Town of Normal | WGLT

Town of Normal

Brad Basham Photography/www.bbasham.com

The Town of Normal is continuing to pursue an underpass under railroad tracks that bisect the Uptown area. In this excerpt of a Sound Ideas interview, Mayor Chris Koos told WGLT's Mike McCurdy that state and federal dollars remain in place to help pay for the project and federal officials have communicated that the project could be ideal for a future Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application.

Municipal Residency Requirements Not A Priority

Oct 19, 2015
Ivo Shandor / Wikimedia Commons

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says he can see why Springfield's mayor is saying he wants people who get a city check to live in the city. Nearly a third of capitol city employees don't.

Jim Browne / WGLT

The state of McLean County is not as good as it has been, but by working together area governments can get things back on track.  That common theme was presented by all four speakers at the annual Chamber of Commerce event.

Brad Basham Photography/www.bbasham.com

Quiet unsexy policy priorities can shape a city. In GLT's final interview focusing on the Normal 1-5-0 celebration, we unravel some of the choices made in recent decades that are shaping the town's present and future. Charlie Schlenker talks with the town's Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich who says the 1-2% annual population growth the town experienced posed challenges and presented opportunities.

Staff / WGLT

The town of Normal could generate more than $6 million in additional revenue once the 1% sales tax increase goes into effect next year. A quarter of that is earmarked to community-wide mental health improvements. The remainder is up for grabs.

Normal Mulling Over Sales Tax Priorities

Oct 6, 2015
Michael Hill / WGLT

The Normal Town Council will take more time to decide how to spend additional revenues coming from a sales tax increase passed last month. They're discussing funding for Connect Transit, economic development, and infrastructure; but using sales tax dollars for a sports complex is no longer under consideration. 

Council Member Kathleen Lorenz said Normal could also decide to use the increase toward programs and services that would normally receive money from the General Fund.

There was an unprecedented sustained level of growth in the Town of Normal between 1967 and 1993. As part of the Normal 1-5-0 celebration, GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with two of the leaders who oversaw that era, retired City Manager Dave Anderson and former Mayor Paul Harmon about the several causes of that boom.

The panel discussion about the boom years of Normal will be Sunday afternoon at Uptown Station (2p)
 

As the Normal Sesquicentennial celebration kicks off, GLT begins a series of interviews with the people who are offering lectures as part of Normal 150 events. Today, the topic is the early years of Normal. GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with retired ISU Historian Paul Holsinger and asks why Normal was a good place for settlement in the first place. Holsinger says the answer was not obvious.

John Alltop / Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's Home was a fixture in Normal for 110 years. As the community celebrates its 150th anniversary, Ruthie Cobb chats with Charlie Schlenker about the orphanage. She's says the home had a singular statewide impact as well as a local one.

GLT aired Charlie's feature on a book put out by the ISSCS Historical Society in 2007.

 

Esther Bubley / Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

As the Town of Normal observes its sesquicentennial, there are things in its history that should be recognized but not celebrated. In our continuing series of "Normal 150" interviews, GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with a retired ISU historian about racial segregation. Mark Wyman says the division of whites and blacks in Normal was similar to other cities in Illinois.

 

The head of the effort to rescue use of the Mitsubishi Plant says there have been some nibbles on a buyer. Kyle Ham heads both the Economic Development Council for Bloomington Normal and the Mitsubishi Task Force.

"I am personally aware of automakers that are looking at the facility and have begun to do the due diligence process."

Ham says the plant has not been on the market that long and possible buyers have a lot of work to do.

Brad Basham Photography / bbasham.com and Town of Normal

The Town of Normal is following its twin to the south and developing a new comprehensive plan. The plan, when finished, will guide the Town for the next two decades. The City adopted its plan, guided by the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, earlier this year. And the Town of Normal plan won’t be adopted until late 2016, leaving plenty of time for community and citizen input.

Staff / WGLT

People in Uptown Normal will be spending part of their time looking up on Saturday. Way up. WGLT's Mike McCurdy has more on the weekend celebration observing the Town’s 150th birthday and the Town’s circus history. McCurdy talks with someone with a storied history in the circus.

Pages