$18 million for a transfer station!

By: Diane Benjamin

Obviously Connect Transit isn’t building a simply downtown transfer station with your tax dollars. Those State and Federal grants they received are TAX dollars even though that term is never used. All a transfer station needs are lanes for buses to enter and exist and some building to protect riders who are waiting.

Of course the cost of tearing down whatever is built on their chosen location has to be taken into account. Two of their choices will do nothing to beautify downtown:

  1. The old Pantagraph building isn’t centrally located. Putting the station there hides it and makes riders walk a long way to the Law and Justice Center or the Library. Both have been promoted as why riders go downtown. Since that building is on the western edge of downtown, it won’t help get rid of any eyesores.
  2. The Market Street parking deck is a location Bloomington has been trying to destroy and rebuild for years. Does the $18 million include funds to build it somewhere else? Is the real plan creating a new transfer center and parking garage combo? If that location is picked does Bloomington have to fork over money too? Again, riders wanting to go to the two top destinations have to walk many blocks.

The third location, the old CII East building, gets rid of an eyesore on the main road into downtown from the south. It is also centrally located between the library and the Law and Justice Center. That is the obvious choice unless the guy who owns it thinks it’s worth millions. The owner is Devyn Corporation – aka David Bentley. The building is appraised for property taxes around $500,000 so he shouldn’t think it’s worth much more than that. This location would improve the looks of downtown only because an abandoned building would be gone.

Putting the transfer station where CII East is has another benefit. City of Bloomington staff have no excuse for not riding the bus they insist you ride and subsidize. It would be less than a block from where they work!

What government projects will appear next to get rid of other empty downtown buildings? It appears nobody in the private sector is interested. Why wasn’t the Front and Center building a finalist? People’s Bank? Will buses still drop people at the Law and Justice Center if one of the remote locations is chosen?

(We are talking government, that shouldn’t be a surprise)

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14 thoughts on “$18 million for a transfer station!

  1. What a waste. I bet it would be a lot less to turn part of Eastland Mall into a “transfer station” AND a new library… But, what do I know?

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  2. Well, once again ladies and gentlemen, we get to see what happens when the “grownups” and “smart people” run the show, an absolute cesspool of idiocy and wastefulness is always the result. Then they have award dinners for each other to fawn all over each other about how amazing they all are. Sick of it all yet? I know pretty much everyone who is a regular here is, I just wish more people would vote and more real people would get involved or at least complain. I know it’s nearly impossible though at this point in the game, “they” have it all sewed up in one neat little cluster of cronyism that is absolutely brimming with incompetence, but also cunning (and greed), but it’s easy when you own it all or hold things over anyone who might be able to stop it. As to the cost, of course it will be outrageous, their “approved” people always charge around double or more for what an independent contractor would charge for the same of better quality of work.

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  3. Unreal. Of course, no elected officials will ride Connect Transit. Ask them why and watch them squirm. It runs on CT’s schedule, not there’s; it’s inefficient; and, they’d be forced to commute alongside citizens/voters (oh, the horror). Yet, at the same time, these same elected officials tout how important CT is to a thriving community and how this is an investment in the City’s infrastructure and economy. Naturally, the candidates for mayor are lining up on social media in full support of this “catalyst” project. As are the pie-in-the-sky speculators that own Downtown properties with no interest from the private sector. They are banking (literally) on a windfall from a government project. I’d imagine the Downtown property owners are all lobbying the Tari for the City to buy their property. I can’t imagine Tari resisting the urge to put his stamp on the project before his term ends.

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    1. They spend as little time as possible with the commoners. They are only comfortable in their little safe space bubbles where no one asks any hard questions or demands any real answers. They are very small people when they are dragged out of their comfort zones. They like to be only among “their own”. When they are forced to be around the unwashed it is mainly to bribe them with beads and trinkets and tell them how exciting and beneficial the new waste of money will be for everyone.

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  4. 18 million would fill at lot of potholes and pave a few bad sections…seems they can never do a whole block. When they do a whole block or two, it’s usually torn up in a few months because of a water main break or something.

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  5. In 5 years or less that new 18 Million plus building will be another empty downtown eyesore. Transportation as a Service is the future and the tech for mass rollout is less then 5 years out. Look at Google’s Waymo division or Aptiva in Vegas. Self driving electric vehicles will replace public buses. check all the Washington elites and Billionaire’s invested in this tech. Once again the Bloomington/Normal political types are out of touch with where the big money and trends are headed.

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