Bloomington’s mayor John Hamilton used a 10:30 a.m. live-streamed video on Wednesday to announce the resumption of the city’s 2017 plans for annexation.
The live-streamed announcement lasted under five minutes.
Based on city website material now posted on the topic of the resuscitated annexation effort, the same
seven chunks of land that were proposed in 2017 for annexation will be under consideration now.
According to a press release issued during Hamilton’s announcement, Bloomington’s city council is scheduled to review the updated fiscal plans related to the proposed annexations at a May 12 session.
Adoption of the annexation ordinances is anticipated sometime in September, according to the release.
Annexed areas would likely become part of the city at the beginning of the year 2024, according to Hamilton.
Clearing the way for the resumption of annexation plans was a 3–2 Indiana Supreme Court ruling in mid-December last year.
In 2017, the state legislature had passed a law, as part of the biennial budget that year, that had the effect of suspending Bloomington’s annexation process, which was then in progress.
Bloomington filed a lawsuit, arguing that the state legislature’s law was unconstitutional and prevailed in the narrow decision handed down by Indiana’s highest court last year.
May 12 would normally be a night for committee meetings for the city council. Consideration of annexations would almost certainly be a committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Hamilton quoted city council president Jim Sims during his remarks saying, “As our population increases it is prudent that we regularly reassess Bloomington’s boundaries in the interest of maintaining the health of the greater collective community at large for the long term.”
According to the city’s press release, after the city council’s adoption of the fiscal plans, the public process would continue with re-sending formal notice to current property owners, and additional public hearings to review and evaluate potential boundaries.
A vote by the city council to approve and amend the annexation ordinances is anticipated in September, according to the release. The release says the annexation process will offer continued opportunities for re-evaluation based on public input, new information, and additional review.
Hamilton said that Bloomington has annexed property hundreds of times in the city’s history. It was previously somewhat routine. But no land has been annexed into the city of Bloomington since 2004, Hamilton said.
The land proposed to be added through annexation would increase Bloomington’s total area by about two-thirds. The added area amounts to 10,000 acres, which works out to 15.625 square miles, which would add to the 23.42 sq of Bloomington’s current land area.
Up until the time when annexations were paused in 2004, the efforts were more incremental than the one that Bloomington is now proposing.
Scanned from the three-ring binders on the shelves of the Indiana Room in the Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington’s proposed annexations for 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 are shown in this animation.