Losing money on purpose

By:  Diane Benjamin

Tari Renner was much more demure at last night’s Bloomington City Council meeting.  As history shows, his new non-confrontational attitude is temporary.

It looks like spending $10,000,000 on an aquatics center is dead.  Several aldermen have a new-found respect for declining revenue, especially David Sage.  Of course, he works at State Farm and knows what is happening there.  Karen Schmidt has a new respect for the poor, she doesn’t like the Utilities Tax.  Several more think the City is picking on video gaming just because they can, they opposed raising the fees.

Amelia Buragas was absent with no explanation.

Both Bloomington and Normal are raking in money from video gambling machines, but both loved to hate them at their respective meetings last night.  I wonder if they actually believe the revenue declines are caused by them?

This slide was shown last night, it wasn’t included in the packet.  Parks and Rec was actually proposing the aquatics center knowing it would lose money:

Open for only a few months a year, this complex was billed as an economic driver for the west side.  People would pour in off the interstate! Of course Quality of Life was mentioned.

Staff will now be looking at a scaled back version or possibly a covered pool that could be used all year.

Video gaming fees and increased Utility Taxes appear to be dead.  No word on how they would pay for whatever is proposed next.

Later they moved on to streets.

The video below has to be in the top 5 all time clips.  Public Works Director Jim Karch states at the current funding levels, the City can resurface 4.9 center-line miles a year.  The City has 324, so you are looking at 66 years before all of them will be done.

(Note: I can’t tell if 4.9 is the right number, I believe he also said 4.19)

The proposed .04 a gallon gas tax appears to be on hold.  Scott Black wants to register cars.  So now a business registration and a car registration have both been proposed.  In the future both could be tagged for easy extra bucks.

The .04 additional tax would decrease the 66 years to 40.  Celebrate now!  The Council wants to talk about cuts before tax increases.  They should have thought of that before the budget exploded when Renner was first elected.

Just hit play to hear Karch:






  1. BN Deserves Better says:

    A small but important victory for rational taxpaying citizens who go to work, obey the rule of law and aren’t members of the crony system. Glad the Council woke up! I’m not letting down my guard though.


  2. Unknown Comic says:

    Public option:

    If the towns badly want facilities for the poor, then Bloomington could give 10 million dollars to the Bloomington YMCA to make that dirty facility four-five times larger. In return, the poor would get instant free membership. It would be better if the poor could spend time at the gym instead of running the streets. Crime would go down. Everyone wins.

    Private option:

    We already have 4 seasons, but that place is cramped and overcrowded. Rather than the spend 10 million dollars on an aquatic center used only three months a year, it would be better if both Bloomington and Normal could attract state of the art health clubs and allow them 30 years of free property taxes to recoup their investment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Uptown Dreams says:

    And you haven’t even gotten to the dog and pony show in Normal last night.


  4. fantastic and well thought comments from the public . .


  5. @tweetiebird says:

    I’m not so sure the proposals are dead. Items will be coming back to Council next Monday. There will be a Saturday budget work session some time in March. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings. 🐥


  6. jason smith says:

    Since there is already a skate park @ o’neill, instead of tearing up the OLD pool, they can use it as an EXPANSION to the already existing skate park. That might save a few bucks…


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