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Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

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

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

The committee is scheduled to recommend accepting a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority that will provide $75,000 to help address property maintenance issues at vacant and abandoned properties around town. The chart above shows how the 90 such properties are distributed by ward.

The aldermen are also scheduled to consider a lease agreement with Target for parking spaces in the Sherman Plaza garage and replacing some downtown parking meters with pay station boxes.

Meeting called to order at 6:07 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Alderman Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward, says he’s going to abstain on bills list votes because he represents Amazon in Springfield. The city makes a variety of small purchases through Amazon over time.

Payroll and bills approved.

A 3.1 – Construction services contract for main library underground parking garage $198K with Reliable & Associates Construction of Chicago.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks who owns the library? Library Director Karen Danzak Lyon says the city owns the properties and the library levy is paying off what’s left of the bonds issued to build the library. Rainey asks for answers from staff on what happens to ownership once the bonds are paid off.

Contract approved.

A 3.2 – Solar panel installation at the Levy Center … $62.7K … Continental Electrical Construction Company.

Approved.

A 3.3 – Fleetwood-Jourdain Center HVAC engineering services contract change order. $18.7K increase.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, asks why the work, which began in 2016 is now scheduled to extend through 2019?

Lara Biggs says because of scheduling issues the project may be delayed through 2018 or beyond, but that’s not certain yet.

Approved.

A 4 – NU easement agreement for fiber optic cables

Approved.

A 3.4 – Cale WebTerminal pay stations from Total Parking Solutions.

To replace parking meters in the 1700 block of Sherman Avenue.

Rainey and Braithwaite ask why the parking meters are failing so quickly.

Rickey Voss, parking and fleet manager, says there’ve been a lot of complaints regarding maintenance of the meters.

Says with increase in credit card usage the batteries are running down faster and it’s requiring more maintenance time.

Says biggest advantage to the pay stations is that the city doesn’t have to pay extra for credit card processing as it does for the individual meters.

Erika Storlie, deputy city manager, says the Sherman Avenue meters get the highest usage and every time a credit card is used it runs down the battery. Says company’s response is “buy our new meters.”

Says increasingly people are using cell phone apps to pay parking fees. 

Storlie says the warranty on the meters has run out. An extended warranty didn’t seem to be prudent — cost would have been $3.89 per meter per month, for 1,700 meters across the city.

Purchase approved.

A 3.5 – Renewal of $7.2 million line of credit with First Bank & Trust.

Approved.

A 5 – Accepting $75K grant from Illinois Housing Development Authority abandoned property relief program.

Ike Ogbo, interim assistant health director, says the grant is expected to cover a two year period. Says doesn’t think there’ll be any trouble spending that much.

Approved.

A 6 – Parking lease agreement with Target

For 26 parking spaces on third floor of Sherman Plaza parking garage.

Approved.

A 7 – Decreasing liquor licenses … for closure of Bistro Bordeaux at 618 Church St.

Approved (for introduction and action tonight).

Meeting adjourned at 6:38 p.m.

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

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