More Council Christmas presents

By:  Diane Benjamin

Correction – approving Bills and payroll isn’t on the agenda, so they have nothing to pay!

Surprise!

http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-500

Bills and Payroll is not posted for tonight’s meeting.  The last time the City failed to post this days in advance of the meeting, a plane ticket for the mayor’s girlfriend was included.

What are they hiding this time?

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Items on the 7:00 City Council meeting:

http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=15470

Funding for BN Advantage – $32,333.33 – just until the end of the Fiscal Year 4/30/2018

As evidenced by this statement, this is TOP DOWN control of the economy.  It has never worked anywhere and won’t work here.  I’m sure full funding will magically appear in next year’s budget even though the City claims to have a structural deficit.

Wayfinding signsQuote:  After this change order is approved, $196,928.90 remains available for
construction and installation of the signs. Once the plans and specifications are ready, the proposed work will be publicly bid and the Council will need to award a contract before actual sign installation can begin.

Anybody believe that amount will pay for the signs and installation?

Zoo improvements:  

VenuWorks Loan:


EIGHT month old financial statements released!

The CAFR was done months ago, lack of transparency didn’t allow you to see them.


Buying 717 E. Empire Street – $48,000

The purpose is for a park adjoining Constitution Trail.

Master Plans

The documentation for this meeting is littered with those two words.  Master Plans were passed by the Council as “advisory”, but they never were only advisory.  This Council and every future Council will be forced to enact them – unless the public starts voting for people who actually care about the same things the public does.

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Comments

  1. So the question I’m sure we all know the answer to: will the “busy season” at the Coliseum generate funds that will allow the Coliseum to pay back the city any of this money? I guess the good thing is that there are two country concerns, which usually sell out, and a rock concert between now and the end of the fiscal year. Mixed in you have some sporting events and a couple indoor farmers’ markets. I’m not even sure the latter brings in any substantive revenue.

    Here’s hoping there are a couple events announced for the summer season. If VenuWorks isn’t booking more events than these three concerts, I’m not sure there is much use for having them run the place because these offerings are no different than before. Pray we get some pro wrestling shows, another couple country performers, and a few other types of shows to try and make it so taxpayers aren’t having to cover these huge deficits.

    One final thought, should they consider changing the website of the arena from http://www.grossingermotorsarena.com? It’s very lengthy, and it would be interesting to see if that hurts their draw to the site.

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  2. BN Deserves Better says:

    I wish the BN Advantage would drop the city governments and their proxies (ex. dis-Connect Transit) sooner rather than later. Centralized planning has never worked.Let the private businesses grow and invest without the interference and pandering of Tari and Koos. Speaking of which, what do they define as a “right” fit? So, the government will only support businesses they like? This is downright scary as a business owner, myself. Are they screening us? Oh, and support for expanding retail businesses. Are you kidding me?! Retail is in decline, has razor-thin margins, and employs minimum wage workers. BN is such a backward community.

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    • That “right fit” garbage is unsettling to me as well. To “them” the “right fit” means ridiculous little niche shops with crap you can buy online for 1/2 the price, or as of late anything that has to do with bicycles – maybe ANOTHER “coffeehouse” yeah, because there just aren’t enough of those. Maybe another art gallery.. oh yeah, something else that can receive government funding in order to stay open and local artists will have somewhere to store their stuff – BN Deserves Better, it is VERY troubling that they have inserted this language and even more troubling that they feel entirely free and justified to do so.

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  3. The “Way finding” signs may be the most ridiculous thing they have dreamed up yet – it’s like they think there are all these hordes of tourists eager to find all of the exciting destinations and venues Bloomington has to offer and of course they would NEVER think to just ask anyone or now with most people having phones that can tell them anything simply use their phone to find out – more out of touch foolishness from those who dream up this nonsense, and they REALLY think ANOTHER little park is needed for “the Trail”? If they want to improve the Trail maybe they could come up with a way to increase security on it so people wouldn’t feel like they are targets for thieves when they are on it in certain areas and no I don’t mean the “West Side” necessarily – there are other dodgy areas of it too.

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    • mittenpaws says:

      The signage committee was headed by the former Director of the now defunct Downtown Bloomimgton Association. The committee met for two years to chose and work with a design firm from Pittsburgh. I don’t know why there is now a need for a consultant since the Signage Committee chairperson is now employed by the City as the Director of the Downtown Development Department.

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  4. I don’t know about anyone else but if I were facing a budget short fall, I would stop spending. The property in the 700 block of East Empire is very near White Place—Clinton & Empire. The EDC/B-N Advantage was recently at Council requesting $20K+ until the end of the fiscal year for the business advisory office at IWU. Now they’re back asking for more. Regarding the Arena, Venuue Works loaned the City $700K in 2016 for the purpose of Capital maintenance because the City didn’t have the funds at the time. Apply the $375K to the loan payment and call it a day. The only item on the agenda worth spending money on is repair and maintenance of the existing structures at the Zoo. If the Council actually read the Comprehensive Plan, it states: don’t add anything new…implement as is affordable. There is a structural deficit and significant number of unfounded accounts and flat revenue—I don’t think this City can afford anything.

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  5. Disgruntled Dave says:

    Skunk, are you suggesting the city implement a 1 to 5 (or more) year moratorium on unnecessary spending? Now that would indeed be (to use a leftist buzzword) sustainable.

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    • Dave, yes I am. Time to take the charge card away—just like the PCard. Robbing Peter to pay Paul—which is what they have been doing and are doing with the Zoo project—is unsustainable. The Council cannot continue down the current path because it is not working.
      Already I hear rhetoric about finding sources of revenue. Read…tax increases. The City has reached the point of diminishing return.

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  6. What WOULD be great is IF they put signs on ANY streets that aren’t full of cracks and potholes. That would be worth following!

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    • Wayfinding signs to roads without potholes would be awesome! Does Bloomington have any?

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      • Perhaps we should just make our own;
        Sign #1 ) Proceed with caution, multiple potholes.
        This would be a standard yellow sign, blast a triple odd shot gun holes through it, notes as Pot Holes Ahead, Caution.
        Or #2) This would be a standard kelly green sign which reads ” Good Road Ahead” add a smilely face. Sport cars welcome.

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  7. BN Deserves Better says:

    City Council logic: Wayfinding signs…because Google Maps is free and we want to spend taxpayer money on consultants.

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  8. Partnering… cost effective.. typical adminstrative dribble.

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