Bloomington: What you need to know from Monday

By: Diane Benjamin

Note to Jamie Mathy: Future Councils are not bound by actions of past Councils. The Tari Renner “ramp” pension funding plan means zero if it can’t be afforded. Tari knew he wouldn’t be around to find at least $10 million more a year in the future.

Renner already locked the Council into approving the library renovation and the Water Park. Tim Gleason was told when he was hired he got the job because of what he did in downtown Decatur. That doesn’t mean this Council is on the same page with Renner gone. Decatur’s downtown dies at night when all the offices close. Bloomington’s has bars. What happened to the police overtime required to keep order? Remember when that was a huge topic?

One thing that did not come up on Monday was the property owner who bought properties downtown and has done nothing with them. The Front & Center building and People’s Bank are both left to decay. Downtown revitalization isn’t going to happen with these two huge buildings sitting empty.

Here’s the BIG red flag:

Remember Bring it on Bloomington?

That was a “survey” of citizens that flopped big time, the very limited results that were received was considered truth and used to guide Bloomington anyway. See this story:

Bring It On Bloomington wanted 10% of citizens to respond, they achieved 1.5%. If you read that story it has the results. The size of the words show what that 1.5% wanted most: Infrastructure Investment. Since ROADS have been a huge issue for over a decade, that topped the list. Revitalize Downtown is in letters half the size as infrastructure which means half of the interest.

The group that will likely get $750,000 of your money next Monday plans to also do a survey. The Council should determine the minimum number of responses they MUST get before proceeding with a streetscape plan. That won’t be easy since those who want money spent downtown will jump to answer a survey, the rest of the town won’t. The future of downtown shouldn’t rest in the hands of people who decided themselves to locate downtown and then hand the bills to everyone else.

One more note: Creating yet another TIF district for all of downtown was mentioned. Bloomington needs to keep in mind Normal’s Uptown TIF will not pay the bills racked up to create Uptown. The citizens are stuck paying off the bonds. Bloomington already stuck taxpayers with the Coliseum and BCPA. With interest and millions more spent especially on the Coliseum the combined price tag has to be over $100,000,000. (Interest cost is always left out of the total!)

Bloomington has to invest money before property values will rise. Deputy City Manager Tyus stated the City wants to help current building owners with improvements to their properties, I didn’t hear anything about using the tax increment to pay off the debt incurred.

Nick Becker had responsible comments on this project, just hit PLAY to hear him. He doesn’t want to build something without knowing what the results will be. Since the presenters claimed to have done many large projects like this Nick wants examples of what happened after. The Council discussion begins around 1:17:00. That is the part of the meeting every citizens should hear! I suggest you watch yourself next Monday. It will either be slammed through or Council members will have heard from citizens to knock it off. Could be interesting.

4 thoughts on “Bloomington: What you need to know from Monday

  1. Downtown Decatur is terrible. Not beautiful or thriving. Not a good model or point of reference. If BN is confident the economy will thrive after making it ISUs little Chicago and Funland for visitors I doubt if lasts long term. Just a prediction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For all practical purpose , Tari Renner is still Mayor of Bloomington. Tari’sFriendz ™️ , stacked ,packed and reappointed to everything. Tari’s fleas continue to wag the dog in Bloomington.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Police presence in downtown at night has dwindled back to its previous levels. The streets are no longer blocked off at Center/Madison and Main/Market. Officer staffing levels have also tapered off significantly. Time will tell if they keep these levels now that students are coming back and COVID is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounded like the usual suspects just want to spend money to make it look like they are doing something. Becker asking about results, they couldn’t answer. Walch asked if they were going to do something different, they couldn’t answer. And why this company? How much of the staff decision to use this company was because they were friendly with Gleason in Decatur? Montney asking about duplicating efforts – spending more money to do the same things that have already been done. Does anyone else on this council have the wisdom to just say no?

    Liked by 2 people

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