Bloomington City Manager David Hales will present a $207 million budget to the city council Monday. The plan eliminates a structural deficit, projected at $7.5 million from last year.
Speaking on Sound Ideas last fall, Mayor Tari Renner said the city is getting its act together. “We have had about 20 to 30 years, frankly, of problems and messes that we are now trying to clean up. And we’re steering this city in a different direction.”
Projections show that Bloomington will stay in the black until 2020, but the city’s plans for Priority-Based Budgeting could push that back. During the interview, Renner also said the city is looking at ways to cut costs. “We are now shifting to the either reorganization cost savings side: reductions, cuts, and possible user fees. If you use our services, or if you profit from some city service, then we are going to likely ask you to pay more.”
The proposal also includes revenue from a 1% sales tax increase that began in January. A quarter of that, $2.4 million, will go to McLean County for mental health services. Another $2.4 million will go towards city infrastructure, such as streets. The remaining half, about $4.8 million, will go to agencies like Connect Transit and B-N Advantage as well as capital improvements, equipment, and other general fund expenses.
Aldermen will attend a budget work session and public hearing in March, with a final decision planned for the first meeting in April.
The Bloomington City Council will also hold a public hearing for the Community Development Block Grant Application and Action Plan, consider passing a Tax Increment Financing District for Colonial Plaza and surrounding areas, and consider an Economic Incentive Agreement to bring another Kroger to the city.