Council largely resolved a series of outstanding matters on Feb. 9, without much debate or discussion. The debate or discussion occurred during earlier meetings.
The first such item was a bid for cured in place pipe lining for sewer pipes. Several weeks earlier, Council held this item because of the wide disparity between the low bidder, who did not fulfill the City’s Minority- or Woman- owned or Evanston-Based Enterprise (MWEBE) requirements, and the low bidder, who did.
Council voted to accept the low bid from Kenny Construction, thereby saving more than 14%. Council refused to accept Kenny’s request for an MWEBE waiver, however. Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, who chairs the MWEBE Committee, told the RoundTable that the City’s expectation is that Kenny will find a way to comply with Evanston’s ordinances including the Local Employment Program. Failure to do so may result in a fine equal to 1% of the project value.
Next, an issue that arose over a year ago concerning the landmark status of certain Evanston private residences returned to Council. Back then, a homeowner ran afoul of the Preservation Commission when applying to replace windows in his newly purchased home. The home, it turns out, was a landmark. The homeowner successfully argued that he did not know of such status.
Council decided that the best way to give notice of landmark status would be to record such status on a deed. Recording deeds, however, costs money. Fast forward to 2015 – Council voted on Feb. 9 to enter into a contract with The Lakota Group to record landmark status on deeds. The cost of recording is $53,200, but Lakota’s portion, about $36,000, comes from an Illinois Historic Preservation Agency grant. The bulk of the City’s portion, about $12,000, comes from “in-kind” contributions of City staff time and qualified volunteers. The City will pay only about $4,000 out of pocket.
The much discussed Uber resolution came before Council for final vote, and other than a “thank you” to staff received no discussion. Rather than regulate Transportation Network Providers such as Uber and Lyft directly, the City has opted to allow state regulations to apply. As a result, the City will not collect and license fees or other fees from Uber or its drivers. The City will continue to collect license fees from taxi cabs.
Soon, Evanston residents will be able to enjoy a mimosa with their Sunday brunch – before noon. Council voted unanimously to introduce an amendment to the liquor ordinance allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages beginning at 11 on Sunday morning. The amendment comes at the request of the Stained Glass, but will apply to all restaurants that have liquor licenses.
City Council voted not to hold Corrado Cutlery to its obligations under a forgivable loan given the business when it opened. Business did not go as well as expected, and Corrado has closed. Under the loan agreement, Corrado would have had to pay back the loan in full. Council voted to allow Corrado to repay only the portion agreed to, had the store remained open and hired employees.
Finally, the City officially placed the dormant Recycling Center, 2222 Oakton St., on the market, voting to issue requests for qualifications and requests for proposals, seeking ideas from private developers. Perhaps, say some, a long-sought bowling alley will come to the City of Evanston. The City seeks “entertaining and dining” options at that location, said Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward.