At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council restarted the process, which had been suspended in 2017 by action of the state legislature, to annex eight separate areas into the city.
The re-start comes after Indiana’s Supreme Court ruled in a 3–2 split decision late last year that the state legislature’s action was unconstitutional.
The eight different areas that are being considered for annexation would add 9,255 acres to Bloomington’s land area and an estimated 14,377 people to the city’s population.
The city council’s annexation-related action on Wednesday involved one resolution for each of the eight areas to adopt its new fiscal plan, and one ordinance on the annexation itself. The ordinances were first introduced in 2017.
That meant on Wednesday, the ordinances got technical amendments to revise several mentions of dates. But no votes were taken on the ordinances as amended. Those votes are planned for September.
One wobble in the restarted process was the 6–3 outcome of the vote on the adoption of the fiscal plan for Area 7. All the other votes on Wednesday were unanimous.
Area 7 is labeled in the annexation materials as the “North Bloomington Annexation Area.” The area has been described as having more cows and chickens than people. Its estimated 115 people, spread over 896 acres, gives it a population density of 0.12 people per acre.
Dissenting on the Area 7 fiscal plan vote were Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Dave Rollo, and Susan Sandberg. Piedmont-Smith said, “I think it’s too rural.”
But it’s the final votes on the ordinances that will have an impact on whether areas are annexed. Those votes are currently scheduled for mid-September.
Councilmember Matt Flaherty said, “I don’t take my vote on on either resolutions or amendments to ordinances tonight to mean that I am in support of a particular area for annexation.” He added, “I think we’ll continue to consider kind of all aspects of this as we move forward. This is just a step in the process.”
The date for the public hearing on the ordinances is currently set for Aug. 4. Continue reading “Bloomington’s annexation restart shows a couple of wobbles, still on steady course for Aug. 4 public hearings, September votes”