Jim Karch just informed me the letter was sent to around 1200 businesses.
Doing rough calculations, this cost the Water Department about the same amount they lost when the City diverted $2.4 million to the Coliseum from their Fund – and then wrote off the loss. https://blnnews.com/2015/12/13/2400000-disappears-at-coliseum/
On the bright side, this money stayed in the local economy instead of being sucked up by government.
One more note: Jim Karch has nothing to do with this error, we wasn’t in charge of the Water Department.
By: Diane Benjamin
Instead of blacking out who I got the letter below from, I CUT it out. The City of Bloomington won’t be happy I got a copy of this letter or happy with who I got it from. Any business with a sprinkler system or other “private fire protection system” received the same letter. We can assume it was A LOT of local businesses.
The City has an entire page on their website to explain why they have a charge for Fire Protection:http://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works/resident-community/frequently-asked-questions/-selcat-8
The money raised goes to the Water Enterprise Fund. For years the City under-charged businesses which means the Water Fund didn’t get the revenue the City Council passed. Increases were scheduled for 2010, 2011, and 2012. The increases were never billed! Without knowing how many businesses got the letter, the total dollar amount not collected can not be calculated.
Even though I think going from $6.80 per month to $27.20 per month is ridiculous, this proves the incompetence of David Hales and the staff that didn’t enact the rate changes. This dramatic increase look like just another way to hurt local businesses – nickle and dime them to death.
This also proves the business registration could have been done with a postcard. The City has the addresses of all businesses. They obviously wanted more than contact information in case of an emergency.
How would you feel if you got this in the mail:
21 thoughts on “UPDATE #2: HUGE Bloomington Error”
“To insure PROPER water pressure” LOVE IT! Too bad they didn’t do that on the blueprint BEFORE they built the NE water tower!!
Has ANYONE gone across empire and Hershey lately? It’s REALLY BAD! Guess water takes precedence over roads.
Pardon my ignorance, what is the “inch?” Length of sprinkler system? Also, this increase is absolutely outrageous.
I didn’t read all the documentation, but I think that refers to the diameter of the pipe.
This is just their continued attempt to create a “business friendly” environment in Bloomington. Yes more proof that our government is committed to enhancing and accelerating the general economic decline of our area.
Certainly can fault Hales’ watch, but really think this should have been caught by Karch since it seems the revenue should have been offsetting his expense budgets. Big miss by someone in charge of a very large portion of the City’s budget.
He wasn’t in charge of the Water Department
Everything is shifted. Everything is a transfer of wealth. Everything!
They were too busy hiding the Coliseum shenanigans to worry about water. Who needs basic necessities when you have corruption to cover up?
I could be more depending upon the pipe diameter as it clearly states $$$ per inch per month. At least they aren’t trying to collect back fees! I am surprised at that.
Diane, your site has gone from causing me to laugh on Saturday to laughing almost every day at the incompetence and corruption of local governments. It has boiled down to either laugh or cry. What saddens me is that all of this is the fault of we the people. Voting is no longer enough, we must participate in our now broken systems. There are now numerous ways to do so. Politics CAN be practiced with decency, integrity, and courtesy.
They have been charging me for Ten Years and we do not have a sprinkler…..Thanks For The Notice Eric……will I get a refund?
Protest it. According to the website sprinklers aren’t the only reason they charge it.
So, let me say right up front: less money to the city is better. But.
On whose authority is the new schedule being implemented? The letter states that the current rate is $27.20 **according to city code**. Regardless of what they do about the preceding years of error, the rate should be $27.20 beginning today. If there is to be a new schedule, the council needs to change the code. I don’t see how city staff has the authority to change the rate.
I called for them to review this charge since it is ridiculous for something mandated by law for new construction. I might have to do another story based on your comments and demand it!
By the way, notice who “signed” the letter informing businesses of the billing error. Jim Karch wasn’t yet in his current role, and I’m not sure why they included the assistant fire chief other than to try and suggest to the reader that this is money is for the good of the fire department. Why didn’t this come from the City Clerk’s office or a unit/division that collects taxes? Hmm.
Should be a good read!