A revised residential development next to the Johnson Creamery Building received site plan approval at the Oct. 18 Bloomington Plan Commission meeting.
The residential development will be built in the parking lot north of the Creamery building and south of 8th St. It will include 51 apartments of mostly studio and one-bedroom units, with a few two- and three-bedroom apartments. The ground floor, which can be accessed via the BLine, will include a fitness center and office space.
More details are available in the Plan Commission's meeting packet here. Watch the discussion on CATS here.
A new advisory commission will help Monroe County with its redistricting process. On Oct. 13, Monroe County Commissioners made appointments to the four-member precinct and district boundary advisory commission (PDBAC): Regina Moore, Ed Robertson, Joyce Poling, and Hal Turner.
Based on results of the 2020 Census, the county is responsible for redrawing boundaries for precincts, as well as for county council and county commissioner districts.
The City of Bloomington also has a citizens redistricting advisory commission, which they created last year. However, no appointments have been made to that nine-member group.
At an Oct. 6 working session, the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Commission members discussed the county's approach to increasing the supply of housing.
Two of the three county commissioners – Penny Githens and Lee Jones – attended. Commission Julie Thomas was absent. AHAC members included Cathi Crabtree (chair), Will Smith (vice chair) and Deborah Myerson.
Watch the Oct. 6 discussion on CATS here. It will continue at the next Board of Commissioners' working session on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The working session immediately follows their regular meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. via this Zoom link.
At the Sept. 21 meeting of the Monroe County Convention Visitors Commission, the group got positive news about the hospitality sector and discussed the possible restart of the convention center expansion project.
Mike McAfee, executive director of Visit Bloomington, reported that hotel occupancy reached 70% in August 2021, on par with the industry's pre-pandemic rate in 2019. Short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, are also growing significantly.
McAfee also asked whether it's time to start talking again about the convention center expansion, a project that was halted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Kate Wiltz, a Monroe County Council member who serves on the CVC, said she supported restarting the conversation. She noted that the county continues to collect the Food & Beverage Tax, which is intended to help fund the project.
Watch the Sept. 21 CVC meeting here. The issue of the convention center expansion was also raised as part of the Monroe County Council budget presentations on Sept. 15. Watch that discussion here.
Monroe County and the City of Bloomington are accepting applications for their respective advisory committees related to upcoming redistricting.
Monroe County will be redrawing precinct boundaries for the county, and possibly district boundaries for the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and Monroe County Council. Redistricting occurs every 10 years, following the U.S. Census results. Results of the 2020 U.S. Census were released in mid-August. To apply for the Monroe County redistricting advisory committee, click here.
Bloomington Council will be redrawing its six districts. More information about the council's Citizens' Redistricting Advisory Commission, including an application, is here.
Local redistricting work can’t be finished until the state-level districts are drawn. If an existing precinct is split by a state legislative or congressional district, it has to be redrawn so that it is not split. Indiana’s state legislators are expected to complete that work in mid-to-late September.
Lee Marchant, a local businessman who has served on the Monroe County Convention Center Building Corporation Board of Directors and was president since its inception 30 years ago, resigned in August. The announcement was made at the board's Sept. 7 meeting.
"We just really are deeply moved by Lee's leadership and we thank him so very much for that," said Jim Murphy, the board's vice president. The Building Corporation Board oversees the Convention Center facilities and operations.
At the Sept. 7 meeting, the group also elected new officers. They are: Cindy Kinnarney, president; Jim Murphy, vice president; Jerry Neely, treasurer; and Joyce Poling, secretary.
The Monroe County Affordable Housing Advisory Commission has three vacancies. The AHAC makes recommendations to the county Board of Commissioners, which appoints the members.
The commission meets on the third Friday of each month from 8-9 a.m. Meetings are currently held via Zoom.
Learn more about the AHAC here. Find the application form here.
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association is seeking applicants to serve on its board, which meets monthly. The applicant must live in the BUEA zone and be affiliated with the non-dominant political party. (In Bloomington, the Democratic Party is the dominant political party.)
More information about the BUEA's work and how to apply can be found at https://bloomington.in.gov/business/buea.
On July 27, the Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners approved a contract extension with Marshall Security, a private firm, to provide extended security coverage in downtown area parks. The unarmed guards would be staffed in shifts from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Last month the board approved an initial contract with Marshall for one shift at Switchyard Park, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Tim Streets, operations and development division director, told the board that there had been numerous security incidents during daytime hours throughout other parks and on the B-Line Trail, including physical altercations, unconscious persons, assault, and destruction of public property. In addition to Switchyard Park, the security guards will now patrol these parks: RCA Park, Seminary Park, B-Line Trail, Building Trades Park, Butler Park, Crestmont Park, Miller Showers Park and Third Street Park.
This new contract of $52,500 runs through Dec. 31 and adds to the previous contract of $60,588. The funding will come from the city's share of CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funds. This is the first time that the parks department has hired private security for regular patrols
Watch the discussion on CATS here. Read the staff memo here.
A development that will add 340 apartments with a total of 900 bedrooms on the former Kmart site was unanimously approved at the July 12 meeting of the Bloomington Plan Commission. No city council approval is required.
Called the District at Latimer Square, the nearly 12-acre property at 3216 E. 3rd St. is being developed by Trinitas Ventures. The site includes the Bloomingfoods East store, which will remain in place. The plan calls for five residential buildings, one leasing and amenity building, and a 385-space parking structure. Trinitas expects the project will be finished by mid-2023.
Read materials in the Plan Commission packet here. Watch the July 12 meeting on CATS here.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy