Final segment of bond analyst Steve Willson’s take on the recent documents produced by the Village of Lakewood on the SportsPlex proposal and its Tax Increment Financing District.
Here are the previous articles:
Notes on the Lakewood TIF FOIA dump 5/27/15
11. That [Erin] Smith is still pushing the SportsPlex is confirmed again in Catherine Peterson’s email to Tom Zanck “does the election kill the sportsplex?” (email 4/8/15 [Tom] Zanck to [Catherine] Peterson)
12. We have a letter from Erin Smith to [Governor Bruce] Rauner (4/24/15) offering to give away free the land they spent $600,000 of the taxpayers’ money to buy.
13. How is the SportsPlex doing in raising money?
We heard Chinese investors might be interested, but in an email dated 3/27/15, [Lou] Tenore says he is now seeking USDA guarantees so he can borrow, and that will be based on re-characterizing the SportsPlex as a “community center”.
He mentions hiring a lobbyist because the FEMA specifically prohibits athletic centers and fields as community centers.
In a 3/29/15 email, Tenore confirms he has permission to “represent ourselves as a community center”.
Not that they really ARE a community center, just that they want the legal, technical okay so they can go after the money.
As with calling raw land and a golf course “blighted” and ignoring all evidence that opposed creation of a TIF district, I am appalled at the lengths all parties will go to to use technicalities to get their way and do a clear end-run around the intent of the law.
14. This pattern continues in Erin Smith’s letter to the Illinois Department of Commerce in which she says they have “a recent proposal for a significant development”.
It’s still the SportsPlex, which, five years later, still hasn’t shown they can raise a dime.