- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - A private foundation backed by Gov. Bruce Rauner is preparing to kick off a major fundraising effort to revamp Illinois’ dilapidated fairgrounds.

Rauner announced the creation of the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation during last year’s state fair, with the goal of raising enough money to repair crumbling buildings, deteriorating roadways, and aging sewer and electrical systems, the Chicago Tribune reported (https://trib.in/2p8JD5M ). The fairgrounds have also battled flooding during heavy rains.

The foundation will seek $185 million in private money and donations to pay for the projects. Chairman John Slayton said the group has raised $5,000 to $10,000 so far.

He said the goal isn’t likely to be raised in the short term, but that the foundation wants to hit $2 million or $3 million per year. The governor and first lady Diana Rauner have promised to contribute an unspecified amount to the project.

Slayton said the foundation hopes to see more donations now that its website is live and that it’s also in talks to sell naming rights to buildings.

Rauner announced the foundation last summer after pushing for a bill to create a similar one to no avail. The governor accused Democrats of playing political games by holding up the legislation, saying the state was losing money from agriculture interests that were instead donating to similar foundations in other states. For a long time, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has raised concerns about various efforts to privatize government operations.

Rauner is expected to attend a fundraising event at the fairgrounds next month that costs $50 per person and $100 per family.


Information from: Chicago Tribune, https://www.chicagotribune.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide