City Council Agenda: $16 Million in Bonds and a New Zamboni

A preview of tonight's City Council meeting.

Monday night's Evanston City Council agenda contains the following noteworthy items:

$16.2 million bond issuance

The council will vote on whether to approve a $16.2 million general obligation bond issuance. Nearly a quarter of that money is planned to go toward the city’s Capital Improvements Fund, a quarter to the Sewer Fund, a quarter to the Water Fund and the remainder toward refinancing bonds from 2002. The city announced Thursday that both Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings gave the City of Evanston AAA credit ratings in a pre-issuance evaluation.

Church Street Improvement Project

Evanston aldermen will vote to execute a $2.1 million contract with Huntley-based Landmark Contractors, Inc. for the “Church Street Improvement Project”. If passed, the work will include:

  • Replacing the sidewalks along Church Street between Oak and Chicago avenues, substituting concrete footpaths in place of the current, uneven brick ones.
  • Building ADA accessible ramps at street intersections.
  • Creating a protected bike lane on the south side of Church Street.
  • Reconstructing Orrington plaza to enhance aesthetics.
  • Erecting a bike shelter.

$1.4 million in project funding will come from the Washington National TIF and $746,000 will come from the city’s Capital Improvement Plan fund.

Bed and breakfasts disrupting neighborhoods?

At the June 18 City Council meeting, four Evanston aldermen expressed concern that single-family homes turned bed and breakfast establishments might lower residential property values and disrupt currently neighborly neighborhoods. The council will vote on whether to extend the minimum distance between such establishments, amend the ordinance so only owner-occupied single-family dwellings can operate as bed and breakfasts, require owners and operators to live on the premises, and alter parking rules. On a side note, can any Patch reader tell us where in Evanston there is an overabundance of bed and breakfast lodgings?

A new, zero-emissions zamboni!

Evanston aldermen will vote on whether to authorize City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz to purchase four replacement vehicles for various city departments, including a $120,825 ice resurfacing machine – colloquially known as a zamboni – for the ice rinks. The new vehicle is battery powered and will have zero emissions, solving past issues involving zamboni exhaust.

Evanston Roadmap to the Arts

The City of Evanston, the Evanston Community Foundation and the Evanston Arts Council are looking to create a comprehensive plan for the future the arts Evanston. Dubbed the “Roadmap for the Arts”, the program’s stated goal is to recommend art policy, programs and infrastructure that will simultaneously offer residents new art experiences and provide an economic boost to the community. The group that will be making these decisions will be holding focus groups, conducting research and conferring with a consultant – and all that costs money. The City Council will be voting on whether to pay $15,000 this year and $10,000 next year to support this initiative.

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