Former Peoria Mayor Grieves claims a large responsibility for the building of the RiverPlex on the Illinois riverfront. Here again are the facts: (see my many old blogs on this subject)
The RiverPlex, often called the RiverWreck or WreckPlex, was supposed to accommodate 18,000+ members. It has missed this target for almost 15 years.
The RiverPlex was supposed to have paid of it's loan in 10 years. It is now almost 15 years and the loan has never been paid in full to my knowledge. (Based on an article by a JS reporter)
The non-taxpaying-tax collecting RiverPlex hurt the existing clubs by originally undercutting pricing while the other clubs have paid millions of dollars in property taxes; the deficit passed on to property tax payers.
The RiverPlex takes up valuable land and pays no taxes. The City of Peoria under Grieves leadership (Grieves does not live in Peoria County) basically donated this land worth millions of dollars to the Peoria Park District, a district in such bad financial shape that they were forced to close a popular golf course, could not build the sports complex promised either at Peoria Stadium or land that was to be part of a trade with Bradley university in exchange for what is now called Shea Stadium. The PPD lacks erosion control on much of the 9000 acres it owns.(See a recent blog)
Superintendent Noble said the RiverPlex was a place where families could come to play. When finances became troubling as I predicted, the PPD was able to get a liquor license (Grieves himself made news when he backed his vehicle into a light pole while allegedly under the influence of alcohol) which also hurt existing businesses.
The St. Francis Administrator told me in 2002 that Park Board President Tim Cassidy "pulled a fast one on me" when he convinced Saint Francis to fund part of the building.
Wealthy Glen Barton, whose wife Polly was a leader in raising funds to build build the PPD African Zoo and the new Administration Building, bailed the park out with his wealth on more than one occasion.
The PPD Administration have made many vain attempts to close Taft Homes but negotiations have met strong public opinion.
The permit from the State of Illinois was issued with caveat that 1/3 of it's members were to be from poverty level residents. It took hardly no time after the permit was granted that the PPD Administration had this caveat removed.
Lowell (Bud) Grieves Administration is part of the reason that the City of Peoria is in the poor financial straits is is in but he keeps writing to the JS bragging about his accomplishments and advising the City how to run it's government (admittedly, the City needs advise) but from it's own residents who don't complain much publicly for 2 main reasons: retribution and knowing that the are listened to but not really heard. Perhaps that is not true for some of the residents, both wealthy and poor.
Many of the Letters to the Editors of the JS are sensible especially recent letters from Conley Stutz and Jack Baize Not to be overlooked are the factual letters from local retired doctor, Rida Boulas who has written often about the superior quality of health care in the U.S.A. compared to other countries. He has also been a critic of ObamaCare which as of now still leaves 31,000,000 uninsured.