Here’s a recap ofour live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.

Here’s a link to a packet with information about this evening’s agenda items.

5:48 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Payroll approved.

Bills approved.

5:52 p.m.

Contract to UrbanWorks Ltd. for comprehensive signage design program.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, objects to spending CDBG funds on the project. Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says the money will go to block club signs, largely in her ward.

Rainey says she doesn’t know what the signs do in the overall scheme of things. Holmes says she’s been waiting three years to get the signs. Says block clubs really want the identity from the signs. Says it was approved by the CDBG committee.

Approved.

Morton Salt contract for rock salt at $60.61 per ton. Approved.

Chicagoland Paving contract for $690K. Approved.

Jasco Electric contract for $209K for Civic Center parking lot lights.

Altus Works contract for chimney and roof repairs at Noyes Cultural Arts Center $71K. Approved.

Midway Contracting contract for water plant asbestos abetment $39K. Approved.

6 p.m.

American Pipe Liners contract for sewer rehabilitation $203K. Approved

Line of credit for Howard-Ridge and West Evanston TIF districts.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says this will get a lower rate than if the city had issued general obligation bonds for the project.

Approved.

Sidewalk cafe permit for The Alcove, 512 Main St. Approved.

National Able Network lease for computer lab at main library. Renewal of lease for six months at cost of $8.8K. Library director says the county has been providing the service, but has new contractor providing the service.

Rainey asks why the money isn’t going to the city’s general fund.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says council has agreed to form a joint committee with the library board to discuss library governance issues — first meeting tomorrow. Hope to have those issues resolved in time for the 2013 budget.

Contract approved.

Evanston Community Media Center six month contract extension.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, ask who’s running the media center these days, now that the executive director has left.

Dennis King, treasurer for ECMC, says center has two staff members now and with reduced operating income plans to reduce operating hours and for now operate without an exeuctive director.

Burrus says would like to know more about the qualifications of the staff members.

King says the studio and control room should be up and running within two weeks. The shell construction work is complete and the feeds to the public access channels are up and running.

Contract extension approved.

Comcast license for building and fence in James Park. Approved.

Chicago-Main TIF district …. start the approval process.

Johanna Nyden, economic development coordinator, does a presentation on the project. (Some of this material is in the packet.)

This is an expansion of a TIF proposal that was sent back for more work earlier this year.

Nyden says there’s a lot of infrastructure in the area that’s very old — including water and sewer lines that are a century old.

Says there’s opportunity for multi-modal transportation hub — with two rail lines in the area, as well as bus service.

Says there’s not a lot of open space in the area –but some opportunity for pocket parks.

And opportunities to leverage private investment in commercial properties in the area.

Have $25 million budget for the TIF over its 23 year term … biggest chunks … $6 million for utility improvements anf $5.5 million for rehab of existing public and private structures and capital improvements. and $4.5 million for public facilities.

Rainey says should try to drum up interest among merchants for this project.

Nyden says she and Alderman Wynne and Deputy City Manager Joe McRae met with merchants about a month ago and hopes to have them involved in the process going forward.

Approved.

Ordinance authorizing the sale of surplus vehicles. Approved.

Liquor license decreases

  • Golden Olympic restaurant has stopped selling liquor.
  • Gio Restaurant has closed.
  • Austin’s Tacos has closed.

All approved.

Forest Avenue one way during Lincoln School drop-off and pick-up hours. Approved.

Four-way stop at Michigan Avenue and Lee Street. Approved.

Reduce speed limits on Chicago Avenue and Central Street. Approved.

Reduce speed limit on Oakton Street. Approved.

(All involve reduction from 30 to 25 mph.)

Meeting adjourned.

6:33 p.m.

City Council meeting to start at 7 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. How many more closings ?

    Public Works reports:

    Liquor license decreases

        Golden Olympic restaurant has stopped selling liquor.
        Gio Restaurant has closed.
        Austin's Tacos has closed.

    ======================

    I don't know if the city gave 'gifts' to these or to the following—and I'm sure there are many more.  How long will the wine bar on Howard last—and they are getting big gifts—and other new businesses.

    Uber Burger

    Two sushi places where McDonalds was kick-out of

    On Sherman south of Clark, the popcorn shop —-> chicken spot—->Binos(sp)

    Two restaurants next to old Borders

    Sherman Restaurant

    Carmens [now in smaller shop] and attached Brazilan restaurant

    and probably more downtown not to mention others through out the city.

    Granted we have a lot of restaurants but we seem to cycle thrrogh them and I'm sure you could get a lot of people wanting to get rid of them, BUT WE NEED MONEY and it does not seem manufacturing or even services want to pay the high rent and taxes and fight with city hall .  Given how the Tilted Kilt was treated and the places that have closed, I doubt we will get restaurants [or others business] dying to get into Evanston—unless the Council gives them $$$.

    We are paying big for Trader Joes.  Does anyone expect Whole Food to stay since they have a store a few blocks away ? We could not even keep Dominicks on Chicago Ave. !

    1. Doom and gloom

      The restaurant industry is alive and well in Evanston.  There have been many openings and more to come.  Carmens is being worked on as we speak for a new concept with a big investment, Austin taco's has had a lot of interest and is about to turn,  old Mcdonalds was going to a very experienced local restaurant owner who unfortunately suddenly passed, but another user is negotiationg.

      New is Peeled juice bar, Todoroki, Taco Diablo, Giodrano pizza's new space, Carmens pizza new space, Soulwich, French Crepe place.  Gio was sold to the soon to open Found restaurant, the tilted kilt space is under construction with a new concept,  and I could to on.

      Doom and Gloom nonsense, actually seems pretty outstanding to me. 

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