Collinsville is letting fear of failure dictate the fate of the Miner's Theater.
The city and the Collinsville Area Recreation District both say they want to see the theater renovated -- but with private money rather than anymore tax dollars. Good so far.
The best way to ensure no more tax money is spent on the theater is to transfer ownership to the private Miner's Institute Foundation. Now, CARD still has to pay to maintain and insure the building.
But the city continues to refuse to bend its rules and forgive CARD's debt to clear the way for the transfer. The city gave CARD $235,000 in TIF funds for the project.
It's not about the money -- CARD in three years can do whatever it pleases with the building -- but rather control.
"What if this foundation isn't able to raise funds and they fail and they can't do anything with the building," asked Councilwoman Nancy Moss.
If the foundation fails, the building eventually would have to be torn down. But that's the same thing that's likely to happen on the current path of no more public spending. Why not clear the way so the foundation can give it a shot now, not three years from now? At least people could say they tried.