Spend it on sewers Bloomington!

By: Diane Benjamin Below are two screen shots from Monday’s Council video: All the free money awarded to Bloomington can be spent on separating sewer and storm water lines. The current project on East Washington cost around $4.2 million. Citizens with sewage in the homes need to demand it is only spent on health and […]

52 years of sewage

By: Diane Benjamin There was a time when Bloomington grew rapidly and had money to burn. Instead of investing in replacing ancient infrastructure the Council built a fire station that has never been used, the Coliseum, a water tower built too short to use, created give-a-ways to developers, and rehabbed the BCPA. The City Manager […]

Sewer flooding will be fixed by 2030

By: Diane Benjamin I asked Public Works Director Kevin Kothe if the work currently being done on East Washington would alleviate the sewer flooding in Eastgate. I’m not sure I got an answer to that question. Below is his response. Moving up the completion date from 2030 has numerous problems, the first being funding. Another […]

BCPA still closed

By: Diane Benjamin The event calendar for the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is mostly blank. They do have one event scheduled for October. Unfortunately it is a fund raiser for themselves: https://www.artsblooming.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/13308/762 Remember the grand plans for the Creativity Center? Details here: https://blnnews.com/2019/01/26/what-no-one-in-bloomington-talks-about/ The City even hired a fundraiser for the Friends of […]

The Bloomington show last night

By: Diane Benjamin The start time of the meeting was changed to 6:30 because of scheduling problems now that the room is shared with the County. I hear it’s temporary. The video was not fun, the group wasn’t socially distanced but not together either. Toward the end of the meeting the audio was fine but […]

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 […]

Free Free Free: Bloomington

By: Diane Benjamin Residents will be getting free disposal of all the rain and sewer soaked materials from last weekend’s storms. The City will create a map for dates but pickup won’t start until July 6th. The City Manager stated the start date is subject to change if assessments require it. Infrastructure that was under […]

Underpass: Too late to stop it

By: Diane Benjamin Underpass work session: So far Normal has authorized spending $1.5 million on Phase 1 of the underpass. Chris Koos stated it can not be stopped now because of all the staff time, grants received, and other agencies involved that wouldn’t like Normal backing out now. It almost sounded like Wayne Aldrich (Director […]

Riveting assemblage tonight in Normal?

By: Diane Benjamin Keep in mind many of Normal’s professional staff don’t live in Normal: https://blnnews.com/2020/12/14/guess-where-town-of-normal-employees-dont-live/ They have no reason to keep taxes low, make the roads drivable, or the water drinkable. The Council will be meeting at 5:15 to hear the status of the underpass project. Public opinion is immaterial. The fanciest properties will […]

Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin Jamie Mathy reported Jenn Carrillo did not participate because she was experiencing internet problems. The City extended the Post Office lease in the Market Street parking garage for 18 months. Usually the lease is for 5 years, the City reduced it because they are planning to replace the garage. A contract was […]

Bloomington Monday night

By: Diane Benjamin The interim Police Chief, Greg Scott, presented the departments annual report as did Eric West the Fire Chief. Both the police and fire have trouble staffing their departments. Highlights from the Police report: Selling on Facebook Marketplace has resulted in robberies. Cameras film the parking lot in front of the Police Station. […]

Privatize Garbage Service!

By: Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington has been struggling with balancing the solid waste enterprise fund for many years. Don’t forget, until 2005 the taxes you already paid covered the service. The enterprise fund was established only to tax you more until the fund balances. Yearly 3% increases haven’t kept the fund in balance, […]

Just some points from Bloomington last night

By: Diane Benjamin If you thought brick streets were ever going to get a little money you’d be wrong. Mollie Ward objected to diverting the unused grants balance of $82,784 to repairs. She wants curbs made ADA compliant first. See 1:04:15. I didn’t hear an explanation from Mollie, but she amended the motion to spending […]

Renner’s final meeting

By: Diane Benjamin Two landlords appeared at Public Comment a few meetings ago complaining about being billed for City water because their tenants didn’t pay the bills. These landlords have also not been paid rent for at least a year. This information is for landlords. Proving yet again Stan Nord is capable of working with […]

