Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.
The packet with information on the items the aldermen will be discussing is available online.
Meeting called to order at 9:03 p.m.
Items on tonight’s agenda:
Public announcements from mayor, city manager, city clerk
Mayor extends condolances to the Coleman-Rice family on the death of their son Dajae. Notes paper he wrote the day before he was killed. Says if you want to cry a lot, read it.
Says is calling community meeting on nonviolence initiatives at Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Location TBD.
City staff mentions Paint It Purple promotion with Northwestern football.
Mike Vasilko, 2728 Reese, opposes funding for Technology Innovation Center. Says it has picked the taxpayers pockets for more than 20 years.
David Charney, owner of Illumen Group, says his company was at the TIC and that it helped his company, which has recently moved out, grow its business.
Junad Rizki says the crown center project will be expensive for the taxpayers. Says cost estimates vary between $20M and $50M for different proposals — clearly there’s a problem with that, he says. City staff should have defined the scope of the project better, he says.
Another owner of a company that started at the TIC supports funding for the center.
Another resident raises complaint about the city’s practice of patching sidewalks with asphalt. Says it degrades the whole community. Just turns a hole into a bump that people can trip over.
Priscilla Giles, 1829 Ashland, objects to added cost of rental licensing program.
Betty Ester, 2113 Church St., suggests that most of proposal aldermanic raise should go to the affordable housing fund instead.
Jim Wolinski, president of Evanston Kiwanis Club, mentions the group’s P eanut Day sale on Friday that supports youth programs and Faces of Evanston photo contest reception Thursday at 5 p.m. at Noyes Cultural Arts Center says got over 228 entries this year.
End of public comment.
City manager proposes deferring discussion of the Crown center, pedestrian safety and sidewalk maintenance to a future meeting because of the late hour. No objection.
Technology Innovation Center funding
Chuck Happ of TIC makes presentation about the TIC’s programs.
Says five companies have moved out in recent months, four of them moved to new spaces in Evanston, one to Northbrook. One business also moved out and had to scale back operations because it wasn’t able to find additional funding.
Says Maker Faire was a big success, will happen again next year.
Mayor praises success of Maker Faire, says hopes some of the businesses there will end up at the TIC.
Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, moves approval of $50K funding for TIC. Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, seconds the motion.
Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, says he will support the funding, having received more information about list of companies at the center.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she’ll support it this time — but won’t support ever again unless it gets support from Northwestern. Says bothers her that the city is the sole support of the organization.
Mayor says with Rainey’s support hopes will get backing from NU.
Funding approved 8-1. Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, votes no.
Robert Crown Center — Deferred to a future meeting.
Pedestrian safety update — Deferred to a future meeting.
Sidewalk maintenance — Deferred to a future meeting.
Bills and payroll
Reservoir and settling basin inspection contract $89,000
Engineering services agreement for water plant improvements $95,900.
Senior Citizen lunch program at Fleetwood-Jourdain and Levy Center $43K.
Sublease of Top of the Tracks coffee shop.
Bicycle use in alleys
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 Smylie Bros. Restaurant and Brewery, 1615 Oak Ave. This would be the first license for a brew pub in Evanston.
Compensation committee recommended 2 percent annual pay increases for elected officials.
Emerson Square development property sales agreements
Licensing of rental dwelling units
Special use permit for Trader Joe’s, 1211 Chicago Ave.
Housing and Homelessness Commission
Consent agenda approved 9-0.
Off consent agenda
New liquor license for 7-Eleven, 817 Emerson St. And new liquor license class for liquor licenses at convenience stores — removed from agenda. Held in committee. To be addressed Oct. 22 as two separate issues — the new license class and then the license for this business.
Licensing of vacation rentals. Referred back to staff. To return for public hearing by Planning and Development Committee at a future meeting.
607 Howard Facade Improvement Program … being revised. Will be voted on at future meeting.
Call of the wards
Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says everyone is committed to making Evanston as safe as it can be and doing everything in our power to see that the shooting death over the weekend is not repeated.
Similar comments from aldermen Wynne, Holmes, Tendam, Grover. Rainey, Burrus, Fiske, Braithwaite
Grover says this is a child who did everything right — but none of that could protect him on Saturday night.
Braithwaite says the weekend has been very difficult for many in town. Asks for patience as police work very diligently to make sure that we find justice in a situation like this. Suggests supporting existing groups that are working to prevent violence in the city.
Council moves to go into executive session. Public meeting ends at 10:30 p.m.