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Mayor upbeat about state of the city

Despite having to slash city spending to deal with a $9.5 million budget shortfall, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl offered a generally upbeat assessment during her state of the city address this afternoon.

The mayor said the city has managed to deal with snow this season without busting its salt budget, has installed new equipment to prevent the water plant intake pipe from freezing over and is in talks to generate more revenue by expanding the city water service to additional communities.

She also said that, with the appointment of a new president at Northwestern University, 2009 marked the start of a new era of good relations between the school at the city.

The mayor, speaking at the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored session at the Hotel Orrington, also praised employees in the city’s Community Development Department who put together the grant application that led to Evanston receiving a $18 million federal grant to rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned properties in two census tracts.

And while she voiced concerns about the possibility of further strains on the city budget, she praised the new businesses that have opened despite the recession and the continuing new construction at the Mather Lifeways development at Davis Street and Hinman Avenue.

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