Here’s a recap of our live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council meeting. The aldermen received report on plans to expand Evanston’s water utility system to serve additional communities. And they adopted an ordinance regulating panhandling and soliciting.

The meeting called to order at 7:04 p.m.

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

No announcements from the mayor, city manager or city clerk.

Public Comment

Junad Rizki says half of city water and sewer mains are over 100 years old. Says updating them could cost $300 million and city is only spending about $3 million a year on replacements. Says that’s insufficient.

Dan Joseph, 1510 Greenwood, complains about lack of amenities at the Davis Street Metra station. Says that station is only one on Metra system with no benches for inbound trains. Also complains about lack of 24-hour waiting room at the station.

Gloria Nance, 1325 Dewey, aunt of murder victim Javar Bamberg, complains his parents weren’t told of his death until more than 5 hours after he died. Complains that Bamberg wasn’t taken to hospital after the shooting.

Police Chief Richard Eddington says fire department was called and determined that the victim had died, communicated with hospital and doctor there pronounced him dead.

Eddington says he’s had conversation with John Bamberg Sr., the victim’s father, and has assisted in providing him with information on victim compensation from the state.

Wholesale Water Sales Update

Utilities Director Dave Stoneback presents a slide-show update.

Includes reference to a transmission main study which is available online.

North route would parallel the route used by the Northwest Water Commission.

The south route would favor communities to the south.

If larger group of communities — referred to as NSWJAWA — were included, then would need to use tunnel construction technique, rather than open cut. That would raise the construction cost, but also make it possible to spread the cost across the additional communities.

Routes would differ slightly depending on whether open cut or tunnel technique was used.

Total cost of pipeline could range from $228 million to $487 million — which communities getting the new water service would have to absorb.

But cost, once financed, would likely work out to be less than what Chicago, which currently serves those communities will charge starting later this decade — which amount to $3.85 per 1,000 gallons.

Evanston would have to spend money to expand its water plant — but those costs, Stoneback says, would be covered by payments from the communities served.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks whether it would mean any higher water rates for Evanston residents. Stoneback says plan is that they would not see higher rates.

Says industry standard approach allows the community providing the water service can earn a four-percent spread or profit on the service it provides. Also can benefit from depreciation charges.

Also says can achieve efficiencies of scale in the operating costs for the plant.

Stoneback says Lincolnwood wants to do a separate agreement with Evanston, apart from the other communities, and says a formal agreement with Lincolnwood will likely be ready for City Council review by June.

Says will meet later this month with NSMJAWA group, which would be the biggest user, it it came on board.

Mayor Tisdahl says, “Go forth and make us a lot of money, Dave.”

Back to Public Comment

Maggie Weiss, chair of the Noyes Tenants Association, says Wally has been listening to the group, but hasn’t provided any answers. Says is concerned that aren’t getting any info from Piven Theatre about its plans. Says situation is very tense. Says fears for loss of  “community service” component of service that current tenants provide as part of their rent.

Consent agenda

We’ll note anything taken off the agenda.

  • Soliciting and panhandling ordinance off consent agenda because it was amended in committee.

Nothing else off consent agenda.

Consent agenda approved.

Solicitation and panhandling ordinance

Amended to change weekday time limit for solicitation from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (rather than until 9 p.m. as in prior version of ordinance).

Panhandling would be limited to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

No panhandling or solicitation would be permitted on Sundays or federal holidays.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, notes that ordinance would also let residents bar solicitors and panhandlers completely by posting a sign on their door.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, asks whether candidates seeking petition signatures would be covered by the soliciting ordinance.

Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar says it wouldn’t count as panhandling or solicitation. Says collecting petition signatures is political speech that would not be restricted by the ordinance.

Approved unanimously.

Call of the wards

Holmes … 5th ward meeting at Fleetwood at 7 p.m.

Grover … Complains about “bullying” behavior by some persons at citizen comment. Says hopes can “push the reset button” on tone of citizen comment discourse.

Rainey … Makes referral to A&PW discussion of implications of providing for a 5 percent advantage for bids for projects owned by the city. Says knows of numerous contractors intimidated by that who are not Evanston contractors, who did everything to be involved in the Howard Street theater construction contract. Says it seems to send a message to outside contractors. Says doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be jobs for subcontractors from Evanston.

Burrus … 9th Ward meeting Feb. 20 at Levy Center at 7 p.m.

Fiske … Sat, Feb. 23, meeting for dog beach permit holders and others interested, about dog beach issues. Tuesday, March 5, 1st Ward meeting at EPL.

Braithwaite .. .2nd Ward meeting Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. 2nd floor D65 admin building.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting ends at 8:22 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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