Bloomington City Manager Tim Gleason said he believes a one-time cash infusion and increase in staff time will bolster the city's economic development efforts.
The city council votes Monday night on a plan to create a new economic development department.
“Economic development is such a priority that I think we need to emphasize our efforts more than what we have done in the past,” Gleason said.
Gleason added the change is not a reflection of any dissatisfaction with the city’s regional partners, but he added the city could be a stronger partner itself.
Gleason said the $200,000 the city would pull from its annual subsidies to the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau and BN Advantage in the coming budget year could be used in various ways to bring business to the area.
“Whether we felt we had a great opportunity out there and it required us to prep and travel to try and entice a business to expand or relocate in the city of Bloomington, it’s those types of opportunities,” Gleason said.
The city currently has an economic development staff of one: coordinator Austin Grammer. Under this plan, the city would name a new department head, Melissa Hon, and realign staff from its downtown development division to create a staff of four. Grammer would remain in his current post.
The city would eliminate its assistant to the city manager position which Hon currently holds.
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