NOTICE -October 5, 2010

There have been complaints and I happen to agree with them so I am going to do some policing of the comments on this website. If your post contains name calling it could be deleted.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Village Board Giving Smith $6,000,000

The Daily Herald article:

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=374600

118 comments:

  1. Wow, it looks like Wheeling has it's own version of "too big to fail".

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  2. LOL.....

    I am respecting Lang and Hocher more and more these days.

    JAFO

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  3. Sorry, meant Horcher

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  4. I would like to build expensive multi famliy in Wheeling only if the trustees finance it and allow me to keep the profits?

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  5. I hope the peopleat Prairie park are getting better materials then at ParkPoint. Windows are falling out of units, sliding doors leaking, electrical mains having to be replaced, appliances falling apart, theres a quality builder wheeling shouldtry to protect from bankruptcy.
    If Smith gets this money can he use it to pay some of the lawsuit against him.

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  6. Hey Wheeling has there very own $6 Million Dollar Man. I wonder will the whole board get to send him on missions now or will it just be top secret election finance type jobs he will be doing.

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  7. He don't look bionic to me.

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  8. What is wrong with our Board? $6,000,000 will not get him out of debt but will just prolong his failure. $3,500,000 on a $25,000,000 loan won't hack it because in a couple years he will be back. If you are going to bail out your favorite contractor give him $20,000,000. This way we will not have to spend any more resourse on this contractor until next time.

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  9. Where does Wheeling have all this money from?
    How about giving some money to help out the actual people who live here?
    What fool is going to spend over 300k to move to a town that only cares about developers?
    Hellooooooo Wheeling!!! ...........you can't be a town without residents in it!!!! And we the residents are fed up with all your frivilous spending on developers! Don't you know that you will get a terrible reputation through our word of mouth and soon no one will want to live here?
    It is SO obvious that those who run this town do not care about it, they are filled with greed!

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  10. Ok, we are all tired of this crap. When it comes before the board for final approval. We need to all gather in front of Village Hall at 6:pm. We want the Trustees to see our dissatification. Then move inside at all stand up and tell the Village President "NO, to Smith Construction".
    Her vote is going through Trustee Vogel. He is the only Trustee to change from "NO" to a "Yes" vote. There must have been some back door pressure there.

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  11. Yes, The Village President appointed him. He was her campaign manager. Promoted her at the Fish Frys.

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  12. I think that is a great idea. A rally in front of Village Hall before the meeting. If a couple hundred people showed up maybe the Trustees would think again.

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  13. Fish fry at the church? Hello! Separation of church and state? That can't be tax exempt! If churches want to get political they should pay taxes.

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  14. Fish Fry has ALWAYS been a draw for certain elected officials who quietly (and some not so quietly) campaign for themselves and their candidates. I once saw a campaign sign at the door. Nothing changes in this town -- it's been the same for years and years. Those in power think they are not subject to the rules that the rest of us have to abide by. Just like the Manchurian Candidate, oops, the President. RULES DON'T MEAN ANYTHING TO THOSE IN POWER!

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  15. This is exactly the type of T.I.F abuse that is bankrupting school districts. T.I.F. contributions are supposed to INCREASE THE TAX INCREMENT.
    This is paying for improvements that are already there. They said anyone would have to build what is left to build.
    Now Wheeling is obligating the future money that could be distributed to the Schools Parks and Libraries just to help their friends.
    Wasn't Bill Hine turned down for T.I.F. money because because of a but for clause. His building wouldn't be built but for T.I.F. contributions but he had started the paper work before he asked for thge T.I.F money so he couldn't get it.
    This guy has already PAID FOR THIS STUFF now his buddies want to bail him out. There going to give him money for stuff thets already paid for. If the stuff has alradyy been paid for then does he get to keep the money or is this just the bank snookering Wheeling to get a bigger development when they do foreclose?

    Or if Smith Gets to keep the money I wonder how much of the reimbursments for things that have already been paid for will be going for campaign contributions?


    Railroaded

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  16. Opportunity!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Hein have your hot dog wagon at Village Hall the night of the rally. It is dinner time..

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  17. Hey choo choo man you didn't pay attention. The Trustees are protecting your property value. Don't you understand the only reason Wheeling property values haven't fallen just like everyone elses is because of the Prairie Park development.
    Thats why everyone in Wheeling can still sell our houses at as soon as they are on the market.
    That's why there are no foreclosures in Wheeling, because Smith Family Construction has built such a quality product.
    Come on Horcher and Lang just don't realize Wheeling is land of milk and honey and it only keeps flowing through Smith Family Construction.


    Then the Trustees wake up and realize this whole project is just a dream that turned into a nightmare.

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  18. Hey Choo Choo you you didn't pay attention to the meeting. The only thing keeping Wheelings property values up is the Prairie Park development. Without that our home values would drop just like everyone around us. Residents would loose their jobs and homes would go into foreclosure. Dogs and cats would be mating in the streets. If Prairie Park were to be foreclosed on it would be the end of life as we know it.

    Then we wake up and find out the whole project was just a dream that turns into a nightmare.

    To hear Mr Argeris tell the story you would think those condos are some kind of final line of defense fending off financial ruin for the town and everyone in it. With reasoning like his I bet he would still finance your house at 150% loan to value.

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  19. Sorry I posted twice I don't do this much.


    New at this

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  20. Sorry I posted twice.


    New at this

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  21. To President Abruscato: Why did you recuse yourself from rejecting the Smith TIF increase? If your vote was for personal benefit for you or your employer, it would have been appropriate to abstain. Or are we to assume that you favor the additional aide? Your interpretation of conflict of interest seems misplaced. This makes no sense to us. ****
    Trustee Heer, you indicated that you felt morally compelled to follow through with the bailout. Why? The condos were promoted earlier as investment opportunity. You must be aware that it is a part-time community where many of the snowbirds leave for months at time. Do you know that the condo residents are likely the most affluent group in Wheeling? I don’t understand your empathy for them. ****
    Trustee Argiris, if my count is correct, this is the fourth time you referred to the contested land as a ‘Swamp” that was rescued by the Smith Company. You must have been dozing when I read the Illinois EPA report that the wetland is a necessary ecological feature and is part of the Great Lakes Water Basin. Bluntly sir, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. ****
    Trustee Vogel, you are a nice gentleman but your vote broke my heart. It’s good money after bad. I respectfully disagree with your logic and conclusion. *****
    Ken, I have enjoyed your company for twenty some years. But your support of the Smith project seems ill-advised. My opposition to the project goes back three years. I could send you copies of my articles published by the Countryside Reminder but it would be futile now. But you could change your vote by demonstrating independence from your colleague. *****
    Jack Caldwell

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  22. No foreclosures in Wheeling? The house next door to mine is in foreclosure.

