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

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

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

Meeting called to order at 4:38 p.m. Ald. Devon Reid (8th) chairs.

Committee members Clare Kelly (1st), Peter Braithwaite (2nd), Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) present. Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) absent. (He arrives in time for consent agenda vote.)

Consent agenda

Off consent A1, A4, A6, A7 A9, A11, A12.

With those items removed, consent agenda is approved.

A1 – Payroll and bills


A4 – Forward Space office furniture contract


A6 – Christy Webber landscape contract & A7 – Herrera Landscape mowing contract

Kelly asks whether they are using electric equipment. Interim Deputy City Manager Dave Stoneback says they’ll be required to follow city requirements.

Reid says he received a message from a resident who suggested delaying the work for a month for environmental reasons. Suggests tabling it for a month.

Burns suggests separating the litter cleanup from the mowing, to make it easier for local contractors to bid on it. Says IDOT does something like that.

Stoneback says litter pickup should be done just before the mowing — if not the mowing shreds the litter and makes it harder to remove.

Reid moves to table it until April 25. That motion passes.

A9 – Purchase of two Ford F-150 pickup trucks

Sean Ciolek, fleet manager, says an electric F-150 is on the market, but the cooperative purchasing contract has expired and it appears the built time on them is expected to be more than a year. The gasoline versions would be available within a week or two.

Plan, he said, would be to purchase at least one electric vehicle next year.

Approved 5-0.

A11 – Garland/DBS water plant head house improvements

Lara Biggs, city engineer, says company has done a consistently good job and has cost less than other vendors when competitive bids were sought.

Approved 5-0.

A12 – Resuming water shutoffs

Tabled until April 25.

Items for consideration

A13 – Truck route amendments

Adds Howard Street from west city limit to Chicago Avenue and Custer Avenue from Howard Street to Main Street as truck routes.


A14 – City code amendments


A15 – Overnight parking permits for commercial vehicles

Would be limited to passenger plates, “B” plate (pickups) and “FP” (fleet – rental) vehicles.

Could have signage.

Kelly says a B plate truck could be up to an 8,000 pound truck. Thinks that’s huge.

Braithwaite says he’s concerned about landscaping trucks and narrow streets. Thinks will get more phone calls complaining about truck parking. Says he’s getting more complaints from people who don’t like the trucks versus people who want to park a truck.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) says it would be for a resident to park one car in front of their home.

Mike Rivera, interim administrative services manager, says creating a commercial permit and limiting to one vehicle per address is what’s being proposed.

Burns wants people to park vehicles elsewhere if there’s another option.

Reid says he supports the change — has lot of small business owners and Uber and Lyft drivers in his ward.

Braithwaite suggests piloting the program in wards where alderpersons are requesting it.

Rivera suggests doing it as a citywide pilot for a year.

Braithwaite says that would open up pandora’s box.

Nieuwsma says he favors the proposal. Would be willing to do a one-year trial.

Kelly suggests creating a city parking lot for trucks. Suggests only including passenger cars in the change.

Reid says a Hummer weighs over 9,000 pounds and he could park that on the street.

Braithwaite moves limit the change to passenger vehicles. Kelly seconds. (Would eliminate B plate)

Approved 3-2. Burns and Reid vote no.

Ordinance as amended is approved 4-1. Reid votes no.

Discussion items

D1 – Progressive wheel tax discussion

Reid proposed this idea.

One option would add $1 to wheel tax that would be targeted to Climate Action and Resilience Plan.

Nieuwsma suggests a $5 increase.

Base tax now is $85.

Reid says current charge in Chicago is over $90.

Nieuwsma notes that about 10,000 vehicles in the 50,000 in the city don’t pay the wheel tax. Says at $85 per car that’s a lot of lost money.

Rivera says if cars aren’t used routinely and are parked off street, they may not be likely to get caught.

Kelly says should not be creating a more unfriendly environment.

Says if somebody gets a ticket for wheel tax violation it costs a $60 ticket and $20 late fee as well as the $85 wheel tax fee.

Rivera says could consider waiving the ticket charge if the wheel tax was paid within a short period of time.

D2 – Soccer pitches at Church and Darrow

Project would cost an estimated $150,000. Proposal is to have them in place until projected development of the site for housing in 2024.

Burns says he wants to activate underutilized spaces and adding the soccer pitches could do that. Says its an excellent temporary option for a site that now isn’t used at all. Says it’s a TIF-eligible use.

Paul Zalmezak, economic development manager, says would need to find budget for the project. Says TIF funds could be used for some of the cost — including site prep — but acquisition of the equipment would likely not be an eligible cost. Says could work with law department to determine how much could be funded by TIF.

Nieuwsma asks whether could just wait until the 2023 budget.

Kelly would like to see that area activated in a healthy way — favors the idea — says it’s a wonderful possibility.

Reid says spending $150K to grade a piece of property for a couple of years doesn’t seem like a good investment. Maybe look for another potential location.

Meeting adjourned at 6:28 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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