Quantcast

Beach restroom project wins approval

Evanston aldermen Monday night voted 7-2 to approve a $1.2 million contract to build new restrooms and a new access drive at Clark Street Beach.


Evanston aldermen Monday night voted 7-2 to approve a $1.2 million contract to build new restrooms and a new access drive at Clark Street Beach.

One vote against the project came from Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, who claimed neighbors weren’t sufficiently consulted about the plan and urged that a special meeting be held to discuss it.

She also said that if the project were scaled back, the money could be stretched to fund handicap-accessible restrooms at additional beaches.

But Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said city officials had held 31 meetings over the past year or so about the lakefront and the Clark Street project and there was no need for further delay.

And Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said it would be impossible to make all the lakefront bathrooms handicap accessible with the amount of money in the Clark Street project.

Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, 2nd Ward, cast the other dissenting vote. He said he wasn’t sure the lakefront should be such a priority when the city has major unmet needs at the Robert Crown Center and other facilities.

He said lakefront residents have fought to restrict the number of events held on the lakefront and bar late-evening parking there,

“Discussion of a marina or any revenue-generating activity on the lakefront has become taboo,” Jean-Baptiste said, suggesting that in tight budget times the city might do better to spend scarce resources on sites that do generate revenue, like the ice rink operation at the Crown Center.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said, “a lot of things haven’t been geting done in Evanston.”

“There’s a wide spectrum of what people want,” Wilson noted, saying he’s heard people advocate for everything from no development at the lakefront to putting a water slide there.

But the restroom project had been identified as a priority through dozens of public meetings, Wilson said, and it’s time to move forward with it.

The construction contract was awarded to G.A. Johnson & Son of 828 Foster St. in Evnston, with funding from the city’s capital improvement program.

Related story

Toilet fight erupts on lakefront

Editors’ Picks