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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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Not in my back yard.

    Why does it seem that you always want to put these blights in the poorer neighborhoods? Do you think you can just sneak it in because we don’t care? Well I care. I don’t want that monstrosity on Church Street! Isn’t it bad enough we have to put up with the Veolia Transfer Station on Church Street and all the traffic problems that created. Not to mention the numerous pot holes on Church right by the high school.  What about the houses on McDaniel? Why should they have to listen to that noise all night long? Plus the fact this is a main route to the high school. It’s on the edge of town, how can that be efficient? Weren’t you just complaining that you had a recycle center on Oakton that you didn’t know what to do with? Put it there. Put it on the university property, they don’t pay their fair share in taxes, let this be the trade off.

    It seems Ms. Eggleston is making a lot of BAD decisions, yard waste container problem that just cropped up for example. Is anyone looking at her decisions? I will be.

    1. recycle center seems smart

      the recycling center on oakton seems like a great idea.  There is a lot of space for truck and plows to go in and out and it is a main artery (which needs to get plowed first) that hits all the other main arteries (that run North/South) like Dodge, Asbury, etc.  I live in that neighborhood and like the idea of being near the salt.  I predict our streets would be plowed first!

  2. It’s just not pretty enough for my backyard.

    Hilarious.  It’s a wonder anything ever gets accomplished here.  I especially like this nugget:

    "because of the visual impact on the community."

    I’m sorry maybe it’s my “common sense”, but when living in the Midwest, especially here, you would think that simple logic would dictate the need over aesthetic beauty. 

    And I also love how the council will blindly follow Rainey’s lead even when she suggests putting it in another city!!!

    Looks like we should start saving up for some chains to put on our tires, because this issue will sit and get talked to death and studied and eventually it will be December and then the following December and so on and so on and this won’t have been resolved. 

  3. Recycling Center/Salt Barn

    There is an empty lot right next to the former recycling center on Oakton. I don't know who owns it but it seems like the perfect spot for a salt barn to me. Or partner with Skokie on the site Ann Rainey recommends or a spot just across from McCormick on Oakton. It's not that far out of town and we could share the costs with Skokie.

    Why would NU want it at Ryan Field? Why would D65 want it right next door (and wouldn't that mean cutting down a whole lot of mature trees?)

    Not a lot of outside the (salt) box thinking from the City (as usual).

    1. Another salt barn option

      There is a "park" across the street from ECTV on Hartley, just off Dempster (south of the parking lot). It's a grassy space with benches and trees. Does anyone use it? It's centrally located, presumably is owned by the City, and no one would complain about it being an eyesore because it's in a commercial neighborhood. If they need more space the house next door is for sale for $200,000.

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