More on this "Block" thing
Ya know, in normal
circumstances, I'd be all for a new museum. Let's face it...the tax, which will amount to about 17 bucks a year, wouldn't pay for three weeks of Starbucks for me. It's not just about the amount
of the taxes.
The tax is supposed to have a life-span of just 20 years. Now, c'mon...when's the last time ya saw a tax just...go away? 20 years? Nope. It'll be with us ad infinitum
. Look at the Civic Center.
I think the stats that the Build the Block group came up with are just waaay over-inflated, too.
Fr'instance...the project will supposedly create 250-300 jobs for 25 months. Is there a guarantee that they'll use a local
construction company? Don't think so. Haven't heard that promise.
So we'll get some construction company from Outer Bumfuck. They might
buy lunch once in a while. They might
drop a couple hundred at Big Al's. They might
even stay in a motel for the duration. Big. Deal. They'll spend most
of their wages wherever they live. They'll send money home to Mama. They'll pay taxes...wherever they live. They'll buy a new truck...wherever they live.
I can't see that doin much for this
area...where the unemployment rate just shot up to 9.something percent...where Caterpillar and other businesses are laying off people right and left.
They're "guesstimating" the annual attendance will be 360,000. I think that's waaay optimistic...to say the least.
And finally, it's my understanding that it won't
be open on weekends...and that it certainly won't
be free. If I remember correctly, they thought the admission would probably be set at $15. I know
that I just read that the "Caterpillar Experience" part of the museum alone, would cost $15 for non-employees.
Not that I'd go see the Caterpillar Experience for free, mind you.
Oh, and by the way...parking
won't be free, either.
I know you can't compare Peoria to...oh...let's say Chicago. But for this particular little exercise, I'm going to do just that.Population of Peoria (2006) - 113,107Population of Chicago (2000) - 2,896,016
Now, let's see what Chicago has to offer in the way of museum-type attractions...and the stats to accompany just a few of those attractions.Field Museum
- Annual attendance: 1,337,502 - Hours: Open 7 days a week. - Admission: Adults - $15 Kids - $10Museum of Science and Industry
- Annual attendance: 1,807,552 - Hours: Open 7 days a week. - Admission: Adults - $13 Kids - $9Adler Planetarium
- Annual attendance: 394,521 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: Adults - $10 Kids - $6Art Institute of Chicago
- Annual attendance: 1,388,000 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: Adults $12 Kids - $7Children's Museum
- Annual attendance: 771,133 - Hours: Open 7 days a week - Admission: $10 for all
They're estimating that the annual attendance of this boondoggle will be about the same
as the friggin Adler Planetarium, fer chrissake!
Now. Given all the information I have, let me see...
If this travesty
should be shoved down my throat, I could drive for 30 minutes...and pay 15 bucks...to see exhibits like "The River Experience" (no thanks...I've lived
the river experience...up close and personal) or the "IHSA Peak Performance Center" (I'm not a basketball fan) or "The Street" (hey...I see
the street every day)...but I couldn't
do it on a weekend.Or
, I could drive for 2 and a half hours...with that same
15 bucks...on any
weekend...and see the wonder that is the Museum of Science and Industry. Or the Field. Or Adler Planetarium. Or the Art Institute.
Um...oh, gee. Decisions, decisions.
It's the wrong
time. It's the wrong
Good lord, people...Peoria County's tax dollars ought to be spent on things far
more important than a museum. Like decent schools. Like decent roads and streets. Like sidewalks. Like more police officers and firefighters. Vote NO. BLOCK THE BLOCK!