Bloomington’s planned annexation: County hires own consultant, city clarifies map

Bloomington’s proposed annexation plan will be getting scrutiny from a financial consultant hired by Monroe County.

The red arrow indicates the Cook Group parcel that is excluded from annexation under a payment-in-lieu agreement with the City of Bloomington, but was mistakenly included in the city’s initial maps showing the proposed annexed area. [better resolution image]
At their weekly meeting on Wednesday, county commissioners approved an agreement with Baker Tilly US, for “review and analysis of the city of Bloomington’s annexation fiscal plan.”

The not-to-exceed amount for Baker Tilly’s work for the county is $50,000.

The Baker Tilly report will give county officials their own projections, independent of the city’s, for the impact of annexation on county government revenues.

Cockerill told commissioners that the expected timeline is 45 days for Baker Tilly to complete the work of reviewing and checking the fiscal analysis. That would put the county’s own analysis in hand by around mid-July.

Bloomington’s timeline for annexation calls for public hearings on August 4, with city council votes to come in September.

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.

On Wednesday, city officials confirmed that one of the parcels owned by Cook Group, which was shown in city maps as included in the territory to be annexed, should not have been included. That’s based on the $1.5 million payment-in-lieu-of-annexation agreement approved by the city council in 2017. Continue reading “Bloomington’s planned annexation: County hires own consultant, city clarifies map”

99-year affordable housing deal to build about 60 new apartments at Bloomington’s Switchyard Park entrance


corrected aerial view 1730 Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 3.13.12 PM
The April 20, 2020 image was extracted from the Pictometry module of Monroe County’s property lookup system.

If all the financing falls into place, a planned five-story building with up to 60 new apartments and 3,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space will start welcoming new residents to the entrance of Bloomington’s Switchyard Park off Walnut Street sometime in the summer of 2022.

Part of the financial puzzle was solved for the developer, RealAmerica Development, LLC, when Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC) approved a $1 purchase agreement for the real estate. The unanimous vote came at the RDC’s regular Monday meeting.

The RDC had bought the property a couple of years ago for $800,000, which was the former location of the Night Moves strip club.

Asked to comment on the disparity between the purchase price and the appraisal the RDC had obtained on the property, city controller Jeff Underwood said it was understood the RDC would not get back the fair market value on the land deal.

The proposal from RealAmerica might not have been the biggest fiscal proposal that the RDC had received through its request for information (RFI), Underwood said. But it had all the other attributes the city was looking for, he said.

What was Bloomington looking for? Affordable housing. For a long time and for a lot of people. Continue reading “99-year affordable housing deal to build about 60 new apartments at Bloomington’s Switchyard Park entrance”

Bloomington city council gets assurance: county redevelopment commission’s planned new roads will have sidewalks

Monroe County attorney Jeff Cockerill presented a proposal to Bloomington’s city council Wednesday night that will use revenue from the West Side TIF (tax increment financing) District to pay for two new roads in the area southeast of the intersection of Vernal Pike and Curry Pike.

One of the two-lane roads will extend Profile Parkway to Gates Drive. The other will extend Sunrise Greeting Court from Vernal Pike down to Gates Drive. The roads are meant to promote development on the interior of the area bounded by Vernal Pike, Curry Pike and Third Street. Cockerill said the new roads are also supposed to alleviate traffic congestion—they’ll give motorists a reason not to use Curry Pike and 3rd Street as much. Continue reading “Bloomington city council gets assurance: county redevelopment commission’s planned new roads will have sidewalks”