Bloomington Budget | WGLT

Bloomington Budget

Tim Gleason
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen passed the city’s $227.5 million spending plan Monday night, the largest on record, according to staff.

Bruce Meeks addresses council
Breanna Grow / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council narrowly passed a higher local motor fuel tax Monday night.

A room of constituents listen to a man and woman from Bloomington City Council at a town hall meeting.
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Two Bloomington aldermen looking for feedback to close a nearly $3 million budget gap answered more questions than received input Tuesday about proposed staff options including privatizing solid waste collection.

Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 2:45 p.m. | Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday he was “hugely skeptical” of privatizing garbage collection, a move some aldermen think would help close the city’s looming $3 million budget deficit.

City of Bloomington / Smith Group, JJR

Parking lots in the northeast part of Downtown Bloomington purchased by the city may not remain as parking lots for long. 

"The Frontier lots are critical and they're critical to economic development and frankly, from the stand point of the city, control over the property," said Mayor Tari Renner during Sound Ideas. "We're finding, obviously with the Front 'n' Center building, if you don't have control of the property there are limitations in how you can operate." 

Staff / WGLT

Residents on the southwest side of Bloomington will have to drive slower on a section of Fox Creek Road.

The City Council has approved lowering the speed limit on Fox Creek to 30 miles per hour from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council may move to lower the speed limit on a southwest-side road. 

Aldermen discussed reducing the speed on Fox Creek Road from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court during a non-voting work session Monday night. 

Michael Hill / WGLT

The city of Bloomington budget may increase by about three percent, but the increase comes with some cuts.  Council got a first look at the 600 page budget totaling $213.8 million during their meeting Monday evening. 

The Bloomington City Council will consider approving economic incentive packages for the retention and expansion of both Kroger and Sam Leman Toyota.  Kroger has said it will close its store in Landmark Mall in Normal after completing a new "Marketplace" store in Bloomington near College Avenue and Susan Drive. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington Alderman Scott Black has praised library staff, even though the property tax rate for the library portion of the levy increased slightly.

The rate for the entire city including the library fell slightly.

Michael Hill / WGLT


Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner agrees with some council members who say that the city should focus on older neighborhoods before newer parts of town when it comes to sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure. Aldermen met Monday to discuss the five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

Michael Hill / WGLT

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.

Creativity Center Could See $5.2 Million Update

Oct 16, 2016
City of Bloomington

Bloomington Alderman will discuss a plan to use mostly private funds to renovate the Creativity Center, north of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, during a committee meeting Monday.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington could spend as much as $8.6 million per year, over a five-year period, on roads, sidewalks, traffic signals and other infrastructure pending the approval of a Capital Improvement Plan. If approved, the plan would nearly double current spending levels.

Michael Hill / WGLT

The City of Bloomington could have a final five-year capital improvement plan by the end of the year. Aldermen and city staff will work together in the coming months to finish up the proposal, which was presented in draft form during a city council work session.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr

The Bloomington City Council will continue its discussion and make a decision on charging up to $500 per gambling machine at businesses in the city.

Staff / City of Bloomington

A new hotel proposed for downtown Bloomington could receive the benefits of a Tax Increment Financing District. Council members will vote tonight on creating a TIF study for an area that includes buildings at Front Street and Center Street.

Michael Hill / WGLT

In a 5-4 vote, the Bloomington City Council approved liquor license fee increases for the first time since 1982. The changes will begin next year, with subsequent increases in 2019 and 2021. The original proposal called for additional fees to be spread out over three years. Alderman Mboka Mwilambwe said the compromise will help businesses work out the details over a longer period of time.


The Bloomington City Council has adopted a $207 million dollar proposed balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Aldermen Kevin Lower and Jim Fruin voted no. Lower said his opposition came because of a lack of reductions in “socialized entertainment venues.” Lower said he believed the venues should be paid for by the people actually using those services, not the city.

Nora Dukowitz / City of Bloomington

A $207 million balanced budget for the next year is under consideration by the Bloomington City Council tonight. The proposal includes additional revenue from a sales tax passed last year and includes more spending for the city’s infrastructure.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Bloomington city council proposed a balanced budget for the next fiscal year Monday night. City Manager David Hales said if it wasn't for the anticipated sales tax revenue for FY 2017, the council wouldn't have been able to collaborate with Connect Transit, and enter into a revenue sharing agreement with McLean County for mental health. Hales said the council has to make a continued effort for long-term financial planning.

Bloomington Council To Vote On Coliseum Contract

Mar 28, 2016
Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington Aldermen will learn more about a proposed agreement with VenuWorks to manage the U.S. Cellular Coliseum during tonight’s council meeting. The city announced a partnership with the company last week, but council members have to approve the contract before it goes into effect.

The council will also hold a public hearing for people to comment on the final budget proposal for next year. If passed at a later meeting, spending will see an 11% increase with funds coming from a 1% sales tax increase that started this year while also eliminating a $7.4 million deficit.

City of Bloomington

A new, balanced budget recently presented to the Bloomington City Council includes addressing a long list of deferred infrastructure and maintenance needs. When Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen started with the city in 2014 he quickly became familiar with the budget and the lack of money to address those needs, including road resurfacing and sewer replacement.

Bloomington Back In Black

Feb 22, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Aldermen heard next year’s budget proposal from City Manager David Hales and Finance Director Patti-Lynn Silva. The plan includes $207 million in spending, with $9.7 million coming from the sales tax increase passed last year. The proposal also eliminates the $7.5 million structural deficit projected last year.

Bloomington Council To Hear Budget Recommendations

Feb 21, 2016
David Hales
Michael Hill / WGLT

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.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Liquor license fees in Bloomington may see an increase as part of the city's cost recovery efforts. The amount license holders pay has not gone up since 1982. Currently, it costs anywhere from $550 to $2,200 for a liquor license, depending on what type.


Michael Hill / WGLT

A final decision on bulk waste pickup in Bloomington has not been reached. The City Council has been mulling over a fee change for over two years, and a new proposal to begin charging $20 for the first bucket of bulk waste and $40 for each additional bucket on the same day, apart from two free buckets per year, did not gain enough votes to pass. Two free buckets were not part of the recommendation brought to the council last month. The council approved a motion made by Alderman Scott Black to table the proposal to allow more time to consider other options.

The BCPA and its front lawn.
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington's Mayor is vowing to veto any effort to close the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts (BCPA). When asked about closing it, Tari Renner told Mike McCurdy during GLT's Sound Ideas "that's not happening."  Renner also said he would veto closing the BCPA's Creative Center.

New Brunswick Tourism

The City of Bloomington operates three golf courses: Highland, Prairie Vista and the Den and Fox Creek. And the city is subsidizing golf at $450,000 a year while trying to reduce at $7 million dollar structural deficit. During his regular Sound Ideas appearance Mayor Tari Renner talked with Mike McCurdy about whether the city should be in the golf business and to what extent.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington landlords will pay higher registration fees to help close the gap in the rental inspection program. The Bloomington City Council voted in favor of the increase during the first regular meeting of the year.