By: Diane Benjamin
Unlike Normal who only spends one day presenting the budget, Bloomington is rolling their’s out. Last Monday was the first look. You can see see the slides on the video or at this link: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/27448/637786270147270000
See 1:28:40 on the video below. The City of Bloomington anticipates having a General Fund Balance of $34 million at the end of this fiscal year: 4/30/2022. That is more than double what the previous City Manager wanted in reserves. Staff has plans for a lot of that money however.
Instead of listening to the presentation by the Finance Director, listen to the Council questions and answers starting at 1:16:00. The discussion wasn’t extensive but it will give you a feel for what the aldermen are thinking. Tim Gleason also discussed space needs and the move to the Government Center.
A few things I saw in the presentation:
- The City is hiring more employees. The cost of pensions and health insurance can not be controlled when staff keeps growing! The City already has 700+ employees.
- Paying cash for equipment is a good thing, tossing credit cards is fiscally responsible.
More things you need to know::
- $500,000 for the Creativity Center. Maybe someday we will hear why it exists.
- $7 million for roads is good.
- Nobody asked what $25.2 million Motor Fuel Tax is. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the list.
- The Coliseum needs new heating and cooling equipment, it is the gift that never stops fleecing.
- Accelerating Locust Colton can’t happen fast enough, but this is a good start.
One more slide, this one shows the growth in spending. A lot of the increase is on Capital Projects:
From FY2016 to FY2023 the growth rate in operations was 20.57%.