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Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting of March 11, 2014

The Finance Committee Meeting of Tuesday, March 11, 2014, was called to order by President Michael Reid at 6:05 p.m. In attendance were President Reid, Vice-President Aberman, Commissioners Clarito and Yanes. Commissioner Alter was absent. Staff in attendance included  Director John Ohrlund, Superintendent of Recreation/Revenue Facilities, Michelle Tuft, Superintendent of Parks Mike Rea, Weber Center Manager Emily Vanderkamp, Fitness First Manager Jennie Bever, Office Manager Dima Kirland and Business Manager William Schmidt.

Budget Presentation By Fund

Director Ohrlund opened the meeting with some general remarks and the areas to be covered on Day Two of budget presentation. Director Ohrlund introduced Superintendent of Recreation/Revenue Facilities Michelle Tuft who took the committee through the Revenue Facilities and Museum Fund budgets.

Ms. Tuft began with the Revenue Facilities Fund 40 which included Administration, Dammrich Rowing Center, Skokie Sports Park, Weber Golf Course, Skatium, Aquatics, Athletic Camps and Athletics. Weber Leisure Center and Fitness First will be covered in depth. Ms. Tuft highlighted the major changes in the next year’s budget in these areas. Ms. Tuft noted that our Figure Skating program is in the top three in the nation in the number of participants. Question on the Weber Park café and how it is doing. They still pay no rent, seem to be doing better and we are trying everything in our power to promote them.  A discussion about Swim Lessons and the use of District 219 facilities was had. There is a change in how Swim Lessons are being done in FY 2014-2015. There is limited space and time slots at 219 pools. School District costs have increased and costs and revenues are being shared between the agencies. Committee asked if golf fees are been increased, no.  After all questions were answered Ms. Tuft went into detail on the Weber Center, Fitness First Camp and Fitness First.

Ms. Tuft introduced Emily Vanderkamp Weber Leisure Center Manager and Jennie Bever, Fitness First Manager. Ms. Tuft then went through every line item of each budget area and then opened up a few different budget accounts to show the Committee how staff calculates the individual budgeted amounts. In Weber Leisure Center there was a question about facility rentals being lower. Accelerated Rehab moved out at a revenue loss of approximately $40,000. There is also a drop in open gym basketball because more programming is being done in the gym. Fitness FUNdamental Fitness Camp was discussed with a decrease in sponsorship revenue of $3,500. We will continue to keep looking for sponsors but did not include one in FY 2014-2015.

Included in Fitness First is a small membership increase of 3%. Ms. Vanderkamp and Mrs. Bever addressed the increase in marketing efforts to increase memberships by offering different special events and membership drives. We are running a March Special by adding two months to membership, a Daylight Savings Special and  getting back to the basics in our advertising and promotions. The Committee recommended contacting the Skokie Review to do a story on Fitness First. Committee question on what makes Fitness First better than other neighboring facilities. Staff feels Fitness First is more flexible, more customer friendly, prices are in line, we are still doing well with our membership fees. Senior Couple Resident memberships are up. The Committee discussed housekeeping at the Fitness Center.  With all questions being answered Ms. Tuft went on to discuss the Museum Fund.

Ms. Tuft highlighted the major changes in the Museum Fund which included Administration, Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie Heritage Museum and Museum Capital. Committee question on what kind of camp do we have at the Museum, a Time Period Camp where campers learn about different period of time. With no further questions from the Committee Ms. Tuft turned the meeting over to Mr. Schmidt.

Mr. Schmidt covered the auxiliary funds, Special Recreation, IMRF, Liability, Social Security, Audit and Debt Service. The major highlights were the employer rate in IMRF, the fact that we pay a higher portion to MNASR because the payout is based on Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) and Skokie is the largest agency.

Mr. Schmidt then introduced Mike Rea who gave a summary of the Capital Improvement Funds for FY 2015, detailing each line item in the Capital Projects Funds. Mr. Rea handed out a five year timeline on capital projects to the Committee and asked them to review and comment at the March 2014 Board Meeting. A comment was made that the comprehensive plan study would and should have an effect on these projects. 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 18, 2014 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 President Reid at 8:15 pm.




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Michael Reid                                                                 John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                       Secretary