Evanston alders Monday night are scheduled to discuss a proposed capital plan budget that calls for spending nearly $300 million over the next five years.

Facilities and parks

City staff forecasts the need to spend $4.5 million on improvements to the Civic Center on Ridge Avenue in 2023 and then another $54 million on the building between 2024 and 2026.

The Service Center on Asbury Avenue needs $2 million in repairs in 2023 and $32 million in upgrades between 2024 and 2027.

The Police and Fire Headquarters building on Elmwood Street is seen needing $5.8 million in repairs between 2024 and 2027.

And the Cultural Arts Center on Noyes Street is forecast to need $6.6 million in upgrades during the same time period.

Little outside funding is generally available for these project — which typically end up being paid for by general obligation bonds funded through the property tax.

A staff memo from City Engineer Lara Biggs says, “The long-term consequence of relying primarily on issued debt to fund parks and facilities projects is that these types of projects have been substantially underfunded in the last 20 years.”

She adds, “This results in an increasing number of infrastructure failures” and “without a substantial funding increase, this trend will likely accelerate.”

Streets, water mains, sewers and transportation

The staff memo notes that “outside grants and loans are most available for funding streets, transportation, water and sewer projects.”

In addition, the water and sewer projects have dedicated revenue sources through fees charged residents for water and sewer service. Projects at the water plant also are funded through fees the city collects from other communities served by the water plant.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. What is going on with plans to fix the fountain at fountain square and with the efforts to get back the money the taxpayers paid to the company that incompetently installed it?

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