Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro announced today how the university’s first $1 million donation to the Good Neighbor Fund between the two entities will be allocated.

This is the first of five annual $1 million donations from Northwestern to the city. According to the terms of the grant, announced in March of this year, the proceeds will be spent on projects and services agreed to jointly by Tisdahl and Schapiro.

Following a meeting between the two last month, they agreed to the following allocation:

$500,000: Sheridan Road improvement project. This project will continue into 2016 and be fully completed in 2017.

$200,000: Support for Evanston Fire Department paramedics. This allocation represents one full-time ambulance company serving the community.

$100,000: Support for the City’s Youth and Young Adult Division. This allocation will cover the salary of one of the four existing full-time outreach workers and allow the city to add an additional full-time outreach worker.

$150,000: Support for at-risk youth job training programs, with $50,000 to support programs covered by existing funding, and $100,000 devoted to new job training programs.

$50,000: Support the Mayor’s fund to assist families impacted by violent crime.


In making the announcement, the two issued the following statements:

From Mayor Tisdahl:  “The Good Neighbor Fund’s allocation for year one is being directed towards projects that will help Evanston reach its goal of becoming the most livable city. Northwestern is a great university and its presence strengthens our community. I thank President Schapiro for the Good Neighbor policy and look forward to seeing positive outcomes from this generous donation.”

From President Schapiro: “One of Northwestern’s greatest assets is its location in Evanston, and we are so pleased to offer our assistance as part of our contribution to Evanston’s Good Neighbor Fund. We look forward to working together and providing additional support to the city on important Evanston projects and initiatives in the future.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. I hope NU administers this

    If NU handles all the money and grants, this may hold promise.

    If the city government handles it, you might as well pour the money down the drain.

  2. Payment in lieu of taxes
    Given the long history of troubled town-gown relations, both the Mayor and President should be commended for this agreement.

  3. $200K for paramedics?

    Just wondering where this figure came from… "This allocation represents one full-time ambulance company serving the community." One ambulance requires 2 paramedics, and each paramedic works for 24-hours every 3rd day on shift. That's 6 paramedics divided by $200K equals $33,333.33 salary per medic. (BTW, CoE website lists base salary for Firefighter/Paramedics as starting at $53,506.) That's even before you start adding costs of maintenance, fuel, medical supplies to stock the ambulance, pay for state-required licencing and continuing education for those medics, etc. Finally (not to look a gift-horse in the mouth) how and where does that $200K get distributed? Does it get dumped into the city's general fund? Does it get plugged directly into filling some of the fire pension deficit? Again, thanks for stepping up, NU and at least considering paying some of your fair share, but if you're really paying for a full-time ambulance, the bill is closer to $320K.

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