The Monroe County Plan Commission will review a draft zoning module at its Dec. 14 meeting, as part of a major zoning overhaul that the county is undertaking. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. via this Zoom link. The draft module, which focuses on administrative procedures, is available here.
This revision of the County Development Ordinance (CDO) is being undertaken by consultants McBride Dale Clarion and consists of three modules. Module 2 focuses on zoning districts and uses, while Module 3 will cover dimensional and development standards and definitions.
Background and more info is on the Monroe County CDO site.
Monroe County Commissioners have approved a new program to reimburse businesses and nonprofits for COVID-related expenses and increased the eligible reimbursements to $30,000. The previous cap was $20,000.
The previous reimbursement program, which covered non-payroll COVID-related expenses, was slated to end on Nov. 30 and was part of the federal CARES Act. At their Dec. 2 meeting, commissioners voted to create a similar program funded from $4.7 million that the county received from the CARES Act.
Click here for the reimbursement application form.
A draft of Module 1 for Monroe County's County Development Ordinance (CDO) was reviewed at the Nov. 18 meeting of the Ordinance Review Committee. Module 1 focuses on administration, processes, subdivision control, and enforcement.
This project is being led by consultant McBride Dale Clarion. The ordinance is divided into three modules, which the county Plan Commission will review separately but approve as a whole, likely in 2021. The CDO will then move to the Monroe County Commissioners for approval.
Click here for information about the CDO process.
The Monroe County Board of Health announced new updates to its regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to take effect at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
In addition to the updates, the board announced that Monroe County will follow Gov. Eric Holcomb's Executive Order 20-48, but with added restrictions for each color-coded level. Those levels are based on the average of scores for these two metrics: 1) weekly number of cases per 100,000 residents, and 2) the 7-day positivity rate for all tests. As of the week of Nov. 16, Monroe County is in the Orange level.
Click here to read the new Monroe County Board of Health updates.
Congratulations to the candidates who prevailed on Nov. 3 and thanks to everyone who put themselves out there to run, especially at the local and state levels. Below is a list of candidates who prevailed in the election.
For more detailed results in Monroe County, click here for the cumulative report. Or check the Indiana Election Division site for statewide results.
Monroe County Commissioners are holding a public forum on Monday, Nov. 16 to get input on the future of the Monroe County Convention Center expansion. That project, which has been in the works for several years, was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year.
In announcing the forum, Commissioner Julie Thomas said: "Given the pandemic, given the pause, it's just a good time to review where we're at and where the community's at before we make any further decisions."
In a press release, the county posed these questions:
The Nov. 16 forum starts at 6 p.m. via this Zoom link. Or email your comments to CCR@co.monroe.in.us.
The proposed $44-million expansion is being funded by a countywide 1% Food & Beverage Tax, which was levied by the Monroe County Council in 2018. Since the pandemic struck, proceeds from that tax have been used to support tourism-related businesses.
Monroe County is now offering reimbursements for expenses related to COVID-19 for up to $20,000. The previous limit was $10,000.
The reimbursements are made possible with funds from the federal CARES Act. Examples of approved expenses include cleaning or disinfection supplies, personal protection equipment (like face masks), and costs associated with changing your business model (such as restaurants that started offering curbside or take-out).
Details and a reimbursement form are available here.
The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has approved a new regional transportation plan through 2045, with new emphasis on safety, transportation equity and climate change. Approval came at the group's Oct. 9 meeting.
Pat Martin, City of Bloomington senior transportation planner, noted that this marks the first MPO in Indiana to endorse a "Vision Zero" action plan, with a goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. "Now the hard part comes in implementing the policy," he told MPO members.
The plan will be submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for their review and concurrent approval with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Click here to view the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
The 2020 General Election is on Tuesday, Nov. 3. In addition to the race for U.S. President, many candidates are running for local, state and federal office. To help voters navigate their options, the Chamber has launched a nonpartisan resource guide for elected positions that represent all or parts of Monroe County.
In addition to general resources about the voting process, the site includes information about candidates for U.S. Congress District 9, Indiana Senate and House of Representatives, Monroe County Council and Commission, Monroe County Circuit Court, other Monroe County elected offices, and the school boards for Monroe County Community School Corp. and Richland-Bean Blossom Schools.
Not sure who's on your ballot? Go to the League of Women Voters Vote411 site, enter your address and get a listing. Or search for your ballot on the Indiana Voter Portal by clicking the "Who's On The Ballot" link.
At its Sept. 8 meeting, the Monroe County Council unanimously approved a statement that urges the Bloomington Common Council to postpone a vote on a proposed 0.25% increase to the local income tax. The Bloomington Council is on track to vote on the proposal on Sept. 16 and will hold a meeting on Sept. 9 to discuss it.
The statement is written as a letter to Bloomington Council and reads, in part:
With the health and welfare of our residents in mind, we, respectfully, ask the Common Council to:
1. Slow the process down. Let us, please, take time to plan and take seriously the fiscal obligations we owe to all Monroe County Residents. There may be a time in the future when a tax increase is needed and the right action to take, but now is not that time. There is no need to fast‐track this legislation.
2. Jointly advocate, with the County, for legislative reform that allows both units to raise revenue, with appropriate input from residents in a way that recognizes the difference in needs and representation among the units.
Click here to read the full statement. Click here to watch the County Council's discussion on Sept. 8.
Click here to read more background about the tax proposal.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy