Chicago aldermen to debate funding for infrastructure projects

April 16, 2012

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Chicago aldermen are scheduled to debate a new program Monday to fund major infrastructure projects. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been touting what's called the Chicago Infrastructure Trust for the past few weeks. It's a $7 billion way to pay for a wish list of ideas: repaved streets, new water pipes, and even a new runway at O'Hare Airport.

Chipping in to finance some of those projects: private investment companies.

Ahead of Monday's Finance Committee hearing, some aldermen, like Scott Waguespack, have questioned what those investors will get back in return. He's skeptical of the proposed ordinance.

“It doesn't drill down to the transparency issues,” Waguespack said. “It doesn't drill down into who's on the hook and what liability there is for the taxpayer, not only for this generation but for the next few.”

One of those private investors is Ullico Investment Advisors. A company spokeswoman wouldn't say how much Ullico might invest in the Trust, but she said these types of investments are appealing because they are low risk.