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Recap: City Council

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:40 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, is expected to arrive shortly.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, is recovering from surgery and won't be here tonight.

Mayor reads proclamation honoring Oceanique restaurant's 25th anniversary.

Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says the MWRD has agreed to fund the Civic Center parking lot rehabilitation project. Are working on intergovernmental agreement and finishing the design. Hope to have new parking lot completed by fall. Will have permeable paving, bioswales and rain gardens and educational packets.

Cost about $870K. The MWRD has approved $750K toward the cost.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says MWRD called a few months ago saying some other communities had been unable to follow through on grant requests — and Evanston was able to quickly take advantage of that opportunity.

City Clerk Rodney Greene reminds that is election in March and that anybody who is 17 now but will be 18 by election day can vote in the election. Early voting starts March 3.

Citizen Comment

Mayor says 37 people have signed up to speak — that means each speaker has 1:20.

First speaker is attorney for the Evanston Art Center. Barack Echols. He says center wants to have two years to remain in the Harley Clarke mansion. Willing to spend $110K to get the two year lease. Says if can't do that, asks for at least through end of January to be able to complete scheduled classes and fundraising efforts.

Says there's been a change in leadership of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the other prospective tenant. Doesn't know whether that will affect the agency's interest in the building.

Norah Diedrich, art center executive director, says are planning for new facility — interim or permanent. Asks for the two years to stay.

Various art center supporters read quotes from online petition signers in favor of the art center. Many are teacheers at the center, others are people who've taken classes there. Roughly half the speakers are not Evanston residents.

One speaker speaks in favor of moving the IDNR into the building.

Public comment ends at 8:36 p.m.

Consent Agenda

We'll note anything taken off the consent agenda

  • Electrical supply agreement off consent
  • Noise ordinance amendments (A7) off consent
  • Harley Clarke lease off consent

Consent agenda approved.

Electricity purchase for city buildings. Approved

Noise ordinance to be removed from agenda.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says wants to take a closer look at the proposal.

Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, says he agrees that the changes are questionable. And also asks why the changes would also remove the ban on spitting on sidewalks.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, wants to NOT ban amplified music at block parties.

Vote is to hold the issue at the City Council level.

Just Turkey special use final approval is granted unanimously.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite moves approval of the Harley Clarke resolution as approved at Human Services Committee meeting last Monday.

Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says the committee voted to invoke the 8 months termination. Says should at the very least see the center through its fall programming this year. Proposes extending time to Jan. 31, 2015. Says hope they will do what they've said they need to do on locating a new space.

After much discussion … Tendam proposes changing that to give art center more time if agreement with another tenant hasn't been achieved.

Rainey says there needs to be a date certain.

Wilson says will support Grover motion, but his expectation is that if there's no other tenant, want to have updates and communication with the art center.

No second on Tendam's proposal. So we're back to discussing Grover's motion to extend only to Jan 31, 2015.

On voice vote the motion carries unanimously.

Call of the wards

Rainey… Howard business association meeting tomorrow evening.

Rainey says cameras on south end of town have been life-changing for the community. Says claims to the contrary are false.

Says doesn't support cameras from Oakton to Howard…does support mayor's efforts to make the routes to schools very safe. Says aldermen should ID where cameras should or should not be. Says have never had any placed when an alderman didn't want them.

Burrus … joint 8th/9th ward meeting wednesday at 7 p.m. at Levy Center … Little Beans cafe owners to be there.

Fiske … March 4 ward meeting 7p at EPL.

Braithwaite … Ward meeting thursday at 7p at Hill Center.

Wynne… Main/Chicago building on plan commission agenda Wednesday night.

Meeting adjourned at 9:29 p.m.

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