Incentives, my butt-dragging, broken-back, over-taxed retirement. You have a prominent property owner who purchased a multimillion dollar property as well as a good chunk of Burlington Street and an equally well-to-do Mr. Labriola with two profitable restaurants in Oak Brook.
About $150,000 in incentives over three years breaks down to about $50,000 per year. If taxpayers in Riverside can afford to lose this amount of income due to the village, then also it is not that much for this business venture to pay to enable them to open a business in Riverside. But to gain only $5,000 per year in additional real estate taxes is a bad deal.
While we would like to see another restaurant in town, or any business for that matter, it has not been well thought out. Fifty-nine parking spaces for residents, tenants and patrons may not be enough with a restaurant that seats 135 people and employs 30 people at different times.
Even at full seating, you would need 30-plus parking spaces at four people to a vehicle, which is not going to happen. What about handicapped parking? How many spaces are required?
Does anyone expect customers to park be the train station and walk? Will it be upscale enough to have valet parking like LaGrange?
As for other incentives, how much has been given to Chew Chew to open its sandwich shop? Is it an extension of the restaurant or just another franchise operation? What is this costing the taxpayers?
While I’m talking about money we cannot afford to pay out in extra taxes, I see that Riverside-Brookfield High School is in contract talks with the teachers, as well as construction this summer. While we received some grant money for construction, is it being spent wisely?
I would ask both sides working on this contract to consider those of us on fixed retirement incomes who have not received cost-of-living allowances over time and those who are paying for healthcare out of their own pockets or doing without any coverage.
I think many of us would like to know what healthcare coverage is provided, out-of-pocket cost per month and who is paying for it.
I see the board is considering reimbursing tuition for teachers’ ongoing education. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but teachers are allowed to claim this tuition on their income tax and, if so, are not only paying for their education but are able to deduct it from their income tax.
Frank C. Vlazny