After reading that the Lakewood SportsPlex people are seeking financing from the United States Department of Agriculture for a newly-revisioned version being called a “Community Center,” Woodstock School District 200 candidate sent the following email to Department officials:
To: samuel.rikkers <firstname.lastname@example.org>; justin.hatmaker <email@example.com>
Please reject the application for Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program funding for the Lakewood Illinois Sportsplex (calling itself a ‘Community Center’).
The public citizens of Lakewood and neighboring Woodstock who are being forced to subsidize this project strongly object, and believe it would be an outrage to allocate taxpayer funding to a project meeting none of the stated criteria for this USDA program.
Lakewood, Illinois, a wealthy golf-course suburb in Northern Illinois recently formed a TIF District by annexing land in an adjacent (impoverished) nearby school district.
Lakewood stated plans to build a Sportsplex on this TIF property (600 acres comprised mainly of two functional golf courses).
The citizens of Lakewood and those of neighboring Woodstock (the poor town where TIF children were to be sent to be educated at Woodstock’s expense while Lakewood received all TIF revenue) objected to the Sportsplex, on the grounds that it adds nothing of value, and destroys some existing value, in the local communities.
From your Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program eligibility description:
“What are the funding priorities?
Priority point system based on population, median household income
Small communities with a population of 5,500 or less
Low-income communities having a median household income below 80% of the state nonmetropolitan median household income.”
Lakewood median household income is $124,000.
The neighboring Woodstock school district in which TIF children reside has median household income $57,000.
If Lakewood is representing the median income of Woodstock as ‘need’ for a Sportsplex USDA Grant or Loan, that is a false representation; the Sportsplex will be for the use of Lakewood TIF and to Lakewood is where all resulting revenue will flow.
Lakewood has several golf-course clubhouses which serve as Community Centers for Lakewood.
Woodstock doesn’t need another community center, and Lakewood Sportsplex will result in zero benefit to citizens living in this area (aside from a few property owners, perhaps, who may be benefiting from this deal).
The Village of Lakewood may be under 5,500, but is adjacent to Crystal Lake and Woodstock Illinois, which are populated above 40,000 and 25,000 respectively.
So as you see, neither of your funding priorities for this program are met by Lakewood (TIF) Sportsplex.
The local communities will want to understand your rationale for granting this Sportsplex taxpayer funded grants or loans. This Lakewood Sportsplex receives a good deal of media attention locally but EB-5 funding may make it a nationally compelling story for a country which is currently very sensitive to how its tax money is allocated.
4513 Sunnyside Road
Woodstock, IL 60098