Evanston council members Monday night are scheduled to review the city’s capital spending plans — which call for a dramatic spending increase compared to the recent past

The proposed budget calls for $103 million in spending on capital projects in 2023 — compared to budget amounts ranging from $47 million to $65 million over the past three years.

And the spending levels are projected to remain high through the 2024 to 2026 period as well.

City staff estimates that about $24 million of the proposed spending on capital projects next year would typically need to be funded through general obligation bonds.

The rest of the funding would come from a variety of sources — with the largest single chunk — nearly $40 million — coming from low interest loans from the state to fund replacement of the oldest of the three water intake pipes at the city’s lakefront water treatment plant.

The new water intake pipe and other projects at the water plant would be paid for by other municipalities that get their water from the City of Evanston. But many other projects ultimately will be paid for by Evanston taxpayers.

City staff has prepared an extensive memo outlining priorities for the various projects. Factors included in the ranking include how far along the project is in the construction process, whether the project is essential for safe operations, whether the project is getting outside funding and whether it advances the city’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan goals.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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