The City of Bloomington is seeking responses to an RFQ (request for qualifications) for managing the Waldron Art Center. The deadline to respond is 12 p.m. on Friday, August. 13.
The city wants an entity "to manage the city-owned facility as an arts center for no less than five years, embrace the facility’s core users (including WFHB, community artists, and arts organizations), conduct joint marketing efforts with these stakeholders, lead fundraising activities, maintain the structure and its building systems, and actively pursue community outreach for diversity and to build audiences."
Read the RFQ here.
Bloomington Council has approved the extension of programs that support downtown businesses, including "parklets," designated pick-up/drop-off zones, and the closing of parts of Kirkwood Avenue.
The extension, intended to support downtown businesses as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, extends through Oct. 31, 2021. Councilmembers unanimously voted to approve it at their June 2 meeting. Watch the council's deliberations on CATS here. Read the related meeting materials here.
An analysis of first-floor commercial space in downtown Bloomington was the focus of a 2021 Capstone project by Indiana University O'Neill School students.
The report makes several recommendations, including:
Read the full report here, or watch a presentation on the report here.
The City of Bloomington's Waldron Recommendation Task Force has issued its report for future uses of the historic building at 122 South Walnut. The ownership of the building reverted from Ivy Tech Community College to the city in January 2021.
The three main recommendations are:
Read the full report here.
Much of Kirkwood Avenue between Walnut and Indiana will be closed to vehicular traffic from March 25 through June 30, to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining.
The section between Washington and Grant will remain open, as will a half block between Washington and the alley behind the Book Corner. That will allow CVS, located at the corner of Kirkwood and Washington, to have access for its COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
North-south cross streets and intersections will remain open.
The City of Bloomington Utilities has launched a two-year reconstruction project of the downtown stormwater infrastructure, called the Hidden River Pathway. CBU and its contractor, Milestone Contractors LLP, will be reconstructing 1,829 feet of culverts, along with some sanitary sewers and water mains.
Work has begun at the downstream connection to the existing culvert on Washington Street between Smith Avenue & 2nd Street, and a section of Washington Street will be closed for about two months. From there, work will continue at various locations along the route highlighted in red on the map (see below).
More information about the project is available here.
At a meeting that lasted over nine hours, a homeless encampment ordinance was defeated on a 4-4 vote of the Bloomington Council.
The Chamber had opposed the ordinance, which would have allowed encampments in public parks under certain conditions. It was supported by co-sponsors Matt Flaherty, Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Kate Rosenbarger, as well as Steve Volan. Voting against it were Dave Rollo, Susan Sandberg, Sue Sgambelluri and Ron Smith. Council president Jim Sims was absent due to a death in his family.
Read coverage in the Bloomington Herald-Times (paywall), WFIU and the B Square Beacon. CATS video of the meeting can be viewed here.
The following press release was issued by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to oppose the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 regarding homeless encampments:
Based on overwhelming feedback from members, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposes the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 that would allow encampments in public parks for extended periods.
“Over the past year we’ve heard increasing complaints and deep concerns voiced by members of the business community regarding encampments at Seminary Park and elsewhere,” said Erin Predmore, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We must find an alternative way to support the needs of houseless residents that does not negatively impact local businesses, the jobs they provide, and the broader community.”
Downtown Bloomington Inc. is seeking feedback from downtown businesses about possible outdoor dining options along the Kirkwood Avenue corridor. Please complete the survey by Friday, Feb. 26.
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.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy