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Just two weeks ago, City Council sat poised to enact a sweeping change to the City’s junk truck ordinance. City Staff requested a suspension of the rules requiring two readings and the new law seemed destined to roar down the tracks.
Then several aldermen found problems in the definitions section and amendments prevented a suspension of the rules. Still, the measure was introduced on the consent agenda.
When it returned to full Council on Aug. 13, it was quickly clear that the problems were larger than just the definitions. “I will be voting against it,” said Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, saying she felt the registration, identification, and fee structure provisions went far beyond the intended, stated purpose of the new law – which was to eliminate overnight parking of overloaded trucks on City streets.
“I want [the junk trucks] to keep doing their valuable service for the City of Evanston,” she said. A new law with restrictions and requirements could easily have the effect of driving trucks out of the City entirely.
“I did not receive a lot of calls [about junk trucks],” said Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward. “But I do receive a lot of complaints about water bills.” [When large items are left with garbage, a special garbage pickup charge can be added to residents’ water bills.] If the City drives junk trucks out of the City, special pick up fees will increase, he said.
The ordinance was supposed to be designed to address parking on City streets, he said, but went far beyond that. Rather than attempt to amend the ordinance on the Council dais, he moved to hold the measure indefinitely.
When asked how long it should be held, Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, jumped in. “Until it gets fixed,” she said. The ordinance may return to a future meeting, but if it does expect a more limited measure that addresses the primary concern it supposedly sought to address in the first place: parking of overloaded trucks