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Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

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

The meeting site has changed — to Room 2404 in the Civic Center — which is newly equipped with video cameras. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. 

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

Meeting is called to order at 6:04 p.m.

Minutes of Oct. 28 meeting approved.

Citizen comment

Scott Sanders spoke as a representative for the Boocoo Cultural Center. Discussion with Evanston Public Library spurred idea.

"We're trying to get an low power FM community radio license into Evanston, we've got to have an organization that wants to do something like that and Boocoo wants to do that," Sanders said. Sanders said the organization wants to use the southwest water tower for radio antenna and transmitter. He says several other antennas are located on the water tower. 

If FCC awards center permit from competing applicants, Boocoo will pay rent of $1 per month for use of the tower, he says. Pay for power and maintenance of antenna. Application deadline if Nov. 14, he says. If approved, construction would not beging for two to four years, he says. 

I think we might be able to accomodate discussion about this, says Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th ward. 

It may be an administrative piece, Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th ward, says. 

Putting an antenna on a piece of city property is a big deal, Rainey says. "We're talking zoning issues, etc., etc."

Request referred to City Manager. 

City of Evanston 2013 bills approved. 

Approval of update and optimization of Accela (PAL) Software system in amount of nearly $60,000.

If staff came up with almost half a million issues, what took place to bring it down to $60,000, Rainey asks. 

Accela and PAL purchased seven years ago, says city ran across issues, says Comm. Development Director Mark Muenzer … convened committee of staff of all departments, came up with wishlist to fix the entire system. The vendor came to Evanston, got back the proposal… man hours needed by vendor, Muenzer says.

The money corrects things that absolutely needs to be fixed, Muenzer says.

All I've heard are complaints about software, Rainey says. Is this the correct software.

We started to ask that question, too, would take a lot of study to see if another system possible, but it is a one or two year process. We could start but we really need the fixes, Muenzer says. 

Recommended adoption by City Council. 

Contract extension for automotive oils and anti-freeze and lubricant approved. 

Contracts for snow towing operations not to exceed $75,000 approved. 

Ordinance amending provision of City Code related to fees and costs for collection of unpaid fines to provide for imposition of costs and attorney's fees incurred in the course of collecting parking fines left unpaid for more than 35 days up for discussion.

How well do we function in terms of collecting, asks Rainey?

Rick Voss of Revenue and Parking says firm collects parking fees. We're projecting we're billing the actual persons we're collecting the fees approximately $105,000 this year. They collect fee, credit all collection to us and bill us for back fee they collected. It's not a hit on our budget. 

Recommended adoption by City Council. 

Ordinance to permit issuance of class M liquor license to In Grape Company, LLC. 

Recommended adoption by City Council. 

Howard/Hartrey TIF Ordinances

One ordinance identifies area, one identifies what is spent in TIF and one recommends expansion to include 222 Hartrey, Rainey says. 

"This all has to do with Autobarn and 222 Hartrey property."

Recommended to City Council for adoption.

Tax levies

Any discussion? We'll have that later, Rainey says. 

Items for discussion

Banner Policy

We would like to make some changes to the existing policy, said Director of Public Works Suzette Robinson. We are proposing city-sponsored banners or city-funded banners be allowed in program from May 1 to Oct. 30. Adjusted to six month period from five month period. Limit the display time to six months. Want to restrict from Ridge and Green Bay Road, except in biz district and adjacent to exempt entities. 

Proposing we exempt from this policy seperate units of local government, school districts, hospitals, universities and downtown Evanston. If approved by committee, remove all banners by Nov. 30 and adhere to time frame starting May 1, Robinson says. 

Banners displayed in Grey Park are biz related or look really, really bad, Burrus says.

Not real classy but they are really informative, Rainey says.

Reference sent to Parks, Rec and Community services. 

Does biz district want so many banners along major route, Grover asks.

They only go on Green Bay in biz district areas, they just frame biz in that area and under policy that would be allowed, Robinson says. 

Do we want requirements to be the same for banners in the parks? Robinson asks. 

We can do it separately, Burrus says.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says he is interested in changing banner situation in Grey Park. Says Alderman Donald Wilson, 4th ward, is concerned about the look, says they should look for alternatives. Plans to revisit the issue at a future meeting. 

Meeting is adjourned at 6:34 p.m. 

Planning and Development Committee will begin at 7:15 p.m. 

 

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