Here’s a recap of our live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.

The meeting was called to order at 5:47 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Payroll approved.

A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online. (.pdf)

After some discussion, bills list approved.

Water leak detection equipment contract $53K. Approved.

New video cameras for City Council Chambers $43K contract with AVI Systsems of Bensenville. Related story here.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she doesn’t understand the technology, but asks about compatability with the equipment at the Service Center. Matt Swentkofske, city’s intergovernmental affairs coordinator, says will be working on that with the ECTV staff.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says won’t be able to do high-definition on cable, but should be able to do it on YouTube, streaming video, and have it available for feeds to media. Also says will work with the vendor to research the cost of adding video coverage to an additional meeting room in the Civic Center.


Video recording system for police squad cars $50K contract with L3 Mobile-Vision, Inc. of Boonton, NJ.

In response to question from Alderman Rainey, Chief Richard Eddington says the system automatically starts recording when an officer turns on lights and siren. Officer has to turn it off manually. Says it records audio as well as video. Says it’s becoming “state of the art” for police work and helps resolve a lot of disputes over police actions.


Summer Food Service Program $115K contract with Open Kitchens Inc of Chicago. Approved.

Ecology Center Greenhouse addition project $175K contract with Construction Consulting & Disbursement Services of Northbrook. Parks Director Doug Gaynor says the existing facility is being used just for storage, because it’s in such a decayed condition. Says plan will be to use it as a greenhouse once it’s rebuilt.

Virginia Beatty, 1509 Forest, says she’s concerned that last plan for it was done by people who didn’t have any idea what a greenhouse was or how it would be used. Says wants to be sure this time around that it’s done with sufficient storage space. Says whole Ecology Center doesn’t have enough storage space.

Fred Schneider, 3301 Noyes, of the Evanston Environmental Association, says strongly supports the new project. Says the greenhouse will be part of the transformation of the ecology center now underway. Wants to see the facility upgraded.

The existing greenhouse in winter (file photo).

Alderman Rainey says she doesn’t have a problem with the money involved, but wants to know more about the program planned. Is it a greenhouse or a multi-purpose space.

Gaynor says it’s going to be both. Will be a classroom, as they’re performing functions within the greenhouse — planting and harvesting various plants.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says proposal seems to be “half-baked.” Concerned about the wide range of prices from various bidders.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, asks whether the proposal could be held to get more information. Bobkiewicz says yes. He adds that the new building would have the same footprint as the existing one. Will provide more information.

Proposal held until next City Council meeting.

Fire Station #2 rehab consulting serivces contract $22K. Approved.

Pavement markings contract. Approved.

Emergency lights and sirens contract $69K with Havey Communications of Lake Bluff. Approved.

Police Department eight replacement vehicles contract $222K with Currie Motors. Approved.

Ford auto parts contract. Approved.

Water main replacement and street resurfacing project $2 million. Approved.

Data conversion services contract with Schaefer Consulting of Dana Point, Calif., for $36K. Approved.

Utility billing print and mailing services change order. Approved.

Tiny House donation. Virginia Beatty says she’s concerned that it won’t be put in the shade (where the solar panels wouldn’t work) or on top of wildflowers. Fred Schneider says he supports the donation. Notes that it was displayed at the last Green Living Festival, says he suggested the donation to NU officials. Says would enable ecology center to expand its resources for green and sustainable education programs in the community.

Wants to see it place out front and be highly visible. Says can find spot perfect for it in front of the Ecology Center and along McCormick Boulevard.

Approved. (Burrus recuses herself.)

Appointments to SWANCC. Approved.

Highway Authroity Agreement with Ventura Realty — for property across from the police station, regarding contamination from gasoline storage tanks on the site — across the street from the police station.


Meeting adjourned.

Planning and Development Committee meeting to start at 7:15 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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