Crystal Lake’s $64,000 Question

The Virginia Street TIF District ends before Burger King. Will the Crystal Lake City Council decide to rip money away from all other local tax districts to "beautify" Route 14 east of Fifth Third Bank, where the monument you see has been built? Will black street lights be installed to replace the ones already there? Will sidewalks finally line Route 14 along the shopping centers where none now exist?

The new monuments marking the edges of the Virginia Street Tax Increment Financing District cost $16,000 each.

There are lots of questions, one set of which begins with “Why?”

Let me give you a sample:

“Why were they thought necessary or desirable?”

Other questions might start with “What?”

As in,

“What were City Council members thinking when they approved spending $64,000 on markers at what will appear to the motoring public as random locations?”

The "$64,000 Question" started with contestants answering a $1,000 question and then doubled until gthe $64,000 level was reached. Big money in the 1950's when Coventry homes sold for less than $20,000.

Those not watching TV in the late 1950’s don’t know about the “$64,000 Question.”

It was a game show that started in 1955 and was the precursor of the ones that followed. ‘

Only the amount of the maximum prize kept increasing as inflation took its toll.

An IBM card sorter made noise and provided visual movement. The questions weren’t random, but this was show biz.

The real question here is why the Crystal Lake City Council decided to spend $64,000 on this four pillars.


Crystal Lake’s $64,000 Question — 10 Comments

  1. They are spending the money like drunken sailors (no offense to sailors) because it seems all the poiticans can do this. It’s not their money they are spending. Enjoy!!!

    Remember at election.

    Term Limits.

    Vote them ALL out.

  2. Question –

    Who got the contract to build these tombstone like pillars?


    It sure is easy for elected officials to spend OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.


  3. Grey Squirrel is right.

    Every stinking one of them needs to go.

    What an embarrassment!

  4. A State of Illinois Comptroller report dated June 8, 2011 indicates there are here are 11 active TIFs in McHenry County.
    Arrowhead Industrial Park – Harvard
    Downtown – Harvard
    U.S. Rt. 14 & Airport Road – Harvard
    US Route 14/St Route 22 – Fox River Grove
    Main and Crystal Lake – Crystal Lake
    Virginia Street Corridor – Crystal Lake
    Vulcan Lake – Crystal Lake
    Downtown TIF – McHenry
    Downtown RPA – Woodstock
    RPA 1 – Huntley
    TIF 1 – Cary

  5. State of Illinois Comptroller website about Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts states the following. As of November 1, 1999, the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act [65 ILCS 5/11-74.4-3 et. seq.] and the Industrial Jobs Recovery Law [65 ILCS 5/11-74.6-10 et. seq.] require all Illinois municipalities with one or more redevelopment project areas [TIFs] to annually file their financial information with the Office of the Comptroller. Information for each TIF must be submitted 180 days after the close of the municipal fiscal year or as soon thereafter as the audited financial statements become available.

  6. I would discover what bonds were issued to finance these TIFs.

    Bonds were used for the Vulcan TIF.

    I am not sure if bonds were used to finance the Virginia Street Corridor TIF or the Crystal Lake Avenue and Main Street TIF.

    The village treasurer should be able to answer that question and provide the CUSIP #’s of any bonds issued which can be plugged into this website so you can learn more information about the financial transaction.

    That’s the Electronic Municipal Market Access site operated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board which was authorized by Congress to provide transparency about municipal bonds. You can search by keyword but having the CUSIP (Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures) numbers saves time.

    You can also use this site to research bonds issued by schools (Crystal Lake District 47, Crystal Lake District 155), park districts, etc.

  7. Some of the monuments contain pavers and concrete borders in front of them. I wonder if that cost is included in the $16,000.

    What is the purpose of the pavers and concrete borders? Beautifcation?

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