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Bloomington council OKs special-use permits for religious centers near Veterans Parkway

The Bloomington City Council meets Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in the city council room of the Government Center, 115 W. Washington St.
Michele Steinbacher
The Bloomington City Council meets Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in the city council room of the Government Center, 115 W. Washington St.

On Monday, the Bloomington City Council approved special-use permits for two places of worship — a Christian church, and an Islamic center — to use spaces in commercially-zoned areas.

Also at the meeting at the downtown Government Center, the council OK’d spending about $180,000 on mowing equipment, and about $20,000 of state motor fuel tax funding for intersection lighting at Illinois 9 and U.S. 150 (Market Street and Rivian Motorway).

The Faizan e Madinah Islamic Center is on the corner of Clearwater Avenue and Veterans Parkway. The building where it's located is zoned commercial, so the special-use permit was required.

It is about 1,900 square feet, and includes separate areas for men and women to pray, an office, and kitchen. The center’s capacity is 30 people.

The Nexus Church will be at 802 S. Eldorado Road, near East Oakland Avenue and Veterans Parkway. It can seat 75 people. More than 50 parking spaces are outside the 15,000-square-foot space. Nexus is relocating from space on Empire Street.

Because the church will be near the already-existing Buddy’s Liquor Store, the council also OK’d an exception to a state law prohibiting liquor sales within 100 feet of a place of worship.

MFT funds OK’d for small part of major road project

In another matter, the council authorized using Motor Fuel Tax funds to pay for lighting equipment at an intersection of two highways.

It’s part of a larger $5.8 million IDOT project to resurface seven miles of Illinois 9. Work on the intersection lighting should be complete in 2023. Bids will be opened later this month.

The intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) allows the city to use an estimated $20,000 of its allocation of state MFT toward intersection lighting at Illinois 9 and U.S. 150.

IDOT’s Illinois 9 project stretches from Illinois 122 to Walton Drive.

In other business, the council approved:

  • Spending about $180,000 on three tractors for the parks and recreation department. The price includes credit for trading in two older surplus mowers. 
  • Changing the way the city handles lake property leases. Previously, each transfer had to come before the council for a vote. Now, the mayor can approve those via a newly-created lease form. 
  • A special-use permit for expanding parking and storage at All About Auto, 604 W. Division St.

Michele Steinbacher is a WGLT correspondent. She joined the staff in 2020.
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