Businesses serving alcohol in downtown Bloomington could begin footing the bill for extra police officers that patrol the area during peak hours. The Bloomington City Council is looking at five different proposals to bring in $130,000 for the Downtown Police Hireback Cost Recovery Program. Police Chief Brendan Heffner says the program started as a way make sure the rest of the city can stay safe.
Aldermen are looking to shift the cost of the patrols from the city to the entertainment venues, taverns, and restaurants that benefit from them. The majority of the proposals include increasing liquor license fees. Alderwoman Diana Hauman says the owners of those establishments need to be involved in the conversation.
The council will look at other cost-shifting measures and cuts before passing the budget this Spring. Hauman says some of those decisions will have to wait until the specifics are released.
Proposed cost-shifting measures include making District 87 foot the bill for resource officers, which Hauman does not support, and having the Central Illinois Regional Airport pay for its fire department. Cuts include the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and Highland Park Golf Course.