By: Diane Benjamin
If Normal passes an ordinance tonight to punish small businesses just trying not to close permanently here is what they are doing:
Ignoring where COVID does kill people
There is no proof bars and restaurants spread the virus but there is lots of proof nursing and group homes do. We know what age groups die at higher rates. Nobody is forced to go to local establishments but some are forced to live where they can die – without any family and friends even able to visit.
What is the Town staff doing to stop the spread there?
Proof the proposed ordinance is a partisan issue directed by the Democrat governor. Real problems, like 28 veterans dying at the VA home in LaSalle and locals dying from exposure in nursing homes, are ignored when bars and restaurants can be fleeced much easier.
The Community Investment Plan is on the agenda. This is where staff decides what projects will be funded in each of the next 5 years.
Jumping right on the water quality problems in the Oakland-Ruston-Grove area, replacing the Water Main won’t happen until fiscal year 2022-2023. The “fixes” the Town is doing now is making the water worse according to the residents I talked to. Complaints go back to at least January 2019. No, you don’t get what you pay for in Normal.
See PDF page 58: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3840
Also on PDF page 58 is $560,000 from the Water Fund to extend water to Rivian when they already get water from Bloomington. This expense is listed as CRITIAL for FY 2020-2021. Around half was spent this year on engineering.
Constitution Trail gets $25,000 a year for repaving.
Eagles Landing got $375,000 this year for a trail extension
Route 66 got $514,965 this year for the Kelly basin trail connection
Route 66 Bike Trail gets $539,635 over 6 years
There is another $1,585,000 in trail wish lists that won’t be funded yet.
See PDF page 55. Road resurfacing one gets $1,700,000 a year from Motor Fuel Tax.
PDF page 65 has another $1,132,500 next year from the Roadway Fund, less in the following years.
Don’t expect good roads anytime soon from your doubled State and Local Motor Fuel taxes.
The report is difficult to read because it is many pages long with segregated pools of money. Citizens should listen to the conversation. You will hear wants over needs guised in Quality of Life. Lots of money is allocated to West College, I believe they expect grants to fund a lot of it but grant requests aren’t listed.
Having drinkable water and being able to do laundry in water that doesn’t destroy your clothes doesn’t qualify as Quality of Life.
Since the list of complaints I received by FOIA is missing ones from people I know have complained about the water quality, I asked the Town to look again for complaints. https://blnnews.com/2020/12/17/proof-kathleen-lorenz-was-wrong/