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Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this afternoon's Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.

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

The meeting is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 4:32 p.m. Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) chairs the meeting.

Approval of minutes tabled until next meeting.

Consent agenda

Off consent: A6, A19, A24-A28.

Consent agenda, minus those items, is approved. at 4:58 p.m.

A6 – Lead service line replacement plan contract

Public Works Director Dave Stoneback says lead levels in Evanston’s water system are below action levels. Says city has several thousand lead service line. $168 million anticipated cost today for total replacement, with inflation expected to increase to $220 million.

New state law requires creating a plan for removing lead service lines by 2024 … and gives 34 year schedule to complete the work. It also requires “good faith effort” to use minority, women and persons with disabilities as contractors.

Various other provisions.

Says law will require the city to pay the cost of replacing the line. There are several possible funding sources — but there could be a need for water rate increases.

Stoneback suggests the city require that lead service lines be replaced when a property is sold.

Approved 5-0.

A19 – Terminating limits on third-party delivery service fees
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) moves the item for discussion. No second. Fails for lack of a second.

A24 – City commitments concerning the Five-Fifths TIF.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) claims the TIF will take money away from the schools.

Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) suggests having further discussion at the full City Council meeting. Says revenue sharing discussions with the schools have been discussed already, anticipates having an intergovernmental agreement to document that.

Approved 4-1. Kelly votes no.

A25, A26, A27 — Ordinances related to the Five Fifths TIF

Approved 4-1. Kelly votes no.

It’s now 5:40 p.m.

A28 – Add L-2 liquor license classification to the code

Kelly asks whether ordinance could adversely impact revenue from big-box stores.

Nieuwsma says the square footage requirements apply to the entire store — not just the liquor section. This ordinance limits to 2K SF the new liquor class. Request came from Village Farmstand, which is only 1K SF. New rate would be $2K/year.

Reid suggests lowering the fee further, to match other communities. (Evanston’s liquor rates tend generally to be higher than those of most nearby communities, Nieuwsma says, and this rate would be closer to the average.

Approved for introduction.

Discussion item

Kelly proposes not increasing taxes for 2022. Says (presumably because of ARPA funding) that are in a good position to not raise taxes.

Reid says he supports that idea.

Braithwaite says need to have discussion with staff during budget review of the issue. Says favors not raising property taxes. Need to balance budget.

Nieuwsma says he’d like to pay less taxes — but thinks it would be imprudent to pass a resolution at this point in the process. Need to have the numbers in front of us. But he is committed to not raising taxes, hopefully.

Meeting adjourned at 6 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m.

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