The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has approved a new regional transportation plan through 2045, with new emphasis on safety, transportation equity and climate change. Approval came at the group's Oct. 9 meeting.
Pat Martin, City of Bloomington senior transportation planner, noted that this marks the first MPO in Indiana to endorse a "Vision Zero" action plan, with a goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. "Now the hard part comes in implementing the policy," he told MPO members.
The plan will be submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for their review and concurrent approval with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Click here to view the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
Two vacancies are open on the 5-member Bloomington Transit board of directors, which oversees the city's public transit system. Both vacancies are appointed by the Bloomington Council, with terms through July 2022 and 2023.
Board members are required to attend monthly board meetings, to serve in any officer role as elected by the full board, and to provide oversight for the organization. Monthly compensation is $100.
More information about Bloomington Transit is online at BloomingtonTransit.com.
The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association and the Bloomington Arts Commission are seeking applications for a second round of funding to foster the arts and cultivate cultural experiences in Bloomington.
Nonprofit organizations and businesses in the arts and cultural sector can apply for funds starting Friday, September 4 at noon at the following link: https://bloomington.in.gov/arts/grants. Applications will be evaluated according to organizational capacity, community impact, equity and inclusion efforts, artistic quality, and programming needs. Completed applications are due Friday, October 2, at 5 p.m., with awards to be announced and distribution anticipated by late October.
As part of the city's Recover Forward initiative, in May 2020 the BUEA and the BAC awarded $80,800 in grant funding to 26 nonprofit organizations whose programming was interrupted or otherwise impacted by the pandemic.
NOTE: Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, serves on the BUEA board.
Interested in volunteering to help guide local government policy and decisions? Both the City of Bloomington and Monroe County are seeking applicants for vacancies on their respective advisory boards and commissions.
For the City of Bloomington, there are vacancies on more than 20 boards and commissions, including the parking commission, historic preservation commission, Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association, and the farmers market advisory council. Click here to view all vacancies. Click here to apply.
Monroe County does not post specific vacancies, but takes applications at any time. Click here for a list of advisory boards and commissions. Click here to apply.
A new apartment complex at the Johnson Creamery site will add 58 apartments in a 5-story building that also includes retail space facing the BLine.
The site is now a parking lot for the Johnson Creamery's office complex, which will remain – and where the Chamber's offices were previously located. It is between 7th and 8th Streets just west of the BLine.
There will be 27 studio units, 22 one-bedroom units, 5 two-bedroom units and 6 three-bedroom units, totaling 77 bedrooms. In addition, there will be 2,600 space of first-floor retail, 36 parking spaces under the building, and a green roof.
The Bloomington Plan Commission gave unanimous approval to the project at their July 13 meeting. Click here to read more.
At their June 23 meeting, the Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners approved a $72,500 contract with Troyer Group Inc. to develop the Parks & Recreation 2021-2025 master plan.
Jonathon Geels with Mishawaka-based Troyer Group was on hand to describe the firm's work, including public engagement efforts that will include a combination of in-person meetings and the use of Miro, an online collaboration system.
A master plan is required in order to receive grants from the state and federal government and other sources. It is also required for accreditation from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
The funding for this project comes from the parks department's general fund budget.
Click here to watch the board's discussion of this item on CATS. More details are in the meeting packet, pages 53-65.
This was the first meeting for the board's newest commissioner, Ellen Rodkey. She also serves on the Chamber's board of directors.
The chimney of the historic Johnson's Creamery building is in need of repair, with recommendations that include demolishing the top 15 feet.
At their June 11 meeting, the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission heard a report on the issue. To do the work, the owners would need a demolition delay review, according to city staff. It is not located in an historic district, but the building is on the Historic Sites & Structures list.
Commissioners discussed their desire to designate the building as an historic structure. They also talked about recommending removal of the cellular antennas attached to the chimney, which cause damage from wind shear. It is technically considered a cell tower.
According to Commissioner Duncan Campbell, this is the second chimney for the building. The original one, built in 1949, was much taller, he said. The main building dates back to 1914. Campbell said he was alarmed to see that the chimney has deteriorated to such an extent.
Click here to view the discussion on CATS. Information about this project in the June 11 meeting packet starts on page 17.
Sign applications fees in Bloomington will be waived through Sept. 30, following action by Plan Commissioners on June 8. The move is one of several actions that the city is taking to help local businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fee waiver applies to temporary signs ($75 per application) and permanent signs ($125 per application).
In presenting the proposal, city attorney Mike Rouker noted that this was one of several requests made by the Chamber on behalf of the business community.
Watch the June 8, 2020 Plan Commission meeting here.
Local governments are making changes in response to threats from the coronavirus pandemic.
The City of Bloomington is reducing large in-person meeting effective March 16, including advisory board and commission meetings and several upcoming special events. Monroe County has canceled all board and commission meetings through March 25, other than meetings of the Board of Commissioners and County Council.
Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a Declaration of Public Health Emergency on March 6.
In a press release issued March 12, the Monroe County Health Department stated that employers should encourage telecommuting where possible and consider temporary changes to sick leave and/or hardship policies to address employee needs. Penny Caudill, the county's health administrator, also recommended implementing contingency staffing plans that will include flexible scheduling as well as temporary changes and exceptions to leave policies, in order to allow employees to take care of themselves or family members.
The Centers for Disease Control has created a guide for businesses to plan, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Monroe County Health Department will also continue to update their sites as more information becomes available.
A vacancy has opened on the Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners, following the recent resignation of Lisa Simmons Thatcher. Her resignation was announced at the board's Jan. 28 meeting.
The Chamber encourages our members to join advisory groups that guide the City of Bloomington and Monroe County government. Click here to apply for the Bloomington Board of Park Commissioners. Appointments are made by the mayor.
This is the second change in membership over the past few months on the 4-member Board of Park Commissioners. Last year, long-time member Joe Hoffmann stepped down. Israel Herrera was recently appointed to that seat.
The Board of Park Commissioners meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. at Bloomington City Hall, 401 N. Morton. The group oversees the city's Parks & Recreation Department, which includes the Community Farmers' Market.
Interested in serving on other boards or commissions? Click here for information about the City of Bloomington's advisory groups. For a list of Monroe County boards and commissions, click here.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy