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Wednesday, May 22
The Indiana Daily Student

bloomington

City council discusses e-scooters, moving utilities department

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The Bloomington City Council discussed several reports from city departments, including the City of Bloomington Utilities and Public Works. The council also approved appointments to the city’s new nonprofit, City of Bloomington Capital Improvements, before adjourning for three weeks.  

City departments deliver reports on utilities, scooters 

The first discussion brought to the council was a proposal from the City of Bloomington Utilities, currently located at 600 E. Miller Drive, to move their facilities to a new location. The proposed location is on the site of the Winston Thomas Sewage Treatment Plant on the south side of Bloomington.  

The Winston Thomas Sewage Treatment Plant was formerly a Superfund site, which is an Environmental Protection Agency designation for contaminated areas that require removal or remediation, which is the process of decontamination. The Winston Thomas site was one of several areas in Bloomington that was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls from dumped electrical capacitators manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Corporation from the 1950s to 1970s.  

The PCBs have been remediated and the site is considered safe.  

Vic Nelson, director of CBU, said that this is a move, not an expansion, meaning the current site of CBU would be abandoned. In conjunction with the CBU move, the Public Works Department would move to the old CBU site on Miller Drive.  

Nelson said the move was motivated by a lack of storage space at the current location. Adam Wason, the director of Public Works, added that public works is currently not very modernized and that moving would be a good opportunity for the department.  

[Related: Sue Sgambelluri elected Bloomington city council president at Wednesday night meeting

Next, Wason presented the Public Works Department’s study of e-scooter violations.  

The four streets with the most violations are Kirkwood Avenue with 93, Walnut Street with 77, College Avenue with 62 and Morton Street with 55. The most common type of violation was blocking sidewalks or Americans with Disabilities Act ramps, which racked up 479 violations, according to the presentation. 

Wason also said that 90% to 95% of the violations were the actions of individual users, not the company itself.  

When questioned by the council about how the city should deal with these violations, with options ranging from fines to impoundments, Wason left things open-ended, saying the report to the council was the first step in the process.  

Council approves appointments to the city’s new nonprofit 

The city council approved appointments to the board of directors for City of Bloomington Capital Improvements, which is a nonprofit recently created by the mayor to fund projects in technology, arts and housing. Councilmembers Susan Sandberg and Rollo abstained from voting. 

The nonprofit was created just after the city council overturned a veto from the mayor regarding the method of overseeing the Convention Center expansion. The mayor wanted the project to be overseen by a nonprofit in the hopes that it would be faster and less bureaucratic, while the city council, along with the county council and county commissioners, wanted to create a Capital Improvement Board through a partnership with the city and county.  

The councilmembers decided to wait until further meetings to determine other logistics for the nonprofit. The council will not meet again until March 29.  

[Related: Hamilton announces activation of new nonprofit corporation in Bloomington

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