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Mattoon council members differ on proposed sports complex financing – Journal Gazette / Times-Courier

Editor’s note: For more about the plans, check out this related story.

MATTOON — The City Council’s five members see economic development potential in the proposed Mattoon Sports Complex, but two would like to revise the financing.

Mayor Rick Hall and members Jim Closson, Dave Cox, Sandra Graven and David Phipps are set to vote on the city’s intent to support this project during their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.



Closson


Jim Closson

Closson said he appreciates that Mattoon-based Rural King will donate 110 acres near the southwest corner of Illinois Route 16 and Interstate 57 for the complex. A Remington Road-I-57 business district, including the complex, would be created to help with project financing.

Closson said he is not in favor of rebating 1.5% of city sales tax revenue in the district to the project. He said if the district generates $50 million annually, the city budget will lose out on $750,000 every year and a total of $15 million over 20 years.

“As this project is currently structured, Mattoon’s city budget only benefits with 1.5% sales tax in the ancillary areas outside the business district,” Closson said. “Additionally, the city is rebating all new property construction taxes and all hotel taxes.”

Closson said the city will need the district’s sales tax revenue to meet extra police, fire and public works costs if the complex annually draws up to 250,000 visitors. He also has concerns about competition from other existing or planned sports complexes in the region, and about the Mattoon complex’s maintenance expenses possibly necessitating tax rebatements for many decades.

Still, Closson said he would support the project if the city retains its needed sales tax revenue and if the project secures the required property tax rebate agreements from the Mattoon school district, Coles County and Lake Land College.

“If this project is successful, it will bring people to our community and contribute dollars to the local economy, as well as construction dollars during all phases of the project,” Closson said.



Cox


 Dave Cox

Cox said the project has been well-vetted in terms of the cost and revenue projections by multiple professional sources. He said he feels confident in the project’s analysis and that it will make a significant positive impact for Mattoon.

“This is a transformative project that happens maybe once in a generation,” Cox said. “We have the opportunity to build our community through economic development in just a couple of years with what would take more than 20 years to accomplish.”

Cox said this project builds on Mattoon’s history of leadership in youth sports events. He said the complex will give a great first impression to travelers on I-57, adding it will be “great marketing.”

Mattoon residents will also benefit from the project area including a 126,000-square-foot indoor sports and events …….

Source: https://jg-tc.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/mattoon-council-members-differ-on-proposed-sports-complex-financing/article_4fc4fd60-1caf-11ed-bd0c-5f4fe6496082.html

Editor’s note: For more about the plans, check out this related story.

MATTOON — The City Council’s five members see economic development potential in the proposed Mattoon Sports Complex, but two would like to revise the financing.

Mayor Rick Hall and members Jim Closson, Dave Cox, Sandra Graven and David Phipps are set to vote on the city’s intent to support this project during their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

…….

Editor’s note: For more about the plans, check out this related story.

MATTOON — The City Council’s five members see economic development potential in the proposed Mattoon Sports Complex, but two would like to revise the financing.

Mayor Rick Hall and members Jim Closson, Dave Cox, Sandra Graven and David Phipps are set to vote on the city’s intent to support this project during their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

…….

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