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An uncontested agenda and a party between the committee and City Council meetings marked the Jan. 9 events at the Morton Civic Center.
Firefighters and their families, residents, City Council members and City staff welcomed new Fire Chief Brian Scott (see story on page 4). Parks/Forestry and Community Services Director Lawrence Hemingway introduced Anne Marie Heiser, the manager of Robert Crown Center, and Theresa Tevsh, the manager of the Levy Center.
City Council authorized the disbursement of up to $75,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds to Sunshine Gospel Ministries. The grant is to “facilitate business-creation opportunities for primarily low- and moderate-income Evanston residents, with a geographic focus on west Evanston and the City’s CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area.”
The 12-week Sunshine Enterprises Community Business Academy program is offered three times a year to classes of up to 20 people.
The amount represents the second grant in a three-year agreement. The first-year grant was for $150,000. This year’s grant is for up to $75,000, and next year the grant will be for up to $50,000.
Revenues collected from some cable franchise fees will be distributed to School Districts 65 and 202 so they can continue to broadcast their meetings. District 65 will receive $23,162, and District 202, $25,042. The PEG Fund Account, kept at the City, had 2016 revenues of $176,374. Under state law, a portion of Comcast and AT&T franchise fees are dedicated to the Evanston PEG Channels (Channel 6, 16, 18 & 19). They must be used strictly for broadcast and production equipment. Surplus funds remain in the PEG account, said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.
Time Extension for Penny Park
Aldermen approved a change order for the Penny Park Renovation Project – one of the first change orders, if not the only one, to come before City Council without a price tag. In the midst of its renovations, Chicago-based Elanar Construction Company ran into “a number of underground issues,” said Lara Biggs, the City’s Bureau Chief of Capital Planning. A lot of rubble was left on the site, when the park was first built, Ms. Biggs said, posing problems – for example, in digging to install posts, crews have come upon some concrete slabs.
The change order allowed Elanar an additional 128 days – that is, until April 30 – to complete the project.
Food and Drink
Evanstonians’ palates continue to be amused. Council approved the following foodie regs and ordinances: permitting farmer cooperative and non-Evanston bread makers to sell products at the Evanston Farmers’ Market; granting a special use for Sushi Burrito at 1565 Sherman Ave.; and approving a liquor license for Kabul House, coming to 2424 Dempster St.
The House That Rolled
Accepting the recommendation of the City’s Preservation Commission and City staff, aldermen designated the house at 2771 Crawford Ave. an Evanston Landmark. Owners Christopher Enck and Martha Krup moved the Prairie School-style house, designed in 1928 by John S. Van Bergen, from Wilmette to Evanston. For several months it sat in a parking lot at Isabella Street and Green Bay Road. Then the house eased down Green Bay and up Central to Crawford, where it now rests. Mr. Van Bergen was the last person hired to work in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio in 1909.