Downtown update: New program hopes to revitalize small businesses

City council will soon vote on hiring a graphic design firm to build a website and logo for Evanston’s brand new Legacy Business Program, working group member and Preservation Commissioner Carl Klein said Thursday night. In the coming months and years, that program could help distribute grant…

MORE CITY NEWS POSTS

Second ward weighs Ryan Field and redistricting

The proposed redevelopment of Northwestern University’s Ryan Field was the main topic of the discussion at the Second Ward meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24, with school officials dominating the conversation. “We feel that this project is going to provide generational benefits for individuals from Howard Street all the way to Isabella [Street],” said Dave Davis, executive director of neighborhood and community relations at Northwestern. About 40 people attended the nearly three-hour long virtual meeting,…

City OKs police access to ETHS security cameras; ETHS board to vote next

At its Feb. 6 meeting, the Evanston Township High School board will consider granting the Evanston Police Department access to its surveillance camera footage in the event of an emergency. The move would amend a 2019 intergovernmental agreement between the school district and the city designed “to share public safety resources to better serve the community.” City council already approved its side of the amendment at a meeting Monday, Jan. 23. According to…

City Council holds cashless ban for additional review

An ordinance banning businesses from not accepting cash collected support from the Human Services Committee as well as Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo. But even with that support, once it got to the City Council floor Monday, Jan. 23, it fell short. Instead, the council sent the proposed ordinance to the Equity and Empowerment Commission and the Economic Development Committee for further review. “As much as I agree with the underlying…

Evanston police get major pay boost under new contracts 

Evanston police have seen a drain in manpower in recent years with the department down by more than 30 officers at one point, including a number exiting for better paying jobs in neighboring suburbs. Evanston City Council members took a major step to address that problem at their meeting Monday, Jan. 23, voting unanimously to approve new pay packages and longevity bonuses for the department’s sergeants and patrol officers. Eighth Ward City Council…

City drawing up lease for Jens Jensen group to handle grounds upkeep at Harley Clarke

Editor’s note: This story has been changed from the original to reflect several corrections. Members of a city committee are moving forward on a proposal for the city to award a 40-year lease to the Jens Jensen Gardens in Evanston for exclusive rights to manage the coach house and grounds surrounding the Harley Clarke mansion, at 2603 Sheridan Rd. City Council Administration & Public Works Committee members voted 4-1 at their Jan. 23…

Revising city cannabis, alcohol ordinance delayed to Feb. 13

Editor’s note: This article has been revised for clarity. The proposal to amend the alcohol and cannabis possession ordinance will be reviewed a third time on Feb. 13. The proposal to loosen the city’s alcohol and cannabis possession ordinance was amended due to an objection by the Evanston Police Department. The City Council will review the proposal again at its Feb. 13 meeting. Eighth Ward Council Member Devon Reid’s proposal amends City Code 9-5-10. If…

Harley Clarke mansion lease ‘built on quicksand’

The long, detailed and interesting story of why the Artists Book House walked away from the Harley Clarke mansion.

After a tumultuous city Administration and Public Works Committee meeting earlier this month, the board members of the Artists Book House “looked at each other and said, ‘We need a board meeting,’ ” explained Audrey Niffenegger, the group’s founder and president in an interview last week. Two days later, the group told the city via Council Member Eleanor Revelle, in whose Seventh Ward the mansion and grounds are located, that it would not be continuing…

Proposal would ease city cannabis, alcohol ordinances – just a bit

New language would allow trunk transport of open containers, possession of open containers in some public places

The Evanston City Council is set to debate loosening the city’s ordinance regarding alcohol and marijuana possession during its meeting Monday, Jan. 23. Fifth and Eighth Ward Council Members Bobby Burns and Devon Reid are pushing to have the ordinance be no stricter than Illinois state law concerning possession of open containers. For the most part, the Evanston Police Department is on board. The city currently bundles its possession and consumption laws for…

Covid update: Evanston community risk ‘low,’ Cook County ‘medium’

In Illinois, the seven-day average of new Covid cases was 10,967 on Jan. 15, the most recent day for which data is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website. This is down from 16,602 in the prior week, or a 34% decline. IDPH no longer reports the number of new Covid cases on a daily basis, but has shifted to providing weekly data once a week. In Evanston, the seven-day average of…

No exception to library firearms ban, director says

In an apparent rebuke to the off-duty officer who drew his gun on a homeless man in the Evanston Public Library earlier this month, the top library official said there’s no exception to the prohibition against firearms for anyone working there as a safety monitor.

City panel backs $4 million for affordable housing project

The city’s Housing & Community Development Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 17, recommended providing $4 million in gap financing to a non-profit developer partnering with a local church to create 44 affordable housing units at 1805-15 Church St., just east of Dodge Avenue. Committee members voted unanimously at their meeting in favor of the financing for the Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC), using a combination of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and affordable-housing funds. The…

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