Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Present:Clare Rodriguez (Park Supervisor), 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno, Rocio Varela (1st Ward Staff), Steve Niketopoulos (2nd Ward Chief of Staff), Adam Housley (WPAC President), Scott Venable (WPAC Vice-President), Richard Tilley (Treasurer), Doug Wood (WPAC Secretary-Events Design/Promotions) , Brian Culliton (WPAC-ICE Committee Chairman & Design), Nick Gecan (WPAC-ICE Committee Chairman & Design), Lorna Cagann (WPAC-ICE), John Shirk (Urban Encounter-WickerMic), Tim Kolecke (WPAC-Web Master), Elaine Coorens (Our Urban Times), Matt Tramel (Neighbor-Security), Denise Browning (WPAC-Former President), Susan Fontana (WPAC-Former President), Mike Payette (WPAC Security), Patrick Shaver(Chicago Hockey Initiative), Scott Angove (Chicago Hockey Initiative), Trevor Fregeau (Chicago Hockey Initiative), Russell Ruplingor (WPAC-ICE- Engineering), Dan Nardi (WPAC-ICE-Negotiations), Mike Braden (WPAC-ICE-Promotions)


    The Alderman and WPAC discussed the following proposal to be presented to the Chicago Park District’s Patrick Levar (COO). The entire document was unanimously approved and a meeting with Levar is to be set within 30 days.

    This Proposal is presented by:

    • Alderman Joe Moreno – 1st Ward Alderman
    • Wicker Park Advisory Council – Wicker ICE Committee – Brian Culliton & Nick Gecan (Chairmen & Design), Mike Kupfer (Hockey Input), Doug Wood (Committee Coordinator), Russel Ruplingor (Engineering Consultant)
    1. Community Install in Softball Field – see diagram below– late November – The Iron Sleek Company will install with our volunteers, remove, and store the non-refrigerated ice rink. WPAC will coordinate Community members to work with them at the installation and removal times to learn the techniques of installation and deconstruction. The rink will then be stored at the Iron Sleek Company for the following year.
      **WPAC Survey Says 69 People Will Help Install and Remove Rink – We have their Emails
    2. Community Fill Rink– Early – Mid- December using fire hydrant near the rink, depending on suitable freezing temperatures.
    3. Size and Price
      • Iron Sleek 42″ poly steel boards (arena style) 85′ by 200′ (alternative 75’ X 180’)
      • First Year $30,858.00 (Deduct $4,000 for 75′ by 180′) – see budget details below
      • 2-5 year $12,700.00 (Deduct $1000 for 75′ by 180′ rink) – see budget details below
    4. Community Maintenance – Volunteers will maintain the ice with water from hydrant on Schiller. We have contact information for all who offered to assist and will compile an exact schedule for the rink season.
      **WPAC Survey Says 64 People Will Help with Maintaining the Rink – We have their Emails
    5. Remove Rink and store OFF SITE – Early March
      **WPAC Survey Says 69 People Will Help Install and Remove Rink – We have their Emails
    6. Turf Grass– The majority of the field where the rink will be installed is not turf grass; it is prostrate knotweed orPolygonum aviculare. This annual weed grows due the heavy compaction of the field and the regular flooding of the under grade field. Currently, the Chicago Park District lightly aerates and seeds the field once per year, due to budget and time constraints. A soccer group plays each Sunday at 5pm without a permit and destroys the reseeding work done by Landscaping. The Rink would be placed on the area that currently supports the growth of prostrate knotweed.
    7. TURF – WE PROPOSE – In addition to keeping the soccer team from playing WITHOUT A PERMIT we request:
      • PARK DISTRICT – Bring Field Up to grade in March/April 2016 with truckloads of soil as determined by landscape
      • We work with CPD Landscaping to reseed the field 3X from early April – Mid May- budget includes turf repair. We have a partnership arrangement like this for the gardens and to mulch all trees in park.
    8. WE REQUEST from PARK DISTRICT– Supplemental Lighting to Light Rink to aid with park security for 12 months.
      • Request that Chicago Park District Add 6 regular park torch lights along Schiller fence. In addition to lighting the rink, the lights will assist in resolving security issues in all other seasons.
      • See diagram below – 6 lights are placed 30 ft. apart and span approximately 200 feet. Spacing is similar to Commercial Park’s playground lighting layout.
      • If lighting is not provided – rink will operate ONLY in daylight hours.
    9. WE REQUEST from PARK DISTRICT– Extended field house hours in December – end of February – $2,750 in staff costs.
      • We request that Chicago Park District Add staff to cover extended weekend Field House Hours to Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 9pm.
      • Currently, the winter field house hours are Saturday 9am – 5pm and closed Sundays.
      • This request adds 16hrs per week for one staff member.
      • $16hrs/week costs $226/week or $2,750 for a 12 week Period – December, January, February. This is based on Park District’s rate of pay for an hourly attendant (1040hr/year has salary – $14,710 or $14.14/hour)
      • NOTE-Coverage with One Staff member: One Part-time attendant is the only person our park has on weekends in the summer – so, one part- time person should cover the December – February – 3 month period.
      • BUDGETED FUNDING – The Wicker Park Budget includes funding for a seasonal attendant – one seasonal attendant position was not filled in 2015 – THESE Budgeted and Unused funds would cover this employee.
    10. COMMUNITY FUNDING: WPAC plans to raise funding to cover the following items related to the rink.

