Chamber gala to incorporate fireworks, New Year’s ball drop

Evanston Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tammy Halliday speaks to the city council on Tuesday, Nov. 12, as Evanston Parks and Recreation District Director Scott Ehlers looks on. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — Evanston Chamber of Commerce Director Tammy Halliday attended the Nov. 12 work session of the Evanston City Council to discuss the Chamber’s New Year’s Eve Gala. 

“We are asking for extended hours for the use of the Roundhouse and for serving alcohol. The hours we have planned for the event are from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Last call for alcohol would be at 12:30, and we will be offering rides home provided by the Uinta Senior Citizen bus,” Halliday told the council.

She said the Chamber plans to drop a New Year’s ball outside and are working with Fire Marshall Tim Overy to have a small fireworks display on the city property at the Roundhouse.

Overy was in attendance and explained that any fireworks are required to be a minimum distance of 75 feet from any building or combustible material. 

Police Chief Jon Kirby said the only concern for his department is the proximity of housing surrounding the Roundhouse and possible complaints about the noise. 

“However, most people are pretty tolerant on New Year’s Eve and there will be others shooting off fireworks as well,” Kirby added.

Mayor Kent Williams asked Halliday to continue to work with the Fire Marshall to ensure safety of the fireworks. He asked attorney Dennis Boal to put the chamber’s requests into a motion to bring to the next regular council meeting.

The only other item on the agenda for discussion was extending the sewer line at the Union Center property owned by the City of Evanston. Dean Barker, Director of Engineering and Planning, said there has been interest in the property from several businesses and it is important for the council to start thinking about preparing the land with infrastructure. He reminded the council that selling this property was in the Master Plan and that user fees from property owners would go back into the city budget. 

Barker showed a slide of the Union Center property and gave the council a copy of the estimate of probable cost for the sewer line extension of approximately $334,000.

“We will also be discussing the need to provide power to that area at another work session,” Barker said.

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