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 […]

Bloomington: Pay up

By: Diane Benjamin Remember when Bloomington bought all new garbage trucks so they only needed one person instead of two? Remember when they bought “carts” so those trucks could pick them up automatically? Remember when that didn’t save enough money so a previous Council passed automatic fee increases to avoid ever having to vote on […]

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 […]

Enablers passed the gas tax

By:  Diane Benjamin Tim Gleason said something humorous last night.  He stated to $500 license fee for every video gaming terminal will go into the General Fund and help fund capital projects for police and fire. Tim, capital projects don’t come out of the General Fund.  The GF is where all taxes go to be […]

Roads hilarity

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting last night. The first topic was roads. City Manager Tim Gleason did a nice summary – just hit Play below. Points made during the discussion: 1) The ratings chart for streets has changed, the City thought they were too conservative for […]

Coliseum expenses continue to destroy

By:  Diane Benjamin The Coliseum audited financial statement from April 30, 2016 is still not available. The local media and candidates are pretending the ongoing State Police investigation of Coliseum operations isn’t happening. Naming rights expired close to a year ago, obviously nobody wants their name on the Coliseum if they have to pay for […]

Bloomington: Coming Plans

By:  Diane Benjamin The current year budget contains a preview of where Bloomington wants to go in the future.  An aquatics park has been mentioned at several Council meetings, probably because $8.5 million is in the Capital Budget for the year that starts May 1st. See all the proposed spending HERE The source is pages […]

UpTown broke?

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I showed how Normal’s Uptown TIF is most likely not generating enough TIF money to cover expenses:  https://blnnews.com/2016/07/26/more-uptown-tif/ Here’s more proof: The 2014 TIF report shows some sharing of revenue with other taxing authorities:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2014/06409531/14TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf  The 2013 TIF report also shows sharing taxes:  Page 5  ftp://ftp.illinoiscomptroller.com/LocGovTIF/FY2013/06409531/13TIF06409531Downtown_volpment.pdf The 2015 TIF […]

Structural Deficits

By:  Diane Benjamin The City of Bloomington continues to hide the formerly transparent tax receipts.  That means they are either way above projections or dropping like a rock.  There is no way of knowing since transparency died.  Thank Alderman Hauman for suggesting the City Manager’s Report doesn’t need to be done.  I agree printing it […]

Tyranny Tari

By:  Diane Benjamin I find it amazing the Pantagraph has details of the budget David Hales is going to propose Monday night, but the citizens don’t! Nothing is included in the packet, do the aldermen have details?  Obviously the Pantagraph is running interference for the City yet again. In 2013 the General Fund spending was  […]

Tari: 5 Pinocchios

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari talking points: The big picture on the budget is that: 1) we are not doing anything that the city didn’t do three, four or five years ago 2) our revenues were flat and our costs keep going up a little over 2% each year How much truth is in Tari’s statements? […]

Shoestring budget? Really?

By:  Diane Benjamin I’m just getting started looking at Bloomington’s budget.  One point citizens MUST understand:  Paying for needs used to be in the General Fund.  Taxpayers probably think their taxes go for Roads, sewers, etc: essential services.  Instead, roads are now funded only by the new Motor Fuel Tax.  If your taxes had not […]