Sunday, March 08, 2009

Peoria Museum - Public Funding

On 1/29/09, JS reporter, Karen McDonald wrote quoting Peoria County Board member Tim Riggenbach, now candidate for the City Council, as saying "I wanted to make sure people know exactly what the county is willing to stake (just) $40,000,000.00. We (note the WE) are not building a Taj Mahal, but a very functional museum".

Tim is the Count Board "cheerleader" for the museum tax despite admitting to me he only visits the Lakeview Museum once a year.

Ms. McDonald also wrote, "about $35,000,000.00, (sorry Ms. McDonald, if you are going to ever be a good reporter, the figure is $40 million as you quoted Mr. Riggenbach) in public money is needed to make the project happen". She left out a key word, mistakes reporters often do and that key word is "additional public money". She should know that the city has already committed $14,000,000.00, the Federal Government, State and Local governments have already contributed well over $6,000,000. That adds up to $60,000,000.00 that taxpayer dollars have or will contribute toward the total cost of a well publicized figure of $78,000,000.00.

A couple of weeks ago, Brad McMillan, now Fund Raising Chairman for the museum told the County Board that public support would be about %33. Guess his acquaintance with numbers wasn't needed to qualify him for a seat on the State Ethical Board.

Tim, the County Administrator and two other board members are in Washington, D.C., March 7-11 on county business. I wonder how many people Tazewell and Woodford sent at tax payers expense. Among people County Adminstrator and his entourage will be visting is Aaron Schock. Oh, that right, the museum underground garage (9 million and counting) hasn't been totally funded yet and there are now new "stimulus funds" available that don't have to be committed for a year or so.

And Aaron is only returning to Peoria a couple times soon to speak at Republican Dinners. His office said they "did not know his schedule". Probably concerned about terrorists finding out.



Anonymous said...

I guess my problem with the museum is that an upside/downside analysis doesn't seem to be on anybody's agenda. In other words, what's the real cost of building a museum (figured over at least 20 years) versus the loss of not building it? If it is not built, the loss is minimal since the property still exists and retains its status as a potential development. The "loss" of temporary construction jobs is merely deferred, not lost as it will eventually be developed. An important issue is whether the museum, if built, can truly be self-supporting, i.e., can it generate enough cash to pay the bonds and pay the ongoing operating costs (the latter of which I've seen very little about). I don't think anyone wants to see another Civic Center; it still relies on HRA taxes and there appears to be no chance in the foreseeable future that it ever will be self-supporting. I don't see a museum here being a regional draw: I've been to the IMAX theater/museum in the Quad Cities exactly once in 18 years. Why would people from Chicago, St. Louis, NYC, LA, KC, Des Moines, or even Indianapolis come to see a museum in Peoria IL? The IL river? Caterpillar? They can go to any construction site and see Cat machines at work. I'm sorry, Peoria is NOT a visiting destination. It is, however, a reasonably good place to live and raise a family but saddling the area with another white elephant makes it less attractive to future families, not more so. Especially in these challenging economic times.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

when on tv to ram the musuem down the public's throat the leader practiced the sales tricks min the cost, but remember the city said we got ownt he water company it only 5 billion dollars, and we did not blow every cent for next ten future generations and where not so bad off. There's a public school funding problem, who cares about that. No one wants to go downtown everyone want to give you a ticket for something, like jay walking, stalk everyone downtown.

Why not save our money and get a new employer in peoria instead of pissing away other people money.

Caterpillar will still be here, that just an excuse. I can not get job in peoria, so how do you come to conclusion I got more money for taxes.

why hire some peoria workers, so they just stand around on the roads doing nothin like the day the were in front of commerce bank. That makes the city feel good have a bloated payroll of useless people.

Anonymous said...

Senator Kohler is pushing this projact.He is one and the same that shoved the airport tax down our throats with not even a reforindom. There is no such thing as a temporary tax. The airport tax is permenent, the 50% state income tax increase will be perminent and the museum tax WILL be either renegotiated and or expanded! BLOCK THE BLOCK!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Block the Block??
I like that... block the Block..