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

The meeting was scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 6:09 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Public Comment

Junad Rizki suggests city should offer more information about how water plant projects are paid for and what share of the cost is being absorbed by the Northwest Water Commission.

End of public comment

Payroll approved.

Bills

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, questions what the art at Sherman Plaza garage looked like.

Here’s a link. And another one.

Bills approved.

A3.1 – Accela Permits and Licensing software maintenance and support contract renewal. Approved

A3.2 – Motorola Solutions contract for police department. Approved.

A3.3 – Otis Elevator maintenance contract. Approved

A3.4 – SWANCC disposal fees for 2015. Rainey asks whether staff audits fees paid or what’s comfort level with the fees being charged.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says city performs internal audits of trucks sent to SWANCC. Says capital costs at SWANCC are financed by bonds, which are gradually being paid off. Capital improvements require board approval, and mayor and city manager are Evanston’s representatives.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says SWANCC produces lots of financial reports that are available on its website.

Committee votes to ask to have SWANCC executive director make a presentation at a future meeting.

Disposal fees approved.

A3.5 – Presence Behavioral Health contract renewal for mental helath crisis intervention and ohter services. $73K.

City manager says contract is going very well. Mostly referrals from first responders.

Approved.

A4 – Water intake improvements change order. Approved.

A5 – Township audited annual financial report. Accepted. 

A6 – CIP plan reimbursement for GO bonds. Approved.

A7 – Modification of loan terms for Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles.

Johanna Nyden, economic development director, says business hasn’t made as much as anticipated, but is able to make payments on city loan, if can modify term.

30 year amortization period, versus current 20 year. Keep interest rate at 5.75 percent. Extend payoff term to 2020.

Approved.

A8 – Amendment of water supply contract with Northwest Water Commission … to let Evanston feed two chemicals directly into commission’s pipeline. Approved.

A9 – Adopting latest Illinois Plumbing Code. Approved. 

A10 – Sale of 629-31 Howard to Ward Eight LLC. Approved.

A11 – Liquor code allowing retail sale of alcohol for on site consumption at distilleries. Approved.

A12 – Transportation Network Providers regulation. (Uber, et. al.)

Grover moves introduction for discussion.

Rainey says thinks staff did excellent job of summarizing discussion in memo from last meeting.

Says she can support idea of sitting back and waiting for more maturity in the industry and rely on state reguation in the meantime.

Bobkiewicz says on evening of last meeting Gov. Quinn signed legislation requiring insurance coverage.

Suggests preparing a resolution saying city would indicating that should follow state law — rather than adopt own ordinance.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, says she thinks that’s a wise move.

Grover says state legislation takes care of two key issues — public safety and consumer protection. Says services consumer feedback mechanism seems to take care of a lot of the consumer protection issues.

Committee votes to direct staff to prepare such a resolution.

Discussion items

APW1 – Multi-family recycling pilot

Robinson says have 12 full-time employees working in recycling and similar services plus some summer fill-in workers.

Says recycling has increased — but seems to have plateaued.

Says some residents of multi-family housing have indicated they’d like to do more recycling.

Seems from pilot that buildings could save money by reducing garbage volume and increasing recycling.

Says wants to try for Monday and Wednesday pickup routes to add multi-family buildings — about 225 in all for both days combined. Says have a little extra capacity now, so should be able to cover those new buildings without adding staff.

Residential now diverts about 30 percent of trash into recycling. Multi-family and commercial now only recycles about 9 percent. Think that by adding multi-family service can match the residential diversion rate.

Says city could make $400K to $700K from the new service.

Wants to run pilot from Feb. 15 to Oct. 31 this year.

Says will meet with building maintenance people.

Alderman Rainey says need to contact every resident in every building, and plaster the containers with “this is not a garbage can” signs. Says will be fabulous participation — if people know about it.

Rainey objects that the proposed new cans are black — not the blue used for existing program.

Robinson says they are surplus cans that have been stored at the recycling center.

Grover says likes doing a pilot project. Says it’s a really pragmatic approach. Asks what percentage of total waste is potentially recyclable. Let’s create more recycling tonnage.

Robinson says 15 percent is diverted now — including yard waste.

Rainey says in Portland, Ore., it’s against the law to dispose of food waste (although you can put it down the garbage disposal). Seems to think that’s a great idea.

Robinson says every single family home is provided a recycling container — but they don’t necessarily have to use it.

For multi-family one 95-gallon recycling container is now required (but it isn’t enough to meet the demand.

APW2 – Treated Water Storage Report

Related story

Public comment

Junad Rizki says looks good that 91 percent of new reservoir cost — but in the past it appeared Evanston was going to have to cover the whole cost. Wonders whether that’s assured or whether we might end up getting sued over the cost.

Utilities Commission Chair Richard Lanyon says city needs the 5 million gallon tank to meet capacity requirements — says given the availability of low interest loans to finance the cost the commission believes replacing, rather than repairing the reservoir is the right approach — because it will provide for more reliable service.

End public comment

Utilities Director Dave Stoneback does presentation on the report.

‘Good report,” Rainey says.

Meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee meeting to start at 7:30 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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