Moments after the Township of Evanston officially dissolved, Evanston City Council approved next steps for redesigning Chicago Ave. and Sheridan Rd. and determining how to move forward with the city’s animal shelter Monday evening.
Township residents had voted in March to dissolve the Township, which provided emergency services as well as financial and general assistance to Evanston residents. During the Township meeting, Acting Township Supervisor Wally Bobkiewicz thanked employees for their service and the trustees voted unanimously to abolish the township effective May 1. The City of Evanston will administer the services that the Township had provided.
Later, council agreed to hire a consultant to analyze and design improvements to Chicago Ave. and Sheridan Rd., from Grove to Isabella. The corridor, which runs through downtown and campus, will be redesigned to improve all facets of transportation flow, including cars, pedestrians and bicycles. The consultant will consider alternative street layouts to accomodate bike paths. The project is scheduled to begin construction in early 2015 and end that summer.
City Council also voted to move forward with handing over operations of the city’s animal shelter to a new organizational partner. Community Animal Rescue Effort, which had run the shelter previously, fell under scrutiny for its euthanasia policies. Its partnership with the city shelter was terminated in February. The city is looking for a new volunteer organization to replace CARE, and has received letters of interest from the Anti-Cruelty Society and Saving Animals for Evanston. The replacement organization will be selected at a future City Council meeting.
Evanston Police Cmdr. James Pickett reported to City Council that the city has received nearly 100 requests from citizens to volunteer at the shelter, which has been operated by the city in the interim. The shelter relies on the work of volunteers, including members from the Northwestern community.
La Macchina received an upgraded liquor license that allows it to stay open and serve alcohol until 3:00 a.m. Previously, the restaurant was required to close at 2:00 a.m.
City Council also voted to have the city enter into an agreement with an Alternate Retail Electric Supplier. Evanston will purchase 100 percent renewable energy for consumer use, which is required to meet goals established in the Evanston Climate Action Plan.