The short answer is that McHenry County College taxpayers are the ones who have to foot the bill, if the minor league baseball team doesn’t produce enough money to pay for McHenry County College’s baseball stadium and other buildings.
What the board has decided to do is to “bet on the come,” so to speak.
If the money rolls in from willing ticket buyers, no problem.
If a shortfall occurs, however, a future MCC board would have to dip into other revenues to make up the difference.
Maybe a future MCC board would raise tuition.
Maybe it would forgo faculty and staff raises.
Maybe it would come to the voters with a “Woe-is-me” tale of how that “bad – old – board” in 2007 made a really big miscalculation and “Won’t – you – please – bail – us – out?” so we won’t have to raise tuition or forgo staff salary increases.
One scenario or another or a combination there of seems likely, if the baseball team lease doesn’t work out.
This can be clearly seen multiple places in the last Debt Certificates issued by the McHenry County College Board.
A Debt Certificate is money the college trustees borrow without asking permission of its voters.
Here is the wording that says you and I are on the hook for any payments if the minor league baseball team defaults on its lease payments:
“The Certificates are valid and legally binding upon the District and are payable from any funds lawfully available and annually budget for such purpose. There is no statutory authority for the levy of a separate tax in addition to other taxes or the levy of a special tax unlimited as to rate or amount to pay the principal of or interest on the Certificates. The Certificates are considered debt under Illinois law; are not subject to appropriation risk; are non – cancelable and are not subject to completion risk.”(Emphasis added.)
Perhaps this clause is why these men are smiling.
To the left of the clause that takes the minor league baseball owners off the hook if their team does not make enough money is baseball team promoter Pete Heitman.
Mark Houser, President of Equity One, is below Heitman, smiling like the cat that ate the canary. Equity One is getting the no-bid contract to build the stadium.
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Both pictures were taken at the meeting where they and Bill Lee, Commissioner of the Frontier League, made their pitch to the MCC Board after the public was turned out of the meeting.