September 9, 2009

Chicago Council OK’s Oly cost guarantee

The Chicago City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution making taxpayers responsible for any possible 2016 Summer Olympics cost overruns.

After initially voicing skepticism of a measure giving Mayor Richard Daley the authority to make such a commitment to the International Olympic Committee, it was a different story Wednesday as the Council approved the proposal by a 49-0 vote, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The newspaper said Olympic Committee members have insisted the lack of such a taxpayer guarantee would be a deal killer for Chicago's chances of winning the 2016 games over fellow finalists Rio Di Janiero, Madrid and Tokyo.

The committee is scheduled to make a site choice for the 2016 Summer Games Oct. 2 in Copenhagen.

The Tribune said Daley spent much of the summer overcoming skepticism on the part of some City Council members about the lack of transparency in the demands for the $500 million cost overrun guarantee. Daley has said the city is seeking to procure a $1 billion insurance policy to guard taxpayers against Olympics overruns.