By: Diane Benjamin
There were two public comments last night – both worth listening to. The radicals stayed home. See 1:40.
The presentation by the Western Avenue Community Center starts at 11:00. This organization has been doing good work for 95 years on the west side. If you know nothing about them, the presentation is informative.
The discussion pertaining to spending the feds COVID bucks starts at 34.30. The City has already received $6,693,462. The second payment will be received in May of 2022. They have to decide how to spend it by December 31, 2024 and actually spend it by December 31, 2026.
The slide at 35:38 shows the rules for spending the money, they are so broad about anything can qualify. COVID relief isn’t why the Feds printed money and threw it out to cities and states.
The slide at 38:08 shows a few things staff is considering: Storm Water Management, roads, downtown water/sewer plus streetscape. Didn’t the City just resurface a lot of roads downtown? Will those need to be torn up for water and sewer work?
Broadband is also a possible use. I remember years ago hearing the west side is a mass of wiring above and underground which makes it too expensive for a company like MetroNet to extend service there.
Jamie Mathy claimed he isn’t excited about roads because it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a car. I guess he forgot the City throws a ton of money at Connect Transit and they do use the roads!
See 42:57 – There’s the Equity slide. Paying off water bills was mentioned. A means test for those who didn’t pay rent or their bills while collecting extra unemployment benefits wasn’t mentioned.
44:30. Tim Gleason claims staff is the most excited about the last two slides – including the Equity slide. He claims Bloomington has unemployed people who don’t know what they don’t know. (government’s job?)
Council discussion starts at 46:00. I suggest you listen to the comments from aldermen. Staff is going to take their comments and develop a plan to bring back to Council. It was calm last night, I predict the Equity enforcers will crawl out of hiding in the future to demand their fair share. There were hints of things to come in the discussion.