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. 

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items and several additional presentations are available online.

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

Aldermen Burrus chairs. Alderman Braithwaite, Holmes and Rainey also present.

Minutes approved.

Payroll approved.

Bills approved.

A 3.1 – Harris Utility Billing Software agreement $42K. Approved.

A 3.2 – CIPP Sewer Rehab contract with Hoerr Construction $151K. Approved.

A 3.3 – Michels Corporation contract or COPP sewer rehab $29K. Approved.

A 3.4 – Havey Communications contract for emergency lighting and sirens $69K. Approved.

A 3.5 – Wentworth Tire Service specialty tire repair service contract $27K. (No Evanston vendor available for this service.) Approved.

A 3.6 – Green Bay Road landscape maintenance contract with Landscape Concepts Management of Grayslake. $24K. (No Evanston contractors bid on the project.) Approved.

A 3.7 – Emergency snow hauling equipment rental contract with KLF Trucking $60K. Approved.

A 4 – Approval of recommendations for the final regions for Divvy Bike Stations.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, opposes proposed location at Target-Jewel shopping center. Wants it near Asbury and Howard instead. Says shoppers at the Target-Jewel center only draws people who are buying too much to carry back on a bike.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, suggests might be useful for employees at the Target-Jewel center.

Rainey says she doesn't believe that. Wants it on Asbury south of Oakton, though not necessarily at Howard.

Rainey says found the presentation from staff regarding locations confusing. Doesn't know how the chosen locations were chosen.

Here's the staff presentation on the Divvy site locations.

Alderman Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, raises concern about location near Greenleaf and Dodge — says perhaps should be closer to the Dempster-Dodge plaza.

Approved with Howard location to be chosen in consultation with Rainey.

A 5 – Resolution opposing nuclear waste storage facility in Ontario. Approved.

A 6 – Amending purpose and composition of the Transportation/Parking Committee. Rainey asks why are adding a fourth alderman? Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says it would help with quorum issues — since more aldermen are on the Economic Development Committee which meets later on the same evening. Approved.

 A 7 – Resolution supporting the Northwet Municipal Conference 2015 legislative program. Approved.

A 8 – Adopting the county hazard mitigation plan. Approved.

A 9 – Construction easement for the Chicago-Main development project. Approved.

A 10 – Surface Transportation Program application for Howard from Dodge to Custer. Grant would fund $2.35M of the project. City 30% match would be $921K. Approved.

A 11 – Leaf blower regulation amendments.

Alderman Holmes asks how will enforce it?

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says this is the third or fourth time he's raised the leaf blower issue. Says some feel it's their constitutional right to use a leaf blower whenever they want … and an equal number of are adamantly opposed to their use.

Says very difficult to enforce because the noise frequently doesn't last long enough to get somebody out to inspect the situation.

Says wants to have the end date match the end of the lawn waste pickup season from the city.

Says many people are frustrated — say the city is doing nothing. Proposes targeted enforement toward the end of the leaf-blowing season.

Rainey says lawn mowers seem to be at least as noisy — sometimes contractors have two or three lawn mowers going at the same time.

Says had complaints this winter about snowblowers. Says doesn't know why singled out leaf blowers — lawn mowers just as loud and run for  lot longer period of time.

Bobkiewicz says folks seem to see leaf blower debris going beyond property lines. But says there is an issue of how can enforce.

Also looked at possible revisions to the general noise ordinance — but weren't able to come up with anyting to propose.

Everybody wants to live in peaceful harmony — but for some the leaf blowers really harm that.

Holmes says she gets lots of calls about people blowing leaves onto other people's property.

Rainey says if going to enforce it should enforce it against the homeowner who hires the landscaper.


Related story

A 12.1 – Firearm regulation amendments

Public Comment

Denise Stoneback says hopes will never see a gun shop or gun range in Evanston. Says proliferation of guns creates a huge gun problem in the country. Says more than 100K people in U.S. are shot each year. Says gun deaths here are 20 times that in other developed countries.

Wants more separation from schools than the 250 feet proposed in the ordinance. Says Chicago sets a 500 foot limit and Cook County ordinance sets a one mile limit.

Patty Vick, 417 Darrow, says should widen the zone where gun ranges would be prohibited.

Joel Segal, Jews for Preservation of Firearm Ownership, says all the proposed locations are totally occupied. Says that would violate a court decision involving Chicago's gun ordinances. Says his group and others would be happy to sue. Says he sees the ordinance as being antisemitic. Says has over 500 members in the north shore area.

Rainey says have had a variety of businesses in Evanston that in other parts of the country sell guns. Asks whether that's not the case anymore.

Michele Masoncup, assistant city attorney, says can't prohibit gun ranges under current state law. Says can prohibit gun sales other than at gun ranges.

Rainey says that its a sad day to have to do that.

Holmes says want to expand it to 1,000 distance. Masoncup says courts haven't approved 1,000 feet buffer, but did recently approve a 500 foot limit in Chicago.

Masoncup says Chicago has much larger tracts of land.

Vote is to hold the proposal in committee to give staff time to consider raising the distance limit.

A 12.2 – Report on firearm regulations in multi-family residences.

Rainey says an owner of a multi-family builidng can ban smoking … wants to learn whether an owner could also ban guns?

Masoncup says staff misunderstood the question (thought was asking whether city could ban guns from multi-family building. And that, staff concluded, couldn't be done.

A13 – City regulation of pedicabs.

This is like beating a mosquito with an automatic weapon, Rainey says. Says she'd be delighted to get a pedicab. Says insurance maybe should be required, but other rules not needed.

Braithwaite says he has the same concerns.

Bobkiewicz says if just want an application process could leave it in committee and make some adjustments. Says have been some issues with them at football games.

Burrus asks whether if was operating at a non-athletic event would it be regulated?

Bobkiewicz says, in response to a question from Braithwaite, it was his idea. Says suggests continued monitoring, perhaps report back in another year.

Says perhaps can work with the Chicago Pedicab Association to develop some regulations.

Burrus says could use them along the lakefront — encouraging them to come. Proposal just seems silly, she says.

Rainey says first should meet wtih the pedicab association, and that we're ready to regulate if can't manage their drivers.

Bobkiewicz says when get 50 to 60K folks trying to leave in a very short time — you get some issues.

So the proposal is pulled for now. May come back in a year.

A 14 – Amending the hazardous material cost recovery program.


A 15 – Liquor license for Carter Investments, d/b/a as Feast & Imbibe, 1601 Simpson St. Approved.

A 16 – Liquor license for Blaze Pizza, 1737 Sherma. Approved.

A 17 – Liquor license for Woman's Clube of Evanston, 1702 Chicago Ave. Approved (and with recommendation to give final approval at tonight's City Council meeting).

Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee meeting to start at 7:25 p.m.


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