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Evanston Administration and Public Works Committee

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council Administation and Public Works Committee meeting.

The agenda packet with information on the items the aldermen will be discussing is available online.

Here are some of the agenda items

Minutes

5:53 p.m. called to order. Minutes approved.

Payoll and Bills

5:55 p.m. Approved. 

Contract for $89,000 with CTL Group fo inspection of reservoir qand settling basinsat the water treatment plant.

5:57 p.m. Approved.

Engineering services agreement for $95,000 withBaxter & Woodman for waterplant masster flow and chemical feed improvements.

5:57 p.m. Approved.

Lunch program for seniors at Levy Center and Fleetwood-Jourdain Center.

5:58 p.m. Approved.

Sublease of Top of the Tracks.

5:58 p.m. Approved.

Bicycles in Alleys

5:59 p.m.

Gladys Breyer, 550 Sheridan Square, of Citizens Greener Evanston. Says the group opposes the ordinance. Ordinance is designed to eliminate city liability for bicycle use in alleys.

Says the group wants to have certain alleys designated as north-south routes for bicycles.

City Attorney Grant Farrar says its a litigation reduction measure. Says alley use by pedestrians and bicyclists — no municipality can be held liable for pedestrians or bicyclists using alleys under state law if they aren't "intended" permitted users. Says ordinance wouldn't bar cyclists from using alleys. But want to avoid having a court requiring the city ot maintain alleys for bicycle use.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she wants bicyclists kicked off of sidewalk on Howard Street. Says there are signs, but she wants them painted on the sidewalk as well. Says there's a bike lane in the street.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says despite new Church Street bike lane, people are still riding in the traffic lanes and on the sidewalk.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says it sounds like the ordinance won't undermine the bike use efforts.

Ordinance approved unanimously.

Liquor license changes

  • Hota Restaurant closed. Liquor license cancelled.
  • New license for liquor sales (as well as current beer and wine sales) at Whole Foods, 1111 Chicago Ave.
  • New license for Trader Joe's, 1211 Chicago Ave.
  • New liquor license for 7-Eleven, 817 Emerson St. And new liquor license class for liquor licenses at convenience stores.
  • New liquor license for Smylie Bros. Restaurant and Brewery, 1615 Oak Ave. This would be the first license for a brew pub in Evanston. (Farrar says this license class was created about a decade ago.

All liquor license changes approved, except for the 7-Eleven — which was held for two meetings.

Rainey says she wants to separately consider the new ordinance classification for gas station and convenience stores. Says could get into "very scary territory" with this. Farrar says he'll split it into two separate ordinances for the Oct. 22 meeting.

Sump pump connections to sewer system

Discussion item — no vote tonight.

Utility Director Dave Stoneback says not aware of any existing problems with sump pumps.

Says the ordinance would not apply to existing sump pump installations.

In response to a question from Alderman Rainey, he says generally if sump pump doesn't discharge to the yard now, it's probably connected to the sanitary sewer system.

But he says he's concerned that could be problems in the future if additional sump pumps are connected in the future.

In response to question from Alderman Holmes, Stoneback says that a replacement of an existing sump pump would not trigger the need to change the way it discharges.

Stoneback says that new installations could be installed with a pipe run to the newer storm sewer systems in many streets.

He says that in many parts of the city, the capacity of the sewer system is very limited and if as many as 18 sump pumps came on at the same time it could cause a sewer backup.

Says would grant waivers if could demonstrate specific damage to the foundation. Says flooding the backyard wouldn't be sufficient for a waiver. Says knows it's a nuisance to people, but could grade the back yard so can reduce the disruption.

Holmes asks how this relates to all the money the city has been spending to upgrade its sewers.

Related story here.

Stoneback says, yes the sewer rate is high, but we've gotten benefit — no more water in basements.

Rainey says says only about 10 new homes built in the city each year. Suggests should have formula to determine whether a renovation would trigger it. Rainey says if have a sump pump shouldn't have to change it.

Rainey asks about sump pumps at multi-family buildings. Stoneback says large new construction projects, like AMLI on Chicago Avenue, has to provide storm water detention on-site.

Meeting adjourned

6:35 p.m.

Planning and Development Commitee meeting to start at 7:15 p.m.

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