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City gets millions in grants

Evanston has won millions from state and federal programs, officials said at a City Council Rules Committee meeting Monday night.

The city and local schools grabbed $2.7 million from a recently passed $31 billion state capital bill, with an additional $1.8 million virtually secured.

They also received $6.1 million from the federal government.

“Evanston did incredibly well in comparison to other communities,” said Dave Davis, grant coordinator for Evanston’s congressional district.

Nevertheless, the mayor still wants to hire a lobbyist to get more money from Springfield.

“I think we need one,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, explaining that mayors from other cities were “shocked” to hear that Evanston has not hired one.

State Funding

The city reaped funds from the state through a capital bill that the governor signed into law earlier this month.

The state intends to pay for the $31-billion bill through increased taxes and newly legalized electronic gambling machines.

The bill gives the city $750,000 to renovate the Robert Crown Center and other recreational facilities and $350,000 for repairs and improvements to the water plant. Another $610,000 will fund repairs on Emerson Street from McDaniel Avenue to Asbury Avenue.

In addition School District 65 received $1 million to replace windows and antiquated boilers, which will reduce energy cost and energy consumption.

The city also can anticipate receiving an additional $1.8 million for water infrastructure projects, State Sen. Jeff Schoenberg said.

The state also gave out $6.3 million to Evanston non-profits:

  • Northwestern University claims most of that with $5 million for nanotechnology research equipment for the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.
  • Youth Job Center received $200,000 to upgrade its building.
  • Access Community Health Center won $250,000 to relocate and expand their building.
  • Family Focus won $300,000 to build a handicap-accessible elevator.
  • Youth Organizations Umbrella won $250,000 to tear down its current building and build a new one.
  • Carepoint won $35,000 for building improvements.

Federal funding

Meanwhile, the city won a good share of stimulus money directly from the federal government, Davis said.

The city won $750,000 to use in its energy plans.

For community development, it received $524,000 in addition to its usual allotment. Connections for the Homeless collected $801,460.

District 65 schools won $2.3 million and District 202 schools won $830,000 from a grant that helps schools with impoverished students and a grant that aids disabled students.

Nearly $1.7 million will go to resurfacing stretches of Dempster Street.

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