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  23. It is unfathomable to me as to why the majority of the Trustees voted to go ahead with this deal. Once this disbursement is made, other developers will not be able to take advantage of TIF funds from Wheeling, there will not be money left. The Village has not only given the Lion's share of money to two developers (Smith Construction and the Westin development) but spent millions on property from TIF funds that is sitting vacant. Village owned property at Milwaukee and Jeffery (bought with TIF funds) was sold
    for less than the Village's purchase price. Will the Wickes property become another K Mart?
    Isn't it time for our Trustees to stop playing at Real Estate development and spend more time with the concerns of all the residents?

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  24. First, I want to thank the trustees for approving the cell tower. I hope it improves my call quality.

    Second, I was very impressed with the trustees from the questions they were asking about the TIF for Prairie Park.
    I'm not sure how this project qualified for a TIF in the first place. It's not like an abandoned gas station needing cleanup. I feel sorry for the new trustees coming into the middle of this.

    I didn't know a lot about TIF, but I found some good info (mostly pro-TIF) on the site:
    http://www.illinois-tif.com/faqs.asp

    Which gives me some additional questions.
    Does this change the size of the TIF, and if so, does it require a new public hearing?

    If the village issues Revenue Bonds to pay for this, isn't it really the buyers of the Bonds that are financing this and the village is just a pass-through entity? What are the Village's costs?

    Once the Revenue Bonds are issued, doesn't that mean the funds will be there for other projects such as Wickes?

    Are the issuance costs and interest payments on the Revenue Bonds also TIF-eligible?

    Besides the ring road, what other costs are TIF-eligible?

    If the project is already generating $1.4 million a year, won't the payback be much less than 16 years?

    I understand that the tax revenues pre-development will still be going to schools, library, parks, etc. If TIF was not needed and the funds went immediately into the tax base, what percentage of total funds would that represent for the schools, library, etc? 161 units / 38,000 residents is less than 0.5 percent before even including businesses, correct?

    Once the TIF is paid off, how much additional Tax revenue will the Village, schools, library, etc be getting?

    Is this fair to other residents and developers who don't get special financing?

    In the short-term, won't having additional units on the market further depress prices?

    If the bank foreclosed and found another developer to finish the project, would it be any different? Would another developer also be asking for TIF financing?

    Is there a way to write a "claw-back" provision such that if Mr. Smith sells the units for more than $x, any additional profits would go into paying back the TIF faster?

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  25. Wheeling Citizen: You should do some home work before you start making incriminating statements. The EPA was just at Horcher Frams checking the wet lands on each side of the creek. They were given high marks. This was done in conjunction with a Cook County project that is in the works.
    We are talking about Prairie Park on the other end of town.

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  26. I was actually appalled reading these statements from clueless citizens that have ZERO facts to back up their personal vendettas for the Smiths. If you were actually at the board meeting and listened to what was said by Smith's lawyer you would know that the taxpayers are paying NOTHING out of their own personal pockets for this project. Everyone on here is whining as if Mr Smith personally came to your house and asked for help to bail him out.To come on a website like this and blab on while having zero fact is ludicrous and this whole blog should be taken down for slander. Why doesn't everyone who thinks they know something get off their computer and get the facts straight, while your at it take a look at everything the Smiths have done for Wheeling.

    Also what will your sign's say at the rally
    " We came here and we are clueless as to what's actually going on"
    " The only fact is that I have no idea what I am talking about"
    " My personal vendetta against the Smith family is__________"
    I think it would be an added bonus if we questioned everyone at this 'rally' about the facts about this so called 'bailout' so after everyone fails miserably they can carry an "IDIOT" sign around, so please setup your hotdog stand because people will need to eat while being entertained.

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  27. This is a business decission and the numbers should be doing the talking. You show me the numbers and I will be in favor of it. I don't even know Mr. Smith and I care less what he has done for the community. That has nothing to do with this decission. You are implementing that "He has paid to play". What credentials do you have? If you are so informed you must be on the board. My questions is who is going to pay the school taxes this TIF isn't paying?

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  28. Clearly whoever runs this website doesn't feel compelled to be unbiased. You removed the poll simply because it was not the outcome you were looking for. Clearly there is much more support for the bonding to take place for the TIF to go through than there is against it. This just proves even more so how big of a joke this website is and shows that it is run by either one or a group of miserable clowns that have nothing better to do with their time. Whoever runs this site should be ashamed of themselves for at the very least not remaining an unbiased admin. I pity you for the miserable person that you are.

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  29. The numbers did the talking, which is why the village staff strongly supported the decision and the trustees voted it through. Maybe you should show up to the village meetings to hear the numbers and you will realize that this deal is good for the village as a whole.

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  30. What a coward! Your little trick with the poll backfired and you take it down?! There are probably the same 5 people running their mouths on this site and they are OBVIOUSLY not the consensus of the Village residents. The TIF has solely been funded by Prairie Park and it only makes sense that the TIF revenue it generates should be reinvested into the project to guarantee it's completion and therefore further fund the North TIF for years to come. It appears the Smith's are the only one with a product that actually generates money for the Village.

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  31. Nice job taking the poll down! There is actually a logical reasoning as to how you can have 140 votes and only 75 page hits: If you access the poll via an iPhone or Blackberry web browser it will not show a hit to the page. The bias portrayed on this site is nauseating!

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  32. It is easy to vote multiple times in this site's polls. Just one person can vote hundreds of times in a very short amount of time. It would be better to not run the polls at all until security is improved.

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  33. Actually you can only vote once per computer. It was already tested.

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  34. Wheeling Rumors. I guess this blog in which you said is a voice for the people isn't really for the people. This blog is just like some of our elected officials. They only care for what is best for them. Just because the poll wasn't going your way you had to pull it. I guess this site is turning into a place to just bash wheeling because if they don't share your views they're wrong.
    As to the person who say's I should do my homework. There are people on here that never do their homework and post anyway. As you claim that the EPA has been to the Horcher's farm to check the wetlands. This only goes to show me that you must be a Horcher because they would only be the person to really know that answer. And what cook county project is in the works? We all would like to know. So tells us.

