Council members will be asked Monday to approve hiring a food service coordinator to implement concession programs at Evanston park and recreation facilities.
Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Thompson says the city has had “a multitude of missed opportunities to increase revenue” because of the lack of concession stands at rec centers and at locations like Clark Street Beach and the Arrington Lagoon.
Currently no food is available at some of those locations and others offer only vending machine snacks.
In the past some residents have fought against providing food service along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and a concession stand at the Arrington Lagoon Picnic Shelter closed several years ago.
Thompson says the members of the Economic Development Committee last month “overwhelmingly supported” the idea of creating the new staff position.
She says the new full-time worker would solicit proposals from local food establishments to run the concession operations, ensure the sites are brought up to building, food and safety codes, manage scheduling and maintenance, and implement a food cart policy.
If Council approves, Thompson says she hopes to hire the new employee this fall and have some new food service programs launched by this winter.
She says she expects revenue from the food services to “significantly” offset the new position’s cost.