EVANSTON — An addition of Resolution 21-17 was made to the Evanston City Council agenda at the Tuesday, April 6 meeting. During council comments, Councilman Mike Sellers announced that WYDOT will be putting up temporary flashing lights on the Hwy 150 overpass before Memorial Day weekend.
Mayor Kent Williams also announced that he had been talking to representatives at WYDOT concerning the safety issue around the large number of semi-trucks that were lined up in Evanston recently due to weather conditions. Williams said WYDOT is organizing a meeting to discuss a resolution to the matter.
City Attorney Dennis Boal then opened a public hearing to solicit comments on the transfer of ownership of a retail liquor license from The Last Outpost Inc. dba Don Pedro’s Family Mexican Restaurant to La Tia Mexican Eats Inc. dba: Don Pedro’s Family Mexican Restaurant. Boal said that all of the necessary paperwork was submitted, state requirements have been met and notice was published in the newspaper. He then asked for any person wishing to make a statement concerning to the transfer application to come forward and give their name and reason.
Representing Don Pedro’s Family Restaurant, Nolberta Gonzales addressed the council requesting the application be approved. He said that everything will remain the same as before and they just need the license in their company’s name now.
There were no other comments from the public, and Boal closed the public hearing and a motion to approve the transfer of the liquor license was then brought up for a vote.
The council unanimously approved the liquor license transfer.
Moving on to new business, Boal introduced and explained the proposed changes to Ordinances 21-01 and 21-02.
The changes in Ordinance 21-01 will eliminate the need to post a notice upon the premises of the business applying for a liquor license, permit, renewal or transfer and will decrease the number of times the notice is published in a local newspaper from four consecutive weeks down to two weeks.
Boal said the Wyoming Legislature enacted these same changes, which were effective July of 2016.
An addition was made to 21-01 stating that a person appealing a decision made on a liquor license application will be named as the plaintiff and the city as the defendant. The appeal shall be heard as a trial at the district court and commenced as of a civil action.
Ordinance 21-01, with the changes and addition, was passed and approved on first reading. It will be brought before the Council for two additional readings at two separate meetings.
Boal then introduced Ordinance 21-02 with changes, which would allow certain liquor licensees to deliver alcohol liquors and malt beverages to customers. This ordinance would be effective July 1.
Boal said, “This ordinance as written matches the state statute word for word. This ordinance would allow an employee or someone who has a contract with the liquor establishment could then deliver alcohol to customers. I talked to Chief (Jon) Kirby about this as I know he may have some concerns about this.”
Following a brief discussion with questions and concerns from the council which Boal and Kirby answered regarding age checks and supervision, the council unanimously passed the Ordinance on first reading. The matter will be brought before the council two more times for a second and third reading.
The next three resolutions (21-13, 21-14, and 21-15) all involved authorizing agreements and acceptance of contracts and grants.
Gary Welling presented Resolution 21-13 to the council and asked for acceptance of an airport Coronavirus Relief Grant Program agreement with the U.S. through the Federal Aviation Administration for the purpose of combating the spread of pathogens at the Evanston-Uinta County Airport Burns Field.
“This is essentially the same grant we received last year and have applied for again in order to keep the airport safe for employees and others,” Welling said.
Treasurer Trudy Lym addressed the Council, “Resolution 21-14 is simply an agreement with our medical plan agent, Willis Towers Watson Insurance Services West Inc., to ensure that all city parties involved will comply with HIPAA rules.”
Council member Sellers asked, “Why do we have to have a separate ruling on it? I thought all medical plans already had HIPAA in them. I hope they make sure the information is kept strictly confidential.”
Lym said she wasn’t sure and hadn’t had a chance to call the agent but could ask at a later date. The resolution regarding HIPAA was unanimously approved.
Evanston Director of Community Development Rocco O’Neill was next on the agenda to discuss Resolution 21-15, asking the city to agree to a contract with XO Xtreme Marketing Group for digital display on the internet to promote economic development in the city of Evanston.
“This is similar to the contract we had with them four months ago, but different in that now they will use GeoFence displays. They essentially draw a fence around a strategic business, and they will push our banner ads onto the mobile devices of anyone who enters the target area,” O’Neill said.
According to the marketing group’s proposal, they will create six sizes of banner ads for optimal display capability across devices and placement variation on websites where the banners will be shown. They will then monitor and optimize the campaign and provide detailed reports and metrics. They build a specific media plan for the campaign with a list of quality websites to run the ads.
“Just for your information,” O’Neill said, “we have had 3,500 viewers on the website in the last 90 days. XO Xtreme predicts that we will get 32,000 impressions through advertising strategically with the GeoFence displays.”
The contract with XO Xtreme Marketing Group for the digital display at a cost of $6,000 was unanimously approved by the Council.
Evanston Community Relations and Grant Writer Mieke Madrid was next asking for the council’s support for Resolution 21-16: the submission of an application for an AARP Community Challenge Grant Program by the Evanston Urban Renewal Agency to obtain funds for a more dynamic downtown through the placement of two “swing tables” or parklets and six decorative crosswalks in the city’s historic downtown district.
“This is a highly competitive grant and no match is required,” Madrid said. “Grant recipients need to show they have given residents something to do, a place to sit, and a place to eat. We will have lighting attached to the swing tables and they can be removed in the winter if necessary. We haven’t decided on the exact locations yet but the Senior Center has agreed to help.”
The grant program is designed to help communities improve public spaces, improve housing or transportation efforts, or support civic engagement for residents of all ages. According to Madrid, the tables will offer an inviting and kinetic outdoor gathering place, while the crosswalks will create both an artsy ambiance and a traffic calming effect. To be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, the tables will be designed with a partial bench and a wheelchair access space.
She said that other local groups will be invited to assist in the project. An artist stipend is included in the final application and the city’s facilities team will design and build the two tables “in-house.” The cost of the entire project is estimated to be $12,550. Madrid said the deadline for the application is April 14 and the award winners will be notified in June. The project must be completed by Nov. 10, 2021.
Resolution 21-16 for applying for the AARP grant was unanimously approved.
Resolution 21-17 which had been added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting was brought before the Council by Treasurer Lym. This resolution was simply the renewal agreement with Wyoming Educators Benefit Trust (WEBT) to continue the city’s medical plan for city employees. The resolution was unanimously approved.
Last on the agenda for the meeting were four motions to be approved.
Chief Kirby asked for acceptance of the low bid for four 2021 half-ton 4x4 pickups (three for the police department and one for the engineering department). He explained that this request is the same number they replace every year.
Brad Tollefson with Evanston Public Works asked for acceptance of the low bid for the summer 2021 striping project for cross walks, stop bars, parking lots, street parking and curbs to M&K Striping. He also asked for the next motion to accept the low bid for the summer 2021 striping project for edge lines and center lines to American Pavement Marking. The last motion he asked for was acceptance of the apparent low bid for the summer 2021 Crack Seal Project to M&K Striping.
All four motions were unanimously approved by the council.
At the end of the meeting, Boal told the council that the Wyoming Legislature was in the process of passing a new law redefining “restaurant” and what that would mean for liquor licenses. He said he would have the information for the next meeting.