Bloomington’s city council OKs electric bus appropriation, money for county fire protection

A special meeting of Bloomington’s city council on Wednesday wrapped up in about a half hour, as the council dispatched the two agenda items without controversy.

Cropped 08.28.2019 Lew May - 1
Bloomington Transit’s general manager, Lew May, speaks to the council’s land use committee on Wednesday (Aug. 28) (Dave Askins/Beacon)

One item was to approve a $1.13 million appropriation in this year’s (2019) budget for the grants won by Bloomington Transit to pay for a battery electric bus and two smaller vehicles. The second item was to give the city council’s approval for the allocation of about $390,000 of countywide local income tax revenue to fire departments in the county.

The meeting was extended a couple minutes, because the Bloomington Transit appropriation ordinance had not been properly introduced for its second reading, before the council voted on it. The council wound up suspending its rules so that the item could be introduced, read aloud, and voted on a second time. That process required three additional votes—one voice voice and two roll calls. Continue reading “Bloomington’s city council OKs electric bus appropriation, money for county fire protection”

Council Preview Aug. 28, 2019: Buses, fire allocations from public safety income tax

Two agenda items appear for a second reading and final vote on the Bloomington’s city council’s agenda for Wednesday.

One is an appropriation ordinance for Bloomington Transit buses—BT won some competitive federal grants totaling $900,000. That makes the ordinance amount about $1.13 million because of the 20-percent local share that BT will need to contribute towards the cost of the three new buses—two for its BT Access para-transit service and one for the fixed-route service. The fixed-route service bus is a battery electric bus. All three buses are replacement vehicles, not part of a fleet expansion. [Previous Beacon coverage: 1 2]

The second agenda item is one piece of the approvals the city council will need to make for the allocation of public safety local income tax funds. The income tax rate of 0.25 percent is estimated to generate about $8.65 million countywide. On Wednesday, the council will be asked to approve $389,461 worth of funding from that tax revenue—it’s the portion that goes to “qualified service providers.” In practical terms, that means the money will go to a half dozen different fire departments in the county.

Legislative packets with detailed background are available on the city council’s document page.
Continue reading “Council Preview Aug. 28, 2019: Buses, fire allocations from public safety income tax”