UPDATE:  Normal – Just Can’t Say No

If course they didn’t say NO.  Details tomorrow.

By:  Diane Benjamin


The big item on the agenda tonight is this:

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Did you have flooding this weekend?  There were videos on line showing nearly impassable streets in Normal, evidently that’s not unusual.

Instead of essential services at a time when revenues are way down and Uptown is mostly dead, the Town wants the Council to approve un-budgeted burying of power lines.  The TIF does not generate enough money to pay the debt now.  This is non-essential spending at a time it can’t be afforded.

Watch the vote on this one.  It will prove who isn’t capable of saying NO to any project. They know where to get more money.

This is the equivalent to you installing a fancy fire pit and lounging area to your backyard while your income isn’t covering your current expenses.  Nice, but not intelligent.

At 6:55 there are two Public Hearings concerning the additional CDBG funds ($246,067) the town is receiving.  This money has to be spent on COVID relief.  It should be handed over to PATH since they are the local first responders.  At the end of the meeting the Council will hear from PATH and United Way.

Misc spending:

Remember when the town hired the U of I to do an energy audit?  ($15,000)  We were told the Ecology Action Center doesn’t do that.  Efficiency and Audit must be different in their world:

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At the last meeting, as part of cost savings, we were told advertising for closed buildings and programs could be cut.  Looks like it didn’t get the ax:

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Refunds continue, rebates continue, rent for a floor at 1 Uptown Circle continues (as does the empty first floor)

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I don’t know what the Workforce Compact is.  My guess is the IWU center formed to supposedly help entrepreneurs.  Maybe somebody will asks.


10 thoughts on “UPDATE:  Normal – Just Can’t Say No

  1. Someone EXPLAIN to me how burying utility lines can GENERATE increased food and beverage tax?? That’s a REAL reach!

    1. If people don’t see the unsightly power lines behind the building they will eat more at those establishments. I don’t know how many times I have been craving DP dough but changed my mind because there are power lines behind the building. Very tragic. When I my kids want Emack and Bolios ice cream I try and explain about the power lines. They just don’t understand, but hopefully someday I won’t ever have to turn them down because we are power line free.

      1. True, Dawglf. However, you also probably don’t see those powerlines from the front door or window of your “essential” bike shop. 😉

  2. So it is lunacy as usual, as Normal’s economy crashes and burns?

    The lights are on at City Hall but no one with a brain is home.

    1. Is it not unbelievable that the Town of Normal’s leadership/government is oblivious to the economic destruction (and its consequences) that is happening RIGHT now before their very eyes?

      It would be hard to make this kind of stuff up.

      A twisted tragedy right out of the Twilight Zone?

  3. Koos is the mayor of Uptown Normal, not the mayor of the Town of Normal. Another blatant example of a vanity project. At least they admitted that it’s for “aesthetics.” Spending money on “aesthetics” while people can’t open their businesses or good to work? We can count on the local media not to report on this. Perhaps, they’re too busy talking about how pets can join your next Zoom conference call or other hard-hitting news stories. The Town’s advertising has nothing to do with trying to market services to people and everything to do with making sure the powers that be receive favorable coverage. Replacing the roof on the library, eh? Maybe they should stay there instead of trying to build the Taj Mahal of libraries for an increasingly digital public. Another payment for One Empty Circle, er…One Uptown Circle? Imagine what good things could be done with $35,000 a month instead of paying rent on an empty space. I suspect Koos and Reece the Fleece will try to sell the taxpayers on a subsidized renter as a “good investment” or a “savings” to taxpayers. Of course, the best savings idea would have been to not build such an overly priced commercial space with a narrow use case, to begin with. Finally, the Workforce Compact. Haha! What a joke! It’s a collection of the local universities, government agencies, Chamber, EDC, and a handful of the local business Illuminati. They send out lengthy email newsletters with no substance or strategy that includes buzz terms like “STEM” and talk about how they are preparing students for careers of the future here in BN. Haha! I’m told this project/concept had been passed around various quasi-government groups before ending up in the lap of the Chamber. It’s another make-work “blue ribbon committee” with no strategy/goal or tangible results. Basically, the old establishment farts who are anti-innovation and against any ideas from anyone but themselves are going to try to develop and retain the innovators of tomorrow in the community. That’s rich!

    1. Yes I agree completely! Fuhuer Koos is the Lord of the ISU Marketing Uptown Movie Set designed to lure students and their parents to the university. 100 million dollars of borrowed money was pushed out onto the poker table on a bet that EVERYTHING will stay the same with ISU for the next 20+ years?

      No one in either city or business leadership has a clue about moving our area into a 21st Century economy. As a result, we are going to FALL hard and it is not going to be pretty.

      I believe that this Communist Chinese Party Virus BS is a pivotal moment that is going to accelerate the decline of our area. All the while our business/political leadership plays footsie with each other while ignoring economic reality? OMG! Welcome to the End of Bloomington-Normal as we have known it.

      1. $250,000 not budgeted? NO!

        $250,000 while facing Covid-19 revenue losses? NO!

        $250,000 after identifying $250,000 dollars of cuts in the budget elsewhere? Possibly.

  4. Remember when Ryan Fiala ran against Scott Black for Blm. City Council a couple of elections ago? Seems like another one has changed his colors and has decided if ya can’t beat, join ’em. I suspect that if the Fail Bros. developer is kicking in $26K then I am guessing that there is a Final Bros. need for this project. Yes it seems that good ole boy Ryan has been accepted and joined “the club.”

  5. Sounds like the Fiala Bros. and their architects/engineers screwed up. Let them pay to fix it or modify their building plans to work around the power lines.

    Also, check out Ms. Cummings facial expressions when Stan Nord addresses the council. Says a lot about her character.

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