After trying for a decade to unload it, Evanston officials may be on the verge of deciding to hang onto the former recycling center on Oakton Street.
The city has attempted repeatedly to find a buyer who could put the property at 2222 Oakton on the edge of a commercial district back on the tax rolls, but so far all the proposals have fallen through.
The property lost its original use case when the city switched to curbside recycling in 2010. It’s been used to store some city equipment since then.
After being told by city staff Monday night that the city’s Service Center at 2020 Asbury Ave. needs $44 million in upgrades, including moving bulk storage bins to a new site in James Park, Ald. Devon Reid (8th) suggested staff look at using the old recycling center for the bulk storage needs instead.
Senior Project Manager Stefanie Levine said staff would need to get more information about the current condition of the recycling center building before recommending that the city keep it and repurpose it.
But after Interim Deputy City Manager Dave Stoneback said that there’s no grant funding available for projects like the Service Center renovation, and therefore city taxpayers would have to pick up the tab to pay off general obligation bonds for the project, investigating the Recycling Center option appeared to appeal to the council members.
Stoneback said he hoped staff could return with an analysis of the cost of improvements to the Recycling Center building in time for the Council’s Sept. 12 meeting.