Evanston aldermen voted this week to designate nearly $1.3 million for projects to benefit the area immediately around the Advanced Disposal waste transfer station on Chuch Street.
The action came after City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz proposed that the money instead be left in the city's general fund to help deal with the city's projected budget deficit.
The nearly $1.3 million came from a tax the city imposed several years ago on the transfer station's operation that was repealed after the city settled a lawsuit the transfer station operator filed challenging the tax.
To replace the tax, Advanced Disposal negotiated a host community agreement which is expected to generate about $100,000 a year for the city starting this year. The aldermen Monday also specified that those future amounts to be spent on improvement projects in the area within two blocks of the transfer station site.
Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, said the city made a promise to the community years ago to address the environmental issues around the transfer station, to pave alleys in the area and look at the infrastructure impact of heavy truck traffic from the transfer station.
He said he felt blindsided by the city manager's proposal, which called instead for issuing bonds to fund nearly $200,000 worth of environmental monitoring equipment and a related study.
Bobkiewicz had also suggested that some scheduled alley paving projects be deferred to offset the cost of the monitoring equipment.
With the Council's action Monday, on a motion by Aldeman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, the funding for the environmental monitoring project should be available immediately.
The aldermen didn't immediately decide what other projects in the neighborhood should be paid for with the newly set aside funds.