Economic Development | WGLT

Economic Development

Chris Koos at a meeting
Staff / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said regional efforts to pull together on economic development have never really happened.

Keith greets candidates
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Two candidates for a seat on the Heartland Community College Board both said they want to be careful to keep property taxes as low as possible, as did a third who is running uncontested.

Candidates at a table
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Empty buildings. Aging infrastructure. An arena losing money. What can the city do to revitalize Downtown Bloomington?

Candidates for city council took on the question at a GLT and League of Women Voters forum Tuesday night.

Melissa Hon
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Alderman Diana Hauman says in her time on the Bloomington City Council, she hasn’t been satisfied with the progress the city or its partners have made on economic development.

Candidates at a table
Amy Niebur / WGLT

When it comes to financial incentives for developers, candidates for Normal Town Council say who receives incentives is just as important as how much they receive.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington will keep its moratorium on video gambling until after state legislators have made key decisions about sports betting and marijuana.

Tim Gleason
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Bloomington plans to spend $200,000 less on funding for the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and BN Advantage next year.

City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington has suspended its business registration program.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Bloomington Planning Commission on Wednesday passed concerns to the city council over housing density in areas just outside downtown.

Kroger
Staff / WGLT

Grocery chain Kroger has another year to complete infrastructure improvements at the Bloomington site where it had previously planned to build a $25.4 million store.

Pool entrance
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council adopted a new parks and recreation plan Monday night that could inform the city’s budget priorities for 2020 and beyond.

Tari Renner
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Cutting back may have helped Bloomington balance its budget, but Mayor Tari Renner says it’s going to take more than budget cuts to help grow the local economy.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal said Tuesday that increased town incentives for the Trail East project in Uptown are worth the money.

Architect presents at a meeting
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Officials in Normal defended the Trail East project against public criticism Monday night, with the council unanimously approving two measures to keep the project moving forward.

State Farm HQ building
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

In spite of community worries over the number and average pay of State Farm employees in Bloomington-Normal, the company said the number of jobs is closing the year steady.

Normal City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The mayor of Normal acknowledges the development of new State Farm hubs across the south and west has changed the distribution of talent in the community.

BN Advantage / Flickr

Sales tax revenues are up marginally in Bloomington-Normal, an increase of 1.4 percent through the first three quarters of the year.

WGLT

Normal Town Council member R.C. McBride sees Rivian as an example of how Normal and McLean County can turn challenges of the changing economy into success stories.

jeff Fritzen at a podium
Staff / WGLT

Normal Town Council member Jeff Fritzen said Monday he won't run for another term.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council will take up the $29 million Trail East project proposal Monday.

John Houseal speaks at podium
Breanna Grow / WGLT

After two years of review, Bloomington is ready to move forward with major updates to its zoning ordinance.

Firefighters at a burning apartment
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen took formal steps Monday night to discourage chronic housing code violations with more fines and a new classification for repeat offenders.

McLean County Board candidates at the forum
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The idea of a nonpartisan commission to handle elections in McLean County divided candidates Tuesday at a forum hosted by GLT and the League of Women Voters of McLean County.

Girls celebrating on soccer field
Photo courtesy of Fusion Soccer Club

Time continues to tick in a three month window to determine how or whether to proceed with a proposed multi sport complex in Bloomington Normal. That's how long, Mayor Chris Koos said last month would be the limit to decide.

Speaking on GLT's Sound Ideas Tuesday, Koos said the Town has now met with a private developer.

"It was really at a high level, get to know them - they get to know us. So, no details came out of that. But, they are very interested in the project," said Koos.

Kim Keenan
Eric Stock / WGLT

A health advocacy group suggests healthy food can do more than help us live longer—it can be an economic development engine.

Illinois Public Health Institute CEO Elissa Bassler said the group aims to encourage more businesses to invest in ways to improve access to healthy food, something farmers, restaurateurs and grocers can help.

"We want to look for more of those entrepreneurial initiatives and figure out ways that our economic development systems in communities (will) value that and invest in the development of that," Bassler said.

Students walk in the quad
Cindy Le / WGLT

Local officials are scratching their heads about why the state picked a chunk of Illinois State University’s campus as McLean County’s sole tract for a new tax incentive program designed to help low-income areas.

A map of  Uptown with the TIF District highlighted.
Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal said the extension and enlargement of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district won't hurt schools and other taxing bodies.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

A new manufacturer is coming to town.

Google Earth

City leaders took two big steps this week toward luring new development—including two housing projects—along Washington Street just east of downtown Bloomington.

Inside the plant
Mike Miletich / WGLT

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said Rivian Automotive has earned its property tax abatement for the year.

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