Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Gurnee Economic Development Committee - September 20, 2012

Village of Gurnee
Economic Development Committee Minutes
September 20, 2012


The meeting was held in Conference Room A, Gurnee Village Hall, 325 N. O’Plaine Road and called to order at 6:03 P.M.

Members Present:            Trustee Stephen Park, Randy Ebertowski, Bill Finn, Tom Henderson, Brad Jenks, Roneida Martin, Karen Thorstenson, Dick Welton

Members Absent:             Rob Elbrecht

Other Officials Present:    David Ziegler, Community Development Director; Ryan Mentkowski, Associate Planner

1. Approval of the August 16, 2012 Meeting Minutes

Mr. Welton made a motion, seconded by Mr. Jenks, to approve the August 16, 2012 meeting minutes, as presented.

All voted ‘aye’. Motion carried.

2. Citizen Comment

It was noted that Planning and Zoning Board member Richard MacFarlane was in attendance at the meeting and was in attendance to listen to a topic he felt was important for the Village. Additionally, Savannah and Mason who are Warren High School students were in attendance to meet an attendance requirement for their economics class. 

3. Education Item: Map of the Village of Gurnee Boundaries

Mr. Park stated that staff had provided a 2010 aerial map of the Village of Gurnee to illustrate the boundaries of the Village to the members.  In addition, staff provided a map of the vacant land that is currently in the Village of Gurnee.

Mr. Park stated that the Committee needs to go through town visually and say this has a chance of “X” (something happening) or “this area really needs work” (and this is the work it needs). He stated that all these ideas should be written down as they are all idea generators for future discussion.  He stated that this would not be discussed tonight and should be something done while driving around town to determine opportunities for expansion or redevelopment because the amount of vacant space remaining is limited.  He stated the information gathered could be a precursor to an update to the comprehensive master plan. 

Mr. Park stated that these maps should be brought back to the next meeting for discussion.

4. Education Item: Presentation of Gurnee Demographic data

Mr. Mentkowski provided a brief overview of the demographic data he received from ESRI Business analyst.  He provided the EDC members this demographic data for review and their files.

No formal action taken.

5. Old Business:  Prioritization of Economic Development Policy Items based on the previously defined Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The Committee discussed the areas of prioritization from the SWOT analysis organized at the last meeting in August and discussion included the following items:

  • Create an economic development strategy for the Village of Gurnee
  • Strategy should have a “go to” person (economic development representative) that is on the front line, has the power to make a business decision and can run a business through the Village of Gurnee approval process from start to finish.
  • Talked about fixing some negative reputation within the Village and helping businesses understand that the Village staff wants the business and that we will work to find a solution when possible.
  • Talked about fixing some of our reputations from the top – down in order to ensure that all the staff members within the Village of Gurnee are on the same page when it comes to an Economic Development Strategy.
  • Talked about the narrow fields of revenue and that the Village needs to improve these sources.
  • Talked about whether the zoning ordinance update will bring additional revenue for economic development purposes?
  • Talked about having a finance tool box available to the economic development department.
  • Talked about whether the top priorities require a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether this is a possibility or not.
  • That our Economic Development policy discussion is timely because it is coming up on budget season for the next fiscal year.
  • Reorganized the top strengths and weaknesses, including additional consolidation of repetitious items, including the following changes to Exhibit A, page 1:
    • Strengths and Weaknesses Top Priorities
      • “Business Attraction / Retention” policy was moved from #1 to #2.
      • “Lack of Economic Development Department” was moved from #2 to #1 and renamed as “Lack of Economic Development Strategy – need to focus and adopt a strategy that includes resources (staffing, main business contact, financial tool box), ways to remove any reputation that developing in Gurnee is difficult.
      • “Infrastructure” #4 & “Narrow Fields of Revenue” #5 was consolidated to a new #4 and was renamed to “Infrastructure/Capital and the Village’s funding resources”.
    • Opportunities and Threats Top Priorities
      • “Business Attraction / Retention” #1 and “Streamlined review processes”…#2 were removed as these are addressed in #1 and #2 of Strengths and Weaknesses Top Priorities.
      • “The Village’s transition from all new growth, to a stable, established community that relies on existing growth for dollars” was moved to #1 and the committee requested the statement be reworded to include opportunities for “redevelopment”, “revenue sources” and the “modification of the Land Use Plan”.
      • “The potential duplication of work between the Village of Gurnee EDC, Gurnee Chamber of Commerce...Lake County Partners” #4 was renumbered to #2 and “potential” was removed from the statement. 

Mr. Park requested that due to time that Staff brings back a revision of the list discussed tonight. He stated that the list should be one consolidated list of the six items proposed and that it will be tagged the Economic Development Committee Recommended Policies.  He stated that the intent will be for the Committee to review the list of consolidated priority items, make any changes and then make a formal motion to have it reviewed by the Board members at the next regularly scheduled Village Board meeting.

No formal action taken.

6. Agenda Items for Next Meeting Date: October 18, 2012

Joe Pilewski from Duff & Phelps will make a presentation at the next meeting on business incentives as viewed from the private sector, availability of state and local incentives to business, the effect of job creation on the local economy, and possibly other business related topics as deemed important to the local economy and economic development.

7. Chairman Comments

The chairman had no additional comments to add.

8. Adjournment

Trustee Park asked for motion to adjourn.

Ms. Martin made a motion, seconded by Mr. Henderson, to adjourn.

All voted ‘aye’. Motion carried.

The Meeting was adjourned at 7:30 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Ryan Mentkowski, AICP
Economic Development Committee Secretary

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