Normal Finance reports plus Connect Transit

By:  Diane Benjamin

http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3362

The Town is holding a meeting tonight. Below are a few expenses:

Who gets these?

norm 7-15a

Monthly fleece:

norm 7-15b

Why is taxpayer money used to sponsor anything?  Why is government picking winners and losers by sponsoring who they choose?

norm 7-15cnorm 7-15-d

The financial statements from March 31, 2019 are likely done, the auditor is being paid:

norma audit services

Starting on PDF page 78 is a summary of revenue and expenses.  All 5 of Normal’s TIF funds appear to have under-performed expectations:

tif funds

normal TIF funds

How bad would the Uptown TIF look if Normal wasn’t throwing $35,000+ a month at 1 Uptown Circle in rent?  Actually the building wouldn’t be there.  It was only built because Normal agreed to this outrageous lease of an entire floor.

The first floor is still generating no income.  How long will the Council tolerate that?  Have they bothered to read the agreement with the developer?

Connect Transit is back again!

WGLT’s Mike McCurdy and Connect Transit Board chair had his own media do a story claiming Connect had huge gains in ridership:  https://www.wglt.org/post/connect-transit-closes-year-ridership-gains?fbclid=IwAR11MX3EHGM9irM-PWy2zgCGPcPLJw-o2Bf_5RxkFv04NxCaHgimKsNh1Ng#stream/0

The CT fiscal year starts in July and ends June 30th.  We know the ridership numbers are fictitious because transfer riders are counted as more than one ride.  Connect either can’t or won’t come up with the real number of riders.

Want proof Connect makes up their own numbers? 

Go to this link:  https://www.connect-transit.org/dashboards/593770/5ad7925067c01102281826190226

Look at the first graph.  Hover over July on the far left side.  Connect is reporting July ridership at 146,890.  June was only 143,713.

July isn’t even half over!

Where did the July number come from?  Guessing?  Is that an actual number to date for July – unlikely since riders would have suddenly doubled!

Connect wants us to believe they had 2,446,527 riders last year.  Maybe people are laying down in the seats asleep.  We see the empty buses.

See PDF page 100 of the agenda.  The Council will be asked to approve a resolution supporting the Working Group.

As reported a couple weeks ago, Connect is collecting bids for huge electric buses:    https://blnnews.com/2019/07/06/abandon-ship-abandon-ship-i-mean-the-bus/

The working group was formed to placate citizens that aren’t being served by Connect Transit.  The resolution wasn’t included in the on-line packet.  A note claims it will be released separately.  Evidently it’s a secret to us little people.

How can ANY numbers Connect Transit provides be trusted?  Why would the Council approve a resolution when it’s obviously the working group will be ignored?

10 thoughts on “Normal Finance reports plus Connect Transit

  1. And in other wasteful spending news, as of today, the Town has submitted yet another grant proposal for the Underpass. Another waste of taxpayer time and money.

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  2. The question I would like answered is… How many could they transport? I mean if every seat were filled from first stop until the last what would the total ridership be? I mean if they are saying they transported 2.4 million annually but the capacity is 50 million annually that is a pretty poor showing. What would be acceptable? 10% capacity, 25% capacity? I also want to know at what capacity is the system solvent… Would they finish in the year in the black if they were 75%? 100%? Probably more like 300% the way this thing is subsidized.

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      1. Exactly. So how many would it take to ride to achieve solvency and could the system support that many individual riders? So at $1 a ride they would have to have roughly 11 million riders a year? Can the system support that many riders? Would those numbers finally wake them up and say it is time to try something different? I mean how long have they been trying to make this current system work? Like education- it keeps getting more expensive but the end result continues to drop in quality.

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  3. I generally have doubts about anything from (Dis)Connect Transit. They’re on the run politically and need to show some positive news, especially since they’re asking for more tax dollars. What coincidental timing with these stats! Haha. So, riddle me this…if June is 143,713 and July is 146,890, what can we expect in August or September when the ISU student return? Shouldn’t there have been a decline in ridership over the summer months with students returning home? CT stats would necessarily have to show higher numbers in August and September than June and July. Let’s keep an eye out on this one. If, I stress “if”, they fudged their numbers, they’re only digging a bigger hole.

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  4. Connect Transit has a huge jump in ridership when ISU is on summer break? I find that extremely difficult to believe.

    Also, what is the overall capacity of the system? How many people could they move per hour if the busses were at capacity? That would be a very interesting metric, one that I doubt Connect Transit wants to share since. Too bad we don’t have a real paper in this town who investigates and publishes capacity and utilization stats. Wouldn’t require very much investigation even.

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  5. This is off topic but maybe I can bring it in. I lived in Decatur for quite a few years 35 years ago. It was in decline then. Today I went down there for a brief trip and was amazed to how big a dump it has become. Pershing Road which at one time would be equal to Veteran’s Parkway here now. Pershing Road is dead, empty restaurants boarded up buildings aand empty store fronts. The mall there has died like Eastland here. . Strip malls have 50% occupancy if lucky. Okay, I bring it back. Decatur worried about downtown and it did not work, they also killed a lot of the surrounding area as well. We can all rest in the knowledge the same idiotic approach is being done here. We can also be proud a lot of those same winners in government there that continued Decatur’s demise have been transplanted here. At best the future looks bleak. RIP Decatur…..Bloomington/Normal is headed your way thanks to Koos, Renner, Jenn, Connect Transit, BCPA, most of both councils and the list goes on.

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  6. one of the biggest waste in taxpayer monies is the city council itself. eliminate the council and the mayor and you could save millions of dollars a year. also, think of the carbon footprint that would be eliminated as well. all that hot air swirling around the council chambers . liberals love ideas to get rid of global warming,this could be their contribution to a healthier city of normal and the world.

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  7. In this year’s Illinois Shakespeare Festival program, it is noted that the Town of Normal is among the donors having given $25,000-$74.999 over the course of the festival’s history. Ewing Manor is in Bloomington. Wonder if Heartland Theater and Community Players got the same amount of money.

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