    And to Stacey Horcher I hope I didn't misspell or have any punctuation errors.

    signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  35. A person can vote as many times as they want from the same computer. As you say, it was already tested. Just remove the browser's cookies, vote, remove them again, vote again, repeat. There is a faster way too, but it takes longer to explain how to do it.

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  36. Thank you to those who have tried to teach the fools who think they know about TIF financing but really don't. It is well known that there are people who want to get back at the Smiths, G-d only knows why. Cowards are they! Wheeling is finally turning into the top notch community it was always meant to be and no longer considered just a farming community and trailer park. To the party who said everyone living in Pairie Park is affluent shame on you. There are those who because of a spouse dieing and selling a home they lived in for over 30 years were able to afford to buy at Prairie Park. There are many one and two bedroom condos which can be afforded by your average person. You don't have to be rich to live at Prairie Park you just have to care about living in a first class development. You just need to care about Wheeling to want to support the community with your tax dollars. If Prairie Park goes under I guarantee you that those who currently live there would be running as fast as they can. Why live some place where your fellow community members are jealous because they did not make the same good choice. One additional piece of information. The Smiths are not controlling the funds the BANK CONTROLLS THE MONEY. Grow up and stop being so selfish and selfabsorbed. It is obvious that you are not thinking of the community as much as you are thinking of your own agendas. What makes any of you nay sayers think that any other developer would want to build in Wheeling when they realize what you tried to do to Prairie Park. Why should they start to build anything here when it is obvious that there are people who want to keep Wheeling in the "dark ages". Let Wheeling prosper and grow stop being ignorant. One last thing I vote YES for the TIF and congratulations to the trustees for finally realizing the error of their ways and granting the TIF. What a shame the ability to vote was stopped by the blog administrator. It is obvious that since the vote was not going the way that person wanted he/she closed it down. SHAME ON YOU!

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  37. I'm very curious as to why nothing about the cell tower was put on this website? After all a couple hundred residents signed a petition against it. I think that may have something to do with the person behind this website.

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  38. We can see that anything concerning the Horcher's is never put on here. The only conclusion one can make is that this site is either ran by the Horcher's or they are the ones supplying the information. So Wheeling Rumors why don't you just reveal yourself or quit being a biased person. I guess the rest of wheeling is responding and you don't like it.

    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  39. Just wanted to let everyone understand my reasoning on the $6,000,000.00 question.
    I explained it on a seperate blog. //trusteehorcher.blogspot.com.

    Incidentally
    Praiirie Park is not the only development generating positive tax flow in the T.I.F. nor is it the biggest.

    Also relative to the cell tower people did not just blog about concerns they showed up in person

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  40. The Cell Tower was discussed in detail under the March "This & That" post. Most all topics get discussed on this site. NO, I am not a Horcher. Nor do I get my information from them.

    ANON 4:59 Pm..If this blog is so bad why are you reading it?

    I am just providing a place for the residents to vent.

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  41. I always knew you weren't intelligent, but to post on a website titled "Wheeling rumors", as a public official, makes you a bone head! It's sad that we have a village public official reading this trash. As for your statement about the cell tower, why isn't it on this site? Obviously, you or someone in your family began this site, which isn't really that suprising. As to your new personal blog, I find it very interesting that you decided to begin it now. You might want to check some of your statements on it that seem to be false, based on statements from your village staff, before you find yourself in legal trouble.

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  42. For your information most of the Trustees read this blog.

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  43. Clearly none of them are dumb enough to post on it...oh wait nevermind! By the way your statement about not being a Horcher or related to them is pretty funny. If your not, you should just clear the air because quite a few facts say otherwise.

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  44. Wheeling....turning into a first class community....really? We are talking about Wheeling Illinois correct? What exactly is it about Wheeling that is turning this into a first class community? Is it the Latin Kings, the MLD's, SGD's, SD's(they are new to the community by the way) or the SUR 13's that make it attractive and are becoming more and more prvelant. They have always been here but they are getting worse by the week. Maybe it's the vacant Wickes property or the old K-mart property that does it. Possibly the vacant shops on Milwaukee Av or the used car lots. Is it the 6 or 7 cars parked on the driveway of a single home with the garage turned into an apartment that is rent out (checkout some of the homes in Dunhurst and you'll see). Maybe it's the balconies at the apartment and condo buildings with so much c&*p piled on them that does the trick and makes Wheeling a first class community in the making. I personally like picking up a pizza at Joe's and listening to all the fine upstanding citizens hoot and whistle at my wife as she carries the car seat inside, that's real special and very flattering to both of us.

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  45. Why does everone keep saying look at all the Smith family has done for Wheeling? What makes them so special compared to all the other people that have raised their families here, volunteered at the schools, churches, park district as coaches etc? I am so sick of hearing that, like they are the almighty saviors who rode in on white horses and saved the town from ruin. There are plenty of people who have contributed to this town in many different ways from the small buisness owners to the hard working families who pay their taxes. Next thing you know Wheeling is going to start printing their onw money that says "In Smith we Trust". What I don't get is how do they say no to giving $3 mil several months back to saying yes to $6 mil now? And who cares who is running this site, if it's a forum for people to come and share their thoughts and opinions etc. who cares? Are you really that worried over a poll that allegedley 200 people responded to in a town 40,000 people. It's like the trustees thinking they are some high profile politians becuase 2,500 of us turned out to vote. Hopefully this site opens the eyes of people and gets more people involved in the community and in voting. If you don't like that a poll was removed or you think the webmaster is biased then start your own site or don't come to this one. The person running this site is not the problem, it's the people running the town.

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  46. 11.44 PM. Amen to all you said!

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  47. You know, I have to get this off my chest. To the powers that be (with the exception of two trustees), you are an abomination to the offices you hold. This goes to Judy as well. I have been a life long resident of Wheeling, District 21 and 214 alumni, and I am EMBARASSED to say even to this day that I live in Wheeling. This town is so ripe with corruption and lack of vision that I am moving to Chicago. I would rather pay Mayor Daley and the machine taxes then have my money spent horribly the way it has been. President Abruscato, Trustees Heer, Argiris, Brady and Vogel are EMBARASSMENTS TO THIS TOWN and are withholding the progress Wheeling deserves to keep up with surrounding communities. Heck, I think Alexi Giannoulias would be a better Village President. I will not move back until you are all off the board. One last thing, I can assure you I am not a Horcher.

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  48. Anon 11:44, I agree with all your statements.

    I too am tired of people saying the Smith Projects saved this town. Some of us have chosen to live in Wheeling all our lives. We have done so for a variety of reasons, but for most of us I believe we didn't need the Smith family or residents of Prairie Park to "save" our town. I neither like nor dislike the Smith Family, I don't know them. I disagree with the idea of TIFs because of the effects on other taxing bodies (Schools, Parks, Libraries, etc.).

    Anon 4/26 9:26 How do you know other Trustees have not posted on this blog? It could well be that one or more have posted anonymously. This Blog allows people to voice their opinions. You and others have taken advantage of that.

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  49. CW,
    As a District 214 teacher, I'm ashamed that we helped mold you into the bitter uninformed person that you are today. Wheeling hasn't been progressing to the extent of other communities? WOW. Perhaps you should open your eyes.

    Yrgna Tnediser,
    I find it hard to believe that Wheeling is being overrun with gangs. I'm fairly certain that if gang activity escalated, then I would have seen it at Wheeling High School.

    What the....,
    What makes Mr. Smith different from other community members is the fact that he selflessly gives money to students who can't afford summer sports camps. The difference between Men like him and Fools like you is Intergrity and Compassion. I've never seen a student's parent care for his community the way Mr. Smith does.


    I've wasted enough time of my lunch on this. Many of you should devote your time and energy to something productive for the community. I implore you all to take a step back and realize that compassion rather than contempt fuels progress.

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  50. Here you go. Not a myth at all. http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=376423&src=107

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  51. That article is not completely accurate since in the last testing they did, Wheeling tested higher than any other school in d214. I would know since I teach at Wheeling.

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  52. District 214 teacher or anyone else, could you address the effect giving the additional 6 million dollars will have on the schools?

    Does it make it impossible (or much less likely) for the Board to start sending to the TIF district taxes to the schools earlier than 16 years from now?

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  53. I'm a teacher for d214 and I was upset at first about the 6million dollars going to the smith but then I relized that the money being spent is the same money that was produced by this project in taxes.

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  54. That TIF has only produced about $1,000,000. Wheeling has all their TIF's tied together.That is where the $6,000,000 is coming from. If this is approved all TIF funds will be spent and no TIF will be able to do anything for Years.

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  55. You are incorrect at the meeting it was accounted that it produces 1.4 million a year at this point. Also, this is the only tif producing any money because of that project and the Westin. However, Prairie Park accounts for most of it. Do the math 6 million dollars does not come anywhere close to the conservative 23 million that the project will produce by the end of the tif's term. You people should really get your facts straight before you open your mouths. All of this was spoken about at the meeting.

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  56. To Pat Horcher

    Can you tell us the 3 top developments that are generating the most TIF dollars. We can all assume that the Westin project is number one so name the next two. I have ask you other questions before and you refuse to answer them. So I'm going to ask you again. Name the projects that have made it to the board that has been turned down on your family property. You say that Target and a nursing home was turned down can you show us the citizens the proof that it was turned down? If you feel that these projects should have gone through. Why didn't you take them to the board to get a response? Or the citizens not going to get a response from you again. Remember aren't you the one that says we should help local small business so why aren't you willing to help?

    Secondly,
    Wheeling Rumors

    Can you repost the comments on the cell tower on Horcher Farm. I seem to can't find them in the March section when you said it was discussed.

    And to Stacey Horcher I hope I didn't misspell or have any punctuation errors.

    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  57. To the Dist214 teacher just because you work in the school doesn't mean you would see an increase in gang activity. Spend sometime driving around the neighborhoods after school and on the weekends. How dare you assume I have no integrity or compassion... you know nothing about me or what I do for a living, what I have given and what I continue to do. Just because I am not someone who has my name plastered in the paper doesn't mean I don't give to the community, care about the community or give to those who need it. I care about the community a great deal because I have 3 kids I am raising who go to school in this community and we obviously live here. I guess the fact we have bought groceries for our neighbor who can't afford them because they are both unemployed doesn't count, or that we allow them to put their garbage in our cans because they can't pay their garbage bill and their pick up was stopped doesn't matter either. Or the countless hours my wife and I have volunteered at the schools working functions, being involved in the PTO doesn't count. Or that we have donated bags upon bags of clothes to churches, charities and schools for needy familes doesn't matter either. I coach youth athletics because I want to and enjoy it and they need parents to be involved but id doesn't matter either right? That's just to name a few of the things we have done and continue to do. but those contributions aren't good enough? I need to do more to show my compassion? My contributions and the others people make just like those are just as important. I may not have money coming out of my a$$ but how dare you say I and others don't care about the community, and we have no compassion or integrity! Your a teacher, and you are going to make assumptions about somebody and other members of the community without even knowing the person or the people. Do you teach your students to do the same thing? You don't think there are people that would love to be able to build something to help the community, or donate however much he is able to donate to pay for kids to be involved in activities or fund a project? Not everyone is in position to make the monetary contributions on that level but don't discount all the little things that so many people do on a daily basis that are just as important and that this community needs. I have no problem with Mark Smith, I just know there are more poeple than just him making contributions and donations to this community and the citizens. That should not be a factor in the decision to give him $6 million dollars for a project. It also does not make him better than me, John Doe or Jane Doe. I didn't attack Mark Smith and you shouldn't attack me or the rest of the community. What you should do is apologize. Finaly, in regards to the gangs they are getting worse, just because you don't see them in the school doens't mean they aren't getting worse. Yrgna Tnediser is right. There are new gangs moving into the area and they are spreading further out in the community. They used to be mostly common on the East side of town several years back but they have spread to all areas. They are in Dunhurst, Colonial, Cedar Run, Chelsea Cove, Whippletree, Inland Drive, Foxboro, Strong Avenue you name it they are likely there. People just don't want to admit it.

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  58. Why don't you move out of wheeling all you are doing is cutting down this communtity you should pack your bags and ship out since you aren't satisfied otherwise keep quiet and disrespect the town that you are apart of. What you are saying has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

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  59. Remember if the $6,000,000 is voted down the TIF continues to make money but not as much. Taxes will sill be paid on the property and the TIF will grow. Why are you asking Trustee Horcher those questions? They should be directed to the Finance Director.

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  60. The difference between yourself and Mark Smith is you feel the need to list all you have done and he just does it. I am not the d14 teacher, but the fact that you came on here to tell the world how great you are says a lot about your convictions. And by the way, without this bonding taking place there would be zero in the tif funds, therefore there would be zero money for other projects! This bonding would make it so that prairie park funds itself. No other taxes would be going towards it. Nobody is giving factual arguments and it is funny to see you floundering without a paddle. Trustee Horcher skewed things in his blog big time! Maybe that's why the wheeling citizen is questioning him!

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  61. I think the Prairie Park TIF includes the Westin. There is money in the overall Tifs fund but will not be if this goes through. We will be sending $3,500,000 to the bank to bail them out. Then in two years Mr. Smioth will be back. This is definatley ab bad deal for Wheeling.

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  62. Once again you would be incorrect. The Westin is in the North Tif, but no money from the Westin would fund the bonding for this tif for Prairie Park. It comes solely out of Prairie Park! Your acting as if there is 6 million in the tif for the taking and there is not unless they use revenue bonds on the Prairie Park project for it to fund itself. Do your homework before you speak. Why is it that village staff word for word said this is a good deal for Wheeling?

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  63. Because the staff does not live in Wheeling. We only pay them...Of the departmen heads I believe only the Chief of the Fire department lives in Wheeling. I don't know about the new Police chief

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  64. What a wonderful argument. Due to your ignorance, I should probably inform you that I am being sarcastic and that your implication that the village staff doesn't care is simply idiotic. I love all the uneducated and delusional statements people like you make. It gives me a good laugh. The village staff obviously understand the numbers and the benefit the revenue bonding for the tif will do for the village as a whole. Do yourself a favor and think things through before you say anything.

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  65. Please explain the pros and cons for the school districts.


    Please correct any of the following statements if they are incorrect. Lets educate each other.



    TIFs are good for schools in the long run becuase they increase the available taxes for the school districts. But in the short run, they are bad for the schools, because they deprives them of taxes on development that might have occurred anyway, and if any new children move to the TIF district, there is an increased the demands on the schools' services that people outside the TIF district must pay for. Does anyone disagree?



    Successful TIFs can release taxes to the school districts early, before the TIF district expires. Is that correct?








    Was there ever a chance that any of Wheeling's TIF districts would be able to release their taxes to the schools early? I don't know. Does anyone know?



    If the six million dollars are given to Praire Park, there is a greatly decreased chance that any of Wheeling's TIF districts can ever release their taxes early to the schools. Is this correct?


    If the taxes are not released early, this means that a 2 year old living in Wheeling will graduate from Wheeling High School before the Prairie Park TIF district releases any funds to the school district. Is this correct?

    On the other hand, 16 years from now, if the Praire Park is finished, one way or another, it will generate more funding for the schools than if it isn't finished. The question is whether giving the six million dollars now really will increase the chances that Prairie Park will be finished.



    If the six million dollars are not given the Praire Park, other TIF development becomes easier. Is this correct?

    New development would generate taxes which, in the long run, after the TIF district expires, also benefit the schools, and might even make it possible to release the taxes to the schools early. Is this correct?

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  66. One of the TIF districts did release money to the other taxing bodies early.

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  67. Is everything money based? I hope the Daily Herald posts my following submission.
    "Wheeling’s Prairie Park Upscale condos. April 27, 2010.
    Why do we have Prairie Park? Two reasons: Trustees liked building stuff; some ingrained professional propensities and a dream that they will father a development (Sorry Dr. Freud) thereby getting their picture in the newspapers. The Trustees were also bewitched that “Economic Development” was the answer to the pot of gold. Every elected official, compared to those appointed, campaigned on the premise of Econ. Development. Seeing a parcel of green land is aberrant to their psyche. Given the character of our Trustees, I am certain that they would promote condos in the Grand Canyon and billboards on the Washington Monument as a revenue source. Why do they clamber for a stronger tax base? Because they spent too much of our money! They are like incessant children demanding ever bigger allowances. Consider the new building edifices and the third fire station as examples.
    So our Trustees evoke financial wizardry and incantations of TIF potions, performance bonds, and soothsaying redemption if only we put more shekels on the table.
    But closer to the fact is that we are being bamboozled by a carny pitch that we should step up and try for the big prize promising, “You can’t lose.”
    Wait until Prairie Park falls behind schedule and is unable to maintain their waterfall and other expenses.
    Next April you will be asked to consider 4 incumbents to the Board, two of which supported increasing the Prairie Park TIF. Unfortunately, we have no champion contenders willing to resist commercialization of open land and to fight fiscal foolishness.
    Jack Caldwell

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  68. We already have the TIF districts -- too late for open land now. Is this 6 million dollar deal better for the schools or worse for the schools? Seems like it is definitely worse in the short-term, and either better or just a wash in the very long-term.

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  69. To Jack Caldwell
    Do you know what was on the property Prairie Park sits on. It wasn't open space. It was and industrial building. So you logic that it was open space is wrong. Lets take your logic a little step further. Are you going to tell the Horcher's who are your friends that they should never sell their property. Because according to you that it should remain open space. I guess that investment in property the Horcher's have they should receive nothing for it. Any one can see that you want to live in an area where there is a country feeling. I understand you don't want wheeling to grow and become a better place to live .

    To the Horcher's with a friend like Jack Caldwell you don't need blame the village because he's the one advocating open space.


    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  70. Wheeling Rumors
    Where are those comments about the cell phone tower on Horcher property?
    I seem to not be able to find them. Please repost them.

    Signed
    Wheeling citizen

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  71. Wheeling Citizen; your ignorance seems to have no bounds. Both the Illinois EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found Smith in violation of wetland protection. Kathy Chernich of the Corps of engineers assessed a stiff penalty that was ducked by Smith and eventually paid by the Village. About $20K as I recall. All my claims were verified by surface level photographs and aerial maps. You know who I am. Tell us who you are so we can keep you away from infecting children with stupidity. Jack Caldwell.

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  72. Wheeling Citizen: The cell tower was discussed uner "April 5th Board Meeting" no one seemed to want to talk about it.

