More ineptness

By:  Diane Benjamin

I will admit upfront I don’t have all the details.  I could spend the next month or more filing Freedom Of Information requests, getting the time extended by the City, then re-filing because I didn’t get what I wanted.  Since I basically work for free, I’m not spending that much time to get every little detail.  The City of Bloomington only has 10 years of Agenda history on their website, I need a few more years for more detail.

Sources I do have are former City employees and bird-cage archives.  I can’t link to the archives or re-print articles, a Bloomington library card is required.

I did file a FOIA request for Flow Reports from City Water Towers.  Evidently they have two – the second of which is not in operation.

On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 3:53 PM, Andrew Coffey <[email protected]> wrote:

The Water Dept. advised that the information provided is for only the tower identified as the Hamilton Tank.  The other tower is currently not in operation and hasn’t been this year.


Andrew Coffey
Support Staff IV
City Clerk’s Office
(309) 434-2240

What the answer doesn’t say is that this Water Tower has NEVER been used.  Bloomington now has a brand new unused fire station and a brand new unused water tower.  The picture below was supplied by the City, click it to enlarge.


The facts I have verified:

  • 22 acres was purchased in March of 2000 for $447,000.  ($20,318 per acre in 2000!)
  • The City received an IEPA loan for $8.6 Million
  • The loan was for construction and a 12 mile pipeline from Lake Bloomington to the water treatment plant
  • The tower was supposed to provide adequate water pressure for rural Bloomington north
  • When it was completed and filled with water, people north toward Lexington had NO water pressure
  • The tower was not built tall enough to provide adequate pressure

Either City engineers didn’t calculate the height needed correctly, or the engineers hired screwed up.  My sources tell me Farnsworth was the engineer, although without extensive FOIA requests, I can’t verify that.  I also can’t confirm construction costs and how much money was wasted on this unusable tower.

Were you told your money was wasted?  Did anybody get fired?

My sources tell me that chemicals are run through the tower occasionally to prevent algae/mold growth.  Otherwise, it is scenery.  Since I can find no references to this information being disclosed to the public, it looks like another City secret.  What other secrets are lurking?  You wouldn’t know anything about this one if I hadn’t received a tip.  No, I don’t reveal sources.





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