MINUTES OF SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
TRUSTEES OF BARTON HILLS VILLAGE
March 12, 2007
A special meeting of the Trustees was called by President Laporte for the purpose of considering expenditure of funds for additional work from the architect and landscape architect for the Village Administration Center project. The meeting was called to order by Ms. Laporte at 6:05 PM at the Village Hall
ROLL CALL Present: Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Butterwick, Laporte, MacKrell and Wilkes. Absent: Trustees Bogat and Lindstrom.
Others attending: Atty. Reading, Asst. Treasurer Redies, Supt. Esch, ZPA Perry, BHMC Directors Bultman, Kelly and Langford and VAC Committee member John MacKrell.
Ms. Laporte referred to her memo circulated to the Trustees by email that provided background for the meeting, adding that Treasurer Boddie recommended Trustee approval for the expenditures being considered due to the amount. She added that there are two separate discussions needed, one regarding landscape architect Shannan Gibb-Randall and one regarding architect Ed Wier.
Work has been done beyond what was already paid, so there is an outstanding bill of $1,300 due to Ms. Gibb-Randall. If the Trustees would like her to produce a drawing of the proposed VAC building, that would cost an additional $1,600-2,400. (Ms. Laporte showed a sample of the type of drawing in question.) Mr. Wier estimated an additional 40 hours of work to develop the plans for the building further (at a rate of $75/hour =$3,000). Ms. Laporte has talked with VAC Committee Chair Lindstrom who agreed that the Trustees should discuss how they would like to move forward from here.
--Little is known about Mr. Wier’s work other than the Sylvan Township Hall, which was built around 1999 at a cost of about $150/square foot. If more work is desired from Mr. Wier, due diligence would suggest learning more about his background and experience.
--The support of BHMC is essential to the success of the project. More communication is needed with the BHMC Directors in light of the February 22, 2007joint meeting discussion.
--About $40,000 has been spent so far—about $10,000 on this effort and about $28,000 on previous plans.
--There are still fundamental conflicts in the project that need to be resolved before more funds are spent. It is not helpful to spend money to see if a plan is acceptable, then find out it is not. It should be the other way around.
--BHMC is and has been supportive of much of what has been done so far, i.e. site, basic size and function of the building. The format of the building is the main difficulty.
--Trustee Bogat (who could not be present) sent a letter encouraging consideration of environmentally sound design elements (“green” concepts).
--It seems clear according to the BHMC By-Laws, Article VI, that the Deed Restrictions would apply to any land deeded from BHMC. At any rate, BHMC support is vital to the success of the project and the two boards need to come to some agreement.
--The residents need to know exactly how the building will be financed and how it will affect them financially. This needs to be established first.
--More specific numbers are needed before financial reports will be useful. The project needs to be more developed first.
--It is still hoped that the project can move forward soon to take advantage of the current building climate.
--This building is needed. Jan works under difficult conditions and more records are being generated all the time. We need to move ahead in some direction.
--The land issue should be settled. It’s a chicken/egg situation—how can we continue with the building design if we’re not sure of the land availability? If the site is confirmed, then we can continue with the design issues.
--The building design seems central to the community’s perception of the project. They want to know what they’re getting.
--The Poley design was considered too “fancy”. As soon as architectural details are added, the cost goes up and perception of the project becomes a problem.
--There are basic styles of design, i.e. Victorian, Modern, Arts and Crafts, etc. We should consider the possibilities and narrow it down to a choice of style, then ask, “How much will it cost to use this style?”
--This process would be more effective with images. The board should sit down with a professional and consider various pictures of styles, and what details define particular styles. As a group the design can be developed, rather than the architect going away and coming back with a drawing, only to go away and do another one.
--The VAC Committee should be asked to gather this information and present it to the board, along with their recommendations of what the choice should be.
Discussion was set aside for the following motions.
Motion Mrs. MacKrell moved that funds be authorized to cover the cost of the soil borings ($3,200) and work done by Shannan Gibb-Randall ($1,300) already incurred on the VAC project (total $4,500). Mr. Boddie seconded; the motion carried. Mrs. MacKrell left
Motion Mr. Boddie moved that up to $1,000 be authorized to support a request to Ed Wier to identify a variety of styles for consideration as a basis for further design for the VAC project; further that Mr. Wier be asked to provide information on his experience and other projects he has worked on. Mr. Wilkes seconded; the motion carried.
It was suggested that the VAC Committee work with Mr. Wier on these requests and that a presentation be made to the joint boards (with VAC Committee recommendations), with the goal of moving toward consensus on the building design before the plan is presented to the community. The residents should be given a clear plan of what the building will look like, what it will look like on the site and an excellent financial analysis in a clear, understandable format.
It was also suggested that the issue of land ownership/use should be settled as soon as possible. If it is desirable that municipal buildings be sited on municipally-owned land, then all the maintenance area should be delineated, transferred in some way and properly zoned, allowing enough room for potential growth. The residents need to be convinced that this is an important step that needs to be accomplished, and that their choices have consequences. If the Garden Site is not confirmed, the Trustees will have to make another choice, such as land it already owns, because the office building need is absolute. It should be clear to the community that this need will be fulfilled.
Ms. Laporte noted that the Trustees will, at their March 19, 2007 meeting, be considering a sales agreement to be offered to BHMC regarding the land in question. It is hoped BHMC will take action on the agreement at their March 29, 2007 meeting. Mr. Bultman also encouraged the Trustees to make note of any design images they like (or dislike) and pass those thoughts (preferably with pictures) on to the VAC Committee to give them a clearer idea of what the Board is hoping for.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:21 PM.
Jan Esch, Asst. Clerk