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Aldermen reject salt storage sites

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Evanston aldermen don't like any of the sites proposed by Public Works Director Suzette Robinson for a new salt storage facility in the city and have asked city staff to explore other possible locations instead.

Evanston aldermen don't like any of the sites proposed by Public Works Director Suzette Robinson for a new salt storage facility in the city and have asked city staff to explore other possible locations instead.

Robinson had proposed sites on a parking lot at Northwestern University's Ryan Field, or on either of two parcels owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, one at Ashland Avenue and Noyes Street, the other at Church Street and McDaniel Avenue.

She said at Monday's special City Council meeting that the city urgently needs to replace its existing salt dome at the Municipal Service Center, which is more than 20 years old.

But Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said she doesn't like any of the recommended locations "because of the visual impact on the community."

Other aldermen including Don Wilson, 4th Ward, and Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, said they shared Wynne's concerns.

Holmes added that the sites on MWRD land would also create hazards from the truck traffic for many children who walk to school past those locations each day. And she said she'd already heard a lot of concerns from residents about the location.

The aldermen seemed to support a suggestion from Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, that the city look at a parcel of MWRD land just west of the Jewel supermarket on Howard Street that now is an unused parking lot.

That parcel, however, is actually located across the city line in Skokie.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the staff would explore the Howard Street site, and potentially other locations outside the city limits and return with a revised proposal within a month to six weeks.

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