LIFEDesigns, Stone Belt and Work to Include are holding an Employer Town Hall on Oct. 27 to assist local businesses to connect with people with disabilities and the resources that can help promote a diverse workforce. The hybrid event runs from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Dimension Mill, 642 N. Madison in Bloomington, as well as via this Zoom link.
The interactive event will highlight the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and help businesses design a talent pipeline for youth and adults while addressing some of the barriers that businesses face, including reasonable accommodations, retention, co-worker training and accessing tax incentives.
Click here for more information.
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.
Four Candidate Statement and Exploratory Committee Designation documents have been filed with the Indiana Election Commission for seats in the 2022 Monroe County elections. These filings reflect a candidate's interest in running for public office, and mark the beginning of the campaign process. To learn more about these four candidates, please read below:
Ashley Cranor (D): Recorder. Cranor is the Chief Deputy Recorder for Monroe County. She also serves as vice chair of the county's Board of Health. She previously held numerous positions within Monroe County government.
Peter Iversen (D): County Council Representative for District 1. Iversen is seeking reelection for his current role as Council Representative. In addition to holding public office, he also serves as the Associate Director of Development for IU's School of Public Health.
Ruben Marté (D): Monroe County Sheriff. In May of this year, Marté was recognized by the Indiana State Police Department for his 30 years of service. He currently holds the rank of Captain and is the Department's first Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
Nathan Williamson (R): Monroe County Sheriff. Williamson currently serves as Sergeant for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
For more information on the timeline for the 2022 elections, follow this link.
If you have not yet registered to vote, follow this link to the Monroe County Government Election Central website.
At their Oct. 13 meeting, Monroe County Commissioners have approved a scaled-down version of Clear Creek Urban, a mixed-use development at the intersection of South Rogers and That Road. The development will include paired townhomes, multi-family units, and commercial space on land across from the U.S. Post Office.
The original proposal by Blind Squirrels LLC, led by Tamby Cassady, was a higher density version that commissioners rejected earlier this year.
Read the Clear Creek Urban proposal from the commissioners' meeting packet here. Watch the deliberations 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 their Oct. 13 meeting, the Bloomington Council expressed frustration with the city's budget process and voted to recess their meeting until Oct. 27, in order to further negotiate with Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
The deadline to act on the budget is Nov. 2. After that, the 2021 tax levy is carried over automatically and the city would lose about $1.2 million in general fund revenues.
Watch the council's Oct. 13 meeting on CATS here.
On Friday, Oct. 8, official public notices from the City of Bloomington were published in the Bloomington Herald-Times, marking the next step in the city's annexation process.
Property owners who oppose annexation now have 90 days to file remonstrances with the Monroe County Auditor. Forms will be available at the courthouse square rotunda from 8-4 weekdays. Cathy Smith, the county auditor, will be offering informational classes on the remonstrance process at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Oct. 11-15, also at the courthouse square rotunda.
Read more about the city's annexation process here.
Mayor John Hamilton's Recover Forward relief program has allocated $100,000 to the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association (BUEA) and the Bloomington Arts Commission (BAC) to support local artists, nonprofit organizations, and businesses whose work has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grant applications are due Friday, October 29th at 5pm, and can be submitted under the following three categories:
If you are interested in learning more about submitting an application, follow this link to the City's website for more information.
The City will also be holding office hours the week of October 18th for applicants to ask further questions. To schedule a meeting, please contact Holly Warren, Assistant Director for the Arts and Staff Liaison to the Bloomington Arts Commission by email at email@example.com or by phone at 812-349-3534.
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.
The City of Bloomington is re-opening Kirkwood Avenue to vehicles from Walnut to Indiana after Oct. 31. Portions of the street have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow businesses – mostly restaurants – to have more space to serve customers outside.
Also ending is the "parklet" program, which cordoned off parking spaces with orange barriers to allow for extra outside seating, and the restricted parking spots designated as pick-up/drop-off zones.
City staff are preparing a proposal for Bloomington Council to consider restarting the partial Kirkwood closures and parklet program in 2022, from mid-March through October. Kaisa Goodman is the point person for the proposal, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Staff will present a plan for 2022 to Bloomington Council on Wednesday, Dec. 8 with a final vote expected on Dec. 15. Stayed tuned for details.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy