To the Editors,
The City of Chicago recently announced a 'projected deficit' of $1.2 billion. The Chicago Park District has also announced its deficit: $32 million. Soldier Field bonds need city money, because the hotel tax has disappeared. And the pandemic rages on. It is only reasonable to expect this to continue, at least through next year. So, too, the economic fallout.
I do not think the City or the Obama Foundation has been completely clear on the cost to taxpayers of building the OPC. We know the budget for road widening alone to be $175 million.
What we don't know are environmental remediation costs from the underground garage. We don't know infrastructure costs, sewer and electric. We haven't factored in other costs, such as the removal of 800 to 1,000 trees from Jackson Park.
What happens if President Obama doesn't reach his fundraising goal? Let's say he reaches half -- $500 million. Are we taxpayers going to be on the hook for any of the remaining balance?
I submit, in light of the pandemic, we move the OPC to any number of other sites in the City. This would save us a fortune, and we would still have Jackson Park.
Placing this in the Park is ostentatious, and we can't afford it, anyway.