Bloomington: Agenda tonight

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tonight’s agenda:


The library union members are getting 2.25% raises for 3 years:

SUBJECT: Ratification of Contract with AFSCME Local 699 for the Bloomington Public Library for the period of May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2017

FINANCIAL IMPACT: The financial impact of the Tentative Agreements includes: • Increase in wage tables by 2.25% effective May 1, 2014, increase in wage tables by 2.25% effective May 1, 2015, increase in wage tables by 2.25% effective May 1, 2016.

Estimated cost of these wage increases for employees during the term of the contract, excluding longevity increases, is approximately $164,608.

If the library was a private sector business, people would lose their jobs.  Businesses have to cut expenses when labor demands more money.  Government will just raise taxes to cover the increased costs.  Expect an increase on your property tax bill.


The City wants to hire an Internal Audit Service for $116,000.

RECOMMENDATION/MOTION: Recommend that the Contract for Internal Audit Services to Bronner Group, LLC be approved and the Mayor and City Clerk be authorized to execute the necessary documents.

Phase Estimated Hours Cost Start Up/Project Plan $2,900

City-Wide Risk Assessment $23,200

Developing Audit Plan $5,800

Designing Audit Programs $14,500

Conducting Audits  $58,000

Communicating with Stakeholders  $11,600

Total $116,000

The Administration budget has skyrocketed in recent years.  What do all those people do?  What does David Hales do?

Bloomington is required by law to have outside auditors.  Sikich has reported the same material defects for years, the City has done nothing to correct their findings.  See this link: 

The City didn’t listen to the consultants they hired to assess the garbage program.  They didn’t listen to the outside auditors.  Is hiring inside auditors just another waste of money?  Why isn’t City staff capable of creating and enforcing internal controls?


Sikich is being re-hired for one year as City and Coliseum Auditor:

FINANCIAL IMPACT: Sikich has quoted the following fees to extend the contract one (1) year (no price increase over 2014):

City Audit $83,200

U.S.Cellular Coliseum $35,900  (concessions are not included)

Total:  $119,100

Question:  If the contract last year was for $119,100, why did Sikich get paid $143,928.99 last year?

Source:  Year Ended 4/30/14

Question 2:  Why did Sikich get paid $162,100.21 the previous year?

Source:  Year Ended 4/30/13

See #2 again – Why did the City not take action on the finding by Sikich?



Electric Aggregation

Good Energy makes money from your electric bill by contracting with Homefield Energy to supply “green electricity”.  The City of Bloomington makes money too.  Citizens are saving $17 per year.

From the packet for tonight:

The fees that Good Energy receives for their services are based on an electricity usage formula and are paid to Good Energy by the electric customers at the rate of ¾ of 1/10 of one cent per kilowatt hour ($0.00075/kWh). As an example, based on last year’s usage, the amount Good Energy would receive for their services to the City would be about $114,000. The civic contribution that would accrue back to the City would be about $225,000. The savings realized by residents would be about $305,000 or about $17 per year per residential customer.

Bottom line:  You are paying City staff to negotiate your electric rates so you can save $17 a year.  Was aggregation worth it – especially since you had the ability to negotiate rates yourself?  Bloomington and Normal handed their power to government for $17 per year.  Brilliant.

If you live in Bloomington, the rate signed with  Homefield Energy (Ameren) was $0.04539 per kilowatt hour.  It was signed in May 2013 and lasts for 22 months.

In Normal the rate is $0.04099 per kilowatt-hour for 17 months.  It was signed in December 2012.

Check your bills.  Is that the rate you are being charged?  If not, what is it now?




2 thoughts on “Bloomington: Agenda tonight

  1. The budget also includes a $2.5 million capital request for the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, which the city owns and is obligated to maintain in its contract with Central Illinois Arena Management, Silva said.

    “So $1.6 million of that request is for that big sign out front,” said Silva. “You can’t even get spare parts for that anymore.”

    $1.6 Million for a marquee sign outside???? wow must be one heck of a sign!! what is the other $900 K being spent on??


    1. I read that too this morning.

      I can’t remember where that sign is at which just goes to show you how much people probably pay any attention to that sign. I had to google and look at exterior pictures to see.

      For $1.6M they must be paying to advertise instead of companies paying to advertise for the size of that sign. Where is the form so I can get a subsidy?

      What kind of expensive roof does that “White Elephant” have? I wonder what it will cost to replace that?


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