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

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

A packet with information on the agenda items is available online

Meeting called to order at 6:03 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Aldermen Braithwaite and Burrus are not here this evening.

Payroll and bills approved.

A 3.1 – Maple Avenue and Church Street garage inspections contract for $104K to CTL Group of Skokie. Approved.

A 3.2 – Contract with Glenbrook Excavating for water system improveents for $488K. Approved.

A 3.3  Contract with Elevator Inspection Services of Burr Ridge for inspection program. Joint contract with Skokie. Jeff Murphy of the city’s inspectional services department says the contract will have the contractor do billing that city has done in the pasts. Says it will free up a customer service rep to do other work. Aldermen express joy at potential for savings through the joint arrangement with Skokie. Approved.

A 3.4 – Tempor ary staffing agreement with Terillium Inc of CincinnatiOhio for JD Edward’s data and administrative support. $18K. Six month agreement. Approved.

A 3.5 – Motorola Agreement for 911 Center $77K for one year agreement. Approved

A 3.6 – Emergency repair of three elevators at Sherman Parking Garage. Up to $108K. Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says cost is actually likely to be $67K. Related story. Approved.

A 3.7 – Hot asphalt patcher repair truck repair $23K contract with Spaulding Manufacturing Incorporated of Saginaw. Assistant Public Works Director James Maiworm says the truck has a heating element and feed system to deliver the asphalt so patching can be done in colder weather. Approved.

A 3.8 – Emergency rental of snow hauling equipment $54K contract with K.L.F. Trucking of Markham. Snow is hauled to the Municipal Service Center or Lovelace Park or James Park where the snow melting machine melts it. Hourly rate for truck and driver. Used for nine days. Approved.

A 4 – Salt purchase $70K from Morton Salt in Chicago. Alderman Ann Rainey asks why city doesn’t use sand? Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says sand doesn’t melt snow and causes problems when it gets into the sewers. Approved.

A 5 – Utility and wheel tax donation policy. To add donation request to utility and wheel tax bills for city charity programs. Approved.

A 6 – “Complete and Green Network” approach to construction projects in the public right-of-way and public spaces. Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, removes “neighborhood hardship” exception. But add to a different section “corridor” (i.e. streets). Alderman Rainey suggests calling it a street instead. Robinson says “corridor” is a broader concept. Approved 2-1. Rainey votes no. Robinson says policy statement should give city extra points in grant applications. Says city is already doing much of what the policy calls for. Rainey says people are getting tired of having bike lane imposed on them.

A 7 – D65 Safe Routes to School program — grant application to IDOT for $88K. City cost would be $22K. Provides for 20 electronic vehicle speed feedback signs. Approved.

A 8 – Proposed amendments to general offenses in city code regarding general offenses (including noise violations), offenses against public officers, panhandling and soliciting. Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar says had problems with existing language. Looked to other communities including Chicago and Boston to come up with clearer language.

Says sets up prima-facia violation for noise at certain hours. 

Public comment:

Gregg Pasternak, 542 Michigan Ave., says neighbor across the street plays music on porch at all hours most days. Says can hear the music in their home offices all day. They happen to be music producers themselves. Says police told him that they can’t enforce it during the day.

(Alderman Peter Braithwaite has arrived.)

Aldermen favor eliminating the time of day distinctions. Farrar says will revise that language for meeting in two weeks.


A 9 and A 10 – Eliminating the liquor licenses for the Dominick’s stores that have closed. Approved.

A 11 – Amending building permit fees to increase fees by $1.50 per $1,000 for permits over $20K and by $2.50 per $1,000 for permits over $1 million. Approved.

Discussion item — Security netting or fencing for parking decks

Related story

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks about other garages — say the Skokie courthouse, or Evanston or St. Francis hospitals? Says she doesn’t support fencing.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says are problems at some other areas — like Atlantic City.

Rainey says could jump of a balcony or a bridge over the canal and drown. Doesn’t favor.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, suggest putting up signs advising people to call for help.

Says have had two people just drive into the railroad embankment at McCormick and Green Bay Road.

Rainey says … what about the train tracks.

Lyons says Ithaca had years of community discussion and efforts to prevent suicide before decided to put up the netting.

Says a national parking institute study has looked at problem of parking garage jumpers.

Holmes says she favors educational programs, not fencing or netting.

Lyons says don’t have statistics on suicides here, but could try to get that.

Committee asks for further research. Apparently no inclination to do fencing or nets at this point.

Meeting adjourned at 7 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee to start at 7:15 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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