By: Diane Benjamin
On Monday sources tell me Bloomington will announce the Water Department will be merged with Public Works. The current head of Public Works, Jim Karch, will be in charge of everything.
The Water Department is holding many millions of dollars. $2.8 million has already been “borrowed” from this fund, $2.4 million went to the Coliseum and was written off: https://blnnews.com/2017/02/23/still-confused-about-enterprise-funds/
Keep that in mind if the City suddenly needs to increase rates.
Public Works can’t get enough money to fix the streets. We need to see if they “borrow” money when it’s all one department.
The City of Bloomington has still not released the financial statement for the year that ended April 30th. Last year the State released the information on the Comptroller’s site before Bloomington did. The statements were obviously completed and audited long before Bloomington gave citizens access to them. Bloomington is not government “for and by the people”, therefore we don’t know how much the Water Department is holding now.
Part of the reason for this merger may be the problems with leadership in the Water Department. Bob Yehl, current head, was responsible for the boat dock controversy at Lake Bloomington. The guy before him was fired within days of being hired because he wasn’t qualified. https://blnnews.com/2015/06/01/more-on-patrick-ryan-geez/
Bob Yehl was reported months ago to be quitting or stepping down after alleged OSHA violation at Lake Bloomington. https://blnnews.com/2018/05/03/the-rumors-are/
As of right now, I don’t know his status.