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Bloomington considers amnesty for overdue parking tickets

Downtown Bloomington
WGLT file photo
The Bloomington City Council will consider offering a break for motorists with parking tickets that are at least 90 days overdue.

Bloomington could soon offer amnesty to parking violators who have overdue fines.

The city council is scheduled to vote Monday on offering a break to motorists with parking tickets that are at least 90 days overdue. The city would forgive the balance if violators pay at least half their fine between July 15 and Aug. 15.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Government Center downtown.

According to a memo to the council, the city has about $284,000 in unpaid parking citations that are at least 90 days overdue. More than $220,000 of that balance dates back to at least 2020.

If approved, the city would donate $2 from each paid ticket to the Back 2 School Alliance, a Twin City group that provides school supplies to children in need in McLean County.

Zoo exhibit

Also on the council agenda Monday is a $1.1 million contract for a South American exhibit at Miller Park Zoo. Funding would come from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources ($750,000), the Miller Park Zoological Society ($250,000 pledged), the Ewing Zoo Foundation ($100,000 pledged) and $830 in city funds.

The project includes new exhibits for the Galapagos tortoise, giant anteater, Chilean pudu and bush dogs. The new exhibits would replace several older wooden exhibits, according to city staff.

The city proposes P.J. Hoerr Construction of Normal be awarded the contract as the lowest bidder.

New ward maps

In other business, the council is set to decide which of five new map proposals it would like to see for the city's nine wards.

The new maps are part of the city's once-per-decade redistricting process following each census.

City staff produced four maps based on data from the 2020 population count. One map proposal was submitted by the public.

One notable point of each of the maps accounts for population shifts in two parts of the city. Ward 7, which is northwest Bloomington, would be expanded geographically to bring its population in line with the other wards. Ward 8 is southeast Bloomington, which has seen the most population growth over the last decade, would be smaller.

The city plans to approve a new map before candidates can begin circulating nominating petitions for next year's municipal elections. That period begins Aug. 30.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.