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Older Neighborhoods Could Be Focus Of Bloomington Infrastructure Improvements

Michael Hill

Some Bloomington Aldermen want to work on improving sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure in the older parts of town before moving on to newer parts.

The points were discussed as part of the ongoing conversation on creating a five-year Capital Improvement Plan. Alderman Scott Black said parts of the CIP look at fixing infrastructure built in the 1990s or 1980s, but he wants to focus on infrastructure built before 1900.

"To me, it would seem that we should be focusing more resources towards our historic neighborhoods as opposed to trying to fix projects that are out east," he said.

Alderman Amelia Buragas said she wants to bring those older areas up to the minimum quality of service that is expected for all Bloomington residents.

"We have older neighborhoods that have been historically underfunded who do not enjoy the same quality of their infrastructure that some of our newer neighborhoods enjoy."

The plan calls for nearly double the amount of funding for sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure than in the past. Black supports more funding for infrastructure. However, he said more money isn't always the solution and that it's also important to look at how to use money more effectively.

"So how can we maximize our dollars in terms of making sure the repairs are done in a timely manner, that we're not doing all these emergency ones [and] that we're being more proactive? Those are really important perspectives that I think is important to our historic core," he said.

Aldermen will continue the CIP conversation next month when they hear a presentation on water funding in the city with Director of Water Bob Yehl.

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