Free Free Free: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin

Residents will be getting free disposal of all the rain and sewer soaked materials from last weekend’s storms. The City will create a map for dates but pickup won’t start until July 6th. The City Manager stated the start date is subject to change if assessments require it. Infrastructure that was under water will be assessed too for damage.

Brush pickup will be suspended for the two weeks it will take to pick everything up. See more at the bottom of this page: https://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works

Since nothing is free, the pickup will not be free. Expect to pay more somewhere.

The Council will be in-person at the next meeting. They won’t be at City Hall, they will be at the Government Center. Staff might be looking at a way to still have Public Comment virtually for those who don’t want to make the trip downtown. All of the COVID emergency orders were ended by a vote of 8-1. Jenn Carrillo, who avoided being on camera for most of the meeting, was the lone NO vote. She never said why.

The only item of contention was Hamilton Road. One public comment urged the Council to vote no, Carrillo was the only NO vote again. Actual construction is dependent on receiving a federal grant. If it isn’t received this year the project will be on hold and the City will re-apply next year.

See 1:13:15. The Finance Director revealed the number of past due water bills.

Recap:

  • 2019 averaged 1250 shut off notices per month, only 161 actually shut off
  • Start of COVID: 1350 bills 60 days past due sent totaling around $300,000
  • Currently around 2300 accounts at least 60 days past due
  • Last week the dollar amount was $1.3 million past due

Some council members want COVID relief funds used to pay off the past due bills. Average bill is $500.

The monthly report slides follow, a $1.2 million surplus is expected for the year that ended 4/30/2021. A $2.3 million drop in revenues was offset by a $3.2 million Federal grant.

Comments by alderman revealed citizens are not happy with the proposed changes to bulk pickup from the last meeting. It proves once again if government gives away anything it is impossible to stop it – unless leadership has courage. Expect to pay more for garbage, nothing is free.

16 thoughts on “Free Free Free: Bloomington

  1. Residents getting free disposal of all the rain and sewer soaked materials from last weekend’s storms is a good use of taxpayer money. It was a freak storm outside of anyone’s control and the rain and sewer soaked materials are an issue of public health. Let’s get those materials picked up and properly disposed of in one big sweep. I’m a fiscal conservative with a capital F and capital C, but this is a good use of taxpayer money. Of course, Jenn voted to keep the emergency orders in place, as she wants to use the government to control our lives. No surprise there. Being the coward that she is, she doesn’t have the guts to offer an explanation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jenn voted “no” for ending the emergency ordinance because it included ending the water shutoff moratorium on July 31st and setting a payment plan for those who are behind. Jenn wants all past due “water bill” payments waived. “Water bills” include fees for water, sewer, BNWRD, refuse carts, and STORM WATER. Wonder if that $1.2 million is for water only. The other services may not have been receiving revenue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had an overdue water bill because they changed payor vendors (to Kansas City – not Illinois). They got my payment but the new vendor did not know where to apply it so they just set it aside!!!!! They should have returned it to the payor. Since it was deducted from my checking account, I had no idea the city didn’t apply it until I got the overdue notice. Customer service??!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife now sends ours to the City Building. They hit us with an overdue charge a while back even though it was mailed 10 days before the due date. The person at City Hall said the Kansas City people don’t always process checks more than once a week. Why in the hell are we outsourcing this when we can pay LOCAL people to do this? I thought “keep it local” was a mantra among those running the city.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes. We don’t need those damn pink flamingos at the zoo, but stuff like picking up storm damaged stuff put on the curb seems like a no-brainer. Why the rocket surgeons are waiting until July 6 I don’t know but I’m gonna clean out my (dry) basement of stuff that I planned to put out for the fall collection.

    Gotta get rid of it before these commies on the city council get rid of bulk waste pickup and spend that money bailing out deadbeats who spent their rent and city bill money at the new marijuana store on Veterans Parkway.

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    1. The Public Works department is waiting until July 6 because they are looking for structural damage to bridges, sink holes, gas leaks, and the like. Primary focus is on safety before cleanup.
      Was out doing errands today and saw a lot of bulk waste and brush out already. Guess where it is placed…IN THE STREET…to clog the drains.
      The storm will be an economic driver with all of the restoration work, flooring replacement, and basement mechanical repair or replacement. 🤪

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jen isn’t wrong on Hamilton Road. If you recall over ten years ago this project was stopped because the city had no agreement with the railroad. I doubt there is any agreement today either. This project needs to be stopped before we have two roads to nowhere built. The railroad is not likely to grant a crossing at this location.

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