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Building Permit Denied; Street Resurfacing Bonds Approved by Bloomington Council

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 05:05:23 CDT
By: Rachel Darling

Building Permit Denied; Street Resurfacing Bonds Approved by Bloomington Council The City of Bloomington may be one step closer to sharpening its vision for downtown. After City Staff presented the City Council with suggestions for combating complaints of crime downtown, City Manager David Hales encouraged the council to "be bold" in its decisions for setting the cultural tone of downtown...

   

"To spend probably the majority of your time on the vision I think is critical in order for the staff and myself to really help provide implementation, specifics to continue to   help to address and to reduce the kind of problems we've been experiencing."

City Staff recommendations included increasing the number of officers in the area between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most crimes occur. Staffers also recommended the establishment of a Alcohol Compliance Unit with a full time, dedicated officer among other possibilities.

Alderman Judy Stearns says she wants the Council to move swiftly...

   

"I'm looking for quick implementations that the public can see, people can feel, that are going to drastically change the chaotic mayhem that we get detailed e-mails about."

Alderman Scott Black wanted to see a vision that took into account the differing needs of patrons, residents and establishment owners...

   

"Safe, is number one for both our police officers and patrons. I'd like to see it profitable for our business owners. I'd like to see it as diverse --not just bars and taverns but different kinds of venues other people would like to attend."

Alderman David Sage says Bloomington has an "image issue" that will "take time to correct."

At last night's meeting the Council denied a special permit for developers to build new homes or apartments along Ekstan Drive. Alderman Mboka Mwilambwe made the motion to deny the permit...

   

"But what it comes down to for me is the children in the area. I just think that they do not have enough recreational space."

Alderman Judy Stearns says the area is not the right size for the potential volume increase in traffic and population.

The permit was denied by a vote of six-to-three.

The Council approved a street resurfacing bond that will cost the city ten million dollars. Alderman Scott Black says the approving the project will benefit the community in many ways...

   

"This to me creates value. We're creating opportunities for business owners to come to this community and be successful. We're creating jobs for people to spend money here. We are making the rights decisions to expand our tax base. This can potentially end up growing our local economy which is what we ultimately want to do."

The decision to approve the bonds came after a vote of five to four. Alderman Mboka Mwilambe says the issue cannot be avoided...

   

"I mean, I do understand we have some serious needs. Eventually we're going to have to spend the money one way or another."

Alderman Judy Stearns says even though the city faces several serious financial conditions, it must move forward...

   

"I'm just saying let's get our priorities straight, indeed--streets, streets, streets-- pensions and get some action on what people are asking for."

City Manager David Hales will implement the bond process with the help of city staff.

   

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