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

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 5:09 p.m.

All five members now present. Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) chairs.

Public Comment

Four commenters. Most speak regarding the proposed Jens Jensen Gardens contract.

Consent Agenda

Off consent: A3, A5, A7, A8, A9.

Rest of consent agenda approved.

A3 – Worxbee executive assistant service to council members

Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) says Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) wants breach of contract language. Says five council members have decided to participate in the program.

Nieuwsma says as written contract is not very fair to the city — city has no right to cancel the contract for nonperformance. Says would prefer to have help on staff.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) agrees with Nieuwsma re nonperformance. Suggests holding the contract until next meeting

Burns says would provide 80 hours of work a month combined for the nine council members.

Says two have indicated they won’t participate.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) says council members do need assistance.

Kelly says would prefer to have someone in house or have funds allocated so she could hire somebody who knows the ward.

Reid moves to table to March 13 meeting. Burns seconds. Approved 5-0.

A5 – Arrington lagoon repair contract

Harris notes that contract has MWEBE waiver. Deputy City Manager Dave Stoneback says only one bid was received for the project. Approved 5-0.

A7 – Shoreline repair contract

Lara Biggs, city engineer, says this is the design contract for a dog beach project that’s on the City Council agenda as a special order of business. (And it will require full council approval to be carried out.) Approved 5-0.

A8 – Authorizing grant application for Chicago Avenue corridor improvement project

Reid asks whether includes pedestrian access to planned art part. Sat Nagar, traffic engineer, says yes. Approved 5-0.

A9 – Authorizing capital improvement project reimbursement from later general obligation bonds.

CFO Hitesh Desai says it lets the city hold off on issuing bonds until later in the year while moving forward with approved capital improvement projects. Says the decision has to be made before the funds are expended.

Reid moves to refer to Finance and Budget Committee. Kelly seconds. Plan is to return to Council for a vote a month from now. Desai says there’s time to do that.

Approved 5-0.

Discussion item

D1 – Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston lease

Harris says JJG group says still have issues regarding the lease. They ask postponement of discussion.

Reid suggests having separate leases for the coach house and greenhouse on one hand and the grounds on the other. Says perhaps shouldn’t lease the buildings for 40 years.

Nicholas Cummings, corporation counsel, says it doesn’t appear that would accomplish the garden group’s goal. He says they want a long lease term for the coach house because of the fundraising required to restore that.

Nieuwsma says he wants the potential future lease for the mansion to have priority over the garden lease. Raises several other issues, including who pays for electricity.

Meeting adjourned at 5:56 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee meeting to start at 6 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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