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Evanston salt dome plan wins approval

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With Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl calling it "an excellent solution to a difficult problem," Evanston aldermen Monday night voted to build a new city salt dome on the site of the existing one.

With Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl calling it "an excellent solution to a difficult problem," Evanston aldermen Monday night voted to build a new city salt dome on the site of the existing one.

Aldermen had balked last year at the four sites proposed by city staff for a new salt dome. None liked the added cost, and none seemed to want the utilitarian facility added to the landscape of their neighborhood.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson said the rejection sent staff "back to the drawing boards," and with some changes in city snow-fighting operations to use more liquid brine solutions and less salt, and a reduction in the size of the city's fleet which freed up additional room at the municipal service center, she came up with the new proposal.

It calls for a 3,750 ton salt dome to replace the two-decade old 2,500 ton model.

Because little salt was used this winter, Robinson said, the existing dome is now full of salt, and that means construction of the new dome will be postponed until spring 2013. The new dome is expected to cost $460,000.

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