Friday, March 9, 2012

Mayor Emmanuel Announces Chicago Infrastructure Trust

With the think tank promoted concept of revenue stream repayment to private investors in government infrastructure construction projects languishing in legislative limbo in Washington DC and Springfield, Chicago’s newly elected Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has stuck out his neck with the announcement of formation of a Chicago Infrastructure Trust to attract private funding for city building energy retrofits, a rapid ride bus system, and extension of the southern end of the CTA red line light rail service.  Local officials of Citibank and JP Morgan Asset Management have expressed “preliminary non-binding interest” in ivesting in the Trust.

Emmanuel made the announcement in a speech to Carpenter Union trainees at an appresticeship shop March 1, 2012. Acknowledging the ongoing declines in federal and state funding for infrastructure construction, Emmanuel told the aspiring union carpenters “Our needs are growing. I can either look at that challenge, and stare at it hoping it gets better, or do something about it.” Whether the “non-binding interest” by private investors will materialze into real dollars invested remains to be seen.

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