Doris Sims, director of the City of Bloomington's Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) department, is retiring on Jan. 29. She has worked for the city since 1979.
Sims, who is married to Bloomington City Council President Jim Sims, oversees a department that includes the city's residential rental inspection program, affordable housing initiatives, and code compliance for neighborhood preservation.
At the Jan. 19 meeting of the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission, Sims said that Brent Pierce, HAND's assistant director, will serve as acting director until her permanent replacement is named.
The City of Bloomington has release a master plan for the redevelopment of the Bloomington Hospital site, which the city is expected to take ownership of later this year. The 24-acre site will be vacated when IU Health moves to its new complex on the east side of town.
The downtown Bloomington site is bounded by West 2nd Street to the north, West Wylie Street to the south, the B-Line Trail to the east, and South Walker Street to the west. The area is being considered for a mix of residential and commercial development.
Find more information on the project's website.
Water rates would increase by over 30% for commercial customers and over 40% for industrial customers, if proposed increases are approved by the City of Bloomington. Get details on the proposed rate changes here.
Utilities staff held an informational meeting on Jan. 7 – watch a recording of the session here. The Utilities Service Board's Finance Subcommittee will meet on Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 4 p.m., followed by a meeting of the entire USB to take final action on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m.
The Bloomington Council will then hear a first reading of the proposed changes at its Feb. 3 meeting, with final action expected on March 3. If approved by council, CBU will file the rate request with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission (IURC) before the end of March 2021. CBU anticipates that the IURC will host public hearings, with the dates and times to be announced. Any final rates that are approved by IURC will go into effect in early 2022.
The Bloomington City Clerk is seeking applications for the new Community Advisory on Public Safety (CAPS) Commission. The commission, created by the Bloomington City Council earlier this year, aims to "to increase the safety of all Bloomington community members, especially those often marginalized due to race, disability, gender, sexual identity, or sexual orientation."
Click here for the City Clerk's press release about applying to CAPS. To apply for this or any city advisory commission, click here.
The Chamber would like to thank Alex Cartwright for his long tenure of service on the Public Transportation Corporation Board of Directors. The board oversees Bloomington Transit, our community’s public transportation system.
Alex has served on the board since 2005 and recently stepped down from that position.
Alex is a longtime Chamber member and has served as a Chamber Ambassador for many years. His thoughtful deliberations and astute guidance are a valuable asset for the Bloomington/Monroe County community, and we appreciate the time and energy he has contributed on behalf of the public.
Thank you, Alex!
Christopher Emge, principal of the Success School at the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, was appointed this month to the City of Bloomington Parking Commission.
He was appointed by Mayor John Hamilton for a term ending Jan. 31, 2022.
The Chamber's Success School, formerly known as the Franklin Initiative, acts as the connection between the business community and the education community. Find out more about the Success School here.
Andrew Cibor will be the new City of Bloomington Engineer and will lead the city’s new Engineering Department. The hire was made by Mayor John Hamilton.
The new department will include transportation and traffic engineering operations, which are currently housed in the Planning and Transportation Department. Cibor previously served as the city’s transportation and traffic engineer from March 2015 through August 2018. He has served as the City of Asheville, North Carolina City Traffic Engineer since September 2018.
Cibor will start his new position on Jan. 11 and will receive an annual salary of $101,418.
A Dec. 1 public meeting and online survey are the next steps in the City of Bloomington's Digital Equity Strategic Plan. The city recently released a draft of the plan, which lays out a framework to improve internet accessibility and affordability for Bloomington residents.
A meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 starts at 6:30 p.m. via this Zoom link.
Click here to give feedback online.
Several leaders of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce were named to the City of Bloomington Waldron Recommendation Task Force, a group appointed by Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton to give advice on the future of the Waldron building at 122 S. Walnut Street.
Task force members include Cindy Kinnarney, German American Bank regional president and Chamber board chair; A. John Rose, founder of Textillery Weavers and co-chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; John West, commercial broker/owner of FC Tucker Realty and co-chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; Travis Vencel, director of development for TWG real estate development company and a member of the Chamber Legislative Council; and Ron Walker, CFC Properties vice president of operations and Chamber director.
The Waldron task force is co-chaired by Miah Michaelsen and Valerie Peña, who serves on the Chamber Advocacy Council. Michaelsen is deputy director of the Indiana Arts Commission. Peña is assistant vice president/chief of staff for the Office of Government Relations & Economic Engagement at Indiana University.
More information and updates are posted on the city's Waldron task force website.
More than 100 items from Bloomington Chamber members are highlighted in our first annual 2020 Chamber Gift Guide, to help you shop local for the holidays. The guide is divided into 15 categories, including "For Bringing Home a Bit of Bloomington," "For the Fashionista" and "For Holiday Cheer." You can view the Chamber Gift Guide here.
Free downtown on-street parking will be available from Thanksgiving through Sunday, Nov. 29, and the city's public garages will offer free parking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 1-3. Click here for details.
In addition, parking will be free at certain Indiana University lots after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday. This includes IU lots at 4th and Dunn, 6th and Dunn, and Poplars Garage.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy