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

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

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

Meeting called to order at 5:02 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Consent agenda

Off consent: A1, A3, A5.

Rest of consent agenda approved.

A3 – $500K from ARPA or Family Focus Welcoming Center

Sarah Flax, interim community development director, says money will pay for research to develop the center and fund it for the first year. Says state funding is anticipated to be available in future years. Says will serve recent immigrants, mostly to Evanston residents.

Says Family Focus runs three similar welcoming centers in other communities.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) says need coordinated outreach — says concerned are spending millions — like to see more projection on it — and says city won’t have much oversight on it.

Says situation overall feels slightly chaotic.

Says she wants to hold the proposal until have a more comprehensive plan.

Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) says Family Focus already runs this type of program — doesn’t see need for delay. Says the proposal today doesn’t commit the city beyond 2023.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) agrees with Kelly on request for delay.

Flax says the program was prioritized in the ARPA discussions and Social Services Committee has also reviewed it.

Kelly says she’s worried about a recession next year.

Kelly moves to table until next meeting.

Issue is tabled.

A1 – Bills list

Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings says the controversial item on the bills list regards the settlement of wage and hour claim regarding scheduling practices for telecommunicators at the 911 center. Amounts to about $1.5 million.

Says has resulted in re-examination of city policies.

Bills list approved.

A5 – Bolder Contractors third change order for 30-inch water main contract

Combined for three change orders, Lara Biggs, city engineer, amounts to about 18% of the contract amount.

Says typically changes amount 10% to 15% … city typically keeps it under 5%.

Says in this case the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency required a number of atypical changes account for about 20% of the total. Then there are unknown conditions — putting in a very large main into a very congested area. Those cost about 30 to 35%.

Rest of the amount — 48% –largely from underestimates of actual quantities of material used.

Says have high hopes that IEPA will provide low interest loans to cover the additional expense.


A10 – Paying private sewer repair costs in excess of $15K per repair

Reid moves to table to Oct. 24. Vote is to table

A11 – Law Enforcement Action Partnership contract re low-priority 911 calls

Organization has worked on “Intelligent criminal justice reform” for 20 years.

Creates “community responder” program using “well-trained, unarmed civilians.”

Burns says this was born out of the mayor’s Reimagining Public Safety Committee.

City Manager Luke Stowe says the new police chief is supportive of the proposal.

Kelly says city doesn’t need consultants for this project. Should be discussed more to develop a more coordinated plan around public safety.

Issue arises that the issue has already been approved the the Human Services Committee and so shouldn’t be on this committee’s agenda tonight. So no vote taken.

A12 – Waiver of purchasing process for temporary housing of shelter animals


A13 – Settlement of claims in Capesius et al v. City of Evanston

(Was discussed on bills list item.)


A14 – City purchase of 1808 Hovland Court

Burns says Community Partners for Affordable Housing is willing to pay the estimated $150K rehab cost, if the city donates the property. Says group would put the property in its land trust and be able to sell the home to a purchaser for about $200K with controls to ensure continuing affordability. Says CEPA provides the land trust for houses in the Geometry in Construction program at Evanston Township High School.

Kelly says would be nice to have some rules around this process.


Discussion items D1 and D2 tabled until the next meeting.

A&PW meeting adjourned at 6:39 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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