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

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

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

@5:02 p.m. the committee chair, Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) announces that the committee doesn’t yet have a quorum. She and Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) are the only members of the five-member committee present.

@5:12 p.m. Harris says they’re still waiting for a quorum.

@ 5:15 p.m. Ald Bobby Burns (5th) arrives and the meeting is called to order.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) is absent. Ald. Devon Reid (8th) is online.

Minutes approved.

Consent agenda

Off consent: A6, A7, A10.

With those exceptions, consent agenda is approved.

A6 – Community engagement services for Ryan Field project

Burns moves, Reid seconds.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th), whose ward includes the stadium, says an earlier proposal for community engagement was projected to cost just $15K. Says current proposal price tags are pretty staggering “not at all what I expected.”

Says she’s been having second thoughts about whether the project is needed. Says council members can do their own research, as is done with other projects.

Says she now prefers to not do the community engagement process

Nieuwsma says he agrees. Says Revelle is planning a town hall for June — that sort of process is needed.

Burns says he thinks there is value in in working with community engagement professionals — but maybe this is the wrong project, the wrong time for that.

Harris says this probably isn’t the project for right now, but such efforts can prove beneficial at times.

Proposal rejected on a 0-4 vote.

A7 – Motorola CallWorks contract

Harris says was a typo in the original documentation. The actual price is $33K rather than $267K. Approved.

A10 – Public trees protection ordinance amendment (50-O-23)

Changes are proposed to qualify for a grant.

This proposal does NOT include the proposed regulation of trees on private property — that proposal is expected in a few weeks.


Discussion item

D1 – Paid parking at community centers and recreation areas

Lukasz Tatara, interim parking manager, says proposal was developed at request of Ald. Reid.

Reid says lakefront paid parking has generated about $300K in revenue in the past year.

Tatara says hard to compare lakefront and recreation centers because of high demand and turnover at the lakefront. But Reid says given the number of spaces at the recreation centers might generate similar revenue.

Tatara says it will require increased staffing to enforce parking rules at the recreation centers.

Four sites proposed are Levy Center and James Park, Lovelace Park and Robert Crown Center.

Reid says recreation program charges don’t cover the full cost of operating the programs now. Says given the city’s unfunded infrastructure liability, need to generate more revenue. Says city now gives a large subsidy for parking.

Nieuwsma says he likes the idea of looking for additional revenue streams — especially if they’re not Evanston residents. Says thinks could be an incentive to get residents to pay their wheel tax.

Says are starting to get complaints about overflow parking from Crown going into the neighborhood — so wants to exclude Crown from the fee.

Harris says city already charges out-of-town residents more to hold events at recreation centers. Says the change could drive business away from the rec centers.

Burns says the neighborhoods around Levy Center and James Park are pretty parked up already — likely to push parking into the neighborhoods.

Nieuwsma suggests referring the issue to the Parks and Recreation Board.

Tatara notes that pay stations cost $8K each.

Burns wants more data on rec center revenue to help inform the decision about parking.

Staff indicates proposal may return to A&PW in July after review by Parks & Rec Board.

Meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m. City Council meeting to start at 6:15 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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