City of Bloomington | WGLT

City of Bloomington

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 / WGLT

Discussion of establishing a sales tax sharing agreement for Bloomington and Normal will slow down over the next couple of weeks, according to Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos.

"Bloomington council has been very clear. They want to have a public discussion at either the 13th or 20th  meetings (of June)," said Koos.

Ralph Weisheit

An ad-hoc committee of elected officials from the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington is still working on developing a sales tax sharing agreement.

Transit Board Approves Routes, Schedule Changes

May 24, 2016
Staff / WGLT

New routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities were approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The changes include more frequent service, Sunday service, and more transfer locations. General Manager Andrew Johnson said, as a result of the changes, the yearly operating costs will go up to $14.5 million, which is about $3 million higher than current operating costs.

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

  The majority of Bloomington Fire Department calls are for emergency medical services. Fire Chief Brian Mohr told aldermen in his annual report that when they are called for a fire, they arrive in six minutes 72 percent of the time. 

Bloomington Council To Hear Traffic Light Options

May 22, 2016
Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will consider looking into improving traffic flow throughout the city. One system helps emergency vehicles, snow plows, and city buses get a green light to make traffic easier to navigate. Another would help vehicles move through Bloomington more efficiently after events or during heavy traffic.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The process to find a new Bloomington City Manager could begin shortly after the next municipal election. Voters will go the polls to elect a mayor and some aldermen April 4, 2017.

Aldermen voted 8-1 during their meeting Monday evening to give City Manager David Hales an 18 month extension from the current expiration date of January 11, 2017, along with a 2.3 percent pay increase. 

City of Bloomington

The Bloomington City Council approved a partnership with the The Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, Western-Avenue Community Center, Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center, and Town of Normal. This partnership helps at risk youth find the resources they need to stay on the right track.

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.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Normal sees the sale of the Mitsubishi plant to a liquidator as a positive. He also said the purchase would not interfere with overseas conversations to sell the plant.

Transit Board Postpones Changes

May 3, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

A proposal to change routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities has been delayed until later this month. Trustees voted 4-3 to table the route change proposal. Concerns about the plan centered around a possible contract with Uber or a similar provider as well as the addition of a Gold route in west Bloomington last week.

Mike Maehr / Creative Commons

The Miller Park Zoo has broken its attendance record. Annual attendance for Fiscal Year 2016 was 114,311 guests. Zoo Direcor Jay Tetzloff says they are happy to have so many people enjoying all the zoo has to offer.

Twin Cities Bus Riders Unhappy With Proposal

May 2, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Opponents and a few supporters filled the Normal council chambers to express their opinions of a proposal that would change Connect Transit routes and schedules. Those who attended the hearing had mostly negative things to say about the plan.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Bloomington says the city's commitment to infrastructure will soon become visible. Street repairs have been an ongoing problem for years. But, Tari Renner said council approval of ten million dollars in the new budget will make a difference.

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.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

Bloomington could begin bringing in more money for alcohol regulation and late night downtown policing as well as police and fire department pensions.

Bloomington's Administrative Court Could See Changes

Apr 18, 2016
City of Bloomington

Some new things could be added to Bloomington’s Administrative Court that are expected to improve the process. The court was established last year to make it easier for the city to enforce property and behavioral code violations. Deputy Corporation Counsel Angela Fyans-Jimenez said the court has been “very successful” since its creation last April.

Destihl Brewery

A site plan for a proposed brewery and taproom in the north part of Normal is under consideration by the Normal Town Council. If approved, the Destihl facility will use 6 acres of land and create a 47,000 square foot building that includes brewing, distribution, and retail space as well as a beer hall, offices, and event space.

Staff

The Main Street corridor from Olive Street in Bloomington to College Avenue in Normal is the subject of only two TIGER Grant applications being submitted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). It's the only project involving road construction. 

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner calls the multi-modal aspects of the application "exciting." Town of Normal Manger  Mark Peterson said the economic benefits are a "game changer."

City of Bloomington

The new operator of U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington has named the Director of the facility.

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.

Bloomington Police Dept.

The Bloomington Police Department is launching a private security camera registry as a tool in helping hinder crime and increase public safety.

Citizens and business owners will be able to register their privates cameras, making it easier for the police department to find, and perhaps use, the video footage to help solve crimes.

Officer Sara Mayer of the Bloomington Police Department says no one is being forced to register.  

Michael Hill / Staff

The mayor of Bloomington is already praising the new Coliseum management firm. Tari Renner said VenuWorks is a breath of fresh air compared to the previous firm, Central Illinois Arena Management.

Shawn Carpenter / Creative Commons

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner agrees the community does not need eight publicly-owned golf courses. But, during GLT's Sound Ideas, Renner declined to advocate shutting down one or two city owned courses altogether.

VenuWorks To Start At Coliseum Friday

Mar 28, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

A three month management contract with VenuWorks for the U.S. Cellular Coliseum was approved by the Bloomington City Council Monday after they heard the details from the company and city staff at a work session and regular meeting. The company will receive a $114 thousand per year management fee as well as a portion of money made from concessions, sales, and naming rights.

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.

Ralph Weisheit

With the contract to manage U-S Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington winding down to an April 1 deadline, the city has announced a new manager for its venue.

Ralph Weisheit

Some Bloomington and Normal staff and elected officials have discussed the possibility of establishing a sales tax zone that would encompass both communities. One mayor said talk about talks is premature.

Michael Hill / WGLT

Mayor Tari Renner voiced his concerns over a plan that would allow a group of three Aldermen to add discussion and action items to agendas. He said it could create a problem as it has in polarized states and communities.

Normal To Vote On Enterprise Zone, Water Rate Hike

Mar 20, 2016
Destihl

The Normal Town Council will consider making some changes to an Enterprise Zone northeast of Normal tonight. Destihl is planning to build a 47,000 square foot brewery at the location and wants to take advantage of the benefits before the zone expires in May.

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