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Bloomington To Consider Utility Shutoff Ban Through End Of September

Bloomington Public Works sign
Eric Stock
The Bloomington City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a request to halt utility shutoffs through the end of September.

Bloomington city staff plans to ask the city council to stop all utility shutoffs through the end of September.

The council is set to vote on the request on Monday. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Government Center in downtown Bloomington.

The city allowed a utility shutoff moratorium to end in July, but it allowed staff to work out payment terms with residents who had fallen behind on their bills during the coronavirus pandemic.

“However, due to an increase in pandemic cases, as evidenced by the governor restarting certain mitigation measures and extending the moratorium on tenant evictions, it appears it is in the best interest of the public health to extend the city moratorium on utility shutoffs and penalties through the end of September 2021,” city staff wrote in a memo to the council.

City staff said restoring the moratorium on shutoffs may lead to overdue bills the city may never collect, but added it should benefit the city in the long term.

“The financial strength of the city, however, rests with its residents and it is hoped that this will be of assistance during a time of great need,” the memo said.

The city's Public Works Department also is expected to give the council a list of priority infrastructure projects to address flooding the city encountered following heavy storms this spring and summer.

And, the council is expected to consider an additional cost of $111,000 for architects who are crafting designs for a new aquatic center to replace O’Neil Park and Pool. The city’s contract with Williams Associates Architects stipulated the city would pay the added cost if the estimated project tops $10 million. The city now projects the cost of construction at $11.7 million. The city already has approved $775,000 for the architects.

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