In the early 1980s, Evanston experienced an oil and gas boom which had an impact on the community with a huge increase in the population and subsequent overuse of inadequate infrastructure and facilities.
To mitigate this impact, Uinta County
contracted with the Overthrust Industrial Association to study solutions to community problems and to facilitate development of new buildings and services to accommodate the growing population. Out of these studies came the seed of the Evanston Renewal Ball, which has grown from a community celebration involving a handful of volunteers to a major fundraising event. The primary purpose of the Ball has become the preservation and revitalization of the downtown and the rail yards. The celebration aspect has been preserved, too, now with hundreds of volunteers putting on the gala event every year.
The Evanston Urban Renewal Agency
has evolved as well. After the mitigation team with its consultants had left town, the agency came under the wings of the City of Evanston as part of the Housing Authority. Eventually, the Renewal Agency became its own arm of the City government
with a director and governing board, and this is the structure it maintains today.