Monday, August 30, 2010

Peoria Riverfront Museum - Why the "Block the Bonds" Petition

You will get, "Why the petition" explanation, support and questions on C.J.Summers blog, the Peoria Chronicle.

More information at Call for more information from any of the 5 of us.

It was fairly well described on Saturdays Journal Star front page and in the wording on the petition.

Basically, the rules were changed without voter input. Here's some history. The museum group turned to the county as a last resort for raising the funds needed to complete the then $68 million, now $92+,million, museum. Originally, the request was for $24 million as I've previously blogged. Then, after being told that the taxpayer would be responsible for only 1/3 of the museum cost, the request from the taxpayer rose to $34.3 million and after the 1/4 cent sales tax facility referendum had passed, capped at $40 million by County Board vote. Or a projected $72-80 million over the 20year tax collection period.

Now the rules have changed. General Obligation Bonds now presented by the county means that the burden of failure shifts from the bondholder to the taxpayer. Also, more taxpayer dollars than the $40+ cap om museum funding can be used to the fund the museum. Already $0.6 million over the County approved Resolution cap.

The wording now read "General Obligation Bonds" which would allow, that if the museum needs more money, the County can give them more than the originally agreed on $35+, then $40 million. And now $40.6 million.

A request to Peoria County,(in writing) was made by the museum committee for the extra $5+ million to help fund the badly underfunded Endowment Fund. Taxpayers will now largely fund the Endowment, a measure intended to be funded by the private wealthy sector.

The changing of the wording done this month, is because the county can get a better interest rate on the bonds through the government. The government, already in debt so large, few can comprehend, will pick up the difference of a lower interest rate to the County, permitting the bondholders to make the profit while now placing the risk on the taxpayer.

Then there probably won't be an IMAX, a big name draw. That was definitely promised from Woith, Richerson and dozens of others; before the referendum and after. I have all kinds of documentation.

Minor things, not worth the JS ink are: 1. The PRM Group has already spent $13,400,000 and Peoria County, $555,000, without a shovel of dirt turned. $1.2 million in pledges are doubtful through 2009 and $19 million of pledges are still OUTSTANDING.

Also, no provision of cost of the temperature controlled vault now at Lakeview with no vault at the new PRM. Underground parking is also not a favorite of the older crowd.

Feel free to correct me by comment or email if one find errors in this blog.

1 comment:

Miles@ Bridge Loans Los Angeles said...

I'm a little confused because shouldn't voter input be, at the very least, considered before this petition is passed?