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Nuts & Bolts: The Three-Year Infrastructure Plan

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Just like we said he would, Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier today announced a $7.3 billion infrastructure plan for Chicago. A public-private 'infrastructure trust' is at the core of the plan, which depends on public dollars catalyzing private ones. The Mayor has a flair for repackaging and bundling projects and budgets already on the table— we're calling it "Building a New Chicago" now. Much of the water, sewer, parks, schools and CTA projects have been announced before, as has the intent to build a fourth runway at O'Hare, reminds Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times. The Mayor's plan calls for a timely start to that $1.17M component, which would ideally wrap in 2015. As for the validity of the overall plan and its impact on taxpayers, Emanuel had this to say: "Some of our investments will be funded through reforms, some through efficiencies, some through cuts in our central offices, some through direct user fees and some from our Infrastructure Trust. But, all of it is secured." He added property and sales taxes would be unaffected. Hope you like user fees! [Sun-Times, previously]