The Rest of Bloomington, grab your wallet

By: Diane Benjamin

The IT Department is planning major upgrades, the presentation starts at 50:45. The projected budget for the year that ended 4/30/21 was $3,429,242.

The budget for this year increase 15.5% to $4,182,365, an increase of $753,123. Source: Budget PDF page 167

This graphic at 59:19 shows where the IT Department wants to go:

Achieving “Innovator” is going to be expensive and way beyond what most municipalities do. Bloomington was sitting on huge reserves however, returning money to taxpayers will never happen. Technology changes rapidly. When “Innovator” is achieved it will be out of date.

See 1:19:25 Jamie Mathy’s comment sums up what IT plans to do. It is much more extension than the presentation shows.

Solid Waste

This one will hit your wallet. History: Garbage service used to be covered with taxes you already paid until an Enterprise Fund was formed. Since this fund continually has problems, your garbage bill continually goes up.

Monday night was the FIFTH Solid Waste presentation in recent months. Approving changes will be before the Council next Monday.

Proposed changes

  • 2 free bulk drop-offs a month (with permit if remodeling) at the Convenience Center
  • discontinue spring and fall bulk pickup
  • $50 charge for curbside pickup – it was $25. Days will be scheduled
  • disallow extreme demolition pickup – get a dumpster instead
  • brush has to be cut up – no 20 foot branches
  • leaves must be in biodegradable bags not supplied by the City

With these changes a positive fund balance is predicted. Your monthly fee will still increase 3% a year. In 2018 the 3% increase a year was supposed to fix the fund, it didn’t.

The City bought a vacuum truck for leaves, no mention if it will be sold.

1:40:00 – Listen to Sheila Montney she did her homework!

Mollie Ward wants landlords penalized for trash they or their tenants dump at the curb, City wants to increase enforcement of fines and penalties. She follows Sheila.

1:51:10 – Jeff Crabill poverty rate homes should be recruited for discount program

1:57:30 – Sheila Montney again. Labor cost for spring and fall pickup come from streets and sewers personnel who have to shift to bulk waste. The changes will not reduce total staff, other department staff will just continue to do their assigned jobs.

Bloomington wanted to fix Solid Waste with comparable services without increasing costs. Unless you have access to a truck to take bulk to the Convenience Center yourself, you will be paying more.

In honor of Tari Renner considering a run for State Rep, watch him celebrate the Solid Waste Fund is fixed in 2018, 3 years later it’s back because it wasn’t fixed. He would be perfect for Springfield!

Who voted for 3% increase per year? Mathy, Mwilambwe, Buragas, Black, Hauman, and Bray (1:26:59 in the story below) Sage, Painter, and Schmidt voted no.

Video is a 33 second clip from this story:

Committee of Whole video

8 thoughts on “The Rest of Bloomington, grab your wallet

  1. How does the Town of Normal have weekly garbage, recycling, yard waste and bulk garbage pickup when Bloomington has weekly garbage, every other week recycling and yard waste and twice yearly bulk pickup and they both charge about the same monthly for the service? Not that Normal doesn’t have their own problems in other areas, but how come Bloomington is considering cutting back even more on waste pickup?

  2. Spot on Diane. Any IT upgrades and enhancements will be outdated before implementation is complete…just ask State Farm. Not to mention that the project will likely be watered down or changed along the way to suit certain people and interests, as opposed to the greater good. The City’s IT infrastructure is already woefully behind, as Mathy points out. I disagree that this project will result in more productivity in government and engagement from citizens; Mathy is naive. Still, updates are long overdue and the City should spend some money. Imagine if they had prudently invested in IT over the years instead of pissing the money away on Downtown and other wants. While I didn’t watch the entire video, I’m not sure there were any questions about cybersecurity or investment therein. This is a big area of concern for businesses, governments, and every one frankly.

  3. If Bloomington had the will, they could easily farm out their trash, bulk waste and recycle at the end of the next labor contract. The city I am moving to does just that and like here, the charge appears on the water bill. My bill for all these services will soon be halved. No extra charges, no special pick dates and times. Put it out on the curb and the contractor with the city comes by and picks it up with one simple call. The union has the city so intimidated with their false bravado, Bloomington will never be convinced to even consider it, let alone do it

  4. This is hogwash “discontinue spring and fall bulk pickup
    $50 charge for curbside pickup – it was $25. Days will be scheduled” What the ~~
    “The City bought a vacuum truck for leaves, no mention if it will be sold.” IF it gets sold ~~ don’t blame people if they burn leaves at the curb & the leaves clogging up sewer drains and flooding streets ~~ Who’ gonna clean up? SMDH!!!

  5. HOW is it that HENSON can drive around in the country and pick up garbage at rural homes and make a profit, while Bloomington has to KEEP ON raising taxes and eliminating services, MAYBE Bloomington should farm out the garbage pick up to HENSON, as they MUST have better MENTAL ABILITIES and MANAGEMENT, and they still make money!
    WE THE CITIZENS NEED to get a petition together and get RID of the “union boys”

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