Update: A link to the financials is at the end of this blog entry. Thanks to the person who supplied the informative website! (The link is temperamental – sometimes available, sometimes not. Check back if you have problems. Sorry about the inconvenience, it is beyond my control.)
About 12 years ago, give or take, the Muncie Sportscomplex(Sports & Hobby) incurred a debt of $800,000 in a bond to build the complex. In August 2008, Mr. Mansfield approached the city council asking for a new bond of $1,000.000. Promising to retire the previous debt of $500,000 at a lower rate and use the remaining money to expand the Sportscomplex (Sports & Hobby).
The expansion was to include relocting and reconstruction of the baseball and soccer fields and build additional baseball diamonds. We also expected to see a 1800 sq. foot building housing a concessions stand and bathrooms. Mr. Mansfield alluded to the possibility of a hotel being built on the east side near the complex. The taxpayers would not be responsible for any bond payments because it is all funded by the inn-keeper’s tax. Mr. Mansfield said about $450,000/year is generated through the innkeeper’s tax. Sounds good. Keep reading.
That night, city council voted to issue a bond for $1,000.000 for 20 years to finance the expansion. Mr. Mansfield stated that the fields and a new parking lot had a goal of completion in Spring 2009. Can’t tell you if that goal was met. I assume it was, but was told something different today.
Mr. Mansfield was adamant that no taxpayer’s money would fund the extension. Yet in today’s newspaper we were told the county commissioners approved a transfer $5,000 for the new complex expansion. The money came from economic development which is funded through tax dollars. So, in essence, we will be paying for it after all.
Some questions that I have not got answered…
- Is this really a self-sustaining entity, or will taxpayers, already strapped, pick up the tab?
- How was the money spent, and did they under-estimate the cost and run short of money from the bond?
- Why is the county funding something we were promised wouldn’t be a burden on taxpayers?
You guess is good as mine. Adding insult to injury, there will be no Summer Heat this year. One wonders why the biggest contributor has pulled out. The Visitor’s Bureau usually ends up paying approximately $100,000 towards this event. I wonder if they had this money already budgeted and set aside, why the county felt it so important to give money when there are other things looming. Like the millions of dollars we expect to see in budget shortages.
The money doesn’t seem to be a problem, they sure are spending like they have it all. Well, we did have 8 million dollars in the Morrison TIF, so I guess we are rich.
Something to ponder and just slightly off topic, with the looming lay-off of the firefighter expected on Saturday, one wonders why this sportscomplex gets a free pass. It is just this type of government that helps foster the lay-offs. If only we had spent and planned wisely we would not be here today. We could have weathered the recession. Two words. Mis Management. (tee hee)
Y’all have a nice evening, ya hear?
Check out the PDF tax statements, too!