Chicago currently has free wireless hotspots around the city, including all Chicago Public Libraries and selected government buildings. But this is not sufficient to spur economic development in the area or to give opportunities to disadvantaged neighborhoods. Therefore the city is working towards a plan to deliver city-wide Wi-Fi which will give all Chicagoans affordable access to the Internet.
A Special Service Area or SSA is an economic development funding tool used to augment services in commercial districts. SSA’s funds are managed locally by a group of commissioners who either live or work or both in the designated commercial district boundaries. There are two SSAs within the boundaries of the ward, Westtown SSA or SSA #29 and the Bucktown/WickerPark SSA or SSA #33. There are over 30 SSA’s within the City of Chicago.
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Tax Increment Financing or TIFs is typically used to assist in capital improvements and the redevelopment of blighted or disinvested areas in municipalities. This strategic tool allows a certain percentage of tax revenue to be placed in a fund over a period of several years. In this way, a locally controlled fund of capital is established in area without raising the property taxes of residents or business owners. TIF funds aid in job expansion through job retention and training programs and fund capital improvement projects such as schools, affordable housing, and commercial ventures.