Normal’s latest give-aways

By:  Diane Benjamin

Monday night:


1404 Fort Jesse – the property Normal has been paying property taxes on they don’t owe.

On the agenda is to sell the prime property to Laura Dolan for $25,000 plus paying the 2019 property taxes.  The assessed value is $90,000.  The Town had previously sold the property for $30,000 to a different developer, he backed out when the red tape wasn’t worth his time.

Documentation claims the Town asked for bids, this is the only one they received.  There isn’t a sign on the property saying it is for sale or notice of the bid.

I guy named John Dolan works at the Children’s Discover Museum.  Any relation?  Another insider deal?

Staff claims the $90,000 assessed value must be too high.  State law requires them to have a written certified appraisal.  Nothing in the documentation says they have one.  Further, state law says a property can not be sold for less than 80% of appraised value.  The Council will approve the sale because laws don’t matter and nobody is going to stop them.  The law:

ilga selling property

Since only one bid was received that says:

  • Nobody wants to invest in property in a prime location in Normal
  • Notice of the bids was in obscure places nobody knew about


301 W Kerrick Rd – an address that isn’t in the County database or the Normal Township database.

The company Normal plans to give TIF incentives to already has the property on their website with a different address – 2286 N Main.  That address isn’t found in either database.  The property has a warehouse that was never completed and has been abandoned for a decade.

See the Phoenix Investors website:


  • Phoenix was going to take over the warehouse without incentives
  • or they are so sure the bobble heads will approve they posted it to their site before the vote

While it is admirable to resurrect this project after being vacant for so long, you need to know what Normal wants to give away.  Keep in mind when the project is complete 50 jobs are expected to be created.

normal warehouse 1

normal warehouse 2normal warehouse 2

TIFs generate money by increasing property values.    This warehouse is the only building in the TIF.  Normal is giving away all of the increased property taxes minus some for actual expenses.  Normal also agrees to pay half of any infrastructure costs required.

The property tax rebates will continue until January of 2038.  Phoenix claims to be investing $16 million, the Town will rebate up to half of that if the expenses are TIF eligible.  To make it sound better, the Town discounted the future payments to present value making it sound like Phoenix is getting 20% of their investment returned.  Can we say 50 eventual jobs is going to cost $8 million?  Does it sound better to say 50 jobs will cost $3.2 million? (20%)


Normal wants to hire yet another lobbyist for $24,000 to find money from the State of Illinois.  (State reps from the area aren’t doing their job?)

The contract will last for 6 months.  Below is what Turing Strategies will do:


Take a guess what Normal is lobbying money for.  The rest of the State needs to pay for what Normal wants but can’t afford?

Since this story is already too long, more tomorrow.







4 thoughts on “Normal’s latest give-aways

  1. This sweetheart property sale reminds me of the insider deals they did for Sheilds, Africano, Wildcountry, Ohm Fit, and Koo’s neighbor. In music…IWU, this is screaming Shields involvement. Normal is not even trying to hide the corruption anymore.

    Who investigates local government corruption anyway?

Leave a Reply