By: Diane Benjamin
At last Monday’s Bloomington Council meeting the aldermen spent a lot of time grousing about spending $1,330,000 to extend the life of the Market Street garage. Meanwhile, also in the budget is $738,000 to study O’Neil Park. A comment was made about studies usually being about 10% of the eventual total cost.
How much does a new parking garage cost? I can tell you what Normal paid for the College Avenue Parking Deck: PDF page 10: https://files.illinoiscomptroller.gov/LocGovTIF/FY2019/06409531/19TIF06409531Downtown_volpment_1.pdf
Where did the $738,000 number come from? Nobody said. Obviously they didn’t make it up.
In 2010 the Council heard the results of a Master Plan for Parks and Recreation: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=9106
I don’t know how much the City paid for this study because that data is no longer available.
This was included on PDF page 92, it continues – click the link to read the whole thing:
Keep in mind this was in 2010 – this plan was never implemented.
In 2018 the City heard the results of a NEW Parks and Recreation Plan: https://www.bloomingtonparks.org/home/showdocument?id=21372
This plan cost $114,999 and was authorized at the April 24, 2017 meeting: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12766
PDF page 67:
I can’t find a park-site Master Plan. I asked Jay Tetzloff (Director of Parks and Recreation) this morning about that report. I don’t have a response yet.
O’Neil pool needs to be replaced. Are some at the City using the Rahm Emanuel method instead of just replacing the pool:
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Master Plans are meant to tie the hands of future Councils. Of course they don’t, but they do waste tons of money, especially when the plans are never used (2010 plan!). After the next election a new “plan will appear you paid $738,000 for. Maybe this expense is to buy the separate plan referred to above. The 2018 report mentions updates needed.
Meanwhile, the $1,330,000 to extend the life of a parking garage 5-7 years isn’t looking that bad. The City needs the money more for O’Neil Park.