Task Force Meeting 12/16/2019

Notes for Park Avenue Beach 12/16/19

Attending:

Park District: Cal Bernstein, Barney Ruttenberg, Brian Romes, Mitch Carr, Jeff Smith

City of HP: Adam Stolberg, Tony Blumberg, Ghida Neukirch

North Shore Yacht Club: Laura Knapp, Chadd Berkun, Jean & David Sogin,

Public: David Multack, Tom Corning

Statement of Values, Vision and Goals

Value – We believe Highland Park enjoys a precious lakefront resource and it’s our responsibility to maximize its utilization and value.

Vision – A thriving community at Park Avenue Boating Beach that serves boaters of all types and other user groups

Goal – To identify a feasible path to minimize further loss and assure access.

Objectives –

  1. to review the long term solutions previously presented by the Smith group as well as any new options they may present in January and prioritize the top 3.

  2. to work with the Park Board’s finance committee to find the money. This might include grants and user fees.

  3. To have a detailed recommended action plan to take to the Park Board and the City Council in Spring, 2020.

An overriding question: Is the Park District Committed to rehabilitating the facility? Neither the Park District Staff nor the two Park District Commissioners attending today’s meeting could answer that question but they agreed to put that question on the agenda for the Park Board’s January 14th meeting. The Park Staff said there is no money in the 2020 budget for capital improvements at Park Avenue Beach.

What about the 2020 boating season and the lease and license negotiations? Will those issues be discussed by the task force? There’s a danger to over-compartmentalizing. Solution – Since not every task force member needs to know these operational details, there can be separate meetings on these issues, the first one taking place immediately following this meeting (see notes at the end of these minutes). Re the license negotiation, the Yacht club asked if they could have a more detailed breakout of expenses associated with the site, including allocated costs and the Park District said they could provide those numbers. Re the lease negotiation: the City said they’d like to get the lease completed in a timely manner and they have been having internal meetings about their requirements. City Council and Park Board representatives said the lease will be on their respective agendas.

Future meetings of this Task Force

January 14, 4PM – Margaret from the Smith group will be presenting at the Park Board meeting that evening and she can meet with the Task Force late that afternoon. If anyone in advance has specific questions they should forward them to Brian Romes who will pass them along. The expectation is that we will hear about TrapBags and lake levels. To help evaluate barge alternatives the Yacht Club will send task force members a preliminary list of user requirements.

January 14, 6pm – Park Board workshop meeting – Task force members may wish to attend. In addition to the Smith Group, the lease with the City is expected to be discussed as well as the question of the Park Board’s commitment to the site.

January 29, 8am – Task Force meeting – the expectation is that new information received from the Smith Group on 1/14 will make it more obvious which solution to the barge problem we wish to pursue.

Other operational issues discussed after meeting ended:

  • The 2020 boating season is dependent on the lake levels – if it rises another foot which the Army Corps of Engineers says is possible then the floating dock couldn’t go in and the stationary dock is iffy but the ramp could still function.

  • Who owns the building? Jean gave a summary that it was a 1960s joint effort between PD and NSYC. No records found.

  • Laura asked about license agreement status between NSYC and PD for the 2020 season? Romes answered and Cal agreed that 2020 season will go back to status quo and Barney stated with a rent increase 6%+/- (TBD and Romes will send standard lease for review the week of January 14th. ) Term will be adjusted to April 1-Dec. 31st, 2020.) 2021 will be a different agreement that is TBD.

  • David Sogin remarked that there are skilled and valuable engineers and boating experts that are part of this WG that should be utilized by the PD. Examples included Chadd Berkun, David Multack

Other Tasks:

  • Romes to send NSYC license agreement draft in early January before Jan 14th?

  • Laura to send Multack current license agreement and lease committee information for his review.


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"My children have grown up on the beach and on the water--boating and water skiing; and there'd be a real loss in our lives if the boating ramp and beach weren't there.  It would be a shame if such a wonderful resource were lost without considering all alternatives. "

                    Chris Gleason, Highland Park Boater

 

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