By: Diane Benjamin
Government in this country has never created prosperity. Every dollar they spend they stole from people who worked for it. Capitalism requires government to get out of the way so individuals can create their own success – or fail on their own.
Bloomington government believes they can create economic development by throwing money to consultants, local groups who think they create it, and education for the one Economic Development employee.
These three items are listed in the 2017 budget outside the Economic Development category:
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL $500.00
OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (EDI) $2,500.00
Assistant to the City Mgr
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BREAKFAST(S) $500.00
Asst to the City Mgr
Page 487 FY 2017 Budget Detail
TOTAL Economic Development 2 ,683,206.28
1 employee: Total cost: $100,937.00 (including benefits and parking)
Annual access fee to the SitesUSA “REGIS On-Line” web application. Web-based tool for demographic research and mapping to support retailer
attraction efforts and to support property owners / commercial real estate brokers.
Economic Development Consulting Services & Studies as Needed. Project-based evaluation related to incentive requests City-wide and specifically in
Downtown Bloomington and in the proposed Empire Street Corridor Redevelopment Project Area. Outside legal support for drafting incentive agreements. Studies necessary to create TIF Districts, SSA, BID, etc. to support economic development efforts. (In prior years the City contracted with the National Development Council on an annual basis for $60,000 for ongoing ED support – that amount is now grouped into this budget line).
BNEDC Community Leaders Event
ECON DEV Marketing Expense 28,000.00
ECON DEV Membership Dues 1,550.00
ECON DEV Rebates 30,000.00 (Ashley Furniture)
ECON DEV To Town of Normal $1,240,000.00
Metro Zone Revenue Sharing Agreement between the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington. 50% of all revenues from the Metro Zone paid to the City
are to be shared with the Town (Property Tax, Utility Tax, Sales Taxes, etc.).
Projection for FY17 is based on prior years.
ECON DEV To Downtown Business Funding for the Downtown Bloomington Association (DBA) at the discretion of the City Council. The DBA is a not-for-profit membership-based organization
representing business and property owners, and residents to enhance the vitality and livability of Downtown Bloomington. Bloomington’s Farmers’ Market
is managed by the DBA.
$475,000.00 – EDC
Funding for the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at the discretion of the City Council.
A 6% Hotel/Motel tax is levied by the City of Bloomington. The City uses 4% of the tax to support infrastructure maintenance and 2% helps fund the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
McLean County Museum of History -Capital Campaign $50,000
McLean County Museum of History-Annual Contribution
BNEDC One Voice
(Registration, Airfare, Meals, Lodging).
One Voice, under the leadership of the BNEDC, is a pro-community campaign that brings together leaders from the City of Bloomington, the Town of Normal, McLean County, labor, local educational institutions and local private businesses. Each spring, the One Voice Task Force travels to Washington D.C. to meet with a congressional delegation to discuss community issues involving projects, initiatives and infrastructure improvements. For those projects needing funding, meeting are held with the federal agencies that may have grants or funds available.
The ultimate goal of One Voice is to engage federal representatives and to obtain federal funding for the B-N community. One Voice does not lobby for policy for regulatory change and is not affiliated with any political party, movement or policy organization.
(Did Normal’s credibility take a hit when they went to DC a day earlier this year to lobby for their own projects?)
ICSC RECon – May 22-25, 2016 – Las Vegas, NV (Registration, Airfare, Meals, Lodging).
RECon is the global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate
professionals from around the world.
ICSC Regional Meetings (Chicago, St. Louis, Springfield, Indianapolis) – (Registration, Meals, Lodging).
Examples: ICSC Day at the Capitol, ICSC Central IL Luncheon, ICSC Downstate IL Lunch, ICSC Chicago Retail Connection, ICSC Chicago Deal Making, ICSC Heartland Idea Exchange (Dates and locations to be announced).
Illinois Tax Increment Association Spring & Fall Conferences (Registration, Meals, Lodging).
Local meetings of the BNEDC and Chamber of Commerce BNEDC Bloomington-Normal By The Numbers, Chamber Breakfast Business Briefs, etc.
Continuing Education and Professional Development courses offered by regional and national economic development and real estate organizations
(Tuition, Fees, Travel, Lodging).
What should Mitsubishi Parkway’s name be changed to? Right now they are getting free advertising.
I’m offering FEZ Parkway. Guess what it stands for, think Economic Development. Any other ideas?