Arts Forward Bloomington is hosting a quarterly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14 that focuses on issues related to transportation and the arts.
Topics will include the status of local parking and transportation plans, as well as ways that arts organizations and local government can partner to increase accessibility to those with transportation needs. The discussion also will address how to incentivize patrons to consider alternate forms of transportation.
The meeting is free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood. Click here for more information on the AFB Facebook page.
As part of its Better Together – Creative Places Initiative, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County is seeking applications for $20,000 in grants to activate or create public spaces that advance a more vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive community.
Proposals will be accepted from organizations that are designated as 501(c)(3) entities or that fall within the category of an exempt organization, such as schools, governmental units, and religious organizations.
Projects proposed should:
Click here for more information on how to apply. The application deadline is Feb. 29, with grants awarded in April 2020.
In a unanimous vote at their Dec. 18 meeting, the Bloomington City Council approved the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), a major step in the nearly 2-year process to update the city's zoning code.
The UDO, as amended by the Council, will be reviewed by the city's Plan Commission at their next meeting on Jan. 13.
The Plan Commission will also be responsible for recommending a map that will convert the current zoning districts to new ones that align with terminology used in the new UDO. As an example, the current Residential Core (RC) district will be renamed Residential Small Lot (R3). In addition, some new zoning districts, including Residential Urban (R4) and Mixed-Using Student Housing (MS), will need to be added to the map.
A few highlights of the new UDO:
Click here for more information about the Council's UDO changes.
Monroe County is in the process of selecting a consultant to overhaul the county's zoning code.
At their Dec. 18 work session, Monroe County Commissioners heard from Larry Wilson, the county's planning director. He said that staff and the county Plan Commission recommended hiring Clarion Associates for the new County Development Ordinance (CDO).
Clarion recently did the City of Bloomington's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The firm also has done work for Indianapolis/Marion County, Fort Wayne/Allen County, and hundreds of other communities nationwide.
Wilson said that $105,000 remained from the previous CDO appropriation. The county previously hired Calfee Zoning, but that firm was unable to complete the project and reached a settlement with the county to end their contract.
Commissioner Julie Thomas, who also serves on the county Plan Commission, said she preferred the other finalist, Clearzoning, because she thought their writing was clearer. "But I'm happy to go with the majority of my colleagues," she added.
Wilson reported that Clearzoning, which is based in Michigan, had no experience with projects in Indiana, and would need to learn Indiana statutory requirements.
The three-member Monroe County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the contract at their Jan. 8 meeting. The seven-member County Council would then be asked to appropriate funds for the work at their Jan. 14 meeting. Wilson told commissioners that he hoped the bulk of the CDO could be completed in 2020.
Click here to watch the Dec. 18 working session on CATS.
City Seeks Input for Gateway Designs
The City of Bloomington wants feedback on conceptual designs for three gateways into the city: the Arlington pedestrian bridge over the State Road 46 bypass, Miller Showers Park, and Bloomfield Road next to the Twin Lakes Sports Park.
Preliminary designs by Indianapolis-based landscape architects Rundell Ernstberger Associates are posted online and were presented to the Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners on Dec. 10. Click here to see the designs.
Click here for the feedback form.
This design phase is funded with $45,800 from the city's 2018 Bicentennial Bond. Additional funds from that bond will be used for building the gateways.
The May 5, 2020 primary election is months away, but Monroe County Elections is already recruiting poll workers. These are paid positions for Election Day.
To be a poll worker in Monroe County, you must meet these requirements:
For more information about the various jobs available – including the student poll worker program – check out Monroe County Election Central or contact their office at 812-349-2612.
The Monroe County Community School Corporation is seeking to fill a board vacancy for a district covering parts of Bloomington's central and eastern sectors.
MCCSC will be taking applications until Jan. 6, 2020 for the District 6 seat, currently held by Lois Sabo-Skelton. She announced her resignation in November, to take effect at the end of 2019.
Applicants must have lived in District 6 for at least two years, be a qualified voter and be at least 21 years old. They can't be an MCCSC employee. Click here for additional information about qualifications in the MCCSC bylaws.
The MCCSC board will make the appointment. The board will interview applicants on Jan. 14th and Jan. 21st and must make an appointment by the end of January. They are expected to announce the appointment at their Jan. 28 meeting, when that new trustee would be sworn in.
CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION FORM
Trustees of the seven-member MCCSC board serve four-year terms and are paid $2,000 annually plus $112 for each regular meeting, among other compensation. The appointee would serve out the remainder of Sabo-Skelton's term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2020. If they wanted to continue serving on the board, they would need to run for that seat in 2020.
Click here to see a list of MCCSC board meeting dates in 2020.
Not sure if you live in District 6? Click here to find out using the Monroe County interactive GIS system.
The fate of the Monroe County Convention Center expansion will likely be decided within the next 48 hours. We need your help in ensuring our elected officials work together to agree on a governance structure so that this important project can move forward.
The Monroe County Council is poised to consider possibly repealing the Food & Beverage Tax, which funds the expansion, if no concrete progress is made by Friday afternoon.
The Chamber supports the creation of a Capital Improvement Board (CIB) as the governance structure for an expanded convention center. We support equal representation between the City of Bloomington and Monroe County, which has been agreed upon by both sides. The county commissioners have begun the process of creating a CIB and could make that final decision at their Dec. 11 meeting.
We are concerned that the palpable bitterness and distrust between the county commissioners and city administration could ultimately derail this project.
Please contact our Bloomington/Monroe County elected representatives to urge all parties to move forward with this project. Click here for contact information. See below for additional background, as well as information about upcoming public meetings where you can speak in person. Questions? Contact Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, at email@example.com or 812-336-6381.
Timeline of Upcoming Meetings
Here's a timeline of upcoming meetings and possible actions. For additional background on recent actions, read this article from the B Square Beacon.
Bloomington Transit is holding its final session in a weeks-long series of public input sessions about its proposed route redesign. The session runs from 1:30-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Downtown Transit Center AP Room, 301 S. Walnut.
The proposed changes are part of BT's Route Optimization Study, which began in 2018. More information about this effort is available on BT's website.
BT is also looking for feedback on these service changes via an online survey. Click here to take the survey.