Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Fines and fees focus of aldermen at city council meeting

Aldermen are searching for every penny they can find to support the 2006-07 Evanston City Budget.

The Evanston City Council will discuss a series of tax, fine and fee increases at tonight’s City Council meeting.

To maintain the level of recycling services, city staff suggested an 86-cent increase in the $2.86 per unit per month recycling fee.

Despite the council’s goal of making Evanston an environmentally friendly city in part by promoting recycling, city staff said the raised fee is necessary.

“It’s bad policy to charge less for a service than it costs to provide it,” City Manager Julia Carroll said at a Jan. 21 budget meeting.

Aldermen will discuss a 50-cent hike for taxicab coupons that reduces or replaces a fare for seniors or disabled residents who are unable to take public transportation. The coupons now cost $2 and can be bought at the city collector’s office, Evanston United Way, 1811 Benson Ave. and the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.

The coupon price has not increased since the early ’90s but coupon use has, Nancy Flowers, overseer of the taxicab program said Tuesday.

The city also suggested eliminating the program if aldermen decided against a nearly 7 percent property tax increase or creating fees and other taxes, Carroll said in an interview Tuesday.

City staff also have proposed an increase in some parking fines and an 18-cent increase in the city’s tax on cigarettes. The tax is already 32 cents.

“Will it stop people from smoking?” Alderman Delores Holmes (5th) said. “Probably not so much as it will bring in revenue.”

As part of their effort to maintain diversity and promote equal opportunities in Evanston, aldermen will look at several affordable housing and social service initiatives.

Discussion of the city budget has focused on increasing beach access for low-income families by giving them free beach tokens. The Evanston Human Services Committee also has recommended standardizing the household income guidelines that determine scholarships for city recreational programs.

Aldermen also will consider proposed developments, one by Mather LifeWays at the intersection of Hinman Avenue and Davis Street and another at 2100 Greenwood St.

Neighbors and aldermen have raised concerns about the height and size of the Mather LifeWays project. Opponents also said they thought the building’s proximity to the street would create a canyon-like effect.

The Greenwood development would convert the shell of a vacant warehouse in the Second Ward into live-work condominiums.

– Elizabeth Gibson and Lensay Abadula

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Fines and fees focus of aldermen at city council meeting