Sports Plex Rising from the Grave

The McHenry County Sports Plex died a couple of years ago, even with an EB-5 financing designation and $18 million designated by the McHenry County Board from Barack Obama’s stimulus money.

Sports Plex map

A map of the second coming of the Sports Plex in Lakewood. Click to enlarge.

There has to be a zombie angle here somewhere, but I can’t quite figure out how.

True, the project did make Senator Tom Colburn’s list of most useless Federal expenditures, but Lakewood’s Village Board seems again primed for action.

Now a legal notice has appeared announcing a January 27th Lakewood zoning meeting for a Chicagoland Sportsplex:

Sports Plex zoning notice 1-12-15

Frankestein castle torches

Area residents, not necessarily from Lakewood, can be expected to attend the zoning meeting.

There’s a new web site.

The new Chicagoland Sportsplex.

The new Chicagoland Sportsplex.

It looks a lot like the old web site.

Expect the opponents’ web site to be updated.


Sports Plex Rising from the Grave — 3 Comments

  1. The website is

    There is no mention on that website about funding, public or private.

    The Lakewood public zoning meeting is 7PM, Tuesday January 27, 2015 at the Turnberry Country Club, 9600 Turnberry Trail, Lakewood, IL.

    Keep your eyes on McHenry County board agendas and minutes, and Lakewood board agendas and minutes, for any reference to this project. > County Meetings > Government

  2. I am not fond of TIF districts, but if this one is limited to paying for infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.), then my objections would be significantly reduced.

    My objections would increase mightily if Lakewood puts ANY taxpayer money into this, including tax breaks beyond the TIF.

    That would be speculation in real estate with taxpayer money calling itself “economic development”.

  3. I think TiF’s by definition are not limited to anything.

    For at least 23 years, all that tax money goes to developers by way of municipal rulers.

    For 23 years, the ongoing cost of all those new students needs to be borne by existing homeowners within the school district.

    The school district will be able to issue more bonds and borrow more money based on 13.8% of the increased EAV…and existing homeowners will be obliged to pay off all that debt and interest on their own.

    For 23 years, commercial tax revenue will be sucked away from existing Businesses, and will need to be replaced by existing homeowners.

    Whatever new liability is brought to the area by the new development,will be borne by existing homeowners ( will we need more police, fire, rescue squad?

    Will we be incurring new civil liability as a county or a township by this new development?).

    Taxes to pay for that will need to come from existing homeowners because 100% of all taxes from the new development will be going to Lakewood municipal rulers to Distribute to developers as they see fit.

    I truly believe the way to analyze decisions is to start at extremes:

    what if everybody had a TIF?

    We all meet the ‘blighted’ characteristic of plummeting assessed values of property.

    So if we all could shelter increased taxes going forward and distribute that money, say, to ourselves, would municipal or County leaders have a problem with that?

    Suppose NOBODY could have a TIF.

    Then developers would have to risk a little more of their own money.

    They might decide against developing an area.

    So what?

    Development under TIF conditions ends up costing existing homeowners huge tax increases to subsidize the new development.

    But maybe developers would start to behave like they did not that long ago, and assume more of their own risks.

    Please everyone in favor of this project answer these two questions:

    How much is the maximum you feel is legally and morally justified to take from neighbors in the interests of getting what you want?

    How much is the maximum you feel legally and morally obliged to pay to neighbors in the interests of affording them what they want?

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