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 is seeking applicants for its Redevelopment Commission (RDC), following the resignation of RDC president Don Griffin Jr. He resigned his position on March 15 and will be joining the city as deputy mayor in April.
The RDC oversees the city's Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) department, neighborhood improvement grants and tax increment finance (TIF) districts.
Click here to apply for a seat on the RDC. This vacancy is appointed by the mayor. Other RDC positions are appointed by the Bloomington Council.
Extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, have been made until 2022. The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that all SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
In addition, all SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.
Click here to learn more about the SBA deferments.
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 its March 8 meeting, the Bloomington Plan Commission approved three out of 10 proposed amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), starting a formal process that will continue over the next few weeks.
The three approved ordinances were: ZO-01-21 (technical corrections for scrivener’s errors, punctuation, references, and/or citations); ZO-02-21 (technical corrections, not substantive changes, in Chapter 2 Zoning Districts); and ZO-05-21 (technical corrections, not substantive changes, in Chapter 5 Subdivision Standards).
The next meeting is on March 22. The most controversial revisions – involving duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes – will be considered at the commission's March 25 meeting. A revised zoning map will be on the March 29 agenda.
Following action by the Plan Commission, the revisions will be forwarded to the Bloomington Council for final approval. Find more information about the UDO revisions here.
Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton has appointed Don Griffin Jr. as deputy mayor, replacing Mick Renneisen, who is retiring on April 23. He will oversee 16 city departments and 850 employees working to implement the Hamilton administration's policies and goals.
Don Griffin is owner of Griffin Realty Holdings, a Chamber member. He is president of the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission. He has served on many local nonprofit boards, including current appointments to the boards of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, the Monroe County History Center and The Project School, and past service on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, Lotus World Music Festival, and the Bloomington Board of Realtors, among others.
Read the city's press release 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 City of Bloomington has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for development of the Kohr Building, as part of a broader redevelopment of the Bloomington Hospital site.
The RFI is for an affordable or mixed-income, multi-family residential project. Built in 1947, the 23,000-square-foot building was recently designated as a historic structure.
Responses are due by April 2 at 4 p.m. Click here for the complete RFI document. And learn more about the hospital site redevelopment project here.
Local Food & Beverage Tax revenues dropped 19% in 2020, according to a recently released annual report.
The 1% tax has been collected countywide since 2018. In 2020, nearly $2.8 million was collected, a drop of about $650,000 compared to 2019.
Read the full report 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.”
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy