Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Uplift Gets UpTIFted

After a long wait for permits to be obtained, we are finally seeing the results of former Alderman Cappleman's work to utilize expiring TIF money to improve the neighborhood.

Uplift High School on Wilson is getting an extensive rehab of the front of the school courtesy of money from the Wilson Yard TIF. The TIF money was set to be lost if not used, so Alderman Cappleman was able to direct the funds to the project just prior to leaving office. 

Expect the beautification efforts to include new fencing, benches, and replacement of concrete and landscaping. 

We invite our readers to contrast this use of public funds to beautify the community to the way the Clark Street TIF was handled by Alders Clay and Martin late last year. 

In that debacle, over $10,000,000 in Clark Street TIF funding was squandered when it went unused by the end of 2023, allegedly because there were 'no projects available.' 

We (and readers who emailed at the time) thought of numerous ways that money could have been invested in improving Uptown -- neighborhood beautification, investment in Chase Park's fieldhouse and pool, pedestrian and bike safety improvements, and more. 

Maybe next time now that the Clark Street TIF lives on until 2035!


  1. TIF districts expiring places the money instead (none was "lost") in the general fund, where (you can look this up) it can still be spent on police settlements, tearing out landscaping to replace it with other landscaping, or whatever the fifty nifty united alders would like to use it on.

    1. Illinois State Law places requirements on the distribution of the unused TIF funds when they expire. I believe around 50% of the leftover funds go to CPS, around 25% go to Chicago, and the remaining amount goes to other sister agencies, such as the Park District, Forestry Preserves, etc.