Bloomington Fun

By: Diane Benjamin If you can’t wait to hear Public Comment from the pre-meeting concerning Jenn Carrillo’s Facebook post, just hit play below. It starts right after roll call. Another Public Comment session (much shorter) took place before the 6:00 meeting. It starts around 50:50. Jenn Carrillo was not censured last night. The 6-3 vote […]

Couple notes from Normal last night

By: Diane Benjamin I’m just going to pick a couple items to write about. Item one is a check written to CIRBN for $256,985.34. Listen to Pam Reece describe this payment at 14:15. It sure sounds to me like the Town of Normal is refunding the contributions made by CIRBN for their 3 employees who […]

Guess where Normal’s new trail money is coming from

By: Diane Benjamin PDF page 51: https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3953 On tonight’s Normal Town Council agenda: Will anyone mention Sprague’s Super Service hasn’t been open for the past year? Will anyone mention this trail also goes by 1 Normal Plaza where Koos buddy and campaign supporter Bob Broad (and wife Julie Hile) own property? https://illinoissunshine.org/committees/32789/ The documentation doesn’t […]

Crabill again: Cut police funding

By: Diane Benjamin Since Jenn Carrillo would have been laughed at, Jeff Crabill was the BLM representative last night. He wanted to approve last years police budget instead of the increased number. State Farm – make sure he doesn’t get a raise this year since he thinks public safety personnel don’t deserve one. The video […]

Normal tonight

By: Diane Benjamin https://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3932 Remember this story: https://blnnews.com/2021/04/01/union-hypocrisy/ Plumber and Pipefitters Local 99 wrote a letter to Chris Koos upset a water main project was awarded to an out of town contractor – SNC Construction. Tonight this company is being awarded another contract totaling $610,764.92. The disgusting water is getting fixed: The Water Department’s FY2020-21 […]

Local BLM endorsements

By: Diane Benjamin First, you need to review what the Local Black Lives Matter group wants: Who are they endorsing, supposedly because a survey they filled out? I wonder if Chris Koos watching Target get looted had anything to do with their decision? Cities that have cut funding to their police departments have seen astronomical […]

Amenity not Economic Development

By: Diane Benjamin Last night’s Bloomington council meeting: Tari Renner and the Clerk had to be reminded Public Comment was skipped. I hope the next mayor can read and follow an agenda, Tari can’t (numerous examples from recent meetings). See around 49:00. There was only one Public Comment. Ward 3 candidate Willie Holton Halbert took […]

Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1107&Inline=True It will be fun to see if Jenn Carrillo’s head explodes: She has questioned all spending for the police in the past. A Public Hearing will be held on the budget. Likely few or nobody will make public comment. What you should know: The budget history: http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1063&Inline=True https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=21525 Pre Tari: https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=5010 […]

What you get with People 1st candidates

By: Diane Benjamin Thinking about voting for Jackie Gunderson, Kelby Cumpston, Patrick Lawler, or Willie Holton Halbert? You should first look at what Jenn Carrillo and Jeff Crabill have done for Bloomington: Juneteenth, Welcoming City, Defund the police, not showing up at meetings, etc. If you want a Social Justice Council that ignores the essential […]

Why Koos needs GONE

By: Diane Benjamin The Normal Town Council meeting was thankfully much shorter than usual, but the attacks on Stan Nord continued unabated. Start with Koos’ secret appointments to Boards and Commission. He has stated in the past appointments can’t be discussed because they are “personnel”. They are volunteers that don’t get paid, they work for […]

Shoving through O’Neil

By: Diane Benjamin After years of discussing what to do with O’Neil pool City Manager Gleason wants to have a vote next Monday to proceed with the plan presented last night. Even though the two west side aldermen didn’t bother to show up to hear about the project, full steam ahead! The current skate park […]

Heard this before?

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council heard a presentation on O’Neil pool and park last night. Price tag is now $11.5-11.7 million. It is much more than replacing a pool. The two aldermen representing the west side were absent: Mollie Ward and Jenn Carrillo. Start with these few words we’ve heard before, much more […]