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

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

Meeting called to order at 5:54 p.m.

Only aldermen Braithwaite, Holmes and Rainey are present, the bare majority needed for a quorum. Grover and Burrus are absent.

Minutes approved.

Payroll approved.

Bills approve.

HVAC consulting services contract for $73K to dbHMS of Chicago. Approved.

Water plant sludge disposal contract with MWRD for $344K. Approved.

Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy dues $25K. Approved.

Fair Housing consulting contract $25K to Mullin & Lonergan Associates of Pittsburgh. Approved.

Sarah Flax, housing administrator says last report didn’t have much in the way of recommendations — other than approving “granny flats” — which were added to new zoning for west side.

Replacement of three vehicles for Utilities Department $530K. … includes a sewer cleaning machine, a heavy dump truck and a heavy-duty pickup truck. Approved.

Accela permits and licensing software maintenance and support agreement $128K for 1 year, 2.2% decrease from last year. Approved.

Two contracts for building automation equipment maintenance. One from Schneider Electric for $24K. The other for Siemens for $25K. Both approved.

Civic Center washroom renovation project change order raising cost from $285K to $344K … because of water damage to concrete floor of one of the washrooms. Approved.

Year end financial report for fiscal year 2012. Slide presentation by Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons. Says “reasonably good news” for city’s financial picture.

Lyons says sales tax was 5 percent under previous year — may call for an audit of receipts by sector, and possibly by individual businesses.

Report filed.

Police Sergeants Association contract. (18 members) Approved

Electricity Aggregation Program amendments.

Jonathan Nieuwsma, 1408 Dempster St., vice president of Citizens Greener Evanston, thanks city staff for aggregation efforts. Favors amendments says they will offer more flexibility and encourage development of local renewable energy projects.

Rainey asks for more info for public on how can get into the city aggregation program if they aren’t already.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says will get new proposals from vendors on April 1. Says if already part of the aggregation group won’t have to make any changes, even if city moves to a new power vendor.


Long term care ombudsman program grant. Approved.

Apartment lease renewal 1223 Simpson St. Approved. Alderman Rainey suggests should look to increasing the rent for next year.

La Macchina Cafe liquor license, 1620 Orrington Ave. Owner says the name is Italian for “the machine.” Says he and business partner both live in Evanston. Also opening wholesale coffee roastery on Greenleaf in west Evanston. Approved.

Coast Sushi Central liquor license, 2545 Prairie Ave. Approved.

Braithwaite asks for list of different license fees. Grant Farrar, corporation counsel, says also looking at consolidating the number of liquor license classes.

Rainey says the licensing fee schedule seems irrational — a small restaurant pays the same fee as a very large one.

BYOB liquor license classification. Rainey says any restauranteur who has a liquor license and then lets people bring in own bottles — they shouldn’t be charged anything extra by the city — but same rules should apply.

For the popups, she says, it’s such an exciting concept, depending on how many — seems like $1,500 fee is a lot for a BYOB operation. Know still have to regulate it.

Holmes says she doesn’t understand why anybody would allow people to bring in liquor if are selling it themselves.

Rainey asks how many restaurants might be eligible for this — would McDonalds or other carryout places be eligible?

Farrar says the issue arose through the popup restaurant concept. Tried to look at what other jurisdictions do. Found there is no consistent approach. BYOB sort of exists out there on its own and each jurisdiction has its own approach.

Chicago, for example, doesn’t require a license for BYOB operations, but recommends dram shop insurance, etc.

Says “restaurant” is a term of art which limits some types of places that could be eligible. Says not sure exactly what places would be eligible.

Says city is experiencing new business models and people coming with new ideas, says it’s a struggle to come up with what language would be appropriate.

Says concerned about liability issues … and assurance that operators have liquor server training, etc.

Aldermen vote to hold the issue in committee, pending more information on the issue.

Parking on East Side of 1300 block of McDaniel … resident only parking. Approved.

Discussion item… 727-29 Howard … City Lit project.

Steve Griffin, community and economic development director, notes that City Lit “is more than just a theater” … provides a variety of special programs. (Details in packet.)

Meeting adjourned.

Planning and Development Committee to start in five minutes.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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