click to enlarge Letters to the editor 9/14/23
Groundbreaking for the $67 million Scheels Sports Park at Legacy Pointe is now scheduled for Sept. 20. The Springfield City Council recently approved an extended time frame for business district incentives, a step the developer said was necessary to satisfy the lending institutions involved.

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Why is Ryan McCrady speaking for the developers ("Delay in Scheels Sports Park groundbreaking," Aug. 31)? Why is this just now being brought to the public when the developers have presented a few times to the Springfield City Council and never said anything about the extension of business district incentives. That would have been an appropriate time. Rather, they use Ward 9 Ald. Jim Donelan to blame others.

Obviously, this business district discussion is just now coming up because the developers should have moved on this complex a year ago but decided to hold off, and now the rates have gone from 4% to 7% and the cost to build is up.

I hope this gets built, but these developers being AWOL does not look good.

James Patton



I have never been a gambler, but certainly agree that laying odds has its place in figurative language and politics. And the Scheels Sports Park is Springfield's craps table extraordinaire. I do hope that this project manifests and the local and surrounding communities reap the decades-long vision of a mega-sports complex we have all been promised. But I have my doubts about our city's prioritization of need, and this may be a bridge too far.

This will certainly be a financial boon to our town, but it is not a life-altering opportunity to most. It will undoubtedly give some of our community's athletes nice facilities to improve their craft, improve tourism and bring weekend business to hotels, restaurants and shops. It will assuredly bring new restaurant chains and fuel stops.

But what else will it do? Will it change the trajectory of our town's population? Will it help bring about an end to families' generational poverty? Will it preserve the historic and better parts of our town while helping to eliminate the scourge and dilapidation we see each day?

Or will it continue to drive a wedge between the haves and the have-nots, destroy our YMCA and recreational leagues, continue to push our community resources further away from the need and harpoon the very things that it purports to bring – growth and revitalization? Stay tuned, Springfield.

Aaron Graves



The City of Springfield applied for and was granted U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits and Illinois Pollution Control Board variances in 1988, 1993, 2000 and 2006 to construct temporary dams on the Sangamon River and South Fork River to supply CWLP with supplemental water during previous droughts ("Say no to Hunter Lake," Aug. 24). The 2006 permit and variance expired in 2011. Since 2011, CWLP customers have been vulnerable to drought with only the Springfield Drought Management Plan to rely on. There was no backup water supply during the 2012 drought, but it was not an emergency, so the drought management plan was not implemented.

The permits and variances granted previously were never used and the drought management plan has never been implemented since its inception. With renewal of the Sangamon River permit and variance, Springfield will always have enough water.

Donald D. Davis
Pleasant Plains



In response to Sen. Dick Durbin's comments, I happen to remember back in the 1980s when he, among others, were wanting stiffer penalties for the users when they should have been going after the sellers and providers ("Unjust sentencing," Sept. 7). If Durbin wants the users to have lesser penalties, go after the sellers and providers and stop the drug issues today, if he is so inclined.

Karen LeSeure

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