Miscellaneous stuff:

By:  Diane Benjamin

1)

East Side Highway meeting tonight:  6:00-9:00 Central Catholic High School

2)

If you aren’t protesting your property assessed value – you are a sheep being led to slaughter.  I’m sure it says how and where to protest on the letter you received.

3)

I finally listened to the video from Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.  Here’s the facts:

  • Bloomington streets and sewers are in despicable condition
  • Past Councils did NOT budget the money to repair and replace on a regular basis
  • Homeowners in older parts of town could be liable for a lot of the cost because some areas have obsolete sewage connections
  • Renner/Hales plan to fix everything in 5 years – no budget cuts were discussed.  Either tax increases or massive borrowing will be needed.
  • It’s close to an election year, so plans always pop up.

Alderman Buragas again stated that she can’t see spending money on new roads and sewers while the City has many blighted areas.  (Looks like another attack on The Grove) She has no trouble supporting the Creativity Center which includes yet another theater, dance studios, and other programs the private sector would provide if the need warranted.  She claimed donors were promised things, evidently contracts with developers aren’t promises.

Alderman Lower had the best idea – privatize it so donations aren’t controlled by the whims of the Council.

Public-Private partnerships mean private does whatever they want, public funds the majority of it.

Alderman Lower is 100% correct.

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Comments

  1. It seems Amelia Bidelia and Scotty didn’t listen to Mr. Karsh or didn’t read the packet. There is not even enough money budgeted for inspection of the sewer system. The older areas of town need sewers replaced because 50+ years ago the original home owners put in their own sewer tiles to connect to the City’s main sewer line. The City has replaced those sewers on Catherine and Jackson–more repairs will follow. Money needs to be allocated to evaluate the condition of the remaining sewers in the older parts of town before they can even be replaced/repaired. A more serious problem is that fees collected for the sewer and storm water enterprise funds were used for some other projects. Additionally, there is an issue of combined sewers which are located in peripheral neighborhoods. It becomes a quality of life issue when raw sewage enters someone’s basement or fecal material is deposited in Sugar Creek. Agreements with developers are made by ordinance. The developer shares in the expense of sewer construction. The Council would need to amend the ordinance with the developer if they do not want to provide the oversized sewer. If the Council is serious about redevelopment and economic growth, the sewer repairs need to be the #1 priority.

    The Creativity Center will be a $5M “safe place” for sefl-expression. Forty-five (45) downtown stakeholders–the same number of people who attended the city-catered private meeting to prioritize downtown action goals–gathered to discuss the future of the Creativity Center. The building is City-owned and the bond for it’s purchase will not be paid off until 2036. Any and all renovations need to be funded by the private sector if the arrangement is to be public-private in nature. The young people who participate in the programs offered at the Creativity Center are probably members of more privileged families or have parents who are actively involved with their well-being. The Creativity Center is not likely to have a significant effect on juvenile criminal activity. News flash, Scotty, people don’t move to Bloomington for cultural opportunities. They move here for job opportunities or as students. Yes Scotty, streets and sewers are important.

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  2. Country Bumpkin says:

    Yes! Privatize the Creativity Center. It will never happen but I appreciate Kevin Lower bringing it up. Lower for mayor.

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  3. Just Sayin' says:

    Regarding the sewer repair on Jackson Street in Dimmitts Grove: The CITY OF BLOOMINGTON provided their Contractor with the location of where to start digging in order to implement the repair. Guess what? The City was off by about 12-feet which resulted in the Contractor severing the pipe they were attempting to dig around. This error on the part of the CITY resulted in aver $12,000 in needless labor time and materials had they performed their duty correctly the first time. It also resulted in that portion of the neighborhood not having “service”. Now in the big picture, I submit, $12,000 is not much; that $12,000, as usual, is indicative of a pandemic of carelessness which is pervasive throughout the City government.

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  4. Do you have any advice for protesting assessments? I did it a couple years ago with an appraisal I received when I refinanced my house and it got about 1k cut off my taxes. I’m sure an old appraisal will no longer be valid or considered. Are there other options you are aware that could be leveraged? A blog post on this topic alone would be great.

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  5. What does Amelia expect the city to do about blighted areas?

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

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    • Evidently throw money at it.

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    • Amelia first needs to define what she means by blighted and specifically identify the location(s) she is referring to. She mentioned “older” neighborhoods but did not distinguish between east or west of Main Street or only for downtown. Amelia was part of the group that discussed the future of the Creativity Center. Maybe that is the area she is referring to.

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