By: Diane Benjamin
At Monday’s Council meeting questions were raised as to why a 10 year old building wasn’t ADA compliant. City staff said they were investigating.
All the City has to do is talk to people who were involved before it was built. I did. Karen Schmidt was on the Council – did they ask her?
The Attorney General said the building does not comply with the American with Disabilities Act because restrooms can not be accessed from the main floor of the arena without exiting the building.
Before it was built:
My sources remember 4 options being considered by the Council for design and construction. The plan that was picked was either the third or fourth choice, it wasn’t the best option.
One Alderman at the time insisted that a local construction company get the contract – Johnston Contractors Inc. The architect they used was from Canada.
The property slopes downhill from Madison Street. The ADA problems are caused by the lack of excavation under the entire building. To save money, excavation stopped at the horseshoe. This means the current elevator can not be extended down to the level wheelchairs on the ground floor can access. My sources say the contractor made this change because he had a set amount of money, this saved a fortune.
What really happened?
The then Mayor and Council went against the wishes of the citizens.
At least one alderman with an agenda steered construction to a local contractor with a foreign architect.
Value engineering meant cost cuts where costs shouldn’t have been cut.
Alderman Scott Black announced at Monday’s meeting that he wants BIG BOLD Visionary plans for new government buildings.
Scott, the Coliseum is the perfect example of government not being capable of Big, Bold, and Visionary. Citizens are forced to foot the bill for whatever agenda their leaders throw at them.
The Mayor and Council have no right to impose their ideology and utopian dreams on the people paying the bills. “If we build it they will come” is an obvious failure. The Coliseum expenses are an attack on the poor who will never attend events there. All taxes are higher – starting with the Sales Tax – because a previous Council inflicted Bloomington with a building they didn’t want.
Monday night the Council approved $120,000+ just for a design to make the Coliseum ADA compliant. Maybe for Christmas the citizens will find out how much more the taxpayer fleece will cost when construction costs are revealed.
Meanwhile, financial information from the year ended 4/30/16 still isn’t available.
Elections matter! If Bloomington residents sit out another local election, it means they enjoy being fleeced!