Proposed Infrastructure Improvement Fund for Unincorporated Cook County
In an April 2012 report, the Cook County Unincorporated Task Force recommended that municipalities be encouraged to annex small, unincorporated parcels of land. However, many of these areas require infrastructure updates that some municipalities are reluctant to take on. To encourage municipalities to annex these unincorporated parcels, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle proposed a new $5 million Unincorporated Cook Infrastructure Improvement Fund (UCIIF) in her 2013 Budget Address. Through the initiative, municipalities could apply for matching grants to help complete important infrastructure improvements in areas they agree to annex. CMAP supports efforts like the UCIIF that enhance the efficiency of public service provision. Public hearings on the proposed budget will be held between October 25 and November 27.
In early 2012, the Cook County Unincorporated Task Force began work on how to best-address the County's unincorporated areas. The Task Force included leaders from CMAP, the Civic Federation, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. Cook County has 62 square miles of unincorporated land spread out over the entire county (945 square miles). These areas account for 6.5 percent of the county's area and just 2 percent of its population. Service provision to these parcels, like building inspections and police patrols, can be costly and inefficient.