The City of Bloomington has designed 54 parking spots throughout downtown as free 15-minute pick-up/drop-off (PUDO) locations for restaurants and merchants. The intent is to support the curbside pick-up model that many businesses are using during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for an interactive map of the PUDO spaces.
This pilot project, which starts Aug. 1, has been approved by the city's Board of Public Works through Sept. 30. After that, it could be extended via temporary order or city council vote.
The city also announced that starting Aug. 1, enforcement of metered parking spaces will begin again from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The city has been offering two free hours of metered parking since March.
Violation of the Monroe County health order now includes a possible fine of up to $500, following action by the Monroe County Board of Health.
Mandatory masks are part of a health order issued on July 17, though some requirements don't start until July 31. However, in the City of Bloomington the July 31 requirements will begin July 23 at noon, because Mayor John Hamilton signed an executive order to implement these county measures earlier:
The Board of Health's regulation takes effect at noon on Wednesday, July 22. Violating a Board of Health regulation is a Class C ordinance violation, allowing for fines of up to $500. The regulation recommends that individuals be fined $50, but only recommends that groups be fined at a higher, unspecified rate. It can be enforced by health department officials or any law enforcement officer.
In a speech on Thursday called "Recovering Forward," Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton proposed a raft of spending initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new 0.25% local income tax.
From his speech: "I know it is rarely popular to raise revenues, and that it is not easy during times of economic pressure. But we cannot Recover Forward without it. Without it, we will shortchange our future and Bloomington’s potential. And, being one of the lowest-tax cities in a low-tax state in one of the lowest-tax countries, we have fiscal room to do so. Recover Forward lets us dedicate these resources toward those most in need, and toward the Bloomington we want to become."
Click here for a transcript. A video of his speech is available at the bottom of that page.
In January, the mayor proposed an 0.5% local income tax for sustainability initiatives, but that proposal was abandoned when the pandemic hit.
The mayor does not have the authority to enact a local income tax (LIT). It would need to be approved by the elected fiscal authorities in Monroe County, including the Bloomington City Council and Monroe County Council, in weighted votes based on the proportion of the population that elected officials of each entity represents. Because Bloomington is the largest population base, an eight-vote majority of the Bloomington City Council could pass a LIT for the entire county.
About half of the proceeds would go to the county government.
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.
The Bloomington Citizens' Academy is accepting applications for its 2020 course, which runs each Thursday evening, 6-8 p.m., from August 27 to October 29.
The deadline to apply is July 29. Click here to apply online.
The free academy is organized by the City of Bloomington's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND). The classes provide an overview of city operations, including police and fire departments, utilities, public works and more.
More than 300 people signed a letter to the City of Bloomington administration, supporting the continued use of the Waldron building at 122 S. Walnut for arts & cultural purposes.
Ivy Tech has owned the building for several years, and recently announced plans to return it to the city. That transaction is expected to be completed in August.
The petition, organized by Arts Forward Bloomington, in part asks the city to keep the building's "current function as an arts center, particularly a performance venue available for public use.”
Sean Starowitz, the city's assistant director for the arts, told the Chamber that a public engagement process will be held later this year to get input on the building's future use.
Click here to see the Arts Forward Bloomington press release, with a full text of the letter and a list of signatories.
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.
The City of Bloomington is creating a protected bike lane along 7th Street from Woodlawn to the B-Line, and is holding a public forum on Thursday, June 18 to get input from residents. The event starts at 6 p.m.
Called the "7-Line," the project would add physical barriers between the bike lane, located on the south side of 7th, and auto traffic. It would also remove all metered parking from Woodlawn to College. Bus frequency along this corridor (Route 6) would increase. Indianapolis-based American Structurepoint is the design consultant for this initiative, which is envisioned eventually to extend east of the IU campus.
To participate in the June 18 forum, click this Zoom link or watch on Facebook. Can't make the meeting? Give online feedback here.
Find more information on the project website.
A forum on Tuesday, June 16 will focus on getting input for the redevelopment of a 24-acre site where the IU Health Bloomington Hospital is now located. The City of Bloomington will be taking over ownership of that area in 2021.
The public forum starts at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Registration is required – click here to register. The event will also be livestreamed on the city's Facebook page.
Unable to attend? Give your input by taking this online survey.
Click here to view the project's website.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy