WMBD/WYZZ TV – PEORIA
– It will be up to voters to decide if they want to help finance the PeoriaRiverfrontMuseum.Tonight, the Peoria County Board voted 16 to
1 to place a referendum on the ballot in April, asking if voters support a
sales tax increase.If passed, the
quarter of 1% tax would help finance a massive chunk of the project.Just under $40 million is still needed to get
the museum off the ground.Its total
cost is $137 million.
The proposed tax would mean you'd pay an extra 25-cents on
every $100 you spend in PeoriaCounty.Beginning on the first of next year, the tax
could be in effect for the next 20-years... or until $40 million is raised.
The museum project has been on-again, off-again for
years.A vital part of its success rests
in Caterpillar’s hands.CAT has agreed
to help finance the project, and also build a visitors center next to the
museum.Despite news of law-offs and
falling stock prices, CAT still backs the project.
But even though the referendum will appear on the ballot...
It doesn't mean voters will favor it.Project leaders look at the referendum as a victory, but are already
thinking about getting the public to back it come April.
Merle Widmer was the only CountyBoard Member to vote against
placing the referendum on the ballot.Widmer explains his vote on his blog... You can find a link to it here.
Meanwhile, an informational town hall meeting has been set
for March 9th at at BradleyUniversity’s Baker Hall Auditorium,
Room B51 to help answer any questions the public might have.