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 […]

What’s so secret Bloomington?

By: Diane Benjamin Have you seen this at the corner of Veterans and Route 9? I sent a FOIA to the City of Bloomington. I have lots of information, but start here with what I don’t have. Secrets, secrets. Note the dates – December of last year. Top secret! I have more completely redacted. So […]

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 […]

Downtown Bloomington website

By: Diane Benjamin Downtown Bloomington has it’s own website. The map below is actual size on that site, yes it’s hard to read. http://downtownbloomington.org/welcome-to-downtown-bloomington/business-parking-guide/ One glaring error – Grossinger Motors Arena should be 13, not 11. How many businesses survived COVID? Comment below if you have any information. Any flooding downtown? The website also has […]

The Rest of Bloomington, grab your wallet

By: Diane Benjamin The IT Department is planning major upgrades, the presentation starts at 50:45. The projected budget for the year that ended 4/30/21 was $3,429,242. The budget for this year increase 15.5% to $4,182,365, an increase of $753,123. Source: Budget PDF page 167 https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/26434/637575549746730000 This graphic at 59:19 shows where the IT Department wants […]

Bloomington bills approved tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Bills and Payroll: https://www.cityblm.org/home/showpublisheddocument/26488/637588526176300000 Wasn’t Sick Leave Buy Back abolished? Buy local? Not when Amazon can deliver office and cleaning supplies with a mouse click. This is what the City spent in one month: Even administration participated: Remember when the Coliseum was sold as it would pay for itself? https://blnnews.com/2017/01/28/coliseum-who-to-blame/ Hint: It […]

Where’s Jenn?

By: Diane Benjamin According to what Jenn filed when she ran for office she lived here: According to the Coldwell Banker website, sale of this house is pending. All of the pictures show the house empty. It does say there are separate apartments on the first and second floor with both leases expiring on June […]

Walking downtown: Weeds

By: Diane Benjamin I had a little time before going to the District 87 Board meeting, so I walked around downtown Bloomington. The pictures start on Center street, then Front Street to the a short walk past the CII East building, down East street to Washington, and back to Center. There is broken mirrored glass […]

More Weeds!

By: Diane Benjamin Normal has a park off Constitution Trail called Rosa Parks. https://normal.org/1421/Rosa-Parks Below is what the flowerbed around the sign looks like: (h/t a reader) Those are all weeds, no flowers. Evidently Normal has money to build things, no money to maintain them. Government, either: quit constructing things in a way that requires […]

Downtown Bloomington Weed fest

By: Diane Benjamin If the weeds in the planter boxes of the CII East building aren’t bad enough: Just down the street is another weed fest: (h/t a reader) This is the corner of Washington and East Street – directly across from Bloomington’s new “Hub” in the Government Center. The CII East weeds are actually […]

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 […]

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, […]

Bloomington tonight

By: Diane Benjamin Citizens will see the three new Council members for the first time tonight: Sheila Montney, Nick Becker, and Tom Crumpler. Bills and Payroll: Bloomington has been trying to avoid hiring consultants to find candidates, evidently whatever they are looking for hasn’t been found because they are back to paying to find employees: […]

Looking bad Bloomington!

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Stay tuned, Normal is next. Wirepoints.org analyzed the pensions funding for 175 Illinois communities. Lots of other information is also included. Bloomington received a “D” rating. The results prove how much government has grown in 19 years and how the increased revenue wasn’t used for essential items like funding […]

New brick street?

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader South Mitsubishi Parkway, now Rivian Motorway, was never completed. The anticipated development never happened which also made Bloomington’s #5 Fire Station a relic before it was ever used. Sometime in the last week it did become a dumping ground however. Maybe Bloomington is going to finish it in brick! […]

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 […]

Media: Jenn was not censured

By: Diane Benjamin In the latest example of FAKE NEWS, local media is still acting like Jenn Carrillo was censured at the special meeting last Monday. Evidently they didn’t watch the meeting or can’t read the agenda. “Possible action” was on the agenda, not actually doing anything. The vote was 6-3 to do something in […]

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 […]

Normal’s “Professional Staff” comedy

By: Diane Benjamin Think Normal isn’t waging a war with Bloomington? Pam Reece sent a letter to Bloomington demanding remittance and answers for non-payment of sewer fees Bloomington has collected on Normal properties: If this doesn’t prove government isn’t efficient or capable, nothing will convince you. Since “at least” 2012 Normal thinks Bloomington has been […]

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 […]

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 […]