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: