Mark Houser, the “Music Man” of McHenry County baseball stadium proposals, has made the big time.
His $15 million in “low-interest (stimulus) bonds” request from the McHenry County Board was featured in the New York Times Thursday in an article by Charles Euchner entitled,
“Lots of Stimulus Money—and Concerns About Where to Put It to Work”
He says the bonds would save $5 million in financing costs over 20 years.
He does not exude confidence that the bonds can be sold now, but “we might sell them later.”
The New York Times article points out early on that Houser’s EquityOne Sports Development “has already built a sports complex in Libertyville.” That project “failed to meet revenue projections, obliging the city government to use $7 million in rainy-day funds to make good the shortfall,“ the story continues.
“Because state officials are eager to win federal stimulus money and begin work as soon as possible, less worthy projects move to the front of the line,” the article says.
“A problem with stimulus funding, experts say, is that dubious projects too often jump to the head of the line. Projects with political backing win funding, regardless of merit, while more worthwhile projects languish for decades,” it continues, quoting
- Emory University’s Professor of Internation Finance Jeff Rosensweig, International Finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School
- Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Clifford Winston
- University of California Professor of Civil Civil and Environmental Robert G. Bea and others.