By: Diane Benjamin
This morning I attended the GOP breakfast because it featured the candidates for the Normal Town Council and Normal Township.
Chris Koos made a comment about Uptown 2.0 I find hard to believe. He claims there isn’t enough retail and office space in Uptown now, so Uptown 2.0 is to provide more.
I’m sure you remember the handout to get the Portillos. Tartan Realty Group put that deal together in exchange for future Sales Tax revenue. Tartan is also the group behind the final new building in Uptown to fill the big hole across from the Amtrak station.
Normal sold them the property for $1 and then loaned them $2.75 million to be repaid over 25 years. The Town of Normal also agreed to rent 13,780 square feet for 15 years at a cost that could be as high as $5.9 million.
It’s very clear that this building would not have been built if the Town of Normal hadn’t agreed to rent one entire floor for inflated prices. The article is dated July of 2016. Mr. Koos: so who is clamoring for more retail and office space? Less than a year ago nobody was! Businesses are closing all over Bloomington-Normal, you haven’t noticed?
More notes from the breakfast:
Normal still wants to have a discussion about sharing Sales Tax. Unless Renner and Koos are defeated, that topic will come up again. Bloomington talked about it last April and nixed the idea. It’s funny the topic came up right after the One Voice trip last March. I bet strategy will be discussed again this year on the One Voice trip, it happens THIS WEEK.
Koos was obviously bothered by talk of Normal’s debt. He claims everything is fine. The bonds are being repaid by the TIF income (only $1.5 million last year), hotel/motel taxes, food and beverage taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. There is no plan 2.0 if those taxes don’t materialize.
Township offices will also be on the ballot. There are way too many units of government for me to investigate them all, but it seems Democrats and Libertarians are attempting to infiltrate the township when they never have before. Normally these guys run unopposed. I have helped with investigations of other townships around Illinois and found money being given away to friends and huge over taxation resulting large fund balances that aren’t needed. The question must be asked now why all these people want township positions. They tax you, but are mostly held unaccountable because nobody takes the time. I could say to never vote for a Democrat since we know their Illinois history, but your vote is up to you. Here’s what your ballot will look like:
These will also be on the ballot:
Sarah Grammer is Austin Grammer’s wife (Bloomington’s Economic Development Coordinator). She is supported by Mike Matejka.