The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to create the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, a way to leverage private investment for transformative infrastructure projects and guide the city's renewal of these elements in the 21st century.
"Chicago will be a city that shapes its own destiny," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Nowhere is this more important than with our critical infrastructure needs. The Chicago Infrastructure Trust will allow us to consider transformative infrastructure projects and build a world-class infrastructure for our city."
Mayor Emanuel announced the Trust on March 1, in an event in which he was joined by former President Bill Clinton.
The trust will provide advantaged financing, enabling each project to customize a financing structure using taxable or tax-exempt debt, equity investments and other forms of support. Each project will be coordinated with the city and its sister agencies' long-term plan for transformational infrastructure investments.
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust was created with the private sector, non-profit organizations and union leaders. An amended ordinance was submitted this week, which calls for one Alderman to be on the trust's board and clarifies that the trust will be completely subject to FOIA, Open Meetings laws and the city's ethics ordinance.
The trust will require City Council approval for all projects and will operate as a non-profit organization as it seeks projects.
The trust passed by a vote of 41-7.