Friday, November 02, 2007

Peoria Museum Funding Efforts

Museum planners originally submitted a financial plan that showed 54% of the money coming from private funds or approximately $35,000,000.00. As of early October, the media reported $24,000,000.00 raised from what I interpret as private funding. Included in that figure is $11,000,000.00 that will be or is a donation from Caterpillar. As of approximately November 19, the Museum Committee should know whether the Federal Government thru financial dispensing sources is going to contribute a chunk of the still needed $40,000,000.00.

I do not believe neither the State, Federal or Local governments are going to voluntarily make up the difference. Also, the museum will still need to meet operating expenses projected to be approximately $4,000,000.00 a year. At a possible 300,000 visitors a year and at a possible average $10.00 admission fee only adds up to 3 million dollars. Other sources of revenue including memberships and sales of merchandise would unlikely make up the missing $1 million yearly.

A cursory proposal has been made to our County Administrator which at this point I do not wish to comment as details have not been submitted to the board. I do know that the City believes they have already made their contribution valued between $5-8 million. I suggest they may not be willing to do much more but that is up to the Council.

The PBC has been mentioned as a possible vehicle to avoid a referendum. The PBC has also been mentioned as being part of a larger plan to include other sources of funding including, but not exclusively, new schools.

Along the way, there appears to be strong sentiment on the Peoria County Board to build a new 220 bed nursing home replacing the existing structure off Farmington Road. It has been mentioned that this $30,000,000.00 project funding could possibly be secured by a quarter % sales tax hike.

Anyone who knows more than I do about what is going on regarding funding for these projects is welcome to add to, refute, deny or correct any information on this post.

Where I stand personally on these issues have either been stated before or will be clarified when I have more information from respected sources.

For further details I suggest contacting the County Board Chairman, the County Administrator, the Museum Committee Chair, School District #150 or the PBC.

No way is this blog intended to accurately assess what is transpiring or that I am any type of a spokesman for the County. But I will be involved in some of these final decisions.

Keep you posted.


Martin Palmer said...

If you are my county board rep, (East Bluff) the you speak to the people you rep. What's going on at the county?

Is The Bel-Wood N.H that bad of shape? I know they need a fire sprinkler system, but to trash the whole building? How old is the NH? Will you build the new home to last as long as the current one? Will the county re-locate it elsewhere? Tear down the old buildng? Re use it? Hey, let's put the museum there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,

I'm just one of 18 on the board and the majority of the board appears to support a new $30 million dollar home. I believe we will be required by law to have a referendum unless the majority of the board asks the that administration try to involve the PBC and Bellwood is packaged in with museums and schools.

When all the facts are in I'll make my stance more public. I've asked for a survey proving the need. I've been questioning why County Government should be in the nursing home business for years. You can help by getting the community involved in this debate.

Merle Widmer said...

Again my computer wouln't let me post a comment in my name. I'm trying again

Merle Widmer said...

Again, Martin, yes I do represent everyone who lives in Peoria County, not just those who live in my district. I said I am not a spokesperson representing the County's position on any issue. I can state my own position but all 18 of us on the County Board has one vote and that vote.

For those of you who read all of my blogs, my position has been stated on all issues I write about and may change when the facts change.