The City of Evanston is in financial crisis.
On top of a spike in foreclosures and a lull in commercial development, symptoms of the nationwide economic decline, the city faces a $140 million shortfall in the police and fire pension funds.
City officials recognized the severity of the problem in 2006, when the city reviewed its estimates regarding the pension plans. Last winter, the Evanston City Council raised its portion of the property tax by about 7 percent and transferred $2 million from the city's General Fund to begin chipping away at the deficit.
The aldermen will begin working on the 2009-2010 budget in January, after interim City Manager Rolanda Russell releases her proposal."