Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - November 15, 2018
What the Board Decided:
Many of the same November 1st board meeting speakers against the MWRD authorizing an easement to the Cook County Roads and Transportation Department for the environmentally vulnerable Canal Shores land in Wilmette and Evanston, spoke again at this meeting. However, the board voted 5-4 to grant the easement. Commissioners Voting Yes: Dunkin, Durkin, McGowan, Steele, and Walsh. Commissioners Voting No: Avila, Morita, Shore, and Spyropoulos. Messrs. Dunkin, Durkin, and Walsh are leaving the board as a result of the November election.
MWRD Commissioners also approved Resolution #18-1147 adopting a policy to provide contractor opportunities for Veteran owned and operated small businesses. The board would require the Veterans to be honorably discharged, released due to hardship or disability and be a member of the Armed Forces for at least six months to qualify. The goal is that at least 3% of MWRD contracts will be awarded to Veteran run businesses. Small business, women’s, and minority enterprises will still receive the current mandates and will not be impacted by the additional 3%.
Observer - Patricia Lind Meeting Length: 3 hours
Easement Controversy Over Road Construction on North Shore Channel Property Dominates Water District Board Meeting
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - November 1, 2018
Commissioners present: all except Josina Morita.
Public Comment time at this meeting concerned the following.
Summary of Issue:
The Cook County Dept. of Transportation made a request for an easement for a road to be built across the tenth hole of Canal Shores Golf Course in Wilmette. The Keefe Trust is the actual party benefiting from said easement. The Trust purchased the property several decades ago with the knowledge that there was no road to the parcel. Since the Wilmette Park District leases the land which contains the golf course, the Keefe Trust applied for permission to build a road across the tenth hole of the course, running alongside existing houses at Golf Terrace. Wilmette Park District denied application stating this was a use of public land for private profit.
It is unclear why Cook County and its transportation department became involved and made this request to the MWRD Board when the beneficiary of the easement grant would be the Keefe Trust.
Thirty-three citizens against the easement testified over a period of three hours, making the following points:
Comments/questions from Commissioners:
Observer - Georgia Gebhardt Meeting length: three hours (10:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.)
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - September 20, 2018
Items to Watch for in the Future
Observer - Diane Hodges Meeting Length - 1 Hr. 20 Min.
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - January 18, 2018
Meeting Length: 50 minutes
What did the Board decide:
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - January 19, 2017
Highlights from the Meeting:
Most of the MWRD Board Meeting was spent discussing the report on the rejection of a bid by Industria, Inc. on an RFP to Design, Build, Operate and Maintain a Native Plant and Tree Nursery at the Hanover Park Water Reclamation Plant, Fischer Farm. (Agenda Item #9)
Other Item of Note:
During Public Comment - Mr. Smith, who has a bee keeping business, made a case for partnering with the MWRD to have bee hives on MWRD property. He has been working on projects throughout the city establishing bee hives. The Board expressed interest.
Observer - Cynthia Schilsky Length of Meeting - 2 hours
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - January 5, 2017
Highlights from the Meeting:
The following Board Members were nominated and elected unanimously:
A contract for a native plant and tree nursery at the Hanover Park Water Reclamation Plant was not approved. Comm. Shore stated that she hoped that native plants would be central and that this project would include plans for "work force development." Concerns with the bid also included that there was no bid deposit required and the same firm has been at least 20% over bid. The Director said that MWRD is beginning to learn what the cost of green-infrastructure is and he will have another bid process prepared. (Agenda Item 27)
Commissioners also expressed concern with another project that had many change orders to the contract. Apparently there was additional cost due to a ruptured pipe but the subcontractor was not at fault since the pipe was not properly drained. (Agenda Item 32)
During Public Comment, Citizen Mr Blackmore gave comments saying he was here to “count the cows”and “drink the milk” – he wants good policy and services for black people of Chicago and Cook County. He said there is a little clique that all elected themselves – he said the president of the MWRD should be elected by the people. There was objection voiced by the Board to Mr. Blakemore saying the Board is corrupt.
To view meeting agenda
Observer - Cate Whitcomb
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.