Ald.+Bobby+Burns+%285th%29+leans+back+in+his+chair.+He+is+masked+and+against+a+blue+background.The budget allocates about $360 million in total expenses, up more than $60 million from last year. It will increase funding substantially from what was originally proposed to the council for Evanston’s General Fund, the city’s basic operating fund, as well as the Robert Crown Construction Fund and initiatives to pay for the city’s water, solid waste management and equipment replacement. Evanston property taxes will not increase this year.

Some councilmembers expressed concern that money from the $43 million stimulus Evanston will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act would be allocated toward police and fire pension funds. ARPA funds are a one-time funding source, so they will not be available next year.

During debate on the proposed budget, Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) moved for an amendment that would transfer all ARPA funding toward Evanston’s General Fund, but the motion failed.

Councilmembers and community members have hotly debated where to allocate ARPA funds. About 150 Evanston Township High School students walked out of school in late October, pressuring City Council to use those funds for Climate Action and Resilience Plan implementation.

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