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McHenry Times

Monday, January 27, 2020

City of Harvard Park Board met November 18

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Jan 14, 2020

Shutterstock 1056226

City of Harvard Park Board met Nov. 18.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

Chairman Jay Schulz called the meeting to order and called roll at 6:00 pm. Committee members present: Alderwoman Bona Heinsohn, Alderman Charlie Gorman, Joel Kriete, Scott Logan, Mike Vest and Torey Lawin. Members Alderman Matt Perkins and Jose Saucedo were absent. Also present were Mayor Kelly, Supt. Ryan Knop and members of the audience.

Citizen Comment

Steve Schulz addressed the Park Board in support of keeping the pool open and felt previous funding for the pool should be maintained along with the additional $150,000 from the referendum.

Harvard Swimming Pool

Town Hall Meeting Input/Discussion

The Park Board discussed input received at the Town Hall Meeting. The vast majority of attendees were in favor of keeping the pool open. Supt. Knop clarified that all of the funds received from the referendum come into the park budget, but the general fund no longer subsidizes the pool and parks. Supt. Knop related that the proposed shortfall for the swimming pool in 2020 is $64,000, factoring in a 30% reduction in usership and increased fees. Chairman Schulz related that he spoke separately to the aldermen not on the committee and Alderman Perkins since he would not be at the meeting, all of whom were in favor of keeping the pool open. Supt. Knop related that Jose Saucedo was in favor of keeping the pool open.

Other areas discussed: creative financing through low interest loans, responsible pool management, properly managed parks, closing the pool for one year to accumulate funds with the idea that the pool would open the following year, annual review of league field usage fees, paying for the boiler out of the capital improvement fund and scaling back on capital improvement projects.

Also discussed was asking the Finance Committee to consider allocating additional funds to the Park Budget as a dedicated revenue stream. In previous years, transfers were made from the general fund, at the expense of other departments, to subsidize the shortfall in the parks fund. Mayor Kelly reviewed the property tax levy which caps how much of the property tax revenue goes to the parks fund.

Mayor Kelly read an email from former employee Taylor Rausch in support of keeping the pool open.

Park Board Recommendation

A motion was made by Scott Logan, seconded by Mike Vest to keep the pool open next summer and directing Supt. Knop to figure out how to budget accordingly. Members voting aye: Alderman Schulz, Mike Vest, Joel Kriete, Scott Logan and Torey Lawin. Members voting no: Alderman Charlie Gorman and Alderwoman Bona Heinsohn.

2020 Proposed Pool Prices

The Park Board reviewed the proposed pool prices for 2020 (pass rates, daily rates, hours of operation, pool parties and swimming lessons). There would not be any service reductions. It was suggested to introduce the swimming lesson program with registration a month in advance of each session. A motion was made by Scott Logan, seconded by Alderwoman Heinsohn to approve the pool prices as presented. All ayes. Motion carried.

A motion was made by Mike Vest that a week after the pool officially opens would be the cutoff date for current rates for pool passes, after which the rates would increase by $20 per pass across the board for the remainder of the season. After further discussion, Mike Vest amended his motion that the cutoff date would be June 15th. The motion was seconded by Scott Logan. All ayes. Motion carried.

HERS Dugouts Update

Supt. Knop updated the Park Board on the status of the HERS dugouts. The plan to pour concrete has delayed to the upcoming weekend.

Moose Field

Supt. Knop updated the Park Board on the status of the concession stand upgrades. Plywood is up on the walls and everything is insulated; drywall should be installed in the next couple of weeks.

Security Cameras

Supt. Knop updated the Park Board on vandalism at Moose Field the weekend of November 4th. Nothing was damaged, but the doors were kicked in. Supt. Knop received a quote from our security camera supplier for 4 cameras at a cost of $1,520, to be monitored by a stand-alone computer system similar to the pool in a lock box at the Moose Field. Cameras would be mounted under the pavilion, inside the concession stand and catching different angles of the doors. The Park Board discussed adding cameras for other buildings at Milky Way Park and at HERS. Supt. Knop and Alderwoman Heinsohn will research the cost.

Parks Dept. Focus

Alderwoman Heinsohn suggested focusing on the pool and park maintenance for next year. The Park Pointe grant is a matching grant that needs to be included in the budget. Torey suggested using the next year to figure out where the next level of capital expenditures should be in 2021. Torey and Alderman Gorman will work on a draft bi-annual usage survey to better understand what programming residents want.

Parks Budget

Items to include in the draft parks budget to present to the Finance Committee are the boiler and painting the pool, mowing 100%, security cameras, the matching grant for Park Pointe and asking the City to consider transferring back funds for the mowing. The consensus was to have a special meeting on December 9th and to cancel the regular meeting scheduled for December 16th.

Supt. Knop’s Report

Report as submitted.

New Business


At 7:42 pm, a motion was made by Alderwoman Heinsohn, seconded by Scott Logan to adjourn the meeting. All ayes. Motion carried.

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City of Harvard