The City of Bloomington announced a plan to invest $34 million in new public safety projects with $29.5 million in general revenue bonds to fund the projects. Now, the Bloomington City Council is working to refine and tweak the plan.
At the Nov. 30 city council meeting Mayor John Hamilton proposed the plan, consisting of using the 64,000-square-foot Cook Financial Cooperation Showers building for a new public safety headquarters and relocating the police station and fire and police administration offices.
Fire station 1, located on East 4th Street, and Fire Station 3, located on Woodlawn Avenue, would both be renovated. The funding would also construct a fire department training center and storage facility.
The reconstruction of Fire Station 1, estimated at $5.5 million, entails removing the basement, avoiding complications of mold remediation, fixing known issues, providing energy efficiency updates and allowing inclusive space by removing group sleeping areas, showers and restrooms.
Renovation of Fire Station 2, estimated at $2.5 million, would fix similar issues posed in Station 1.
The $2.5 million leftover would construct a fire department training center and storage facility, which would be built on South Walnut Street.
The project allows the Bloomington Police Department and the Bloomington Fire Department administration offices to be housed together for the first time in the CFC Showers building, located at 320 W. 8th Street.
The funding for this $34 million project would come from the $29.5 million general revenue bonds, funds from the Community Revitalization Enhancement District and the sale of the existing Police Station property.
Following Hamilton’s proposal, councilmembers Jim Sims and Matt Flaherty voted yes. Members Susan Sandberg and Stephen Volan voted no. Five members declined to vote. There was no public opinion vocalized during the meeting.
Members reconvened at the Dec. 7 meeting where it was suggested the proposal be altered. The suggestions aimed at deleting the tenth and eleventh Whereas clauses from the ordinance and deleting Section 2 of the ordinance section which would delete the portions in the proposal stating there are insufficient funds available for the existing budget.
Members will review the new proposal at the Dec. 12 meeting.