From a high of almost $117 per share in the past 52 months, Cat closed at $82+ today. Not helping the stock price was Oberhelman interview on CNBC last week about how Cat has expanded it's presense in Illinois, a state $14 billion in the hole that is growing deeper. Then on Tuesday, a Cat spokesman reaffirmed that Cat plans to expand in downtown Peoria to go along with all the good things happening downtown. Like the ballpark that can't even find a company to put their name on the stadium (The "O'Brien" name is there by default), the club lost $463,944 in 2006, $438,032 in 2007, $463,944 in 2008, $676,417 in 2009, $848,053 in 2010 and an unknown amount in 2011 as the club has not yet called their annual meeting ususally held in April.
Negative working capital was an astounding negative $5.6 million in 2010. All this information was headlines of the JS on 12/22/11.
Then there is the downtown PPD RiverPlex that has not been able to meet the principal and interest on the money the PPD borrowed in 2001. According to one board member, $800,000 was set aside for losess last year and another $800,000 was set adide for the new expanded zoo loss.
Also downtown is the Civic Center with an audit showing a draw of 30% when it should be nearer 70%, the Gateway Center costing the taxpayer around $500,000 a year, the abandoned Cub Food building owned by the city alpong with the ;loan payments, The Peoria Riverfront Musem that mysteriouly came up with $9 million in the Endowment fund, jumping from $2+ million as of 12/31/10 without any fanfare of a major philanthropist stepping forward
Then there is the Marriott (maybe it will be built) financed by the taxpayer backing a $37 million loan to the investor, around $11 million to fianance the relocation of an "ass and tit" club. Need I go on??
Oh, yes, Cat management stuck it's stockholders with an orginally promised $51 million new Visitors Center, now scaled back to $37 million with an approximate tag of $2 million to operat that may include property taxes.
Yes, downtown is booming if this is what the "movers and shakers" call "World Class" city.
I call it a lot of debt when you throw in the $32 million borrowed for the libraries and $90+ million borrowed by Peoria Public School District #150.
I will add that the City is going to have a growing deficit as is likely the County, a minus $1.2 milliion at last report. The garbage tax is only closing a part of the unfunded gap for the city.
And now we have ObamaCare and a probably too weak Republican Presidential Candidate.
I speculate that the reason the union contract was settled with Cat in Peoria so quickly was the promise of more building in East Peoria, a somewhat promise of a remake of the headquarters (more union jobs), a tax break of some kind from Illinois Governor Quinn and a bunch of money (and more union jobs) from East Peoria elected officials, possibly unkown to most of the residents.
Then of course, there is our crumbling streets and sidewalks, where there are some missing (Ellis Street,, as an example) and too many unused sidewalks built in other places like the one on Nortmoor along the golf course. Ever see anyone using it or the one next to the historic preservation l;and east of Knoxville on Glen Oak.
Guess I also overlooked rising pensions that can only be funded by more taxes because once politicians give something it's damn hard to take back.
And former City Public Works Director tells me he has his house up for sale and is moving out. Then there are the problems with the Convention and Vistors Bureau, hundreds of home forclosures, more empty commercial space than I have ever seen in Peoria County, lots of homicides, drugs for kids and adults avalable for the asking and more sexual disease per capita than any city in Illinois.
Anyone want to correct any errors I made? Oh yes, what ever happened to the "more than $10 million" Dave Ransburg was going to raise for the musuem and is the musem really funded? And did the jump in the endowment come from the 1/4% sales tax collected by the county and given to the musuem people to "use wherever it was needed"?. (Approximately $5+ million)
Oh yes, and where is the money coming from to finish Kellar Trail where I see hundreds of bikers and jogger, sorry I meant 10's of users. And the unfunded Children's Playhouse and the remodeling of Lakeview Museum to accomadate Bonnie and crew?
How about the millions the city and county poured into FireFly that didn't raise enough private money to fly or maybe flee is a better word. Anybody that thought they were somebody said FireFly could not and would not fail. Leading cheerleader? - Dave Leitch.
It did like so many other like the dowtown One Technology Center.
What ever happened to the planned redoing of the cities sewer system estimated to be between $100-300 million or are we still dumping raw sewage in the river to feed the Asian carp? Plus the city dump may be looking for a private buyer as costs are exceeding revenue same as what is happening at BelWood (soon to be named Heading Oaks picked by a $70,000 Florida consulting firm recommended by Republican Mary Ardapple when we have a surplus of consultants right here in the area.
Another good question why do we need a consulting firm to advise the county on advertisng the new County Nursing Home when it is susposed to be a "safety net" for the poor? Because the poor are not smart enough to find the home????
I would keep listing more of the visions of our gentry but dinner calls. Mus spell-check is not working so I hope I haven't made too many grammatical errors.
Oh, yes, dinner, and my wife is a great cook..