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State and federal grants received by the City of Evanston more than doubled over the past five years, compared to the previous half decade.

But the vast majority of the increase was accounted for by a single grant that now has been spent.

A report, prepared by city staff for tonight’s Human Services Committee meeting, says that grant funding from 2009 through 2013 totaled $46.8 million, compared to $22.2 million between 2004 and 2008.

But the report attributes $20,9 million of the increase to the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant received after the housing market collapse that paid to rehabilitate scores of abandoned or foreclosed homes and partially funded construction of the 32-unit Emerson Square subsidized rental housing development.

Excluding that one-time grant, aid to the city from the state and federal governments increased by just under 17 percent in the past five years.

Nearly 60 percent of the grants were received by the city’s Community Development Department with much smaller amounts assigned to various other city departments, the general fund and the capital improvement program.

On average over the past five years, the grants have amounted to less than four percent of total city spending.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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