Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 7:48 p.m.

Announcements …

Labor Day holiday means 1st week of September refuse pickup will be delayed by one day that week. But recycling is  expected to be on regular schedule by Wednesday.

CommUNITY Picnic is Aug 24 at Ingraham Park behind the Civic Center.

Streets Alive! event coming up Sunday, Sept. 7.

Evonda Thomas Smith, health director, says have had an upsurge in complaints about rats and skunks.

Shows map that indicates biggest hotspot for complaints is a several-block area south of Main Street and East of Dodge Avenue.

Says city has hired a extermination contractor and has environmental health inspectors monitoring the situation and educating residents about rat control techniques.

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, asks whether there’s a connection between whether alleys are paved or unpaved and whether have rat problems.

Thomas Smith says overflowing garbage cans, overgrown vegetation and other factors tend to contribute to the problem. Not sure alley paving has any impact.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says he used to complain about feral cats — but says they serve a purpose in reducing rodent problems.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says people need to be more alert to noticing rat burrows.

Thomas Smith says city provides newsletter with information on how to identify burrows.

Public Comment

Art Newman, attorney for D&D, says business has been on Noyes Street for 41 years. Pays $46K a year in real estate taxes. and is the anchor of Noyes Street.

Says restaurant is only open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., shorter hours than DMK Burger & Fish, which was recently issued a liquor license.

Says D&D’s record with its package store license has been spotless. Says owners are on site seven days a week.

Jane Evans, 811 Gaffield, also speaking for neighbors at 813 Gaffield., says had opposed license for DMK, but says now that they have one, only fair to give one to D&D.

Patrick McDonough, 1010 Colfax, says he doesn’t drink but he’s in favor of license for D&D.

Other speakers also say they favor liquor license for D&D.

Several speakers from youth sports groups say they support the sports dome proposal.

Peter Hague, 1302 Davis St., says he doesn’t favor the protected bike lane concept — says there’s no data to back up theory that they are more safe than un-protected ones.

Says favors a European model — focused on education, slowing traffic, protecting intersections (with circles and planters) and equal enforcement of traffic laws.

Betty Ester, 2031 Church St., says Evanston has been in the business of giving it sales tax away. (Referring to the Autobarn sales tax sharing proposal on the agenda tonight.)

Chris Canning, 1000 Skokie Blvd, in Wilmette, attorney for The Med Farm, would-be medical marijuana dispensary. Says Evanston is far ahead of many other communities on the issue. Says it will allow any medical marijuana dispensary to show they have a prospective location — which is required to get a license from the State of Illinois.

Second Quarter Financial Report

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says city is in generally good shape on revenues and expenditures.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says has asked departments (except police and fire) to plan for 3 percent budget cuts for next year and reallocate the funds to meet City Council priorities.

2015 Bike Infrastructure Projects Update

Because of decision at A&PW meeting tonight, postponing this topic until a meeting in September.

D&D Dogs liquor license

Related story

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, moves that council overrule liquor commissioner’s denial of D&D Dogs liquor license request.

Ordinance in packet would grant the license if approved.

Mayor, and liquor commissioner, Elizabeth Tisdahl, says owners have been a good neighbor — no reflection on character of people who own or work at D&D Dogs. But says she there are lots of other establishment called “dogs” that will be requesting liquor licenses as well. Says it’s an issue about where we do and do not want to have liquor licenses.

Says one person told her that in Germany you can buy beer at McDonald’s. Not sure that’s a great idea. Says it’s extremely difficult to take away a license once it has been granted.

Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, says he’s concerned about Hot Dog Island in his ward — says would be very inappropriate to be serving liquor in the middle of an intersection.

Says, because of that he’s concerned. Says knows D&D is a fine establishment, but does have that concern.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she thinks Bill’s on Asbury near Howard could be an example of a hot dog stand … but D&D is more of a full restaurant and has an off-street patio as well.

Says D&D is truly different than a hot dog stand — its a hot dog sit down.

Rainey says everything has to be handled based on the individual applicant. Not talking about that here — this applicant has to be considered based on its own background.

Fiske says the liquor ordinance is written so can deny anybody. Have the legal opportunity and responsibility to say no.

Says in this case doesn’t know of any restaurant that has done so much for its neighborhood for 40 years — the amount of money they’ve spent in the neighborhood is huge, the respect from the neighborhood is huge.

Says D&D is run with an immaculate pride of ownership. Says neighbors — many who had concerns about DMK — have shown up to support D&D.

Says she’s been in line and seen how they card liquor customers. They do wonderful job.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says she’s received lots of emails in support of D&D and will be supporting it tonight.

License is approved 7-1. Tendam votes no. Grover is absent.

Consent agenda

Items taken off consent agenda:

  • July 28th minutes.
  • Chicago Avenue Improvement Project (bike route). Commitee voted to hold the item until a special meeting in September.
  • TIF redevelopment agreement for Evanston Plaza shopping center. Committee voted to hold this item until the Sept. 8 meeting.
  • Autobarn sales tax sharing agreement (for existing dealerships).

Consent agenda approved 8-0.

Minutes

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says language of Davis Street bike plan misquoted him on language of an amendment. (Made it sound like he wanted to interfere with the trees — opposite of what he said.)

Evanston Plaza

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says parties to the Evanston Plaza deal need a little more time to work through all of the moving pieces. Says with a little more patience hope to have a very nice announcements to share at the next meeting.

Sports Dome

Rainey moves to delete the reference to staggering start times at the dome (on page 441 of the council packet) — says in addition to 76 spaces on site, there will be another 10 space at Gordon Foodservice and another 4 from the Shell station.

Amendment approved unanimously.

Final approval of sports dome … also unanimous.

910 Hinman

Vote on final approval is unanimous.

Autobarn sales tax agreement (12-R-14)

Rainey says this is the most wonderful project. But wants to amend the “good neighbor policy.” to read “Autobarn is responsible for maintaining a gated entryway at Hartrey that prohibits access to all vehicles except emergency vehicles.”

Amendment approved on voice vote.

Resolution approved unanimously.

Call of the wards

Holmes … 7:30p tomorrow at Twiggs Park…concert in the park. And ice cream social at ward meeting on third Thursday.

Rainey … makes reference to rules committee … says non-agenda citizen comment should follow council actions, before call of the wards.

Also says aldermen should be able to correct inaccurate statements made by speakers at citizen comment

Fiske…next 1st Ward meeting … Tuesday Sept 2nd 7p at EPL.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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