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  73. Mr. Caldwell

    I don't have all the answers so I ask questions. Unlike you who seems to have all the answers and never listens to other view points. Just like some of are trustees. There is a quote from The movie Forest Gump and no its not the one that has chocolate in it. It's the other favorite quote in the movie. I think it fits you good. Like I said before run for trustee because it seems you know it all.

    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  74. Wheeling Rumors

    Thanks for posting the day they talked about the cell tower.

    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  75. Mr. Caldwell
    I simply can't stand YOUR stupidity anymore! For someone who acts so intelligent, you are stuck in the stone age. What did you do today with your first post? Read a thesaurus all day to make yourself sound mote intelligent? Do you have an environmental studies degree? You act as if progress is evil and for that you are a moron! It is very entertaining to read your attempts to sound more eloquent. You are not an environmental supporter, you are an extremist! Without new developments and tifs there would be no future taxes for schools and other entities within cities towns or villages. Also, before you make legal statements against others you should think carefully because you put yourself in a very compromising situation. Plain and simple you are a moron that attempts to act intelligent.

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  76. Instead of hurling personal insults at Mr. Caldwell, maybe you could answer my questions about the school districts. Is the six million dollar deal a bad idea for the school districts in the short term? Is there any benefit to them prior to 16 years from now? Is there even any benefit in 16 years, or would using TIF money for other new developments be better? Does the six million dollar deal mean that there won't be TIF money for any other new new developments?

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  77. Mr. Caldwell threw the first stone. He is a big boy let him fight his own battles. And to your questions, The 6 million will not hurt schools. It can only help them because of the increase in taxes of future sales by allowing sales to continue. Tifs don't hurt schools because schools recieve the same percentage of taxes from any given tif. Therefore if there is more money in the pot from an individual development or tif, they get more money!!! Mr. Caldwell acts like an old miserable man that believes progress is a bad thing. He would probably have us all in huts with no electricity!

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  78. If the six million dollars is given to the Prairie Park developer, does this mean that the TIFs in Wheeling can't release the additional taxes they have generated to the school districts here in Wheeling for another 16 years?

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  79. Do TIFs hurt schools? Let's examine. Assume there's a vacant piece of land. It has some low level of taxes being paid. During the TIF period, that low level tax is still being paid. The incremental higher tax goes toward repaying the TIF. If a commercial building gets built on the land, there are no new children in the schools and the same low level tax being paid. So, in the short term, it doesn't affect schools at all. After the TIF is paid back, the additional tax money will benefit the school. So, in the long run, it is beneficial to the school.

    If residential buildings are built, it is a different story. If they have children, then during the TIF period there will be more children in school, but only the vacant land tax coming in. So, in the short term it does hurt schools. Compared to the entire tax base, it is a very small percentage of the school budget. After the TIF period these units will probably be paying slightly higher taxes than other residents due to being new buildings assessed at higher values, so it will be a net benefit to the school. In the long run, it probably all averages out as the assessed values equalize.

    But there are other factors besides just schools - police, fire, 911, libraries, water, sewer, mosquito abatement, increased wear&tear on roads, etc. New residents utilize all these. Some of this may be offset by increased revenue from business taxes if the new residents frequent local establishments like restaurants, gas stations, dry cleaners, and other stores.

    It is hard to add up all the factors. If the TIF is for an extremely long period or for a very large value, it would certainly be bad. Likewise, with no TIF at all, a developer might only do a smaller project or none at all which would also be less than optimal. There is probably a sweet spot where a TIF is for just a few years and a certain percentage of the tax revenues that would optimize the revenues, if that is the goal.

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  80. Mr. Nicholas, thank you very much. Your answer matched what I thought, but I wasn't sure. I appreciate your taking the time to write a thoughtful answer.

    I think you are right about the "sweet spot".

    The issue you didn't quite directly address: how the six million dollars affects Wheeling's TIFs overall. From what I understood at the Board meeting, the six million dollars will knock us out of the sweet spot.

    If I understand correctly, giving the six million dollars will

    1) tie up the TIFs for the whole 16 years (so no sweet spot)

    2) no other development will receive TIF money help - so no help for developers to work on the K-Mart or Wickes locations (so less total taxes in the long term).


    That's just my understanding - maybe you or someone else reading this can give me the straight story.

    There was a lot of other good stuff in your answer that people should think about, maybe I should think about it too, so thanks again.

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  81. For those of you who incorrectly assume that I have animosity towards Mark Smith, please play the August 3, 2009 Village Meeting video where I said:
    “Regarding the proposed additional $3 million dollars for the Prairie Park development.
    Mark Smith is a good man. One of my college degrees is in Business Administration which gives me the perspective to appreciate his entrepreneurship. It is that skill that invigorates our American capitalistic system.
    It’s not a personal difference between Mr. Smith and me but a philosophical difference that makes me an adversary. He wants to build while I want to conserve. But my admiration for Mister Smith will not overshadow my protection of our remaining nature areas and my deep concern to our village’s weakening financial position.
    Apparently you fine trustees want more condominiums and tax revenue while I prefer that you leave the area to Mother Nature’s grand design. There is less than 3% of our Village acreage that hasn’t been encroached upon. Now you want to take more away in the name of Economic Development?
    Different strokes as they say.”

    Jack Caldwell AKA “the Moron”

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  82. The problem is that the board thinks economic development is more housing -- IT IS NOT! Economic development is industrial and commercial development that brings jobs to a community and companies which hire people. Unfortunately even the ED directors and the abolished ED commission never seemed to get it.

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  83. Mr. Caldwell

    The largest open space in wheeling is the Horcher Farm. With your reasoning I want to ask you a question. Are you going to tell the Horcher's who are your friends that they shouldn't develop there land? Better yet why don't you tell them to donate all their land to the park district. You probably won't ask them that question so one can only assume that you want them to make money. Remember it costs money to preserve open land and who is going to pay for it? Like I said before run for village trustee you seem to know it all or move to another city. Yet you stated that you will not run so I guess you will be moving.


    Signed
    Wheeling Citizen

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  84. I am not inconsistent. Although I think the Horcher family are nice people, I have serious disagreements with a few issues. IE, I abhor cell towers. And yes, I hope that they never sell their property to a commercial development. But as a Libertarian, I would never suggest that Michael not do what is best for his family. But I will tell you this; Michael and Patrick will never grovel and ask for TIF funds. BTW, you will never get an apology from me because we dined together ONCE. Nor will I apologize that I was at Ken’s house having a beer after the Wheeling Garden Walk, nor apologize that Dave and I talked at his house a week ago, nor explain how Dean and I sat in the same room a dozen times with the Wheeling Garden Club. Maybe you should go to the Village and suggest that citizens should be fined $500 for associating with their representatives. To be consistent, you should publish a list all Wheeling citizens who joined the select candidates at Market Square last year for brunch. Jack Caldwell AKA “The Moron”.

