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Bloomington mulls funding for zoo improvements

Tue, 28 Aug 2012 06:55:02 CDT
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Bloomington officials are looking at public financing used by other cities to come up with the best approach to funding Miller Park Zoo's master plan. In Peoria, for example, zoo support comes from 100 percent private contributions. Alderman Robert Fazzini says the bulk of Peoria's fundraising came from Caterpillar executives and suggests the council take a step back before passing the master plan...

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A development firm says the total cost for City of Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo master plan will be $17 million over 10 to 15 years. David Walsh--of Schultz and Williams, recommends taking a 60-40 model approach, relying on private donations for 60 percent of the cost, leaving public funds to pick up the remaining 40 percent. Alderman Steven Purcell says citizens should be asked if they want to pay the other 40 percent...

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Other Alderman suggest co-opting with the Town of Normal on expansion. David Walsh says private fundraising plans should include not just the City, but the whole region.

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