Aurora $950 million in the red

On June 18 th , the Aurora CFO informed the City Council that the City is $950 million in the red with debt, underfunded pensions, and bonds, among other items. A few minutes later, the administration asked the city council to agree to purchase 9 old houses on Bilter Road by the Outlet Mall for $10 million. Having already spent $9.45 million on the 2 hotels on Farnsworth and the corner lot on Bilter Road, I voted against this.

The CFO is proposing we issue another $100 million in debt for various projects, including $30 to $50 million to move the Hollywood Casino to the Bilter Road properties. We currently receive approximately $6 million per year from Hollywood Casino and it doesn’t cost the city a penny. The CFO has also proposed another $12 million for the Copley redevelopment (we already gave them $3 million), as well as another $27 to $30 million for a new city building for our cars and trucks.

The Copley, and the relocated Casino (or Convention Center), will be in TIF districts, meaning there won’t be any (or very little) property taxes to cover the huge interest payments for the next 23 years. The new city building will also not generate any property taxes. This means that the Aurora taxpayers will foot the bill to pay for these big-ticket items. And with our skyrocketing pension costs, Aurora property taxes are sure to go up! The city needs to stop this runaway spending!

Judd Lofchie Alderman,

10 th Ward,

City of Aurora.

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