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  85. "Wheeling Citizen", could you turn your attention back to the six million dollars? Don't you think it would be better to keep the money for either new developments, or use it as it becomes availble for distribution it to the schools and other taxing bodies. If we don't do one of those things, our taxes will go up (or our property values will fall). Scroll way back up the page and look what the person who signed as "railroaded" -- isn't that person right?

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  86. Just to make it easy, here's the part of what "railroaded" said that I think you should focus on:

    -----------Quote-from-Railroaded-below---------

    This is exactly the type of T.I.F abuse that is bankrupting school districts. T.I.F. contributions are supposed to INCREASE THE TAX INCREMENT.
    This is paying for improvements that are already there. They said anyone would have to build what is left to build.
    Now Wheeling is obligating the future money that could be distributed to the Schools Parks and Libraries [....]

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  87. Here's the quote from Railroaded that I think the Trustees and "Wheeling Citizen" should focus on:

    =======Quote from Railroaded below ========

    This is exactly the type of T.I.F abuse that is bankrupting school districts. T.I.F. contributions are supposed to INCREASE THE TAX INCREMENT.
    This is paying for improvements that are already there. They said anyone would have to build what is left to build.
    Now Wheeling is obligating the future money that could be distributed to the Schools Parks and Libraries [...]

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  88. How will the $6 million affect other projects?
    I'm not an expert on TIF, maybe someone can correct me if I misunderstand something.

    When the village gives money for the TIF, they also sell Revenue bonds to raise the money. So, it is the Bond holders that are really financing the project, not the Village, but the Village is providing the guarantee.

    After the Village sells the bonds, why can't they do another project like Wickes and sell more bonds? Because... the state has a limit on how many bonds the village can issue. The village needs to apply for permission to issue more bonds. This is probably a good thing.

    Otherwise, all the cities and villages would try to spur too much development in hopes of future tax dollars. We'd end up with too many condos on the market that couldn't sell. The new tax revenues would not come in. The government would be over-leveraged and default on the bonds and we'd need a taxpayer bailout of the government. Sound familiar? Kind of like the bank crisis.

    Off topic - to prevent future bank bailouts, I think there should be a limit on the leverage ratio of banks or they should pay higher FDIC insurance rates based on leverage ratios.

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  89. Mr. Nicholas, thank you for the lucid explanation.

    My take: given the trouble the Wheeling elementary schools are in, it would be irresponsible for the Trustees to sink all the TIF money available for the next 16 years into one residential development. Good investing requires a diverse portfolio.

    What does everyone else think?

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  90. I am on board with you...

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  91. I think Lexington Homes has done a nice job with their development in Wheeling. They did not ask for any extra TIF money that I know of. They also have sold all but 5 of their townhomes at last check. Why don't we have them finish the Prairie Park instead of useless Smith Construction?

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  92. Do yourself a favor and don't think. If you were aware of what has actually transpired, you would know that documents were signed way back before Prairie Park began giving millions more in tif funding then were actually given and that they could come back and recieve the rest of the tif funding at a later date. Lexington Homes recieved all the tif money they were promised from the beginning. And yeah the amount of taxes Smith Construction has generated for this town proves to be useless. Stick to your TV shows and leave the thinking to those with brains and real arguments.

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  93. The Lexington Homes development is at the corner of Willow and Foster. Look at the map of TIF districts in Wheeling:
    http://wheeling.il.us/Business/EconomicDevelopment/PDF/TIFDistrictsMap_11x17.pdf

    There is not a TIF at Willow and Foster. Why do you think that Lexington Homes received any TIF funding?

    The concern that Smith was promised more funding is a serious one, but this argument has been rejected by Wheeling's lawyer.

    You say you have real arguments, so offer one. Address the issue of the "sweet spot". Address the issue of having a diverse portfolio. Address the issue of TIFs only paying for construction that will increase taxes, not simply pay for what has already been built. Address the issue of keeping Wheeling's TIFs flexible enough that they can release their tax early. Make a real argument. And it would be great if you could disagree without being disagreeable.

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  94. The argument of a diverse portfolio is ridiculous and cannot be proven that it is better or worse in a given situation. As for what you call a sweet spot, the north tif is going to produce nearly 30 million dollars, so for u to believe that giving 6 million to extend a project, which will definitely increase the taxes produced, takes us out of this so called sweet spot is ridiculous. Your making up terms that aren't real. Based on current taxes being produced by that project the bonds will be paid off in 6 years or less. So anyone who thinks it will be paying that off for 16 years should work on there basic math skills.

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  95. Also they are recieving this tif money for tif elgible expenses not for a structure that doesn't produce taxes. And if you don't believe that the sale of more units won't increase the amount of taxes you would be way off.

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  96. If the six million dollar deal goes through, when is the earliest TIF funding could be available to develop the K-Mart and Wickes locations? Are you saying it will be six years?

    Investing in those two spots, by the way, are examples of what I meant by having a diverse portfolio.

    When is the earliest taxes collected in the TIF districts could be released to the other taxing bodies? And, realistically, would this ever happen before the TIF expires?

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  97. Realistically nothing is going in those two locations anytime soon and based on the status of all the tifs even if the 6 million weren't given the tif probably wouldn't be realeased early. The only way that 6 million can be taken out of the tif is if they do the bonding. So there is no current tif money to be given to those projects at this point anyway. You are simply going in circles. They already voted it through so at this point you people should hope for the success of the project for our community as a whole, rather than come on here and really have no idea what you are talking about.

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  98. I wasn't suggesting that the six million was somehow available to be released early. I'm suggesting that that, at the discretion of the Board, the TIF districts can stop hoarding all of their taxes, and release some or all to the community. Alternatively, the money can be reinvested in new developments in the TIF districts. My understanding is that the six million dollar deal prevents either of these alternatives from occurring. Is that correct?

    You ridiculed the idea of a "sweet spot", but what exactly do you think Mr. Nicholas was incorrect about?

