By: Diane Benjamin
Back in 2015 I did a story with this screen shot from the City website: https://blnnews.com/2015/05/13/karch-what-used-to-be-on-the-website/
Who was Mayor in 2000 when ZERO was spent on roads? Judy Markowitz. Mike Matejka was on the Council, and Tom Hamilton was City Manager. Minutes are not available on the City website.
Of course the value of a dollar in 1994 isn’t the same as 2019. This website allows conversion to current dollars: https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1994?amount=627080
It shows $627,080 converts to $1,069,573 today. If you care, calculate the rest yourself.
I asked Jim Karch what has been spent on resurfacing since.
He said 2015 should be $2,300,000 instead of $2,000,000
2016 was $3,600,000. 2017 was $4,400,000. 2018 was $4,000,000
Tari Renner was first elected in April of 2013. The budget covering May 2013 through April 2014 was already done. The $10,000,000 was borrowed in 2014 when he was mayor.
Look at 2010-2013. There was no Motors Fuel Tax or an additional 1% Sales Tax. This spending increase came out of taxes citizens already paid.
Now look at Tari’s tenure. Suddenly there isn’t any money available for resurfacing. He switched spending on roads to NEW taxes. That allowed him to reallocate money for his pet projects like buying the Sugar Creek Packing land and the North Main property. The MFT was instituted in 2014, and the additional .25% of the 1% increase was allocated to roads in 2015. That tax wasn’t effective until 1/1/2016.
One more note: The Council has NEVER come close to funding what Jim Karch said he needs:
Increasing the Motor Fuel Tax only hastens Bloomington’s decline. Taking more money out of your pocket means you have less money to spend everywhere else.
Meanwhile the County roads are incredible in comparison. We have heavy trucks, farm equipment, ice, snow, and salt. Drivers don’t have to play “dodge the potholes”.
Maybe the buses are Bloomington’s problem, we don’t have those in the country.