Declaring that "planning for capital improvements must be a comprehensive and forward-looking process," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that city agencies will recommend projects on which they would like to see aldermen spend their yearly infrastructure allowances. The status quo is that each of the city's 50 aldermen can spend $1.32 million a year on projects of their choice, such as new street lighting and, of course, pothole repairs.
With the latest announcement, the city will now share with aldermen a list of projects from city agencies, like the Department of Water Management and Chicago Department of Transportation, that officials at City Hall have prioritized.
Aldermen will not be compelled to follow the city's recommendations. However, they must submit 80 percent of their infrastructure funds by June 30 each year. And, unlike before, unspent infrastructure money won't carry over into the next year.