By: Diane Benjamin
The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. The first topic was roads.
City Manager Tim Gleason did a nice summary – just hit Play below.
Points made during the discussion:
The ratings chart for streets has changed, the City thought they were too conservative for how long roads will last. See the rating here: https://cityblm.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5e1560816da645e5b1001bba677fdacd
Hershey has a Fair+ rating now. Streid Drive also has a Fair and Fair+ rating. It is also a minefield of potholes. A slide presented claims the average rating for all roads in Bloomington is a 6.09 out of 10. Changing the ratings means Jim Karch doesn’t need $8.8 million anymore, it’s down to $6 million.
The money that used to come out of the General Fund for streets before the Local Motor Fuel Tax and Sales Tax increase went to balance past budgets. It was never returned to supplement the new taxes.
Sidewalks are included in the $4.6 million allocated to asphalt and concrete.
The bond payments of $1.1 million per year on the $10 million borrowed is being paid from the General Fund, not Local Motor Fuel Tax. It will be paid off in 2023. I guess we are supposed to celebrate getting a little General Fund money.
Tari again claimed 30% of the Motor Fuel Tax is paid by people who don’t live in Bloomington. He never provides any proof of that number. Unless people are stationed everywhere people fill up and survey every driver, that number can not be verified. It similar to the pretend “economic impact” numbers from the Coliseum.
Alderman Mathy wants narrower lanes which will not only save money, but keep people from speeding. He must not have noticed Connect Transit buses can’t navigate turns now and stay in their lane. Hear him at 52:30.
The transparency is nice except the Bike Master Plan wasn’t mentioned. Money is being spent on bike lanes at the expense of resurfacing more roads. The annual re-painting of lines that sucks up more money wasn’t mentioned either.
Nothing is being done currently to collect a fuel tax from electric vehicles using the same roads. Nobody mentioned they can charge those vehicles for free too. Start with requiring a credit card!
Passing a temporary increase to the Motor Fuel tax was mentioned. We know from history taxes are never allowed to sunset.
Tari claimed at 1:10:00 his car has been damaged by the roads.
The General Fund surplus was only mentioned by Gary Lambert during public comment. His comment are right before Gleason below. None of the alderman suggested moving the $4-$5 million to streets. What is the secret agenda for that money? Obviously there is one.