Spending TIF Money on the Egyptian Theatre

Last month I was going through recent City of DeKalb check registers for something or other and came across a payment out of DeKalb’s Central Area Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Fund for $189 with the description “EGYPTN THTR UNCLG BSMNT DRN.” I also found descriptions for “EGYPTN THTR STG DOORS LCKS” and “LGHT FXTR WMNS BTHRM.”

These items sounded more like regular maintenance than the private property rehab/development that TIF is supposed to support, but I figure the city probably has plausible excuses for them, perhaps repairs for damage done by clumsy plasterers or painters?

Two of the October entries are for engineering services with descriptions of “EGYPTN THTR ALLEY RCNSTRCTN.” This must be TIF-speak for “taxpayers are footing the bill for heated sidewalks.”

The point is, the city council has been approving a lot of goodies for the Egyptian. It makes good sense to pay some attention to these expenditures.

[T]he Egyptian Theatre was granted bond money to be used toward replacement of the auditorium seats, replacement of the sound system and air conditioning system. The total cost of these improvements was $890,000. The seats and sound system projects have been completed, she said; bids on the air conditioning project were received and were much higher than expected. Additionally, she stated that the Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre (P.E.T.) is requesting that the remaining $374,080 be combined with the remaining bond monies
and TIF funds to be reallocated towards a complete sprinkler system.

The TIF allocation amendment was approved March 11. Additionally, the council approved a 2014 fiscal year budget (which began July 1) that includes an annual TIF allocation to the Egyptian for $100,000.

Below are records of expenditures made on behalf of the Egyptian for calendar year 2013 through October 23. I asked quite specifically for Egyptian-related records in my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request but they chose to print out the full list of expenditures for property rehab from TIF (Fund 13) and then black out by hand what didn’t apply to the request. I don’t know why.

Click either image to access larger versions.

TIF for Egyptian 1 of 2 photo EgyptianTIF1of2_zpsc57b2b98.jpg

TIF for Egyptian 2 of 2 photo EgyptianTIF2of2_zps91427df9.jpg