Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Peoria's Peoria Riverfront Museum - More Tall Tales??
Memory Lane or the saga of tall tales? Do you remember when the first efforts were made to bring a Lakeview Children's Museum downtown with plans to open in 2003? (JS, 1/4/2002) WTVP offered 5,000 sq. ft. of first floor space. Instead, grant funds the Junior League and WTVP were seeking went to Chicago and that lack of tax dollars was blamed for the failure to proceed. Also, Jim Richerson of Lakeview, blamed the postponement on "very much a matter of timing"
Slow or fast forward to the day the when the Peoria County Board was approached (as a last resort)) after the collaboration team learned that the County was only planning to contribute $600,000.00 towards a projected new downtown REGIONAL museum costing only $65 million that INCLUDED the now 80,000 sq. ft. museum building, equipment, exhibits, management fees, a $4 million Reserve and Contingency Fund and $8 million for an Endowment Fund or a total cost of the ENTIRE project of $65 million.
These figures were presented to the County Financial Committee in a document titled. " A Cultural Campus For the Heartland", a museum project update to the Peoria County Board".
According to this document in the hands of the full County Board, stated that of this $65 million, only $30 million was to come from the taxpayer. Today, the taxpayer is funding $41.6 million through a 20 year sales tax, the city contributed your land and other enticements totaling as much as $18 million according to an email sent to me from ex-City Manger, Scott Moore, before he "departed".. Counting more of your money contributed by other governmental bodies, a total of $70+ million of taxpayer dollars will go into this now $90 million , 80,000 sq. ft. museum building and parking lot complex.
I blogged that almost $13 million was spent before a spade of ground was turned and the land and demolition of the Sears Building was donated by you and Caterpillar.
It appears from newspaper articles that more funds are still needed from the public, including a recent plea from the PRM for more money to fund a now $10 million Endowment Fund. (JS, 1/31//12...
No IMAX, the public later learned but an "unnamed" giant screen theatre"3/27/12, JS). If it is the Global Immersion screen the committee originally said it would be, why aren't they calling it by name??
Good question. I suspect no contract with this or any large screen company has been signed. If so, why not give it a name as Cat is doing by naming the walkway between the old Pere and the Civic Center in honor of their contribution of over $1 million for the hotels renovation and . construction.
On 5/3/12, the JS announced that the Caterpillar Visitor Center, originally said by Caterpillar to be a $51 million project is now a $37 million project. Cat had originally informed the board that economics would force it to cut the building cost to $41 million and now with Cat stock down this morning 19% since February, the Center is now to be a $37 million.
Now we will see if the 15% discount on gallery tickets to Peoria residents will be honored..(Brad McMillan, then Chairman of the Friendsw of Build the Block (3/7/09, JSEB Spotlight)
Stay tuned here to get the latest news made available by the media and the non-transparent PRM Committee.