So reads a header in today's JS by Scott Hilyard and Andy Kravetz. Actually, while the museum may be waiting on a contract that probably will release all responsibility from the City of Peoria and transfer ownership to Peoria County, it is also waiting on a funding shortfall anywhere where from $12 million upwards.
What's missing in funding? At least $6 million promised by the CEO Roundtable, $3-4 million for the underground garage, and $a minimum of $5 million for the Endowment fund promised the County,; 43 million actual and $5 assumed committed to the County before the county agreed to put the sales tax referendum on the ballot.
Now in today's paper, Peoria County States Attorney Kevin Lyons is quoted in a letter he sent to museum officials in August stating, "the project (building the museum) must comply with 'public policy and statutes'. The letter, in effect, restarted the process of creating by-laws and forming an agency that will operate the museum that WOULD BE LARGELY FINANCED WITH PUBLIC DOLLARS".
Thanks, SA Lyons, whew, it's finally out officially that the taxpayers will be stuck with more than 50% of the the $78 million needed a year ago to build the museum. Up to $40 million to be collected by the 1/4 percent sales tax that goes into effect January 1, 2010.
Does anyone think the public and the County Board were lied to when a leading political spokesperson for the museum told the county board "only 33% will be needed from the taxpayer, blah, blah, blah, etc., when 49 and 1/2 percent of the people who took interest to vote "no new taxes" knew better. We are having Tea Parties of all times to protest no new taxes and reduce the old. My wonderment is, did a lot of these well intentioned people marching vote for the museum because this community needs more "circuses"?
Now I want the big hitters to prove me wrong. Maybe tomorrow, because our County Administrator said he would be getting out the latest developments to the board this week. Or was the column in the paper today his method of informing the board he reports to. One executive in the private sector in this city owns 1,000,000,000 shares of stock in his company that is trading at $53 dollars and change on the NYSE. Another owns 336,000 or more shares of stock in a company whose shares are trading at $54 and change. Then there is a tort attorney I mean a WC attorney worth who knows how many millions, an insurance company third generation CEO and this list goes on. Will they step forward soon with their big bucks? Or are they waiting for taxpayer stimulus money to fund the missing millions to complete just the BUILDING of the museum?
Next blog - Caterpillar's official position.