Bloomington last night: Library

By: Diane Benjamin

This meeting will take more than one story, it was another 2 hour assemblage.

The expansion to the library has been taking shape for years, it will not be stopped by this Council. Tari Renner made sure the library stayed downtown, he appointed people to the Library Board who believed it should never move or have a satellite location on the East side.

The last time a presentation was made to the Council was November of 2020. Comments were made by several alderman last night implying what was presented is a scaled back version. The cost is still the same: $20,770,377.

The new wrinkle last night was that cost doesn’t include a parking structure. Add $2,000,000 to the cost for that.

WHOI posted a story on Facebook last night. Even though the Library Board claimed they are giving the people what they want, the only comments to the story state otherwise:

See the slide at 18:45 to see what expanding the library will cost you, with and without the parking structure. This is not just for residents of Bloomington, it will increase my property bill too since Golden Prairie Library is listed on my bill.

If you own a $160,000 house, without the parking structure it will cost you around $29 more a year. With parking it will cost $32 more.

Add that to all the other taxing bodies that just need a “little more” from property taxes. Illinois government at every level is making housing more expensive and less attainable by lower income buyers.

The Bloomington Library representatives claimed the expansion is forward looking. They “predicted” future needs just like the Council did years ago when they voted to build a Fire Station that has never been used. They believe the changes will serve the community for 20 years+.

Don’t miss the comment from one of the presenters at 16:30: The expansion is the “great equalizer”. It will serve people of all demographics and create even more “equity”. Of course when rent goes up to pay the additional property taxes all that “equity” disappears.

If you looked at the slide referenced above (18:45), the Board did the obligatory tax rate comparison to other cities. The next slide compared square footage. The Decatur Library was moved to an old empty multiple story building, the comparison is misleading at best. Of course Tim Gleason and Billy Tyus who came from Decatur didn’t mention that.

Progressives continue to destroy your financial stability. Think water park, library expansion, and soon a new parking garage downtown. City government would be really boring if they didn’t create “must haves”, that’s why just essential service funding is not how they operate. When many of the nicest buildings in a city are government owned, government isn’t working for you.

5 thoughts on “Bloomington last night: Library

  1. Not sure if our politicians lack the spine to say NO or if they lied when they campaigned on fighting for taxpayers.

  2. If you oppose the library expansion, be prepared to be called anti-education and against inclusion. The reliable government employee voters, friends of government, and the Chamber fanboys will champion this expansion without hesitation or a moment’s thought, and attack any criticism. No reasonable person can come to the conclusion that the best, most practical use of $20+ million in debt-financed taxpayer dollars is an expansion of a library. Perhaps, the City ought to be thinking about how they make up for the declining payroll over at Big Red and the shift of its high-skill, high-paid workers to other hubs. The ship is sinking but at least the band is playing.

    1. Didn’t you get the word? Rivian is new SF and will eventually exceed SF all-time employment numbers. Your local leadership can see the future while you cannot. BN will become a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and BN its capital. As it was in the beginning and forever shall be, BN without end, amen.

  3. Again, we have the bookmobile so that replaces the need for a branch. Plus, a branch will never be built on the east side because the board sees that as favoring people with money regardless that is the demographic who actually uses library services.
    Read any ALA article and they all say the same thing …. libraries must change to stay relevant. This means SPACE for programs plain and simple.
    Regarding parking, there are very few times throughout the year parking is an issue. During those times, library employees are told not to park in the lot. Most complaints come from adults who had to cross a street with their children.

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