Why is YOUR building still closed Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin

h/t a reader

If you forgot the details of the SWEET deal Normal gave Terri Ryburn to live cheap in the “historic” Sprague’s Service Station at 305 Pine St – see the details here: https://blnnews.com/2018/01/07/sweet-deal-for-koos-buddy/

If you can’t read the sign on the door:

The Ryburn Place Facebook page says closed until June 1st.

It is still closed!

Koos buddy Terri gets a home for $120 a YEAR and can’t even open the doors.

This is responsible government?

Who believes that one!

Taxpayers deserve better – you own this building!

(More proof masks don’t work?)







8 thoughts on “Why is YOUR building still closed Normal?

  1. Koos and Reece continue to socially distance taxpayers from their hard-earned money. The Ryburn sweetheart deal was a farse from Day 1. Can’t wait for all the comments from the Koosites saying what a wonderful store it is with quality items and how Route 66 contributes so much to economic development in BN. Ryburn answers to friends in government not the marketplace and certainly not taxpayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The lease starts on pdf page 79. The agreement stated the business must be open to receive the taxpayer subsidized deal on the bottom of pdf page 101. There are many taxpayer funded perks if you read the whole lease. Taxpayers even pay to wash the windows.

    Taxpayers need 4 council members to stand up for taxpayer interests to change this lease or enforce the terms of it.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. I sent the email below to the Mayor, Councilpersons and Town Manager last week as a follow up to an earlier email. I have not yet received a reply to either email. My conclusion is that the Town Government could care less about Route 66 and the tourists it brings to McLean County. Raising taxes and paying Town employees more makes Normal a great place to live and work.

    I wrote you about two months ago that the Sprague station was not open and it is still not open. I don’t believe it opened in March, but it may have been open for a few weeks. (always closed Jan and Feb every year.) Attached are the sign on the door, the flower area does not appear to have weeds pulled all summer and tragically one tree died because as it began to turn brown it was not watered. The lawn is mowed because I believe the Town Mow’s it. Place looks abandoned.

    1. Does she have a co-morbidity and it would be dangerous for her to have tourists stop by with masks on and remaining 6 feet away? Has anyone done a wellness check on her? I believe they should if they have not heard from her. I don’t want her to be ill or suffering with no one being aware of the situation.

    If she is well, many additional questions are raised

    2. Is the decision to reopen this year 100% made by Terri Ryburn? What are the terms of her contract or agreement?

    3. The taxpayers are receiving little or no benefit from this site this year. Does her $10.00 rent also include all utilities paid by the Town or does she pay for any, if so which.

    4. Even her closed sign has only Ryburn on it as well as all the monogrammed t-shirts and sweatshirts. In Tourist information it is called Sprague, but other than the sign out front little or nothing has Sprague on it. Tourists are probably confused and move on.

    5. Her car was parked under the canopy today. So I assume she is living there , but she could be living with a friend or relative all summer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I replied to this email this past Saturday. I emailed you the contract for the Sprague lease. Please call me if you did not receive it. 309-242-2495. There is not currently enough council support to change this agreement. The town council, mayor, and town manager are aware of the terms of the lease. They continue not to enforce the terms of the agreement which states the store must be open a certain number of hours to receive the taxpayer subsidies. Taxpayers pay for utilities except for the TV. Taxpayers pay for much more, ie. mowing, maintenance, snow removal, water, power, gas, even washing the windows all for $120 per year.

      The staff write up and lease begin on pdf page 79 of the attached link. It lists the taxpayer-funded perks of this agreement.


      Liked by 2 people

  4. 1.) It is interesting the town says it will pay for all utilities for the first floor of the property: “water, heat, gas, electricity, and sewers, used at the first floor of the Property.” How does that get differentiated? It appears that she gets her water/power for free. There isn’t a bathroom open to the public right now, so really not much of a need to have the city paying the water bill. It would be all personal living.

    2.) This is not occurring (33 hours of operation) but not enough on the council to actually enforce this: “(c) Ryburn agrees to operate the retail gift shop for a minimum operation of 33 hours per week, with reduced seasonal hours optional in January and February of each year. The schedule of hours is subject to the reasonable approval of the Town.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. TJ, The residential lease starts on pdf page 109. Paragraph 10 defines the utilities. It is below…of course taxpayers pay for her utilities for the residence portion…

      “10. Utilities. Tenant shall be responsible for arranging for and paying for all utility services
      required on the premises, except that water, heat, gas, electricity, and sewer service shall be
      provided by Landlord.”

      Below is the vote. You should ask those who voted for it to explain how this is a fiscally responsible and beneficial arrangement for the taxpayers of Normal.

      AYES: McBride, Lorenz, McCarthy, Gaines, Fritzen, Koos.
      NAYS: Preston
      http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2115 (pdf page 6)

      Liked by 2 people

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