City consultant says food and beverage tax could support $42.7M in bonds for convention center expansion, in the range of covering whole cost

At a meeting held Monday night at the Monroe Convention Center, elected officials from Bloomington and Monroe County governments got an analysis of revenue from the countywide food and beverage tax. It’s a one-percent levy that has been collected since February 2018.

Buzz Krohn, of O.W. Krohn and Associates, told the group that the city’s portion of the food and beverage tax would provide roughly $42.7 million of bonding capacity—on the “preferred” option for bonding.

That’s maybe $1.3 million shy of the $44 million needed for the current project to expand and renovate the convention center.

Another $15 million, for a 500–550 space parking garage, is reckoned by the city to be paid for out of tax increment finance (TIF) money, a different revenue stream from the food and beverage tax. Continue reading “City consultant says food and beverage tax could support $42.7M in bonds for convention center expansion, in the range of covering whole cost”

Sawtooth tech district parking garage with 379 parking spaces gets Bloomington plan commission OK

Based on the city plan commission’s unanimous recommendation Monday night, downtown Bloomington will be getting roughly 250 more parking spaces by the end of 2020.

Winning approval from commissioners was a three-story, 369379-space parking structure that the city will build on a wedge of land in downtown’s technology district. The site is flanked by the B-Line trail on the west and the Showers building, which houses city hall and CFC Business Plaza, on the east. The Beacon counted more than a hundred parking spaces in the surface lot currently at that location.

Last year, on Dec. 13, the city council approved the $10.96 million worth of tax increment revenue bonds from the Bloomington Redevelopment District that will be used to pay for the structure. Continue reading “Sawtooth tech district parking garage with 379 parking spaces gets Bloomington plan commission OK”

Monroe county’s commissioners: GO, dog. GO bonds!

Cropped courthouse dog sign IMG_2565

The largest dollar-amount item on the regular meeting agenda for Monroe County commissioners on Wednesday morning was approval of a $5.17 million general obligation (GO) bond, to pay for a raft of projects. The two commissioners present on the three-member board—Julie Thomas and Penny Githens—approved the bond issuance.

Also at the meeting, a few ordinances regulating behavior on the courthouse grounds were revised, to add some additional punishments for violating the existing county laws on hours of operation, littering and camping. The new penalty allows for an escalating series of bans from the property, in 30-day increments.

The ordinance revisions were made, because of persisting “incidents of alcohol consumption during the day, fighting, and the deposit of trash, garbage, human waste, and used syringes on the Courthouse grounds,” according to the resolution approved by commissioners.

A separate ordinance revision, also related to the courthouse grounds now allows dogs on the grounds, if they’re on a leash and under control.

Downward dogs will also be allowed as a result of the approval commissioners gave to a contract to with a yoga teacher to give classes to county employees at no cost to them.
Continue reading “Monroe county’s commissioners: GO, dog. GO bonds!”