KANKAKEE — A decision regarding the dispute between Bradley and the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau could come as early as Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Kankakee County Circuit Court Associate Judge Scott Sliwinski said during a short hearing Wednesday, Nov. 6, that a decision on the CVB’s suit against Bradley will be made quickly.
The judge will have to consider whether to reject Bradley’s claim that the contract between the village and the CVB was improper or if he agrees the contract was proper and the case should be dismissed.
He said that decision will come in one week — at a 9 a.m. Wednesday hearing.
At issue is whether a five-year intergovernmental agreement approved April 22 by the Bradley Village Board is valid. The current village board contends that the vote was taken at the start of the April 22 meeting, before the newly elected trustees were seated.
The current board believes that vote should have been held back until they were seated. The outgoing board then held a second vote — called a vote to reconsider.
The reconsideration vote was turned down. Once a vote to reconsider is rejected, it cannot be brought back up for a vote.
On April 26, then-Bradley Mayor Bruce Adams resigned. At a special meeting called on April 29, the new board, with Mike Watson serving as the mayor pro tem, voted to withdraw the village from the CVB.
Because Bradley-based hotels and the hotel tax associated with them, are the CVB’s chief funding source, the village’s withdrawal from the agency would basically cripple the organization.
As part of these legal actions, the hotel taxes generated in Bradley since Aug. 1 have been held by the Kankakee County Treasurer’s office.
Depending on the eventual outcome, the taxes will either make their way to the CVB account or into the village coffers. Either way, the money can only be spent on promoting tourism and travel.
In addition to Bradley, the CVB is funded through hotel taxes generated in Bourbonnais, Manteno, Momence, Kankakee and unincorporated Kankakee County.
Of the 14 hotels and motels within Kankakee County, eight are in Bradley.
The lion’s share — or about 67 percent — of these taxes comes from Bradley. About 90 percent of the CVB’s nearly $900,000 budget comes through hotel taxes. The remaining 10 percent comes through the state.