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  99. The notion that you know what the sweet spot is, is what I am ridiculing. Also, there will be funding for other projects in the future, based on the amount of taxes the north tif produces a year there should be available funds fom the Weston and then from prairie park once the bond is paid off. You do the math right now they said it produces 1.4 mil a year. I don't know where or when these imaginary future projects are happening because there is no way either the wicked or kmart properties are going to be developed over the next few years unless the village plans on selling either for huge losses, which I hope they wouldn't.

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  100. And I'm talking about Priaire Park not the whole North tif producing the 1.4 million a year. I'm done arguing on this site. What is done is done. It's happening and I support it and hope the best for Prairie Park and with its success the increase of tax revenue that it will produce for this village. And to all of you that have talked so negatively about our village that I was born and raised in, I suggest you love it or leave it. Debate is good, I am referring to the people that basically said Wheeling is garbage and over ridden with gangs and made it sound like slumville USA. This town has come a long way in the last ten years and I think it is awesome.

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  101. Bravo to you. I think Wheeling is a good place to live also. I just wish our leaders would stop trying to make us a North Shore community. We are what we are and will stay that way. Be happy with the community.

    Now for this discussion. Does anyone know why Trustee Vogel changed his vote from "no" to "yes".
    All these questions should be directed towards him.

    If he had not changed his vote we would not be having this discussion.

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  102. I have a question for anyone that can answer. From what everyone has been talking about on this topic, it seems like the only places where tif money will be needed for new developments will be the Wickes and K-Mart sites. Weren't both of these purchased with tif money? So once they are sold, won't all the money go back into the tif? So, once something is ready to be done with these properties, there absolutely would be tif money to be used...correct?

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  103. Not necessarily. What If..they give the Wicks property as TIF..Then we get no money..You also forgot the "Collins Fireplace" building. I do believe it will pass because Pres Abascato has Trustee Vogel changing his vote. I don't think she can stay out of it.

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  104. Yes but then that property would still get developed and tif was essentially given. So it seems to me that for anything to occur on any of the three properties they must be sold which would put money in the tif funds or they would be given as tif which is basically the same thing from a financial standpoint. Based on this information I now strongly disagree with the notion that there will be no tif money for future projects and I don't see it as a reasonable argument as I did before.

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  105. You are assuming these are the only properties which would require tif monies. What about a development at Kmart? Judy stated in her campaign speeches she was going to develop the Horcher Farm. The builder on Wolf just down from the Prairie Park Development has been before the board and said he would be back for TIF money. So anything like that they would be out of luck. I am against throwing all our eggs in one basket.

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  106. You make a good point if the properties were in fact purchased with TIF money, but scroll back up and look at the map of Wheeling's TIF districts -- they include a lot more than Wickes and K-Mart.

    There are quite a number of development opportunities in our Village in addition to the K-Mart, Wickes, and the Fireplace store.

    Also note that TIF funding can pay for improvements on existing buildings, it can pay for various kinds of improvements to existing businesses, and it can even pay for educational programs (like job-training) - these options don't seem to be considered very often. You might raise your eyebrows at the job training idea, but don't discount the rest of it too.

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  107. I could be mistaken, but I think if you check you will see that the village does not own the K-Mart property. Wheeling had an option on the property last year, but let it go when the developer they had in mind backed out. If a developer does buy the K-Mart property and requests TIF dollars for development, there will be none, at least for the next few years. Our Economic Development Department should be working on getting somethin developed at that site.

    Does anyone know if the sale of the bonds for the North TIF district will have any affect on
    Wheeling's overall bond rating or are TIF bonds kept separate?

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  108. I recently discovered this blog, and as a long time Wheeling resident, I am so glad that someone thought to do this! It is a place where we can all learn more about what goes on in this town, and post our comments and concerns. Bravo to you Wheeling Rumors! On behalf of the residents- thank you for providing a place where we can be heard. Don't let the nay sayers discourage you,this is a place that will cause an effect on this corruptly run town for the better. We need the residents to be informed finally. Thank you!

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  109. These are revenue bonds based solely on Prairie Park so I don't believe so.

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  110. How can you say Wheeling is a better town in the last 10 years? Where have you been? I don't know where you live, but Wheelings crime has gone up

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  111. So have the school test scores number 1 in d214 and the many developments both residential and otherwise. You should take that persons advice from the post earlier love it or leave it. You probably hate yourself too don't you. That's why you talk so poorly about this town.

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  112. Wheeling High School test scores have gone down in the last 3 years.. Why do you think parents want their children to go to Hersey? I grew up in Wheeling and things need to change... Period..

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  113. Really? Wheeling high school was number 1 in d214 this year! Not to mention the amount of heroine related deaths at Hersey in the last 5 years. Just because people stigmatize wheeling doesn't make it true. You are an idiot period!

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  114. $1.4 million per year seems a little high to be just Prairie Park. Divide that by how many units? 160? 240? 300? for a 2-bedroom condo, even with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, seems a little much.

    If it is $1.4 million from Prairie Park, payback is in just over 4 years, which doesn't seem too unreasonable, but if payback is 16 years, that seems like a long time to not be paying a fair share of police, fire, schools, libraries, parks, roads, etc.

    I wrote "sweet spot" earlier, intentionally trying to avoid business terms like return on investment. While the village should be run like a business, it should not be a business. It should be encouraging re-development of blighted areas and keeping a good mix of single-family and multi-unit, low/moderate/high income, business, retail. I think Wheeling is doing a good job of maintaining a mixed community, which is why I chose to live here.

    To what extent government should control development is another debate.
    I lived briefly in an entirely planned community - Columbia, Maryland. It had good points - the location of the elementary schools with walking paths that never crossed busy streets, and some not so great points - business signs were so low to the ground you couldn't see them and not much choice with only 1 gas station nearby.

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  115. 1.4 million is correct. Village staff said so at the meeting

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  116. Listen the facts are there.. I went to Wheeling High School and they taught me also how to spell Heroin.. Sorry, I'm the idiot though..

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  117. They did not teach you that, I also went to Wheeling High School and I came out alright!

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  118. Wow, can the Village give me $6M to build something too? I didn't know that they had so much money to give away.
    What's the worst that could happen if it went into foreclosure, people that couldn't afford a condo could have moved in and the Village could have made some tax money. But they chose to spend money and keep the prices of the units up so that no one could afford them!

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