CHICAGO - Chicago Friday banked $1.15 billion when it closed on a 75-year lease of its parking meter system - the latest in a series of private concession deals involving city assets undertaken over the last four years.

The city will use about half the funds to prop up the general fund and help the city weather the recession over the next four budget years. The remaining proceeds from the first-of-its-kind lease of a parking meter system will go to bolster existing reserves and to support human services programs.

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