By: Diane Benjamin
Let’s talk debt. Want proof the Town doesn’t care about anything except the ability to make the payments?
PDF page 233:
What that means is the total cost, including interest, is immaterial. That is why Normal has bonds they are paying ZERO principal on. They can afford to throw away money on interest, so they are happy.
But something more serious is going on. Head to the Comptroller’s website: https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/ Normal Indebtedness
2017 – Beginning of the year bond debt: 92,200,000
New debt 22,355,000
Paid Principal 24,065,000
Ending Bal 90,490,000
New Debt 9,255,000
Paid Principal 11,620,000
Ending Bal 88,125,000
Paid Principal 1,600,000
Ending Bal 86,525,000
Now flip to the budget – PDF page 234. Total Bonded debt balance as of 4/1/2020 is 84,320,000.
That means for the whole year Normal only paid bond debt principal of:
86,525,000 – 84,320,000 = $2,205,000
At least it is more than the $1,600,000 they paid last year.
What changed from 2017 and 2018 when much more was paid? If this was “planned” Normal badly needs new planners. Your taxes are being thrown away on interest!
Do the empty properties in Uptown have anything to do with it? They aren’t generating those local taxes – currently there are 4 listed for lease: https://www.loopnet.com/search/commercial-real-estate/normal-il/for-lease/?sk=b62804e7060431aa6b9b368fc29022c5&bb=s_i1w3vhxJhq0f
Of course the first floor of 1 Uptown Circle
121-123 W North
112 W North
100 S Fell
I vaguely remember former Trustee Jeff Fritzen claiming there was a waiting list to move into Uptown. Evidently not anymore.
Is the debt becoming Normal’s Coliseum?
Don’t forget, Normal isn’t done! Underpass, Uptown 2.0, library, police station, . . .