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Stormwater fee to increase, money approved for phase one of convention center expansion


The Bloomington City Council met Feb. 20 in City Hall.  Alex Deryn

The Bloomington City Council adopted five ordinances Wednesday night that increased stormwater fees and allocated tax money to phase one of the convention center expansion among other actions. The ordinances were discussed at length at last week’s meeting.

Stormwater fee increase

The council approved an ordinance that will increase residents’ monthly stormwater fee for single-family households from $2.70 to $5.95 to pay for improvements in stormwater infrastructure. This will increase the fee by $39 per year per household. This increase will be phased in over the rest of the year.

“Fixing drains is not sexy, but you’ve got to pay for it,” council member Chris Sturbaum said.

Vic Kelson, Bloomington’s director of utilities, spoke about the new neighborhood grants that will be available with the increase of the fee. Neighborhoods can use these grants to hire stormwater engineers and pay for infrastructure improvements to reduce flooding on personal properties.

Food and Beverage Tax money appropriated for phase one of convention center

An ordinance that will allocate $350,000 of the funds collected from the controversial Food and Beverage Tax for the first phase the expansion of the Monroe Convention Center was approved as well. 

Architects will have a public meeting from 5:30 - 7 p.m. March 6 at the Monroe Convention Center for community input on the design of the expansion. More public meetings will follow as the design is developed.

Amendment of wastewater treatment rules

The council also approved an amendment to wastewater treatment rules that will align city’s rules with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations. These changes will affect the treatment of industrial wastewater as well as regulations for restaurants on grease disposal.

Cost change for obtaining police body and dashcam recordings

An ordinance that will decrease the cost of obtaining police body and dashcam recordings was also approved. The cost would change from a flat rate of $150 to only the direct cost of collecting the footage. The fee will have a cap at $150.

Mayor's allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds approved

The council also approved the mayor’s allocation of funds from the state’s Community Development Block Grant, which is given to provide affordable housing and job opportunities to low-to-medium income residents.

Out of the $800,000 Bloomington expects to receive from the state in grant funds, $120,000 will go directly to social services, including organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Community Kitchen and Monroe County United Ministries.

Physical improvements to social service structures, such as Centerstone, Middle Way House and Highland Group Home will be supported by $520,000 of the funds.

The administration of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department will receive the remaining $160,000.

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