What did the sign cost?

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.







12 thoughts on “What did the sign cost?

  1. So they also ordered plants and landscaping materials from an out of town source. Pretty sure there are no less than 5 or 6 large landscape/nurseries here in the BloNo area. So money for this project wasn’t even spent locally. Way support small, local business during a pandemic.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Comment on sign:

    What does the emblem signify? If each taxpayer had to personally hand their tax dollars to the government chosen recipient, this crap would stop in a heartbeat. This waste and overreach is prevalent throughout every layer of government. Accountability…..ZERO. DebS

    Liked by 3 people

  3. When was the LOGO designed and approved? What were the design specs for that?
    The logo is eerily similar to Rivian’s logo in a number of design elements. Too many to list here, but a quick glance between the two is enough.
    The pyramid-like structure at the top displaying the logo has an area apparently equal to the area containing the name of the city. It is by far the most dominant and purposeful element of the sign and likely accounts for most of the cost.
    The logo is also RED. Why? Redbirds? Sorry, that’s in NORMAL.
    This sign is bizarre and laden with some purposeful meaning that we’re not supposed to know about.


  4. I know I am definitely in the wrong business……That aside, this seems typical these days, it’s also pretty sad that they went with an out of town company for the $11,000+ landscaping, wonder what the St. Charles connections are, because you know there ARE some. Also keep in mind that these are the sort of people who also think it’s money well spent to pay some “artist” $20,000 or more for a hunk of metal twisted up into some sort of nothing that they will ooh and ahh about to put in a reception area or something, or spend 80 bucks on a little plate of some sort of exotic and oh so tastefully presented fish dish that ends up being about 3-4 bites. The EXACT same people.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I thought IDOT was studying and planning for major changes at this intersection including an overpass or underpass for Veterans Parkway. What is the likely date that the sign and landscaping will have be torn down for improvements to the intersection? Would Bloomington residents of flood prone streets and basements prefer to have $50,000 spent on resolving problems that degrade the quality of life and property values or on the sign?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What is the purpose of the sign? To let people know they are in Bloomington, coming from the airport? Duh, would their flight not have been to…Bloomington. 99.9% of drivers coming in to Bloomongton, and especially limo, Uber, taxi, and Lyft drivers, have some sort of GPS. Just like the signs downtown…what for?

    Liked by 1 person

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