One amenity that the 835 Chicago Ave. development in Evanston won’t be able to boast of at its groundbreaking later this morning is gigabit speed internet service.

In January 2013 then Gov. Pat Quinn showed up at the library branch across the street to announce a $1 million state grant to provide ultra-high-speed internet service for what city officials hoped would become an “innovation corridor” along Chicago Avenue near the Main Street intersection.

Well, after various delays in getting the project launched, new Gov. Bruce Rauner cancelled the grant earlier this year and city officials — who’d already received the money — now will have to return it.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says that means the gigabit project won’t be happening. He adds that so far that’s the only state grant to the city that the new governor has cancelled.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the nine-story building with a mix of appartments, office and retail space is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. $7 trillion deficit
    It’s high time Illinois and the Nation stop spending money they don’t have.

    1. Why the Grant was even necessary

      The US is behind many countries in the world for the internet speed and cost—most have much faster speeds and lower costs.

      NY Times 10/13/14 "Downloading a high-definition movie takes about seven seconds in Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Bucharest and Paris, and people pay as little as $30 a month for that connection. In Los Angeles, New York and Washington, downloading the same movie takes 1.4 minutes for people with the fastest Internet available, and they pay $300 a month for the privilege, according to The Cost of Connectivity, a report published Thursday by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute."

      You can check the details online but if not for the lack of competion in the US.  Some small communities that have not limited competition, can match the speed of large cities abroad.

      But for this, the Grant or at least the size would not be as big [expensive] or controversial [effect on state budget] or cost to Evanston/companies.

      1. Our bystander in chief (BHO)
        Our bystander in chief (BHO) has been working overtime to take the USA down a notch. Success Barry! If only those trillions were going to a good use instead of lining the pockets of crooked politicians and their cronies.

          1. I am sure that Schock, is in

            I am sure that Schock, is in with the same group as Madigan, Dodd, Frank, Blagojevich, Thompson, Kerner, Ryan, Walker, and many others. Schock, Thompson, Dodd, and Madigan haven't gone to jail but they should have.

            Quinn was only a little dishonest and tried to buy elections with taxpayer dollars. Not enough to go to jail. Jan would have gone to jail but her husband took the fall for her.

            Crooked Pols appear to be everywhere, especially in Illinois

  2. Facing Reality in Illinois
    This is of course a natural consequence of our leaders kicking the can down the road for so many years.

    The question we might ask our community is, Is there a Foundation, a company or a individual that would want to sponsor this? Or, is a grant available from another entity… This is a very good idea as we struggle to put our Internet technology (that America invented) on par with other countries that we compete with on the world stage.

    Respectfully, Brian G. Becharas

  3. Divvy bike Grant Safe?

    Wonder if the Governor will include the Grants Quinn gave to install Divvy Bikes in Evanston and OakPark?

    1. It is my understanding that

      It is my understanding that every city that has installed the Divvy system has had to use substancial taxpayer dollars to fund it but that is the Evanstan way.

      Quinn had a very good track record as a community organizer but for some reason community organizers do not perform well as political leaders in the USA.


  4. Where does the money come from anyway ?

    City officials, groups and individuals fault the government or anyone else who tries to cut un-necessary items and balance the budget.

    But where does grants, gifts, etc. from State or Federal sources come from ?  TAXES.

    The more sent to Springfield or Washington, the less taxpayers have in their pocket–of course Springfield and Washington will take their 'cut' and fund special projects they help them get re-elected, before sending anything back to the States or cities.

    If Federal/States were cut and Springfield/Washington got less, Evanston could raise taxes and accomplish what they think is necessary.  The funding/expenditure would be more obvious for Evanston taxpayers to see and judge whether those are really proper uses and the administration was making good choices.

    Instead we are led to believe it comes "free" from a Money Tree or we are getting the 'extra' Kenillworth or Winettka pays in taxes–instead of Chicago or Harvey. Since the Council and many resident believe Evanston is "well above average] in business, income,etc", it is the "extra" taxes in Evanston that is going to Chicago, Harvey or a large number of "poorer" communities.

    If people think government in Springfield or Washington does better than Evanston government, then keep wanting taxes sent to them to distribute but then that implies we have less wise local government and I guess we should get them out of office and off the payroll, 

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