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Bloomington to consider opioid settlement and tax levy increase for the library expansion

Flowers in front of downtown Bloomington sign
Emily Bollinger
The Bloomington City Council will vote Monday night on the 2021 city and library property tax levy.

The City of Bloomington could get close to $500,000 from a nationwide opioid settlement.

The city council is scheduled to vote Monday night on a plan to opt into the $26 billion agreement involving one of the nation's largest opioid makers, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (the parent company of Johnson & Johnson), and three of the largest drug distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health and Amerisource-Bergen.

The state of Illinois expects to get $760 million, according to a staff memo to the council. The state plans to distribute a portion of that money to participating cities and counties. Bloomington would get $479,000 over the 18-year life of the settlement, according to the memo. The money would be spent on efforts to reduce the impacts of the opioid epidemic.

If the city joins the settlement, it could not bring future claims against the opioid companies.

Library levy

Also on Monday, council members are set to consider a tax levy to help pay for the Bloomington Public Library expansion. The council has been hearing public feedback on the project for weeks.

A majority of the council has signaled its support for the expansion. Library officials proposed reducing its tax levy to less than $6 million after it secured a state grant to help pay for the project.

The grant also would reduce the amount the city would borrow from $17 million to $14.2 million. The library levy would mark an 18.1% increase over the current levy.

Library officials said the grant would enable them to expand the project to about $25.2 million by adding some furniture and technology need they had cut from the project to cut costs.

Tax levies for the city and the library would total about $26.8 million.

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