Last evening WMBD TV featured Peoria County Administrator, Patrick Urich, on the status of the PRM. The information presented was the same information presented to the Facilities Committee Tuesday. As a member of this committee I questioned some of the content of the 6 page document presented to us and found much in the report wanting for factual information.
First WMBD said the sewer cost was $1 million when we it is actually estimated at 50%higher cost. It was proposed to the committee that bids be sought and the "proposed funding for this work would be half by the Museum Group and half by the County. Museum Group funding must be received by the County prior to accepting alternate?? bid." In an email received by the Peoria City Manager, Peoria City's contribution to the overall project is approximately $18.5 million. Mr. Urich also indicated that any fund raising shortages such as the endowment shortage would be covered by the utility tax, a reversal from the Museum Groups long time position that the endowment would be "privately funded". The endowment would also be considerably less that projected by the County Financial Officer and PRM committee one time spokesperson, banker Doug Stewart.
It is not hard to figure, this museum is going to be built, funded actually or not, ($11+ million is counted on in the form of pledges) and pledges are just that, pledges, easily broken as so many have already been broken on this possible "white elephant" on the riverfront.
The PRM Committee has already made so many mis-statements and so many inconclusive documents, (I have a complete file) that it is difficult to know the true facts. One is obvious. This project has gone from 66% private funding to 66% taxpayer funded.
Scheduled opening date of the museum is September 2012. No word on the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Mark your calendars but don't hold your breath until you get the bills.