NATO summit count-off: How much will the May summit really cost the city?

There have been a lot of numbers thrown out about the coming NATO summit--tens of millions in expected costs to the city while thousands of delegates, journalists and protesters are expected to converge on the city.

Though the G8 summit will no longer figure in these calculations since it was moved to Camp David, Md., hosting NATO is still expected to cost Chicago a pretty penny.

Chicago was expected to spend $40 million to $65 million to host the NATO and G-8 summits, but the city has said federal reimbursements and private donations will ultimately prevent local taxpayers from getting stuck with the bill, according to the Chicago Tribune. No figures are currently available as an estimate for the cost of hosting only the NATO summit.

How much has been raised so far is currently unknown--World Business Chicago, the nonprofit tasked with fundraising for the summit, has not released a dollar amount. But according to the Chicago Reader's Ben Javorsky and Mick Dumke, Chicago has yet to receive any federal money that will offset the cost of security, transport and entertainment for the summit.

Meanwhile, Chicago's first set of mental health clinic closings will start less than a month before NATO comes to Chicago. The rationale for these cuts, which community groups have said will be devastating to already stretched communities, was the $635.7 million budget deficit.

Labor and community groups are calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to match all the summit costs with an investment into communities in Chicago, through the proposal of a G8/NATO Community Fund. The proposal was made before the decision to move the G8 summit was announced.

On this blog, we'll be following the costs of the NATO summit as information is released, and keeping a running tally. If there are any expenditures we missed, you can comment below or send an email to

There isn't much information out yet, but here's what we know so far:

$193,461--the cost of an emergency contract with a Colorado-based company for 3,057 face shield, reported the Chicago Sun-Times

Total as of March 12, 2012: $193,461

Here are some other numbers related to the summit that might be of interest:

$1 million--the required insurance for groups to take out if they plan to organize a parade or protest downtown, unless they are able to convince officials of the actions relevance to the First Amendment

$250,000--the maximum cost of emergency contracts that the Chicago Police Department is allowed to sign for the coming summit

$40 million--the amount of money private donors have already given to help pay for the cost of the NATO summit

While the city is spending tens of millions on the NATO summit, it hasn't been so generous with other services in the city of Chicago. Below are some numbers around the cuts in services occasioned by the new city budget:

$8 million--the cost of cuts in the library budget passed under Emanuel's new budget

17.7 percent--of Emanuel's total budget cuts, 17.7 percent was from areas under the community services heading, which The Chicago Reporter noted, is made primarily of services for the poor

385-- the number of people that lost their job on January 1, as part of the planned cuts in public sector jobs under the new city budget

© Community Renewal Society 2012

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