Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to get reports on how much it could cost to fix the city’s public buildings, roads and utilities.
The special City Council meeting starts at 6:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Civic Center.
Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says even the city’s newest major public building — the Levy Center — is now more than 10 years old. The next newest, the Evanston Public Library — is over 20 years old — and needs major upgrades — among other things — to its heating and cooling systems, Lyons said.
While the city has made periodic upgrades to various buildings — including putting a new, largely grant-funded, roof on the century old Noyes Cultural Arts Center this year — there’s been growing concern that the city may not have been spending enough to preserve the facilities and infrastructure it already has.
With budgets severely constrained the past few years because of declining revenue during the recession and rising pension and health care costs, aldermen have tried to hold down spending on capital projects.
But with City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz saying he foresees “no layoffs and no significant reductions in services” in his 2014 budget due next month, aldermen see some opportunity for tackling the deferred maintenance issues.
At a priority-setting meeting in July, the aldermen agreed that better managing city facilities, streets and the water utility would be three of their top six goals for the next few years.
Top: Scaffolding used to protect visitors from falling roofing materials at the Noyes Center before the new roof was installed this year.