By: Diane Benjamin
Continuing yesterday’s story: https://blnnews.com/2021/06/29/whats-so-secret-bloomington/
You might have forgotten the story I did last December when a cardboard version of the sign appeared: https://blnnews.com/2020/12/08/where-did-this-come-from/
I don’t know how much the sample cost to construct, but I do know:
- Staff decided it needed to be much bigger than the sample version
- Staff decided it needed to be lit at night
- Staff emailed 3 companies for bids, they only received 1
- An RFP (Request for Proposal) was never issued
- The sign was constructed as a marker for those entering Bloomington from the east, especially the airport
- The City Council never approved construction at a meeting
- The base was constructed by staff, their time is not included in the total cost
- Electricity had to be run to the site, I don’t see bills for that cost in the FOIA I received
The sign is on STATE property, the City did get permission from the State to construct it:
The big bills:
Just these 3 are over $44,000.
I have lots of smaller bills which brings the total to over $46,000. Keep in mind the staff time in planning and construction is not included.
Also not included is the future maintenance required for the landscaping – more work for Parks and Rec. I don’t have an estimate for future electricity costs either.
See this email – so far I haven’t seen any responses questioning the cost that does not include the sign:
City Manager Tim Gleason is authorized to spend $50,000 without Council approval. Maybe all those redacted emails are hiding violations. I even have totally redacted emails from Gleason and the Assistant Superintendent of Parks:
What are they hiding?
Instead of essential services citizens expect of government, Bloomington spent many many hours and lots of money to construct a sign.