Bloomington tonight – short meeting

By: Diane Benjamin If nothing gets pulled from the Consent Agenda the only item remaining is the Finance Director’s Report and comments. On the Consent Agenda: The gift that can’t stop giving – Coliseum, it isn’t Grossinger Motors Arena anymore: Looks like the Market Street Garage isn’t going anywhere soon: $10.52 a square foot. Normal […]

More from the Normal FOIA documents:

By: Diane Benjamin The below is all from an email Pam Reece sent to the Council on January 21, 2022. A vote to rescind the National Fitness Champaign vote never happened even though numerous emails clamed it would, maybe Koos and Reece think it will just go away if they don’t bring it back to […]

Uptown – Conversation on Facebook

By: Diane Benjamin There is a Facebook Group called: Save the Uptown Mural and Historic Buildings On November 29th this story was posted to the group:  Against Master Developers The best lines in the story are at the end: Master planner-based developments, with their large, centralized buildings, inhibit the growth of local businesses and reduce […]

Uptown: We will take two please

By: Diane Benjamin Is Uptown a success? The successful buildings on the circle so far are government owned, Children’s Discovery Museum and Amtrak/Town offices. The third building still has an empty first floor and the taxpayers are renting the entire second floor for the Town. (Remember when the Council told Pam it was a high […]

Trail East is Dead, now . . . .

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when the Normal Town Council told Pam Reece to make getting the Town out of the $36,000 a month lease for the 2nd story of 1 Uptown Circle a priority? Remember, that building would have never been built if the Town hadn’t agreed to rent an entire floor. Remember too the […]

Inside 1 Uptown Circle

By: Diane Benjamin I guess the building owner’s mommy never yelled at him to turn off the lights. The pictures below are inside the still empty first floor of 1 Uptown Circle – one of Mayor Koos’ success stories filing a hole in Uptown: Yes the lights were on yesterday, but don’t worry – the […]

Need a Luxury Apartment?

By: Diane Benjamin How about a luxury apartment subsidized by taxpayers? Is this Normal’s version of affordable housing? 1 Uptown Circle would never have been built without taxpayer money. Normal continues to rent an entire floor for close to $36,000 a month so around 20 employees can work there. Remember when the Council named it […]

Proving yet again Normal doesn’t want to hear from citizens . . . .

Monday night the Town of Normal is finally “fixing” their Public Comment Policy. The Town is making sure it as difficult as possible for citizens: PDSF page 105: https://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/12612/Council-Packet–PDF Right now citizens aren’t allowed to talk about anything not on the agenda. That was obviously illegal and the Town knew it. Instead of just having […]

Normal Pay Attention: Uptown TIF Report

By: Diane Benjamin All the Financial Information for the Town of Normal is now posted on the Comptroller’s website. It includes reports on the FIVE TIF districts. This site is for citizens because they are in a much easier to read format. The reports used to be easy to find, the Democrat Comptroller redesigned the […]

Normal: 4-20-20

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Peoria is facing a $31 million deficit because of COVID-19:  https://week.com/2020/04/14/peoria-city-council-facing-31-million-hole-cuts-likely-on-the-way/ Normal is missing close to half of their population because of college closures.  What is their deficit?  (crickets) http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3608 Since bills were not included in the last packet, there are two lists in this one. Previously Normal paid […]

Normal: Uptown reporting lacks transparency

By:  Diane Benjamin This is a little complicated if you don’t understand TIF districts.  The basics are: An area is declared a TIF in order to revitalize a blighted area Money is borrowed for TIF spending, it can be used to incentivize new development Tax money raised within the TIF is then used to pay off […]

1 Uptown Circle – the OLD story

By:  Diane Benjamin I found this old WGLT story while looking for something else.  It’s always fun to see what taxpayers were told before a project and compare it to reality.  This article is from March of 2016. Source:   wglt.org Estimating Taxpayer Support Uptown Construction Project WGLT and the Town of Normal disagreed on the […]

New Uptown Building delayed

By:  Diane Benjamin WGLT reported yesterday Trail East construction has been delayed until spring:  https://www.wglt.org/mayor-financing-issues-delay-construction-trail-east-until-spring-2020 Note:  The last time a new building in Uptown had “financing” issues, the Town agreed to rent an entire floor at above market rates and the main floor is STILL empty. Demolition of the old buildings on Beaufort may start […]

Talking Points: Normal

By:  Diane Benjamin The sales tax plan for the Fiala brothers created some havoc for some of the Trustees.  The citizens of Normal are really tired of the Town’s giveaways, especially to their “friends”. The citizens remember all the properties given away to create Uptown.  Nobody would have built there without them.  The citizens see […]

Normal: Desperate to fill Uptown?

By:  Diane Benjamin I found this one while looking for something else – the other story tomorrow. Normal prides itself on being “green” and being environment politically correct. Have you heard them talk about LEED Certification? Here’s what that means according to Wikipedia: Of course this makes construction more expensive.  Normal has building codes requiring […]

Trail East: Stealing Bloomington jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin The proposed building on Uptown Circle will result in the loss of historic buildings on Beaufort – and the mural. What does Normal Get? Farnsworth Group and AFNI jobs will relocate from Bloomington.  No new jobs.  No growth for the area, just destruction of the mural and historic buildings. Is the war […]

Normal tonight + History

By:  Diane Benjamin Tonight the Normal Council will be meeting for just a few minutes.  The only highlight is selling 2 garbage trucks to the City of Kewanee for $260,000.  Normal already bought replacements. It is really tough to keep track of all the Uptown History and how much taxpayers money has been invested, so […]

More on Uptown Circle

By:  Diane Benjamin Followup to yesterday’s story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/03/16/hum-uptown-circle/ As reported yesterday, this new building in Uptown has no tenants on the first floor.  The Town of Normal is renting the entire second floor: According to the Pantagraph from 7/4/2016: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/normal-eyes-design-contract-for-office-space/article_9d3ad5b1-f04d-5709-a834-2d10fe6db9eb.html The town will lease 13,780 square feet of office space for 15 years, with renewal options, […]