The City of Bloomington has released a report looking at digital equity among city residents. The report is intended to guide development of the city's digital equity strategic plan.
Among the findings:
Click here to read the report.
Three panelists representing different aspects of Bloomington's performing arts sector shared their views at an Aug. 13 Chamber Speaker Series event.
Topics in the wide-ranging discussion included the impact of COVID-19 on performing arts organizations, how groups are adapting in creative ways, infrastructure needs, ways that new collaborations are forming, and the need for ongoing support during these challenging times.
According to a 2019 study commissioned by Cardinal Stage, the Bloomington/Monroe County performing arts sector adds over $4 million annually to the local economy and supports more than 160 jobs here.
Click here to view a recording of the Speaker Series discussion.
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.
The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMCMPO) is seeking feedback on using the area's transportation system and ideas about how to improve the transportation experience.
Responses to a short survey will help inform the BMCMPO's Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which is looking ahead to 2045. This survey will be open through July 2020.
Click here to take the survey.
Click here to learn more about the MPO's transportation planning efforts.
The Bloomington Redevelopment Commission gave approval on June 1 for Dimension Mill to draw circles on the grass near its building to help encourage physical distancing, though one commissioner called the idea "silliness taken to the extreme."
RDC members also got updates on parking garages in the Trades District, where the Mill is located, and at 4th & Walnut. The Trades District garage is under construction, and the city plans to install a webcam there to monitor progress. Alex Crowley, the city's director of economic & sustainable development, described the project as on time and on budget.
For the 4th Street garage, F.A. Wilhelm Construction – the firm hired by the city as construction manager – is reviewing bids received for that project's first phase and will likely be awarded this week. Bids are currently being accepted for the construction phase. This project, which is expected to be completed in late 2020, will also have a webcam filming the site.
Regarding the Mill's request, Crowley said that since the RDC owns the vacant land in the Trades District, the co-working nonprofit was seeking permission to mark circles on the grass to measure physical distancing in this COVID-19 climate. The commission ultimately approved the request, with dissent from David Walter. Walter said the area is public and anyone can be there, regardless of whether they practice social distancing. It's a matter of personal responsibility, he said.
Watch the full June 1, 2020 RDC meeting here.
A partnership between Ellettsville-based Smithville Communications and South Central Indiana REMC, a rural electric cooperative, is set to bring high-speed fiber broadband to thousands of rural customers in Monroe and Owen Counties.
Launched in May, the buildout of this fiber network will eventually serve about 3,400 residents by 2023. The first phase is focused on the rural area between Spencer and Gosport.
Read more about the project here.
On June 1, the City of Bloomington will launch a revamped website for public input on the redevelopment of the Bloomington hospital site.
Consultants hired to develop a master plan – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – will be meeting with stakeholders later this month. They'll also host an online "town hall" on June 16 at 6 p.m.
Details about all public engagement efforts will be posted on the hospital redevelopment site starting June 1.
Work will start later this year on a redesigned 4th St. garage, following approval of required variances by the Bloomington Board of Zoning Appeals. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories, 537 spaces and ground floor commercial space. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
The city also has dropped its appeal in the eminent domain lawsuit it filed to take the JuanSells.com building at the south end of the block.
The variances granted by the BZA at its March 19 meeting included allowing the parking structure’s entrance driveway to be wider than would ordinarily be allowed under city code, and allowing the driveway to be closer to Walnut Street than the code allows.
The downtown garage was closed in late 2018 because of structural flaws. It was subsequently demolished last year.
In collaboration with other Bloomington and Monroe County organizations, the Chamber has created a resource site to help businesses navigate the impact of COVID-19.
In addition to guidance from the Small Business Administration, Centers for Disease Control and others, the site provides legal resources, economic recovery resources, and links to updates from the Monroe County Health Department, City of Bloomington, and local educational institutions.
We've also compiled a listing of updates, information and resources provided by our Chamber members. The resource categories include food, kids activities, housing and utilities, among others. Do you have an update to include? Click here to submit your information and we'll add it to the list.
In a nearly unanimous vote on March 9, the Bloomington Plan Commission has approved a redesigned 4th St. parking structure. It will be built on the existing footprint with 7 stories and 537 spaces. The estimated completion date is August 2021.
Eighteen people spoke during public commentary. Of those, 11 strongly supported the project, including A John Rose, chair of the Chamber Advocacy Council; Ron Walker, immediate past chair of the Chamber board and vice president of operations for CFC Properties; Jim Murphy, president of CFC Properties who also serves on the Chamber Advocacy Council; and Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy.
The project, which includes a public art component, does not require additional city council approval. Click here to read details of the project from the Plan Commission packet.
Watch the Plan Commission deliberations on CATS here. Or read the B Square Beacon report: "Bloomington plan commission OKs 4th Street replacement parking garage, target completion date now August 2021."
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy