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U.S. Cellular Coliseum Plans To Climb Out Of The Red

BLOOMINGTON, IL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The U.S. Cellular Coliseum is looking to rebound from a posted fiscal year deficit of $2.5 million, and a projected deficit of $1.6 million this year.

The Central Illinois Arena Management’s report detailed how the deficit continued to increase after a 10-month operating loss of $1.8 million was announced in early April, according to the Pantagraph. The increase was blamed on the continued expense of paying for the roughly $29 million in bonds issued to pay for construction of the building and for equipment depreciation.

The report listed those two items at $2.1 million alone.

“I always predicted a loss,” Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton said. “I was guessing around $2 million, so it’s a little more than what I was expecting.”

The City Council is considering options including increasing the city’s sales tax by a quarter of a percentage point, which would raise a predicted $2.6 million; increasing property taxes by 10 cents per $100 assessed; or increasing the city’s garbage fees by $5.

Some city staff members have suggested holding expenses and finding the m oney in the city’s $74 million general fund.

Stockton said he would prefer to see the city find money already in the budget for recreational purposes to cover the loss. If that cannot be done, his second option would be to create a hotel-restaurant-amusement tax, much like what the nearby city of Peoria uses to fund the Peoria Civic Center.

The council has already approved a $24,500 contract with accounting firm McGladrey and Pullen to conduct an audit of the Coliseum’s financial statements. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers