Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee


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

The committee is scheduled to vote on a plan to expand the Divvy bike system in Evanston while eliminating the city’s expanse for the program.

It’s also expected to approve an easement with Northwestern University to clear the way for construction of a new water reservoir and aproe changes to the city’s snow routes and snow emergency regulations.

The meeting is scheduled to begin about 6 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 6:05 p.m.

Minutes approved

Consent calendar .. .items A1- Payroll, A5 – Sidewalk replacement contract change order , A6 – Rock salt purchase, A8 – Tag’s sidewalk cafe, A10 – Target Solutions contract, A14 – Impact Behavioral Health office rental and A15 – Senior meal program contract. Approved.

A 2 – Bills list – held pending answer to question.

A 20 – Bat 17 liquor license decrease. Approved

A 21 – Bat 17 license increase … new owner. Approved.

A 22 through A 24 – Liquor license changes at Northwestern from Sodexo to Compass Group USA. Approved.

A 25 through A 26 – Liquor license changes at Northwestern from Sodexo to Levy Premium Foodservice. Approved.

A 27 & A 28 – Change in liquor license type for Union Squared, 1307 Chicago Ave. from Class D to Class A. 

A 29 – Class T liquor license for Next of Kinship, 1603 Orrington. Approved.

A 2 – Bills list – questions answered. Approved.

A 3 – Leaf hauling disposal contract with Thelen Materials … $40K. Approved.

A 4 – Treated water storage replacement engineering services contract change order … $22K increase.

Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, says she’s concerned about the additional cost for aesthetic improvements to NU property.

Public Works Director Dave Stoneback says had to change what’s on top as a result of IEPA rules that bar having it used for a parking lot

Approve 3-1. Fleming votes no.

A 7 – Fire panels at Civic Center replacement … $108K. Approved

A 9 – Cisco SmartNet Software purchase … $48K. Approved.

Three Divvy items

Community Development Director Johanna Leonard says the arrangement involves

  • A 11 – Deeply discounted purchase of three former Oak Park stations at a deeply-discounted price. $34K for all three. Normally one station is $55K. Says plan to add the new ones mostly in west Evanston locations.
  • A 12 – Thirty-six month contract extension with Motivate to operate the system.
  • A 13 – Agreement with City of Chicago to share revenue in the Divvy sponsorhsip agreement.

Says Divvy has 1,170 members in Evanston plus a bunch of one-time riders.

Says it’s mainly designed as a part of short-time dailly transportation network for people, not so much for vacation-like use.

Divvy manager says they’re testing dockess and hybrid bikes as additional options.

Notes that Lyft is negotiating to acquire Motivate — which will tie the bikes into the car-share system.

Says expects to be able to cover the cost of the Divvy program from rider and advertising revenue next year.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says based on results of community based budgeting survey the program needs to cover its cost — and he’s confident it will

Fleming says lot of people don’t like the bike lanes in south Evanston, concerned about putting more bikes on the street without more designated bike lanes.

And asks how confident staff is that it will pay for itself. Bobkiewicz says with cost-sharing agreement with Chicago he’s confident.

Rue Simmons says there’s special value in getting more cars off the road and solving the “last mile” travel need. Asks for future station location in the west end of the 5th Ward — perhaps Dodge and Simpson.

A 11 approved 3-1. Fleming votes no. Unanimous on A 12 and A 13.

A 16 – Agreement for use of Winnetka fire training tower. Approved.

A 17 – State funding grant application for Harbert Park Renovation project. Approved.

A 18 – Easement with NU for underground water storage reservoir. Approved.

A 19 – Class K liquor licenses at sidewalk cafes. Approved.

A 30 – Extended hours for Z-1 and Z-2 liquor license holders with City Council approval. Approved.

A 31 – Extended hours for one-day events at 1501 Central Street … NU game-day events. Approved.

A 32 – Amendment to Class K liquor license class. Approved.

A 33 – Amendment to Class U liquor license class Approved.

A 34 – Snow route and snow emergecy regulation modifications. (To make ordinance match existing signage.) Approved.

Discussion item

APW 1 – Eruv District Expansion

Sam Everbach -says Eruv lets observant Jewish people walk and carry items on the Sabbath

Andrea London, rabbi at Beth Emet, says its a series of walls and similar things to create continuous area enclosing the city. Worked hard to make aesthetically pleasing. Says have been working for years on this. Considers it a religous freedom issue. Says Jewish community will cover the entire cost. Says are getting a little frustrated that has taken so long to get to this point.

Shalom Hecht, rabbi at Chabad in Evanston, says the Eruv is necessity for the growth of the religous Jewish community in Evanston. Now a great inconvenience for residents to travel to synagogue on the Sabbath.

Michael Simon, executive director for Hillel on NU campus, says the Jewish student community center represents a broade and diverse spectrum — some non-observant. But says believes the Eruv will positively impact the Jewish commuity and strengthen its diversity. Says the NU administration has been in full support of the project, which will extend across the campus.

Rabbi Hillel Klein of Chabad says the existing Eruv has been in Evanston for 25 years, largely through efforts of Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward. Says many other nearby communities and Chicago neighborhoods have Eruvs, Evanston is a bit behind on it.

Mary Bishop says the five to six year quest needs to come to an end. Should be able to resolve it within a month.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says have discovered that the details on this in some portions of the community are more challenging that others. Has been working with 1st, 3rd and 7th ward alderment to solve issues along the lakefront.

Says have made some progress but haven’t fully resolved the issue around access to the lakefront.

Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, says she’s never noticed the one in south Evanston. Says seems like there are some issues regarding the lakefront, 

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, asks whethr there’s a review by the city’s Design and Project Review Committee.

Bobkiewicz says could have DAPR do that.

Suggests taking a month or so to try to resolve the unresolved issues and then to to DAPR with those unresolved issues. Perhaps come back to the A&PW committee in November.

Fleming says when it comes back to A&PW it should be as an action item.

Meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee to start at 7:45 p.m.

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