Bloomington city hall’s footprint inside the former Showers Brothers furniture factory building on Morton Street will expand by 64,000 square feet to include the western portion of the building, where the city’s police station and fire department administrative headquarters will be located.
That’s because at its Wednesday meeting, the city council voted 5–4 to approve an ordinance that appropriates $29.5 million in bond proceeds, which includes $8.75 million for the purchase of the western portion of the Showers building.
It’s part of Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s plan to put both the city’s main police station and fire department administration in the same historic city hall building. The proposed move is part of a bigger plan estimated at over $30-million—which includes reconstructing the flood-damaged Fire Station #1 and remodeling Fire Station #3.
Approval of the bond issuance itself had come in early December last year.
An amendment to the ordinance, which would have eliminated the Showers building purchase from the legislation, failed on a 4–5 vote. Given the way the legislation was set up, voting no on the amendment was a vote for the Showers building purchase. Voting yes on the amendment was a vote against the Showers building purchase.
Voting against the Showers building purchase were: Susan Sandberg, Dave Rollo, Ron Smith, and Sue Sgambelluri. Voting for the Showers building purchase were: Matt Flaherty, Kate Rosenbarger, Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Jim Sims, and Steve Volan.
The decision was not an easy one for some councilmembers.
In the roll call of votes on the Showers building purchase, Volan’s name was third to be called by Bloomington city clerk Nicole Bolden, following Sims and Smith.
After Volan’s name was called, the better part of 15 silent seconds elapsed before he voted no. (That was a vote in favor of the Showers building purchase.)
Flipping sides on the substantively unamended appropriation ordinance itself were Volan and Sgambelluri.
Voting against the appropriation ordinance were: Susan Sandberg, Dave Rollo, Ron Smith, and Steve Volan. Voting for the appropriation ordinance were: Matt Flaherty, Kate Rosenbarger, Isabel Piedmont-Smith, Jim Sims, and Sue Sgambelluri.
The vote on the appropriation ordinance was taken at around 11:30 p.m.
Any reporting by The B Square on the deliberations from Monday night’s meeting will come in a separate article.
|yes||yes||no||yes||yes||no||yes||no||no||Appropriate funds from bond issuance|
|no||no||yes||no||yes||yes||no||yes||no||Delete Showers Bldg. purchase|