Are we really considering giving $500,000 in TIF money to Madison St. Theatre? I can’t blame the theatre for asking, but this is not the best way to spend TIF money. What is the estimated return on that investment? How many years or decades would it take the village to recoup $500,000 through increased business activity in the arts district?
I’m all for a vibrant theater company in Oak Park, but let’s encourage Madison St. Theatre to run a successful capital campaign to raise its own money rather than take money from public coffers. I’m sure Pete’s Fresh Market would like some help refurbishing the old Dominick’s store on Lake Street. Maybe the new Sugar Beet Co-op would like a piece of the pie, too.
There are a lot of possible ways to spend that public money; let’s use it to develop infrastructure that attracts and retains businesses and customers of all sorts, rather than helping jumpstart one worthwhile nonprofit organization that is so capable of raising its own money through private donations.
Karl Lauger
Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!