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Property Team Annual Report January 2008

Team Leader - Mike Bauml

During the past year the property team experienced some personal changes. Jim Lewendowski (Safety Ministry) and Roslyn Bauml (Cemetery Ministry) had to step down from their positions. I would like to personally thank them for all the work they did and wish them the best in the future. Maria Vrame has taken over the Cemetery Ministry and I would like to officially welcome her to the property team. She can be contacted concerning any questions regarding our cemetery plots for sale. Steve Hansen agreed to take over the Safety Ministry and since the new building is not as new as it once was, we decided to drop the new building ministry.

Many of you know that according to our bi-laws, I am unable to remain as property team leader for another team without a term off the parish council. I believe this to be a good rule and in truth I could use a break to recharge my batteries and spend more time on my other parish responsibilities. There are several projects in the works that will begin shortly and at Father Andrew’s request, I will make myself available to help whoever is elected in my place.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the past and present property team members for all the help, friendship, and advice that they have given me. Many times the work that they do is not noticed but without them not much would have been accomplished.

I would also like to thank those of you who come out for the work days that we have from time to time. Your efforts allow us to not pay someone to do these jobs for us. Our next cleanup day will be in the spring to get the building and grounds prepared for Pascha. Please take the time this year to help. It can be a very rewarding experience.

The past year for me has been both fulfilling and frustrating. We did not accomplish several of the projects that we set out to do. This was due in large part to legal considerations involving Cook County and the fence project. I will go into this in further detail later in this report. This being said, these projects are poised and ready to begin in the coming year and I look forward to helping with their completion.

HALL USAGE: The fellowship hall is available for use by parish members for different functions. It can be reserved by contacting Mike Bauml and is subject to certain rules and feast days and the approval of Father Andrew. Donations for the use are appropriate and are at the discretion of the individual. These funds go back into the property fund and allow us to further improve the property.

FINANCIAL STATUS: Since we were unable to complete several of our planned projects, the money set aside for these has been put aside and we will use it in the coming year. We sincerely thank you for your generous support and the confidence that you have placed in us. In the coming year, you can look forward to several improvements in the property.

TEAM PROJECTS COMPLETED

1. Acquired needed variance to allow us to move forward with the fence project. The current statute would only allow a 4 foot structure. I would like to thank a local attorney Richard E. Burke who was indispensible with this and donated his time and efforts to this project.
2. Old basement remodel was completed.
3. Several projects for the Pads project were completed including the installation of stairwell railings, an additional door, shelving, and a doorbell.

FUTURE TEAM PROJECTS:

The following list of projects are under consideration and if and when they get done will depend in large part on the availability of funds. If you have expertise and can help with any of these or if one of them is something you can contribute funds to; please let us know.

1. A roll down window will be installed in kitchen window.
2. Carpeting and painting the new stairways – in planning stages
3. Shutters for the secretary room window.
4. Resolve the parking lot issue with the forest preserve.
5. Heater/ AC for Father Andrew’s office: The unit to be used has been decided on and will be completed when installation issues are resolved.
6. New church sign
7. Keyless entry system – pending available funds.
8. In ground sprinkler system – the drought and the loss on the lawn demonstrate the need for this and it will be evaluated if and when funds become available.
9. Repainting of the church area - Nick Liscowski is in charge of this project and intends to begin in March and have it finished before Pascha.
10. Remodel of the narthex – There is a need for a larger candle stand and some cabinets in the narthex area. Lee Kopulos is heading up this project and has been in contact with a carpenter concerning design and costs. Hopefully this also will be completed by Pascha.
11. New fence on street side of property. This will be addressed in detail later in this report.
12. Saints of America Shrine – Icons of St Luke and the individual Saints of America will be painted and placed in the narthex. To date only a couple of the icons have been donated. The cost for the icons of the saints is 300.00. If you can and have the desire please speak to Father Andrew about donating one of these icons.

This looks to be a very busy year and exciting year St. Luke’s so please be patient with us during the construction phases and continue and if possible increase your support of the property collections. Anyone who has expertise in any of these areas or wishes to make a specific monetary contribution please contact Father Andrew or myself.

ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED:

1. Parking lot ownership: During the past year we continued to entreat the powers that be concerning this issue with little or no success. Father Andrew has been very active here and recently a fence and no sledding sign were placed along the back of the property to at least help with this issue.

2. Bell Tower Dome: The greening of the copper dome of the bell tower is beginning to run down the brick of the bell tower. We need to find an answer for this and possibly have the bricks cleaned in this area.

Fence and Driveway Entranceway

We began the year with high hopes that the fence would shortly be completed. Estimates had been secured and a permit was applied for. The permit was rejected due to the fact that the statue would not allow a structure taller than four feet. After considerable time and efforts we were able to obtain a change in the statute (variance) that would allow us a 6 foot structure. We once again applied for the permit only to find that two of the contractors were not registered for work in Cook County. The contractors had to personally go down to city hall and register and pay a fee. One did just this and another refused to do so. An additional contractor that was registered was obtained and provided an estimate that was similar in price. As we were just about to obtain the final permit and begin work, it was found out thru George Evangelopoulos, our resident architect, that a 30 foot right of way from the center of 107th street existed. We were working under the assumption that we were replacing an existing structure (the white fence posts) with a new structure (the fence). George pointed out, and correctly so, that even if we were to get the permit we could be stopped at any time during construction be told to restore things to the way they were previously. Furthermore even if they did not stop the fence construction, the possibility exists that at some point in the future we could be told to remove the fence and lose at the money spent on it and be right back where we started. Our best bet would have been to put the fence up without a permit and hope for the best.

In our opinion this was not in the best interest of the parish, so George, Father Andrew and I decided that the best course of action was to scrap the current plan and develop a new strategy.

Our primary goals in constructing the fence were to provide safety, beautify the property, and create an entranceway that let people know that they were entering the church parking lot and not forest preserve property. The alternative plan that was developed consists of three parts, the parking lot entrance, the brick entrance walls, and the landscaping wall and bushes.

The first step will be to decrease width of the driveway into the parking lot. The width of the opening is 10 feet wider than what is required. Due to this extra width, the first row of cars in the middle of the lot park further back than they should. This causes the cars which park closest to the trees to struggle to get in and out and occasionally get trapped until someone in front of them moves. By decreasing the opening and stripping the parking lot we will actually improve the parking and create room for more cars to be parked. Additionally by decreasing the width of the driveway entrance, we would be able to gate and lock the opening if we should chose to do so.

The brick entrance wall will be placed further back from the street outside of the 30 foot right of way. The variance that we obtained will apply to this so the height will be no problem. By setting it back off the street, this will allow cars to turn in off of 107th street and stop in safety to open a gate if we decide to place one.

After the white posts are removed, a two foot landscaping wall will be replaced. Immediately above this a solid ornate hedge row will be planted. The two foot stone wall will prevent cars from running up on to the lawn and the solid row of hedges will stop the little children from running out into the street.

This plan satisfies all of our needs while not placing any of the parish funds at risk. Additionally the cost of this will be approximately 10,000 dollars less than the original fence plan. This money could then be used for the new sign or the narthex renovation.

This plan was presented to the parish council and it was decided that it was so vastly different from the fence proposal approved last year that the parish should vote on a new approval. This is what will be voted on at the parish meeting.

I look forward to working with my replacement and helping to complete these necessary projects. With God’s help and your support I feel confident that we can. I would like to thank all of you for all the support and the faith that you have placed in me over the years.

Yours in Christ, Mike Bauml

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