Council looks to increase days city would allow fireworks

EVANSTON — The first item on the agenda of the Evanston City Council’s March 19 meeting was the appointment of Mikal Welling to replace Justin Mathson on the Evanston Housing Authority Board for a five-year term. The appointment was approved unanimously.

Under unfinished business was the third and final reading of Ordinance 19-01, repealing Sections 15-19, 15-20 and 15-21 of the Evanston City Code which regulate gambling. The ordinance was passed unanimously.

New business included one ordinance and four resolutions.

City Attorney Dennis Boal addressed the first reading of Ordinance 19-02, which would provide the city with more flexibility in setting days to discharge fireworks during the 4th of July holiday and decreasing the time period that a person may legally discharge fireworks on Independence Day. The ordinance passed on the first reading and will be read at two more meetings.

Frank Sheets, standing in for Scott Evans of Cummins, Inc., discussed Resolution 19-05, which authorizes the execution of a renewal of a planned maintenance agreement with Cummins, Inc., to provide maintenance for electric generators used by the city. Sheets explained that the lower price this year of $2,678 was due to a change in the cost of the oil used. The generators would be used to fuel all city vehicles in case of a major power outage so maintenance is critical, Sheets said. Resolution 19-05 was approved.

Resolution 19-06 would authorize the execution of an agreement with Morrison Maierle, Inc. to conduct a study of the Crestview Drive road extension.  

Director of Engineering and Planning Dean Barker said extending Crestview Drive west to Yellow Creek Road had been on the comprehensive plan for some time. Representatives from the city, WYDOT, and the planning department formed the selection committee. The firm chosen is a Wyoming firm. The money for this study came from a WYDOT planning grant of $50,000 to the City of Evanston with a less-than-10-percent match from the city. The method of payment for the study will be at an hourly rate and the estimated cost for services is approximately $55,000.

Morrison Maierle’s study will show the feasibility of that extension to establish purpose and need and will investigate the future transportation needs and land use concerns. Their analysis will include projected traffic volumes, roadway network improvements, cost estimates, and, if necessary, a preferred alternative will be identified. The study will be completed by Oct. 1.

Resolution 19-06 authorizing the study was approved unanimously.

Evanston Director of Parks and Recreation Scott Ehlers addressed Resolution 19-07 authorizing the city to execute an agreement with TCF Equipment Finance to lease with the option to purchase equipment needed to maintain the Purple Sage Golf Course.    

Ehlers had already explained the lease versus purchase advantages in the work session regarding a five-year lease with the option to purchase the equipment for $1 at the end of that term. It was agreed that the equipment should still be in good working condition after five years. Resolution 19-07 was approved.

Barker and Boal both spoke regarding the next resolution, 19-08, Change Order No. 2 for the Evanston Railyards Roundhouse doors and concrete project for sections 2, 3 and 4.

Barker said the bid for door handles on the inoperable doors had been deleted from the change order the council had reviewed in the work session. If needed in the future, the existing change order will provide an easy and inexpensive method to make all the doors operable. The resolution was approved unanimously.

Last on the agenda was a motion to designate additional dates for fireworks to be discharged within the City of Evanston for 2019. The motion was to approve Thursday-Saturday, July 4-6, and allowing fireworks from 5 p.m. until midnight. The motion was approved on condition that Ordinance 19-02 is approved at third and final reading.

Fred Zech addressed the council with a complaint about people texting and talking on cellphones while driving. He cited several incidents where he was almost hit on his bicycle by someone driving while using a phone. He also brought up the danger of this happening on 6th Street, where the Evanston Youth Club is located, and the possibility of a child being hit.

Evanston Police Chief Jon Kirby said Wyoming has a state statute that prohibits texting and driving so the police can stop and cite someone for that offense. However, he said that we have no law yet against driving and talking on the phone.  

Mayor Kent Williams thanked Zech for bringing it to the attention of the city council and said the council will research the issue for possible solutions.


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