Bloomington Council Hopeful Suggests Alternatives For Library Expansion | WGLT

Bloomington Council Hopeful Suggests Alternatives For Library Expansion

Dec 13, 2018

A Bloomington city council hopeful wants the Bloomington Public Library to look for other ways to address its space needs.

Travis Wilson is running in Ward 8 in the April election. He said if the library needs to expand—either at its current location or at a new facility—it should consider using existing space in the community.

“Do we start creating a micro-library in different parts of the community, almost like a small park for citizens to access books and computers and digital media?” Wilson said. “Do we start looking at ways to reduce the footprint of where the library is at and spreading that out?”

Wilson suggested that could be a lower-cost alternative, if the library could look into facilities that aren’t being used.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate for (the city council) to approach the citizens and say we have to raise taxes more for a multimillion dollar library,” Wilson said.

Bloomington Public Library officials have said they want to expand the library’s current location at 205 E. Olive St. The city council agrees.

The library has explored several expansion options that range between $28 million and $52 million. A downtown task force had recommended a new library as part of a catalyst project.

Wilson manages McLean County Emergency Medical Services system. He said city government should play a more limited role and focus on essential services such a public safety and infrastructure.

“Fiscally, our city doesn’t seem to have a solid footing,” Wilson said. “We’ve balanced the budget based on raising taxes and adding fees. We have to balance what we have.”

Wilson is running against State Farm corporate attorney Jeff Crabill. Current Ward 8 Alderman Diana Hauman is not seeking re-election.

You can also listen to the full interview below:

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