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 at 7:43 p.m.

Aldermen Grover and Wilson are absent.

Employee service awards

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz makes presentation. Archie Oliver has the longest service — 45 years — combining his current civilian police department service and his former work as a police officer.

Several aldermen, and the city clerk, get five year service plaques.

Preservation and Design Awards

Details on the awards, with photos, here.

Mayor reads proclamation for Youth Action Ministry’s Juneteenth Recognition Day (on June 18th).

Update on C.A.R.E Finances

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says based on meeting recently, CARE is interested in continuing dialogue with city.

Says has no firm commitments from CARE regarding the city’s goal of having funds CARE has raised used for benefit of animals in Evanston.

Says hopes to have final report on June 23.

Citizen Comment

Shawn Decker, principal of Sketchbook Brewing company and 33 year resident of Evanston. Lists a bunch of supporters.

Nicolette Hiltwein, a neighbor, repeats her complaints from previous meeting about approval process — lack of requiring special use for the brewery.

Two other residents say they support Sketchbook.

Three residents object to CARE keeping funds raised to expand the Evanston animal shelter.

James Park Landfill Site Monitoring Update

A map showing location of gas monitoring probes (GMP) around James Park.

City manager introduces Fire Chief Greg Klaiber to report on the study of the park.

Klaiber says found high levels of methane at some monitoring sites in underground tests, 55 feet down.

Says after learning that did tests inside facilities in the area — says results way below explosive level at all sites tested. Says two sites came in with a reading of about a 4 .. but that’s 4 percent of what would be an explosive level. Other readings were zero.

Says next steps are continued monitoring and a plan to reduce the level of methane underground.

Says has been working cooperatively with District 65 staff regarding situation at Dawes School.

Says today did monitoring at Lovelace Park — another former dump site — and found no methane levels.

Grant Farrar, corporation counsel, says records show that it was a former landfill site. Says once testing is finished at James Park will move the testing equipment (for underground tests) at Lovelace.

Bobkiewicz says committed to making community aware of issues. Will be community meeting at the Levy Center at 7 p.m. this Thursday.

Says will take whatever remediation steps are needed at James Park.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says concerned that not have enough advance notice. Says she hadn’t heard about it until just now.

Consent agenda

We’ll note any items taken off the consent agenda.

  • A9 – Local Employment Program amendments
  • A11 – Sketchbook Brewing Company liquor license
  • P5 – Land use regulations for craft-breweries (postponed at staff request until June 9)

Consent agenda approved. (Alderman Wilson has arrived, so vote is 8-0.)

SP1 – James Park monitoring expense … approved.

Local Employment Program

Alderman Wilson says needs adjustments to make the program effective. Wants to include contractors in the discussion. Notes operation in Tacoma, Wash. Says may need apprenticeship program in place to provide a pool of qualified employees.

Says shouldn’t pass the punishment until we know what the program is going to look like.

Wilson moves to hold the ordinance. Fiske or Wynne second that, so the item is held.

Sketchbook Brewing

Alderman Wynne welcomes the new business says they have a lot of support, but there are concerns about the alley. Says have talked to owners … said will improve the lighting. Says will put up camera on outside and a monitor inside so they’ll be able to tell customers to go park legally if they try to park in the alley. Says with those conditions, she’s in support of the new business.

Alderman Rainey says some of the citizen comment was very helpful on this issue.

Ordinance approved 8-0.

P2 – 555 Howard convenience store longer hours. Final action. Approved

P1 – YoFresh Yogurt Cafe. Final action. Approved.

Call of the wards

Tendam … May 31 at Fleetwood 2p … spelling bee for senior citizens …says he’s heard its a lot of fun…winners go on to compete regionally and statewide. Register online or at the door.

Rainey … S.I.T.E Festival … is in full swing. Productions in non-traditional theater spaces. Saw opening night on Howard …says set design was spectacular. $10 a show.

Fiske … ward meeting June 3 7p at EPL.

Wynne … ward meeting Lincoln School, 7p Thursday.

Holmes … Dillo Day this Saturday. She and mayor plan to be going around in a squad car.

Rainey asks that James Park meeting be rescheduled. Bobkiewicz agrees.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Meeting adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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