I went to a Racine Planning Commission meeting last night to learn more about the Porters project and the TIF proposed to help with the financing. But that was not the only issue before the commission.
It seems that there are some folks who want to utilize (purchase or rent?) the Women's Club building on the outskirts of downtown. The one and only controversy discussed was over parking and traffic congestion that might result when the proprietors have a funeral procession departing from their establishment. Apparently this was the second time wrangling over the issue and this time the proprietors proposed routes which seemingly would have been different from those used by a neighboring funeral home. We also learned that in the last five years, they have only had about five funerals that did not go from a church directly to a cemetery. In other words, unless they change their modus operandi, they will have very infrequent funeral processions. Even so, they spent close to an hour discussing this phantom problem before deferring action until such time as the proprietor can relieve the concerns of the committee. How exactly to successfully address the "problem" of a once a year funeral procession on public streets was left unsaid.
Regarding the Porter's project, it was a love fest from start to finish. The project itself looks great and I wholeheartedly endorse the Waters family using their own money or that of investors to move forward. Fearing the TIF would sail through the committee like a funeral procession on an open road, it was up to me apparently to suggest that a TIF is a serious investment by the public, with considerable risks to the taxpayer, and that the risks should be fully explored before the matter is voted upon. But alas, with no discussion beyond praise for the Waters family, they voted unanimously to approve the TIF. The matter now heads to the full council.