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

Meeting called to order at 5:50 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Payroll approved.

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

Bills approved 4-1. Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, votes no.

Granular materials contract with G&M Trucking for $35K. Approved.5K

Armored car service contract with Garda for $75K. Approved.

Contract with ATR Transmissions for $29K for fleet maintenance.

Owner of local firm that wanted to bid on the contract, but chose not to, says it was difficult to bid because bid specifications didn’t include VIN numbers — just from model numbers can’t tell what the cost of repairing the transmission would be, because same model can have different transmissions — can make difference of more than double the cost.

Says he doesn’t think the work proposed can be done for the price the winning bidder has proposed.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says some kinds of contracts — like for auto repairs — it should be possible to find a local vendor. Says when technical questions arise, department sends out supplementary information to all bidders. But got no requests for additional information on this one.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, asks whether has done work with ATR before.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says yes, they are a vendor to the city now.

Says there was more detail in this year’s bid than in last one, in 2010.

Holmes says wants to make sure that Evanston contractors manage to get some of the business from the city.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says city is not currently staffed to aggressively solicit responses from Evanston businesses, but are responsive to questions.

He says is change underway in management of purchasing department. Suggests if aldermen want to, they can reject the bid, and go out for bids on the project again.

Rainey suggests more use of the pre-bid conference process.

Bobkiewicz says wants to come back in 60 days or so to discuss revisions to the purchasing process.

Contract rejected 5-0.

Concrete contract with Ozinga Ready Mix. Approved.

Funding for 4th of July Association … $10K.

Parade organizers say they hope to bring in additional paid performers for the parade with the additional funds from the city. Seeking donations online at

Burrus asks whether city contributes funds for the event. Is told that don’t get cash, but city provides in-kind services.

Parks Director Doug Gaynor says cost to city is about $65K.

Rainey says most residents think the city entirely funds the 4th of July celebration. Says $10K is a drop in the bucket.

Grover says — what better year to ramp it up … 150th anniversary.

Approved unan.

Oracle support agreement $137K. Approved

Water Utility SCADA engineering services change order. Approved.

Bike Plan Update $100K grant from CMAP. Approved. 

Motor Fuel Tax fund usage for roadway construction $1.533 million. Approved.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says the grant amount from the state is based on the number of residents in the city — not on where they buy their gas or how much they buy.

Peckish One lease on Howard Street

Junad Rizki complains that scope of work is unclear and unclear who at city is responsible for the project.

Says neighbors may object to noise from the outdoor patio and stage area.

Jamie Evans of Peckish One says excited about opportunity. He and wife were until recently partners in Celtic Knot downtown.

Tom Fogarty, brewmaster for the planned establishment, says is long-time Rogers Park resident, planning to make career change from being home brewer to full-time brewery operator.

Rainey says it’s completely false to claim that city is donating money to the project.  Says city will be repaid.

Says for the most part the buildings have been dead wood on Howard Street and an attraction for nuisances.

Says Ward Eight has been tremendously successful — is hiring extra people.

Says Peckish One will be hiring 30 people. Have never had 30 people inside the businesses in that block in ages.

Economic Development staffer Johanna Nyden says the agreement is a lease-to-own deal. Purchase price would be $675K, with rent to be applied toward the purchase price.

Says restaurant owners will have to pay for snow removal and maintenance costs during the rental period.

Says owners will be seeking a parking variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Rainey says been complaints about “special treatment” for city-owned buildings — having city shovel them. Says when have to stoop to having to complain about city shoveling sidewalks, pretty low.

Burrus says wants to see financials for the investors before finally sign the agreement. Nyden says yes, will have that.


— Meeting suspended for unveiling of portrait of former mayor Lorraine Morton at 6:55 p.m.. —

Meeting resumes at 7:36 p.m.

Two items regarding parking on Harrison Street … approved.

Class Y Liquor License amendment … approved.

Discussion item 727-29 Church. Steve Griffin says talks continuing. Trying to “value engineer” the project with the low bidder for the renovations. Also continuing to talk with City Lit, the prospective theater tenant.

Discussion item … local preference for Evanston contractors. Rainey suggests postponing the discussion, because of press of other business tonight. Suggests staff should do more research to see who’s bidding on different projects.

She says suspects that for most large contracts there aren’t local vendors available, but should be doing more to get local contractors in for smaller projects.

Asks whether for same types of purchases could be limited to Evanston contractors. Staff asks to respond in writing.

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Peckish One

    This one must have slipped by all those that generally rail against Evanston subsidies…..

    It would appear that Peckish One is another proposed new venture along Howard Street near and dear to all of the wine and beer-loving theater-goers of Evanston

    This time it is a micro-brewery to provide a counterpoint to the Wine Bar.

    By the way, does anyone recall how the major complaint for years was that Howard Street, on the Chicago side, consisted of many bars, located there to draw from "once dry"  Evanston and that far too many drunks were to be found there. Apparently, once Evanston accepted liquor licensing it no longer became a social concern.

    Am I to also understand that micro-beers differ from good old big brewery tap and bottled beers?  Does high-class wine differ from cheap rose in containers or concealed by paper bags?

    I was always led to believe that if it swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, etc. it is a duck no matter what you call it. But then again, this is Evanston


  2. Has not slipped by- but why bother talking to deaf ears

    The council seems to enjoy giving my hard earned money to private businesses, and they are not open to discussing it.. They also don't seem to care about showing us investors the rates of return on any of these businesses. We are just supposed to trust that it's working out great based on anecdotal information.  

    What choice does this leave for those who disagree anymore? Not to pay taxes?   Move?  

    Personally, I'm just waiting to vote for Mark Sloane, so at least we have a chance of having 2 people on council with some economic sense- WIlson and Sloane.

    Please vote.



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