We're sitting in the KMOV News4 Live Truck as I write this outside of the Skyview Drive-in in Belleville. Tonight the owner of the drive-in cut a deal with the city that will keep the drive-in in business and end a deal that's been in the works with the city of Belleville for the past four or five years.
The owner of the Skyview, Steve Bloomer, faced financial difficulties in the last several years. He said if this deal with the city didn't happen then the Skyview wouldn't survive. Under the development agreement the city will tear down a nearby cinema building and the Skyview will add a third screen and stay in operation at least ten years or pay penalties.
We've been reporting on budget cutbacks in Belleville, and just about every other community around the St. Louis area. So you may be wondering where the city would get the money for the demolition. The city says this is TIF money and can, by law, only be used for development. You can't take the funds and pay for police, fire or other services. The demolition is expected to cost between $150,000 to $225,000.