Gov. Pat Quinn will announce a major grant to expand technology in the city of Evanston during a press conference tomorrow morning.
In partnership with Northwestern University, the city was a winner of the statewide Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge, a competition for up to $4 million in state funding for creation of high-speed broadband networks, according to city spokesperson Eric Palmer.
Quinn is scheduled to appear to announce the grant at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, at 900 Chicago Ave. State Rep. Robyn Gabel and Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, will also be in attendance, among other community leaders.
The money will go to develop a high-speed broadband network along the Chicago Avenue corridor, Palmer said. City staff have recently proposed creating a tax-increment financing district designed to spur business at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Main Street, with a portion of that district stretching along Chicago Avenue from Dempster to Oakton streets. Aldermen are expected to vote on the proposed TIF district in the next few weeks.
So far, two other gigabit grants have been announced. The governor awarded $1 million to a pilot program in the city of Aurora, designed to connect schools, healthcare institutions and businesses in underserved areas. A second, $2 million grant went to several south side Chicago communities near the University of Chicago.