Mayor Pushes for Annexing Illinois State Fairgrounds
The mayor of Springfield says he's lobbying Illinois legislators to let the city annex the State Fairgrounds and use some city sales tax revenue generated there to repair several of its buildings.
The Coliseum hosts annual horse shows and is among those buildings needing emergency repairs. It has been closed since 2016 after structural damage to its roof made it unsafe for use.
Mayor Jim Langfelder says local lodging establishments have told him that canceling horse shows has meant a 25 percent reduction to their business.
Gov. Bruce Rauner created the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation in 2016 to raise private funds for repairs to the Coliseum. Foundation board chairman John Slayton says it has raised about $30,000 so far.