Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday evening’s meeting of the Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 5:01 p.m.

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) chairs the meeting.

Also present, Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) and Ald. Devon Reid (8th). And, a bit late, Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) participating remotely.

Consent agenda

Taken off consent: A3, A5, A8, A9, A12, A14, A30, A31.

A3 – Teska Associates Mason Park expansion contract

Related story.

City Engineer Lara Biggs says needs to start with public engagement about what to do with the complex site. Says could leave the berm in place and provide a hiking trail. Or could remove the berm — which would open up a range of other options for the use of the property.

Deputy City Manager Dave Stoneback says award tonight is only for Phase 1-A of the project. Would come back to Council for approval of further work.

Approved 4-0.

A5 – Contract regarding water plant electrical system reliability project

Approved 4-0.

A8 – Lead side lead service line replacement contracts

Four contractors included in the award.

Burns asks whether additional contractors could be added once the initial contract ends in 2024. Darrell King, of public works agency, says, “Yes.”

Approved 4-0.

A9 – Streetplus for business district maintenance services

Related story.

Steve Hillard, CEO, notes that his company has been working in Chicago for about 10 years.

Says cleaning workers would start at $16/hour with full benefits package, anticipate hiring seven people.

Reid says need more cleanup on Howard Street. Burns note that Howard Street is included in the proposal.

Hillard says Howard would get 3.5 hours a day of service, Main street 1.75 hours a day.

Kelly asks about hiring existing part-time city employees for the positions.

Economic Development Manager Paul Zalmezak says are trying to address an immediate need with an off-the-shelf solution. Says it’s a one-year contract for now.

Reid says could eliminate profit margin by bringing the work in house.

Zalmezak says could build a program around using city staff — but would need to hire and train the staff and aren’t ready to do that today.

Deputy City Manager Dave Stoneback says he has discussed with Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Thompson about developing such a program for the city’s parks by next year. Would give an opportunity to learn from the contractor’s work in the meantime.

Burns wants to add the Maple/Noyes area to the contract. Zalmezak says that was an oversight — should be in the the contract.

Burns says would like to add social worker component to the program. Wants to increase that effort downtown. Suggests increasing the budget for the proposal by up to $125K.

Burns says there’s been an increase in homelessness and aggressive panhandling all across the metro area. Says city has not responded adequately yet.

Kelly says she doesn’t want to move on that tonight. Suggests building it as a city staff project. Notes the “Star” program in Denver.

Tie vote on Burns motion 2-2. So is forwarded with neutral recommendation.

Main motion as amended approved 3-1. Kelly votes no.

A12 – Open Studios purchase order increase

Approved 4-0.

A14 – Private sewer repair costs

Reid moves to table to Sept. 26 meeting. Approved 3-1. Nieuwsma votes no.

A30 – Pest control staff report

Approved 4-0.

A31 – Recycling center future use report

Biggs says this has the potential to save several million dollars, versus building a new city storage facility.

Approved 4-0.

Meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m. City Council to start about 6:45 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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