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Daley Backs City Money for Park Upkeep

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Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is defending the outlay of tax money to maintain Millennium Park.

Private funds were supposed to pay for the park’s upkeep. But a city official revealed yesterday that the money never came through. Instead, $8 million in hotel taxes fund the landscaping, maintenance and repairs. Daley says the Park is a major draw for out-of-town visitors, and that’s just what the hotel tax is intended for.

DALEY: This is a tourist attraction. And tourism has to be used for tourist money. That’s what the hotels say. We pay for tourists. We want tourists to use our hotel. You get a benefit, the retail gets the benefit, that’s the whole idea.

He says it’s hard to collect from donors during a market crisis. He added that the city is still looking to raise the private money, someday.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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