Glenview's Redevelopment Director Don Owen warned that the village faces a "significant risk" to its tax base because one dealership - McGrath Acura - has moved away and others might follow.
Neglecting to mention that two dealers, Jennings and Bredemann, opted to stay and expand, Owen
said the loss of a single dealership could cost $100,000 per year in property tax and $200,000-$500,000 in annual sales tax receipts.
Village Hall predicted the dealerships on Willow Road, to be built on nine acres of land on the east and west sides of a parcel anchored by Costco
, would generate $5 million in new property taxes over the next 20 years and sales tax revenue of $750,000-$1 million annually.
Land for the proposed development was originally set aside for creation of wetlands in exchange for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
to fill other wetlands at The Glen.Owen
said the developer, Harlem-Irving
, had done little to fulfill the promise and characterized the new wetlands as "partially stabilized storm water detention pits."
In exchange for an okay from the corps, Owen
said the village would spend up to $825,000 ($700,000 plus a 25 percent contingency fee) to create new wetlands on open space around Lake Glenview and the Air Station Prairie.
Noting that storm water would have no place to go once wetlands were paved, Owen
said Fields would have to construct costly underground vaults to retain run-off, and because the building sites had been filled with soft soil, the dealer would find it more costly to build.
For those reasons, Owen
said it was necessary to give Fields $2.2 million in public money from the tax increment financing (TIF) fund established to promote redevelopment at The Glen.
If Fields is unable to operate all three dealerships over a 10-year period, Owen
said some of the incentive money would be returned.
said it was too late to negotiate for that.
said Fields would pay $1 million to developer Harlem-Irving
for nine acres of land.
In making the pitch for car dealerships over wetlands, Owen
said, "There is a sales tax component to this that would allow the village board to consider additional open space purchases if you're interested."
If McCarthy's side kick Don Owen
is serious about his
claim that car dealerships could bankroll future acquisition of open space, let him propose an ordinance to create a green fund, earmarking sales taxes from the dealerships to buy 10 acres of open space elsewhere in Glenview and to assure that our natural areas are properly maintained.