Bloomington Council Supporting More Infrastructure Funding | WGLT

Bloomington Council Supporting More Infrastructure Funding

Sep 19, 2016

Bloomington Alderman Amelia Buragas (left) discusses how to increase public input on infrastructure spending. Alderman Painter is on the right.
Credit Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington could spend as much as $8.6 million per year, over a five-year period, on roads, sidewalks, traffic signals and other infrastructure pending the approval of a Capital Improvement Plan. If approved, the plan would nearly double current spending levels.

Alderman Buragas said, if that's what's needed, the council wants to make it possible.

"Our streets are a neglected resource," she said. "They've been underfunded for a long period of time. We need to get caught up."

Buragas said the next step is figuring out how to pay for the plan.

"We're still very early in that process of what that would mean and how quickly we could get to the point where we need to be," she added.

Alderman Scott Black said the proposal is a good start, but the council has to look at the big picture before making a final decision.

"I think we can do more, but what's the consequences of doing more? Does that mean we take money out of other areas? And, so, taking a holistic approach is, really, the best way to see how we can maximize taxpayer dollars," he said.

Public Works Director Jim Karch presented the spending proposal as part of an ongoing Capital Improvement Plan. Council members will be able to hone in on their priorities for infrastructure and hear public input during the final steps of the process next spring. They'll meet again next month to discuss city sewers.