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Finance Committee Meeting Minutes - March 7, 2013

The Finance Committee Meeting of Thursday, March 7, 2013, was called to order by Chairman Commissioner Michael Alter at 6:15 p.m. In attendance were President Reid, Vice-President Yanes, Commissioners Aberman, Alter and Clarito. Staff in attendance was Director John Ohrlund, Superintendent of Recreation/Revenue Facilities, Michelle Tuft,  Superintendent of Parks Mike Rea, Marketing Manager Jim Bottorff, Assistant Superintendent of Recreation Jon Marquardt, Weber Center Manager Emily Vanderkamp and Business Manager William Schmidt.

Budget Presentation By Fund

Director Ohrlund opened the meeting with an introduction on the budget, the format of this year’s budget presentation and the overall strong state of the financial picture of the Skokie Park District. All funds were to be discussed this evening on a financial basis only, highlighting main increases and decreases in activity centers of the operating funds. Director Ohrlund introduced Superintendent of Business Bill Schmidt who took the committee through the budget.

Mr. Schmidt started with the overall summary of all of the funds, operating, auxiliary and capital, showing the addition to fund balances and the use of these fund balances to finance capital projects. Mr. Schmidt pointed out the assumptions highlighted in the budget book on page two. The main ones were the utility, health and salary increases. Mr. Schmidt went into the Corporate Fund (#10), administration area only, explaining the highlights of the center.

After answering all questions, Mr. Schmidt introduced Jim Bottorff, Marketing Manager who made a detailed explanation of the Marketing and Sponsorship activities.  Commissioner Aberman asked for an explanation of how Sponsorship allocations work and Commissioner Clarito asked if there is a way to measure any return on marketing investment. Mr. Bottorff went through the fundraising process and how those dollars get transferred out to various events and festivals. In answering Commissioner Clarito, hard to do but we have had some success at the Skatium. Vice-President Yanes asked if we have any spot on our website for “how are we doing?” Ms. Tuft responded that we do and we consistently do survey follow-ups. We are working on a web based survey for our website. Mr. Bottorff said he plans to run some television ads on Lakeshore television. Commissioner Aberman asked if we advertise on the North Shore. Answer was yes we do.

When all questions were answered, Mr. Bottorff introduced Mike Rea who took the Committee through revenues and expenses at both Park Services and P.O.O.C.H. Park. One new item at the dog park will be an installation of an electronic security gate.  After answering all the questions from the committee, Mr. Rea introduced Jon Marquardt who took the Committee through the Recreation Fund, Camps, Special Events/Festivals and Museum funds. Mr. Marquardt went into the same detail and explanations in these areas also. Mr. Marquardt highlighted the major change in the next year’s budget in these areas.

Mr. Marquardt reported the addition of three (3) new schools for the S.P.A.C.E. program for next year, all from SD 68. Our Childcare programs have been a great revenue generator for the District. Mr. Marquardt also mentioned we are introducing Michelle Obama’s obesity program of healthier foods at TLC. Mr. Marquardt was asked a question concerning Museum capital expenses which were outlined in the budget book.

After answering all questions and comments from the committee, Mr. Marquardt turned the meeting over to Ms. Tuft who took the Committee through the Revenue Facilities Fund 40. Ms. Tuft mentioned some changes at the Skatium with regards to the Weber Café and vending machines.  Over 800 $2 coupons for the Weber Café were distributed to help promote business, to date only 80 have been redeemed. We are doing whatever we can to promote their business and have waived their rent payment. The vending machine for buying incidentals is going well, the kiosk not so well. We are moving it to make room for a new trophy case and will re-evaluate to keep it or not for the next year. The golf program is still suffering due to the economy. SPD is one of 37 agencies that won the five star award in Aquatics. We are assured that the Niles North pool will be done and in operation this fall, which will help tremendously with swim lessons. After answering all questions from the committee, Ms. Tuft turned the meeting over to Bill Schmidt.

Mr. Schmidt covered the auxiliary funds, Special Recreation, IMRF, Liability, Social Security, Audit and Debt Service. The major highlights were the higher employer rate in IMRF and the payback of debt through the Special Recreation Fund for the handicap accessibility upgrades at the pools. FY 2014 will be the final payout for these Alternate Bonds. Mr. Schmidt then reintroduced Mike Rea who gave a summary of the Capital Improvement Funds for fy 2014, highlighting the Studio rink project and the make-over of the Skokie Park Tennis Center. When done, Mr. Rea turned the meeting over to Director Ohrlund.

Mr. Ohrlund thanked the staff for their time and effort and described to the Committee what was needed to do procedurally.

It was the consensus of the Finance Committee, to prepare a tentative budget and appropriation ordinance for approval at the March 19, 2013 meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners so it can be put on review for the thirty day period in order to meet the legal requirements.

With no more business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned by Chairman Alter at 7:33 pm.

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Michael Reid                                                                 John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                       Secretary