Motown’s check returned

When Kenneth Bardwell brought a large contingent to town on Dec. 7, he pointed out to a large audience at the Vandalia City Council meeting that he had brought with him a reimbursement check for a traffic study the city had performed. Four days later, city officials learned that the check was no good.

And while the bank stamp indicated that the $17,500 check was returned for insufficient funds, Bardwell’s group and city officials say that it was rejected because it lacked proper authorization.

That check was to reimburse the city for a traffic study the city had performed as part of an agreement with Motown Technology and Sports Facility Inc., a Michigan group that plans to build a $300-million sports and entertainment facility in the area of the city’s western Interstate 70 interchange.

The Leader-Union late last week received a copy of the check, along with bank information, after filing a request through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The city granted that request, by law, seven business days after the written request was submitted, and presented to The Leader-Union last Thursday.

The Leader-Union request was filed after the Dec. 21 city council meeting during which the council met in closed session to discuss possible litigation involving the Motown project. The council met in closed session on the matter again at the close of its Jan. 4 meeting.

On Tuesday afternoon, The Leader-Union spoke with city officials about the situation with the returned check, as well as the future of the Motown project.

For the full story, see this week’s issue of The Leader-Union.

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