      The rink’s structure: walls, liner; snow blowers, Zamboni, goals, storage, delivery costs, grass replacement, etc.

    11. Location of Temporary Rink & Proposed Lighting in Wicker Park Softball Field. The lighting is installed just north of tree line to NOT interfere with softball and other field events – yet provide lights for the rink and to assist with the security in the park in other seasons. If lighting is not possible – Rink will operate only in Daylight Hours.
    12. Funding Options – According to the Survey and Post-Survey Communications
      • 60 People will Contribute Funding to Purchase Rink
      • 20 May Purchase Ads to display on side boards at Rink
      • 51 Offer to Assist With Fundraising
      • 190 Are Interest in Friends of Wicker ICE
      • Note: We have Email Addresses for These Survey Responders.
      • WPB SSA#33 Transportation Committee supports the project and is reviewing project for funding
      • 1st, 2nd 32nd Ward Alderman – to Negotiate – Confirmed – Alderman Moreno will hold a fundraiser once project is approved
      • Midnight Circus in the Park (MCIP)– September 2015 – Funding from Circus and Rink Funding Promotions
      • MCIP Program Ads/Concessions – $8-10,000 Estimate
      • Currently Ad Sales Team of 3 individuals who are employed in Professional ad sales
      • Fundraisers in Sports Bars
      • Promotions at Our 35 Summer and Fall Event
    13. QUESTIONS – QUESTIONS – What does the Park District Suggest?
      • Liability insurance
      • Rink monitors
      • Fencing and security
      • Signage for hours
      • Security
      • Other requirements?


    1. Rink is non-refrigerated, installed in November and removed in March.

    The community will have access to the WICKER-ICE RINK during the hours/dates of operation if weather and ice conditions are supportive to its use.

    NO RENTALS – Except fundraisers for the Rink:The rink cannot be RENTED for Events that will exclude the public from the use of the rink, unless the event is a fundraiser for the Wicker ICE rink itself. This event must be presented to the Wicker ICE committee, voted on and then approved by the WPAC Wicker ICE committee and WPAC Board in collaboration with the Chicago Park District and the major funding organizations.


    Alderman Moreno announced that he will hold a Special Security Meeting at his offices to discuss the following issues:

    • The Park District’s Code of Conduct – Can it be enforced?
    • What is the procedure to monitor the cameras?
    • Can the Security Guards hours be extended to the weekends?
    • What security coverage will be implemented in the park during the Wicker Park Fest?
    • How can the 14th District police, Park Security, and staff work together to increase the effectiveness of their resources?

    PROPOSED DATE to be confirmed is Tuesday, July 21 at 6pm at the 1st Ward Offices.

    1. MINUTES:June Minutes were read and approved with 2 corrections.
    2. FINANCES: Richard Tilley gave Treasurer’s Report
    3. PARK SUPERVISOR’S REPORT – Clare Rodriguez
      • Clare thanked all who assisted with the Central Region Human Trafficking Awareness Walkathon held on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. traveling from Smith Park to Commercial Park to Wicker Park
      • Summer Camp started on June 29 and was filled to capacity.
      • The teens are working on a design for a go cart.
      • There will be an improve show during summer camp.
      • There are 20 teens in the camp – biggest ever for Wicker. Mentoring programs have been initiated. The teens learn ‘what do I have to do to do that job?’ This is a great experience in getting to know what profession you’d like to work for later in college.
      • The biggest change to the camp this year is bringing in a partner for the entire camp. This year the campers will experience ‘Circus Fridays’ from 10am – 4pm and work with Cirque Experience, the group that was at Boo-Palooza last fall.
      • On Friday, August 7, the camp will present a show for the public and demonstrate what they have learned in the summer.
    4. COMMITTEE REPORTS (Due to the length of the above agenda items – reports were cut very short)
      • Dog Park – Most issues were repeated at numerous previous meetings. In addition, it was decided to purchase a new power washer and to remove the broken one from Richard Tilley’s garage. There are still asphalt issues. The new parkway trees are to be monitored by Adam Housley with the support of Mike Payette.
      • Midnight Circus in the Parks Ad Sales –Doug Reported that the sales team is doing well.
      • SUPPORT for Upcoming Events –The Group discussed who would assist with each event and timetables.