeting Combined With FY2021 Budget Introduction
October 20, 2020 (Meetings were held virtually)
2021 Forest Preserve District Budget Recommendation Meeting
Other items of interest:
Observed by Michele Niccolai Combined Meetings length: 2 hours
Forest Preserve District (FPD) Cook County Board Meeting
Sept. 22, 2020
Meeting called to order at 10:00 am
Agenda Item 20-0279 Adoption of Amended Tree Mitigation Plan. Commissioner Arroyo made a motion to discharge this item from committee, substituting it for 20-0278 which was put into effect Nov. 1, 2020. This substituted item provides greater detail for planning tree mitigation projects within the forest preserves between public utilities and the FPD. Resolution was passed. Other agenda items relating to tree mitigation, including 20-0320, were also passed.
Agenda Item 20-0303. Partnership Agreement with Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) Master Plan. This is a collaboration with over 90 organizations and agencies to leverage their knowledge, resources and expertise to build a healthier, more diverse and resilient regional forest. Partners include Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; Arborist Assoc., Antioch, IL; Chgo Dept of Health, Chgo, IL; Metropolitan Mayors Conference, Chgo, IL. Com. Britton stated that a healthy tree canopy is essential in addressing climate change. Passed.
Agenda Item 20-0333 Corporate Fund Analysis of Revenue and Expenditures for July 2020.
Agenda Item 20-0334 Procurement and Disbursements Report, June 1, 2020-July 31, 2020
Agenda Item 20-0335 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), Fiscal Year Ending 12/31/2019, Audit completed. Ending balance for 2019 was $84.7 million, an increase of over $12.6 million from 2018.
CFO Steven Hughes stated that cost cutting steps taken since April include a hiring freeze that has resulted in 50 open positions. Only the most necessary will be filled; these are primarily law enforcement positions. Budget for July was met. CFO reported a “healthy corporation fund balance” is expected this year, due in part to last year’s balance. Vote to Receive and File was passed.
Agenda Item 20-0304 Proposed Resolution in Support of the 10 Shared Principals of the Illinois Assc. of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP was presented by Com. Britton and co sponsor Com Miller. Com. Britton stated its purpose is to support continued progress in policing. Commissioners made comments and had questions for the sponsors. In response, Britton stated that every suburban police dept. with which they have communicated has already adopted this and adhere to its principles. The IL Association of Chiefs of Police have been involved in discussions with suburban and urban police in developing this and the Association approved this specific language. Com. Miller stated that this statement of principles allows police dept. to review and become current with present concerns in policing. Supt. Randall stated that within the FPD, the focus of policing continues to be developing relationship with the public that is respectful. Supt. Randall stated that the values and intent in the 10 Shared Principles initiative reflect standards the FPD police are expected to achieve. Com. Arroyo moved to refer this to the Law Enforcement Committee for further discussion. Com. S. Morrisson seconded. Com Moore, committee chair, stated this would be be called at next month’s meeting. Passed.
Other items of note:
Observer - Carolyn Cosentino Length of meeting - 2 hr 8 min
Habitat Restoration and Wetlands Mitigation on Cook County Forest Preserve District Agenda during Covid 19 Crisis
Forest Preserve District Cook County Virtual Board Meeting
July 28, 2020
Meeting opened at 10 am. No public comments.
Other items of interest
Observer: Carolyn Cosentino Meeting length: 1 hr 15 min
Cook County Forest Preserve District Board Meeting - June 16, 2020
Observed by: Laura Davis Meeting Length: 10:20 to 11:34am (difficulty connecting to virtual meeting)
Cook County Forest Preserves District (FPDCC) Board Meeting (Virtual)
May 19, 2020
Superintendent Arnold Randall opened the remote online virtual meeting mentioning Covid-19 challenges. Posts regarding Covid-19 state that until May 31, all public restrooms are closed, visitors are to wear a mask and are asked to follow social distancing guidelines (staying 6 feet from others) and keep moving. Until further notice no picnics or sports on properties. Dog parks are closed, following CDC guidelines. For Memorial Day weekend the FPDCC asked people to stay home and preserves had parking closures to limit the size of crowds. Golf courses and fishing lakes in the City of Chicago are closed. The FPDCC meets daily regarding management of sites. On its website, there is a page dedicated to Covid-19 covering Events, Locations and Precautions. Because of Covid-19, there are revenue shortfalls.
The Des Plaines river and many waterways run through FPDCC properties and the district routinely deals with flooding and these properties hold the majority of rain runoff. During recent rains, trails and parking lots were flooded. No canoeing or kayaking was allowed on waterways due to danger of higher flow. Visitors should check site websites before going and exercise care near water.
A Forest Preserves Tree Protection and Preservation manual was adopted. This manual was developed after receiving a grant via the Morton Arboretum from the US Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program because of its goal to help people connect with nature in urban forests. This manual includes many of the district's practices with added detail and clarification. FPDCC has a diverse number of tree species and needed a handbook of policies for protecting trees and ecosystems and for construction projects involving outside workers.
Horizon Farms, around 400 acres, is a former equestrian estate in Barrington Hills. FPDCC owns most of the property. It is temporarily closed and the Board gave the go ahead to negotiate for the remaining property to secure the right for public access.
Two Intergovernmental agreements between FPDCC and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) were authorized. MWRD needed the right to used FPDCC property for two of its projects. First one is 1st Avenue in Maywood for storm water improvements to alleviate chronic flooding conditions that affect access to several hospitals including Loyola U Medical Center. The second MWRD project is the reconstruction and maintenance of the McCook levee along the Des Plaines river.
Authority was given to FPDCC to register Bergman Slough as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve (ILWR) through the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission. This approximately 280 acre preserve is adjacent to the Village of Palos Park. The addition of Bergman Slough would establish FPDCC's 5th ILWR.
Authorization was given to accept a Grant Award from the Nature Conservancy via the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Save Our Great Lakes Program. This grant will help to restore and enhance habitats of Burnham Prairie, that are attractive to birds. It will also help the Sand Ridge Nature Preserve, South Holland, which contains a rare dune and swale remnant and a learning center for the natural and cultural history of the Calumet Region- the Illinois and Indiana counties on the south shore of Lake Michigan.
Financial arrangements were approved for the three Aquatic Centers, if needed, for the 2020 summer season. At this time, the centers will not open Memorial Day weekend and FPDCC is assessing and waiting for guidance from the state if they could be opened later in the 2020 summer season.
Calendar of Events: Due to Covid-19, all events have been canceled up to the beginning of August. On the website home page, under "The Latest" is "Nature at Home: Videos, Activities and More". At this time there is no Fall Program guide. Also recommended are the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic garden websites for activities and things to do.
Due to Covid-19, FPDCC has a serious decline in revenue: loss of taxes, permit and pool fees, concessions. There is a hiring freeze and a hold on construction/development/landscaping projects.
Observer: Michele Niccolai Meeting length: 1 hour
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.