In Sunday's JS,. veteran show biz reporter Steve Tarter continued to spread his myth about the cost of the "boondoogle on the riverfront", the PRM. Steve continues to write the cost of the museum to be $40 million when the actual cost of the museum project, not including the Caterpillar Visitors Center was last reported to be $97 million.
Overall, taxpayers contributed $41.6 million or more through the 1/4 cent sales tax. Plus interest on the 20 year bonds as all the money from this facility sales tax has gone to the PRM construction. Overlooked by Tarter is the value of the land donated by the City of Peoria, estimated value from $12-18 million. Plus the money raised by Ray LaHood of federal funds, taxpayer cost, of around $6 million to help finance the underground garage, Grants from NASA, taxpayer cost, a Labor-Employment training grant of $95,000, courtesy of the feds through LaHood, Sewer, street alignment, etc. paid by the city, well over $1 million, courtesy of the taxpayers, ISHA donation, cost to the taxpayers who support ISHA, planing, architects, consultants, trips totaling over $10 million dollars BEFORE a spade of earth was turned, etc, total up to over $72 million cost to taxpayers while the touted private contributors in the end, contributed about one third the cost (they originally promised to pay 2/3rds of the $97 million dollar museum) that drew 145,000 visitors well off the projected 240,000 visitors per year touted frequently by the JSEB, JS Reporters Scott Hillyard and Steve Tarter.
Only Phil Luciano of the JS got it right in his columns, plus myself, C..J. Summers, Karrie Alms and 15,000 no voters.
Again, in Sunday's JS, Tarter continued the myth of projected attendance of 180,000, a reduced offered by departed PRM Administrator, Jim Richeson when he quickly saw that those of us that studied the facts, were right and he an many Peoria elites, were wrong.
The museum will lose over $2 million a year, the business community will NOT get the $16 million a year in new business, all of which I projected in my 20 plus researched blogs covering this boondoogle on the riverfront.
And Peoria County taxpayers are stuck with owning the entire musuem building.
Better an empty hole as the JSEB folks stated? No, a green park, tree and benches, outdoor ice skating rink, an aquarium, etc. Millions of dollars that could have gone for far more worthy causes to make Peoria really earn the status of an All-American city.
So sad and an ugly edifice to-boot. And a museum with an imitation IMAX; an IMAX that was guaranteed to be in the museum is instead a privately owned venture out on the Northwest corner of Peoria.