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Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

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

The meeting, scheduled to start at 6 p.m., is expected to get underway shortly.

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

Meeting called to order at 6:07 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Payroll and bills approved.

A3.1 – Contract with CS Geologic LLC for Environmental Consulting Services at James Park $32K. Approved.

A3.2 – Electric supply agreement for 23 city buildings. MC-Squared Services. Approved.

Public comment

Junad Rizki on A3.1 … says doesn't understand what the purpose of the contract is. Provides no detail about what's being done. Says landfill is probably emitting methane gas.

Grant Farrar, corporation counsel, says is former landfill at the site. Says city hasn't done any soil borings in the area since 1986. Says since it's been so long. Says has been heavy recreational use — though not sanctioned by the city — trying to manage risk — concluded might be appropriate to have somebody go out and look at the conditions.

Exact soil boring sites haven't been determined yet because of winter weather conditions.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says city is being proactive to make sure citizens of Evanston on safe.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she's convinced there aren't any conspiracies in the background here.

A3.3 – Fuel purchase from Palatine Oil Company. Approved.

A3.4 – Tire repair services contract with Weintworth Tire Service.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, asks why no Evanston businesses bid on the contract.

Fleet Manager Lonnie Jeschke says no local based business can provide the wide variety of tires the city needs at a competitive price.

Approved.

A3.5 – Cold patch purchase from Peter Baker & Son for up to $50K.

Assistant Public Works Director James Maiworm says city crews are trying to patch potholes between snowstorms, but it's been hard to keep up and holes keep opening up again after repairs.

Says salt supply situation is "fine." Trying to be prudent in application of salt — because of concern that may not be able to get more. Hoping to make it work for the rest of the year.

Says when temperatures are warmer can get much more melting impact from the same amount of salt — could be three or four times as much if it's very cold out.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says residential streets are only salted at mid block and at intersections, and that policy hasn't changed.

Contract approved.

A3.6 – Azteca Cityworks maintenance and support agreement for $22K. Approved.

A3.7 – Contract for new emergency tone alerting system for Fire Department $220K

Fire Chief Greg Klaiber says current system is 40 years old. Says when 911 gets a call, they send a loud tone and then a voice message explaining where they're supposed to go.

Currently have no ability to adjust the volume of the tone. Bad physiological response for firefighters.

New tone will ramp up — and gives firefighters opportunity to acknowledge the call and that are enroute.

Now have to go to a base station radio to confirm to dispatch — can't have rigs roll until that's done now.

Says new system will reduce response time siginificantly.

Perry Polinski, head of 911 service, says the existing tone causes blood pressure to soar to the ceiling.

Says with new system could turn stove off at firehouse from dispatch or turn on the lights in the equipment bays — although that's not part of this purchase.

Polinski says plan to retain the existing system as a backup.

Approved.

A3.8 – Schafer Consulting contract extension $55K for financial management and human resource software system support. Approved.

A4 – Change order for Davis Street Water Main and Sewer Replacement Project $60K. Approved.

A5 – Motor Fuel Tax street resurfacing program $1.4 million agreement with IDOT. Approved.

A6 – Traffic signal upgrade agreement. Related story here. Approved. To cost city $25K, rest of cost to be paid by state.

APW1 – Logos on standpipes

South … Cleveland and Hartrey — visitble from Main Street, Oakton and McCormick Boulevard.

North … Gross Point Road south of Central

Dave Stoneback, utilities director, says the north standpipe doesn't rise as high above ground level as the south one.

Consultant says would cost $6K to $18K per standpipe to put the logos on. That's a minor amount compared to the cost of repainting.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says since the city is considering changing its logo — so why not just wait.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says just here because are considering repainting the tanks now.

Stoneback says may be able to get cheaper price if include logo in the painting contract proposal.

Rainey suggests issuing bid requests with or without the logo.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, doesn't like plain lettering — looks likes a prison — not very attractive.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, texting in a message from home, says she'd like to use the plain text.

Bobkiewicz says they'll put out the bids with logo, lettering, or neither as options.

APW2 – Regulation of Donation Boxes.

Grant Farrar proposes ordinance that would license and charge a fee, with the fee waived for 501(c)3 organizations based in Evanston. Proposed ordinance would also cover maintenance regulations and issues of removing abandoned or defective ones.

Says the property owner would be jointly liable with the owner of the box.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, asks how will provide notice to property owners.

Rainey says in some cases the property owner never gave permission and the boxes just appear.

Farrar would be some outreach and educational effort. But says Grover raises a good point. But don't know the full universe of box owners. Could build in some grace period or enforcement leniency.

City manager says one or two Evanston organizations use the boxes — don't want to make it onerous for them — Connections for the Homeless, YWCA, ESCA.

Says the vast majority are unaffiliated — without permission of property owner, but property owners aren't prepared to remove them.

Says there may be free speech issues and a whole array of arguments about why they should be unfettered.

Grover says "squatter boxes" owners should be made responsible for them.

—– end of donor box discusson —

Alderman Burrus raises issue about noise ordinance revisions that were up for discussion at the last meeting.

Burrus says objects to the ban on permits for block parties.

Bobkiewicz says Alderman Wilson says he has larger issues about the noise provisions. Says he will be moving to hold it at city council meeting tonight.

Bobkiewicz says Wilson is concerned that it won't address some of the noise issues in his ward.

Alderman Rainey … on the surveillance camera issue … says that out of respect for the mayor would like to have a discussion re placement of cameras on Dodge. Says isn't any camera not sanctioned by the alderman of the ward. Says if I don't want a camera in my ward, shouldn't have to.

Rest of committee members say they're OK with considering her concern.

Meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m.

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