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A limited agenda made for a short City Council night on Monday, Feb. 13. At least two in attendance (no names will be mentioned) ran out between meetings to take care of Valentine’s Day obligations when, despite starting 15 minutes late, the Administrative and Public Works Committee meeting finished its business shortly after 6 p.m. and Planning and Development did not start until 7:15. It was that kind of night.
A&PW approved two library expenditures: library automation computer services and building automation services. Then some time next year such expenditures will be taken over by the Library Board of Trustees. No one mentioned the shift and the items passed without comment both at Committee and at Council on the Consent Agenda.
The success of Evanston’s lone micro-distillery has prompted another change in the law. Matching state law, FEW Spirits, which started production late last year, will have its output limit tripled. An amendment to the liquor code was introduced without debate to allow FEW to “manufacture and store [up] to 15,000 gallons” of distilled spirits per year.
Planning and Development addressed only two issues. First, Rollin’ in the Dough catering on Noyes Street will move from its current location and at least part of its present space will house Ice & A Slice Pizza and Italian ice restaurant. The restaurant will be take-out only, said its representative, Dennis Doyle. The measure was introduced without debate and will be on the agenda in two weeks for final passage.
The Unity Nursery School will move to 829 Foster from its current location at Ridge and Noyes. The part-time nursery school moves to a larger first-floor space. Although the school has no plans to expand immediately, a representative said, the new space will allow for an additional classroom of up to 20 kids.
As they entered via the new stairs on the west side of the Civic Center, Evanston residents found a section roped off just inside the door to the left. Behind the ropes sat a large eagle sculpture. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced that it is a gift from Marjorie and Charles Benton, who also gave the City four Native American tapestries. Locations for the art works have yet to be determined.
Robert Pompey of the City’s Public Works Department received a service award from the American Public Works Association, announced Public Works Director Suzette Robinson. The operator of a recycling collection vehicle, Mr. Pompey often finishes his route early and goes back out to help others complete their work, she said. While he is a quiet man on the surface, he has contributed valuable ideas to help make the department better and more efficient, she said. Congratulations to Mr. Pompey.
On the agenda also was continuing taxpayer support for the Technology Innovation Center (TIC, or simply the “Incubator”), this time in the form of a $25,000 grant for the first quarter in 2012. The measure was initially passed last year with the proviso that TIC would work with the City with a goal of keeping in Evanston businesses that graduate from the incubator. Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, voted against the measure Monday night, saying that the purpose of an incubator is to foster small businesses, then have them move out into the community. “I don’t see that happening here,” she said.
Aldermen Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, and Jane Grover, 7th Ward, voted yes, but said that “measurable outcomes” (Tendam) and “performance metrics” (Grover) leading to greater results were the goal. The goal is to “wean TIC from its need for City support,” said Ald. Grover. The measure passed 7-1 with Ald. Burrus the lone no vote.