Who’s fault is The Grove?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Mayor Renner, David Hales, and members of the City Council blame The Grove housing development on East Ireland Grove Rd for taking too much tax money.  Some members did it again last Monday night.  Tari frequently says the development contracts are bad.  So who is at fault?

Former City Manager Tom Hamilton?  Now happily retired and collecting a pension of $11,105 Per Month!  http://www.openthebooks.com/search/?PensionCode=1000&F_employernm=City%20Of%20Bloomington&F_employeenm=


Former Director of Engineering and now a Clark Deitz employee Doug Grovesteen?  He is collecting a pension of $7,118 Per Month!  (same link as above)


Former Water Director Craig Cummings who fled to Texas in 2014?


Former Mayor Steve Stockton?


Former Corporate Attorney Todd Greenburg?

So which one of the above agreed to the developers demands and sold it to the council?

Or, are these guys to blame:

Council members who believed what they were told? (just like most of the current Council)

David Sage, Karen Schmidt, and Jim Fruin were on the Council.  Is it their fault?

Here’s some facts for the Council who has no problem establishing 23 year TIF districts to collect money for government friends and also issue bonds for LONG term repayment:

This is from August 13, 2007 Council minutes:

http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=3053  PDF page 15

The water main which currently extends to the east from Streid Drive past Towanda Barnes Road to the Grove at Kickapoo Creek currently has no reinforcement. Although the Grove development is just getting started, it has a large (approximately 1,000 lots) build out. There are no reinforcing connections to the “core” distribution system east of Streid Drive.

This document was given to the Council showing the development and the costs:  the-grove-phases-updated-map03102016

The Grove map says it was updated in 2016 but, since I frequently drive by The Grove, it looks to me like the 7th addition is well under way.

The City document shows these costs:

groveThe Council members act like these residents are fleecing the City and not contributing at all to the City coffers.

I looked at some of their tax bills – all public information on the County assessor’s website.  http://mcleanil.devnetwedge.com/  The property PIN numbers can be found on the GIS website:  http://www.mcgisweb.org/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=public

These homeowners are paying at least $8,000 a year in property taxes, a lot of it going to Unit 5.  The City of Bloomington is getting between $150 and $200 a year per house for Water Reclamation.  When the 1000 houses are built, that’s between $150,000 and $200,000 a year FOREVER.

They also pay taxes just to the City.  The properties I looked at range between $1,000 and $1200 a year to the City.  For 1000 houses, that’s $1,000,000 to $1,200,000 a year.  Every year – FOREVER.

Reality Council:  The City will have invested almost $17 Million but you will collect MILLIONS more than that in the future.

Since nobody got blamed for this terrible development agreement, maybe it isn’t that terrible?  Nobody involved in signing the documents got prosecuted, nobody got publicly shamed either.  All that Council did was partially tie the hands of future Councils.

Gee, that sounds exactly like the Capital Improvement plan this Council is looking at!

They want to spend more than $368 MILLION in 5 years to fix everything previous Councils failed to fund!  Tying the hands of future Councils?  Don’t forget all the unaffordable Master Plans that will end up on the shelf somewhere because future Council want their own plans!

I can’t wait to see what future Councils blame on the current one!

Here’s a list of possible items:

  1.  Coliseum investigated by the State Police because City personnel and the Council didn’t do their job.
  2. Lost Coliseum income because the City owes VenuWorks $750,000
  3. N Main Land purchase only to keep somebody else from buying it
  4. Sugar Creek Packing purchase only to keep somebody else from buying it
  5. Failure to sell the Coachmen property when they had a chance
  6. Huge financial wastes exploring downtown projects
  7. Huge waste of time and money exploring the Paradym/Fazzini project
  8. Collapse of the local economy by excessive tax increases
  9. Promotion of crony capitalism deals with tax breaks for government friends
  10. Under assessed downtown properties

The list is endless as most of the people elected to represent the interest of taxpayers do everything but represent them.  The Grove would have been approved by this Council too.  That’s how they operate.  Everybody thinks alike, the Council must all agree.

Don’t forget, those pension numbers increase THREE PERCENT every year.  The ones I listed are 2015 payments, they are now collecting even more thanks to the State of Illinois.





10 thoughts on “Who’s fault is The Grove?

  1. Since you only post facts, a correction is needed in who the former director of engineering works for. The company you have listed is incorrect, FYI.

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