water-reservoir-interior

Evanston aldermen voted Monday to postpone action on a staff plan to study alternatives to repairing the city’s 5 million gallon lakefront water reservoir.

The request for the delay came from Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, who said she wanted to see a consultant’s report on the condition of the reservoir prepared by Northwestern University before voting on the new study.

Utilities Director Dave Stoneback said he’d received a draft copy of the report from NU, and provided it to a resident, Junad Rizki, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, but hadn’t felt comfortable distributing it to aldermen because it wasn’t a final report.

The NU study, and a similar one prepared by a consultant for the city which the aldermen have received, both recommend repairing or replacing the reservoir’s roof because of cracking and other signs of weakness in the roof.

Stoneback and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz have urged taking a broader look at possible alternatives for storing treated water at the city’s water plant as the city also explores options to expand its water sales to other communities.

The new study is budgeted at $86,000, and would look at six alternatives — including repairing the existing reservoir, or building a completely new reservoir on the same or a different site

The reservoir, built in 1934, is located just south of the water plant on land the city leases from Northwestern. A university parking lot sits on top of the reservoir.

Rizki has claimed that NU wanted the reservoir moved so it could include the site in its new north campus athletic complex expansion project. But the athletic complex has been designed to not touch the reservoir site.

Bobkiewicz said he believes the additional research is necessary to make sure the city fully explores its options. We don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish,” he said.

Repairing the reservoir roof has been estimated to cost about $4 million. Building a new reservoir has been estimated to cost as much as $26 million.

With a second from Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, the request from Fiske to delay a vote on the study until the council’s next meeting was automatically approved.

Bobkiewicz promised to provide copies of the NU study to the aldermen before the next meeting.

A consultant to the city has estimated that if the roof were repaired, the reservoir, now 80 years old, would have a remaining service life of 30 years.

Related documents

2012 reservoir study by CTL Group for City of Evanston

Review of CTL Group 2012 inspection by CDM Smith

2013 follow up inspection by CTL Group

2013 inspection and service life estimate from CDM Smith

Finished Water Reservoir Roof Slab — NU report

Related story

Study to explore six water reservoir options

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. Junad knows more than the aldermen?

    "Utilities Director Dave Stoneback said he'd received a draft copy of the report from NU, and provided it to a resident, Junad Rizki, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, but hadn't felt comfortable distributing it to aldermen because it wasn't a final report."

    So, Junad now knows more about what he's talking about than the aldermen? Or the report won't become "final" until Junad has had a chance to provide his feedback? What is going on here?

     

     

    1. Draft? Maybe not
      I filed a fOI – in my FOI, I stated the report was not a draft – since the report was prepared by a consultant for NU and given to the city. If you look at the report posted online – no where on the report it states it is a draft.

    2. final report

      "So, Junad now knows more about what he's talking about than the aldermen? Or the report won't become "final" until Junad has had a chance to provide his feedback? What is going on here?"

       

      It sounds like Stoneback received what was just a "draft" copy, and decided to wait for a final version before giving it to the aldermen, in order to prevent an alderman from flying off the handle and making all sorts of incorrect conclusions when all of the information is not in.   If you've been watching the news coverage of the Malaysian airplane, you know what I'm talking about.

      Stoneback was required to provide the information to Junad in response to a FOIA request….so, if Junad wants to rush to conclusions before getting complete information, and make all sorts of wild speculation which is later discredited….we can't really stop him.

       

      1. “Equiring mind” read my post
        You can see the report on this web – site it does not say draft!
        As far as the Walker Report it is complete – there is nothing to be discredited.
        Read all the information on this site before YOU jump to conclusions with “wild Speculation”!

      2. Aldermen “flying off the handle”?

        "It sounds like Stoneback received what was just a 'draft' copy, and decided to wait for a final version before giving it to the aldermen, in order to prevent an alderman from flying off the handle and making all sorts of incorrect conclusions when all of the information is not in."

        So, a city employee takes it upon himself to "save us" from an elected official? If Stoneback felt compelled to give a copy to Junad, I hope he at least informed Junad's alderman that he had done so and to offer her a copy.

        How would you feel if a subordinate gave a report to a member of the public, didn't inform you, and then that member of the public "flew off the handle" at you and in public?

        Again, I'm sure I don't know the entire story, but this anecdote shakes my confidence in the City Council effectively managing City staff.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.