Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting
June 20, 2019
An amendment to the lease agreement dated June 11, 2013 between the District and the City of Blue Island on 137.64 acres of District real estate located north and south of the Cal-Sag Channel between Kedzie Avenue and Fay’s point in Blue Island, Illinois was approved. (Agenda Item 19-0537)
Two agenda items relating to 91.9 acres of District real estate located in the City of Evanston were discussed.
Item 19-0600: Authority to amend lease agreement dated October 14, 1966, as amended, between the District and City of Evanston on approximately 91.9 acres of District real estate located in Evanston along the north Shore Channel to (1) allow Evanston to hold festivals and outdoor concerts and (2) allow the sale and consumption of alcohol. Consideration shall be a nominal fee of $10.00.
Commissioner McGowan would like more information and will submit questions in writing.
Item 19-0610: Authority to resolve the Notices of Default issued to the City of Evanston arising out of violations of the lease agreement dated October 14, 1966, as amended between the District and the City of Evanston on Approximately 91.9 acres of District real estate located in Evanston along the North Shore Channel. Consideration shall be $77,450.25
Item 19-0614: Authority to issue a 1-year permit to Northwestern University to allow parking and tailgating activities during home football games on North Shore Channel Parcels 2.05, 2.06, 2.07, and 2.08, in Evanston Illinois. Consideration shall be an annual fee of $80,000.00.
Observer - Nancy Mitzen Meeting Length: 2.5 hours
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 - October 18, 2018
What did the Board decide?
Since 2015, the MWRD has worked with potential partners to increase bio-gas production and use at Stickney and Calumet plants. Today the Board, at staff’s request, paused the development process, voting not to accept responses to the District’s 2016 and 2017 requests for proposals.
What else did the Board discuss?
Items to watch for in the Future:
Other Comments or Observations:
Observer: Laurie Morse Meeting Length: started at 10:30 and went into Executive Session at noon.
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board Meeting - June 7, 2018
The Board accepted the report on the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports of the MWRD of Greater Chicago and the MWRD Retiree Health Care Trust. The report was “unmodified” which means it is the best attainable measure with no material weaknesses or deficiencies.
President Spyropoulos welcomed newly appointed Commissioner Kenneth Dunkin; but because of certain allegations made while Mr. Dunkin was an Illinois House Representative, she then went on to state the MWRD’s intolerance for any type of harassment of employees, fellow commissioners, or anyone else. While both were gracious, Mr. Dunkin did respond that the body should be careful not to give credence to what he called baseless allegations. Mr. Dunkin is Gov. Rauner’s appointee through the November election.
What to Look for in Upcoming Meetings:
Observer - Diane Edmundson Meeting Length: 1 Hour via video
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board Meeting - January 18, 2018
Meeting Length: 50 minutes
What did the Board decide:
Individual authors are credited at the end of each report.