By: Diane Benjamin
WJBC has reported Tari Renner wants to end the moratorium on new video gaming machines:
I remember when the moratorium was put in place, Tari was outraged that $50 million a year went into the machines. It sounds like he changed his mind.
Back in 2016 Tari was on WJBC talking briefly about video gaming, but before that subject came up a lot of other issues were covered.
Listen to the interview here: https://audioboom.com/posts/4551685-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-5-11-16?t=0
Tari hadn’t dropped his attempt at a downtown hotel yet. He also claimed within 3-4 years Bloomington would be very close to having decent infrastructure.
Renner also talked about a downtown TIF. He used Normal as an example and claimed no City dollars would be used for economic development. (Normal borrowed money for developers) He claimed private investors are already working on properties around the arena.
Downtown business owners were all for the arena before it was built. They also believed it would spur economic development, it didn’t. Renner claims the Coliseum didn’t stimulate the downtown economy because it isn’t connected to anything. That led to the creation of the south west downtown TIF. The TIF area covers W. Washington to Front between Center and Lee. That is the area Renner wanted to target to connect the Coliseum.
The TIF report for the year ending 4/30/2018 shows expenses of $98,561 and ZERO Revenue, We won’t know the fund balance for 4/30/19 for months, but since nothing has changed in the area it will likely still show ZERO revenue. Included in the TIF is the Front and Center Building, Eagles Club and People’s Bank building. See the TIF report here: 2018 TIF Downtown Southwest
Tari said he wanted just 10 more events at the Coliseum to cut the red ink. Instead hockey is gone and scheduled events are infrequent at best.
Renner also mentioned strip malls aren’t the answer to economic development, the US Conference of Mayors told him redeveloping downtown will grow the local economy.
He mentioned success stories like Green Top Grocery and Kroger.
Kroger’s move from Normal to Bloomington is dead. We don’t know when Green Top will be back on life support. Infrastructure isn’t noticeably improved. The TIF created to spur development hasn’t. Strip malls have business, the mall doesn’t.
Of course Connect Transit still wants an Uptown Transfer station. The properties now contributing little in property taxes could soon be contributing ZERO.
Isn’t history fun?
Maybe Tari now sees gambling as economic development since nothing else is working.