Bloomington City Council Unanimously Approves Four New Measures

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The Council Meeting covered arena funding and other initiatives.

The Bloomington City Council unanimously approved over $1.4 million in funding for four city projects at its regular meeting on Monday. 

Grossinger Motors Arena Operating Deficit

  • VenuWorks, the arena’s managing company, reported a projected $376,411 operating deficit for the rest of the fiscal year.
  • Lost revenue resulted from rescheduled hockey games, a lack of naming rights, and low sponsorship, Arena Executive Director Lynn Cannon said in her presentation to Council members.
  • The City will draw nearly $400,000 from its general fund to help cover the deficit.

Concessions and Parking at Miller Park Zoo

  • The zoo requested funds for concessions and parking, as well as a new roof for its entrance building, at an estimated cost of $900,000. 
  • According to zoo director Jay Tetzloff, the zoo will cover a portion of the cost with concession sales. The additional funds would be a loan from the city, to be repaid at 1% interest over 15 years. 
  • Council will vote on final spending once a design and construction contract are approved.

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council and BN Advantage Strategy

  • The city originally approved $100,000 for the BNEDC’s FY 2018 budget. The resolution approved Monday adds $123,867 to fund BN Advantage through the end of the fiscal year.
  • Five other organizations contribute to initiatives under BN Advantage, including: McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority, McLean County Regional Planning Commission, Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Connect Transit.

Downtown Wayfinding Signs

  • The city will pay $28,095.10 to Kerestes Martin Associates, Inc. (also known as KMA Design) to develop detailed construction plans for new wayfinding signs. These funds are in addition to the $62,190 contract the city approved in August 2016. 
  • “I got more calls about the signage than I did about any kind of tax increases,” said Ward 7 Alderman Scott Black.
  • City Engineer Kevin Kothe said the city hopes to begin construction in May 2018.

Photo Credit: Breanna Grow, AdaptBN