Purchase agreements for land with several quarry holes, at the northwest corner of the interchange of SR-46 and I-69, were approved by county commissioners at their regular Wednesday meeting.
The purpose of the land acquisition is to establish the location as a kind of outdoor limestone museum that celebrates Monroe County’s heritage of high quality limestone, and the role the limestone industry has played in local history.
About the purchase agreements, with two different landowners, president of the board of commissioners Julie Thomas said, “This is really something that should be in the hands of Monroe County government. And I really look forward to seeing where we go with this next, and what we can make out of this.”
For the 14.89-acre property owned by Kathy Francis, the purchase agreement is for $175,000. For the 14.57-acre property owned by the Yates Trust, the agreement is for $195,000. The money is coming from a 2019 general obligation (GO) bond.
The seven-member county council, the county’s fiscal body, still needs to approve the purchase agreements, even though the money is already approved. That’s because the expenditure involves land acquisition.
Just one of eight proposed areas for annexation was put to a vote by Bloomington’s nine-member city council on Wednesday night.
Councilmembers voted 6–3 to make Area 1A on Bloomington’s west side a part of Bloomington. Dissenting were Dave Rollo, Susan Sandberg, and Ron Smith.
Before taking votes on the seven other proposed annexation areas, the council recessed its meeting until next Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
The 6–3 split on Area 1A was the same breakdown for Wednesday’s council votes on all but one of the fiscal plans associated with the annexation ordinances.
Also on Wednesday, the same 6–3 split divided the council on a proposal to subtract some territory from proposed annexation Area 2, which lies to the southeast of the city. Rollo and Smith moved an amendment that would have deleted from Area 2 a chunk that looked identical to one Smith had previously proposed to delete at a special Aug. 31 council meeting.
The ordinance adding Area 2 did not get a vote from the council on Wednesday. It will have to wait until next week, along with the other remaining ordinances.
Based on the deliberations so far, it looks likely that next week the ordinances that add six more areas, including Area 2, will get majority support by at least the same 6–3 margin.
The seventh piece of territory, which is Area 7 on the north side, is expected to be voted down unanimously, because Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s administration no longer thinks it needs to be brought into the city of Bloomington.
Community service grants to 38 organizations totaling $135,400 were approved by Monroe County commissioners at their Wednesday morning meeting.
The community service grants are named after a former county councilor, the late Sophia Travis.
At Wednesday’s meeting, president of the board of commissioners, Julie Thomas, called it an “aptly named program.”
She said that Travis “really served this community so well.” Thomas added: “Her life was too short.”
This year’s awards had already received approval from the county council at a July work session.
By dollar amount, the top 10 grants this year were awarded to: Beacon Inc. ($7,060); Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard ($5,580); Indiana Recovery Alliance ($5,420); New Hope for Families ($5,280); Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington ($5,180); Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana ($5,080); Community Kitchen of Monroe County, Inc. ($4,880); Area 10 Agency on Aging ($4,630); Sojourn House Inc. ($4,280); Monroe County Humane Association ($4,120).
It was Monroe County circuit court judge Kara Krothe who signed off on the settlement, by ordering the case dismissed, based an a joint motion from the two sides—the owners and the city of Bloomington.
In fall 2019, the house was under consideration by Bloomington’s historic preservation commission (HPC) for designation as historic.
It was on Aug. 8, 2019 when the HPC recommended that the city council consider designating the house as historic. But the commission’s resolution was missing a crucial element: It did not explicitly say that the house was being put under interim protection.
Approved by Bloomington’s plan commission on Monday night was a site plan for a project that would demolish the old Colonial Crest apartment complex, now called The Arch, on the north side of town.
In the place of 206 apartments and 393 bedrooms, spread across 15 separate two-story buildings, the developer plans to construct four residential buildings with a total of 241 apartments and 675 bedrooms, according to a letter from Smith Design Group, which is the consultant for the Aspen TOPCO II Acquisitions project.
That nets roughly 270 more bedrooms on the same site.
According to Bloomington senior zoning planner Eric Greulich, the big difference between the version approved by the plan commission on Monday, compared to what was approved three months ago, is the lack of any new public roads proposed inside the project site.
Getting unanimous approval from Bloomington’s plan commission on Monday night was a development on the east side of town that will construct 176 new apartments with 236 total bedrooms in five buildings.
Called The Overlook on 3rd, the planned development also includes a self-storage building and a clubhouse, and 265 parking spaces.
The site is a vacant parcel on the south side of 3rd Street, just west of the WHCC radio tower. The new development will leave in place existing buildings in the immediate vicinity.
The plan commission’s Monday night discussion centered on the new driveway cut onto 3rd Street. The new cut will replace an existing driveway opening that is offset from Morningside Drive to the north. The new driveway entrance, from the south, is planned to align with Morningside Drive.
The north-south street that cuts through the Indiana University campus in Bloomington will no longer be named after David Starr Jordan, the school’s president from 1885 to 1891.
Jordan was a proponent of eugenics, which advocates for the improvement of the human species through selective mating.
On a unanimous vote taken Monday night, the city’s plan commission changed the name of the street from Jordan Avenue to Eagleson Avenue—for the portion of the road that runs from Davis Street to 17th Street.
The name change does not take effect for another four and a half months. It’s not effective until Feb. 1, 2022.
The street is being renamed for four-generations of the Eagleson family, starting with Halson Vashon Eagleson who was born a slave in 1851.
According to a mayoral-appointed task force report, Halson Eagleson arrived in Bloomington in the 1880s and became a prominent barber. His five children attended Indiana University. The report describes how in 1910, he opened Industrial City, a home for “colored” orphans in Unionville.
A little less than a year ago, in October 2020, the IU Board of Trustees voted to remove the name Jordan from Jordan Hall, Jordan Avenue Parking Garage, and Jordan River.
To make its recommendation, a joint IU and city task force worked on the Jordan Avenue renaming from April through July of 2021.
But for now, it’s possible for visitors to downtown Bloomington to park without paying for a space in the new 4th Street garage.
That’s not because the city has adopted a philanthropic approach to parking garages. It’s due to a worldwide supply chain problem, according to the mayor’s office. The metering of time spent in the garage, as well as the customer service portal, run on technology that requires a computer chip from China, where it’s being manufactured.
Among the awardees are 16 Monroe County arts groups.
The $48,000 that went to local groups puts Monroe County fourth behind Marion, Allen, and Hamilton counties for the total awarded.
The grant money came from IAC’s Arts Recovery Program, which draws on American Rescue Plan Act through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Additional NEA money came through Arts Midwest, Indiana’s regional partner, according to the news release.