Last week the recycling service was cancelled, because not enough sanitation workers were available to work. Several workers had tested positive for the COVID-19 pandemic virus.
For residents whose recycling efforts exceed the size of the cart in any one week, for the coming week, they can set out additional items in other containers. The news release cautions, “Recycling placed in plastic bags will not be collected.”
Last week, the news release announcing the cancellation of recycling pickup did not come until Sunday afternoon.
The word did not get out to every resident. A uReport from Thursday noted: “Although my trash was taken my recycling was left Tuesday morning. There was no indication or notice sticker as to why.”
The current surge in COVID-19 case numbers seems to be past its peak statewide and in Monroe County.
But IU Health south central region president Brian Shockney said on Friday that this one seems to be a little different from previous surges.
That’s because hospitalization numbers are decreasing more slowly after hitting their peak. He was speaking at the weekly news conference of local leaders on pandemic response.
Shockney said IU Health’s facility has continued to see a steady volume of COVID-19 patients over the past few weeks. “We’re seeing a longer tail in this surge than previous surges,” Shockney said. He added, “We may be coming out of this surge for a longer period of time than previously thought.” Continue reading “Pandemic notebook: Surge subsiding, but slowly”→
Climate action, non-motorized transportation, and police pay are current sticking points between Bloomington’s city council and mayor John Hamilton, as the 2022 city budget process builds towards a mid-October council vote.
At their committee-of-the-whole meeting on Wednesday, Bloomington city council members reviewed each of the legislative items that collectively make up the annual budget.
Three appropriation ordinances cover different pieces of the city’s finances—the city’s basic budget, city of Bloomington utilities, and Bloomington Transit. The other three items are salary ordinances for different categories of employees—police and fire; other city employees; and elected officials.
The final 2022 budget, which reflected just a few adjustments since the departmental hearings in August, totals around $107 million.
Based on the straw polls they took on Wednesday, some councilmembers will be voting against the appropriation ordinance for the basic budget—unless they see some concessions from Bloomington mayor John Hamilton.
Despite opposition from mayor John Hamilton’s administration, on Sept. 8, Bloomington’s city council approved a resolution supporting $5,000 more in base pay for police officers.
A “resolved” clause in Res 21-27 says in part that the city council “expresses its support for an increase to salaries for all sworn officers of the Bloomington Police Department by $5,000 and requests that the Mayor and city bargaining team pursue appropriate action to modify the collective bargaining agreement accordingly…”
One of the administration’s objections to the resolution was concern that it could interfere with the collective bargaining process with the police union, which is established under Bloomington city code.
In the case of Res 21-27, which the council approved on Sept. 8 on a 7–1–1 vote, Hamilton signed off on it—that is, he didn’t veto the resolution.
But Hamilton did get in a last word of sorts. There’s an asterisk next to his signature that footnotes a comment from Hamilton:
I sign this document only to affirm that it declares the Common Council’s support for certain matters. There are several factual statements in the WHEREAS clauses that are not accurate, including in the third clause.
One example: “The smell and taste of the water has been absolutely disgusting for at least three weeks. Has the cause been found yet? It makes me nauseated to run the tap in my home.”
At Monday’s meeting of the utilities service board (USB), city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) director Vic Kelson told members the taste and odor issue had essentially been solved. But it will take a while for the good tasting water to work its way through the distribution system, Kelson added.
The cause of the dirt or fish taste, according to Kelson, is naturally occurring chemicals that are produced by algal blooms in Lake Monroe—geosmin and methyl-isoborneol (MIB).
Kelson said the long hot spell with no rain towards the end of the summer had led to a large algal bloom in Lake Monroe, the source of Bloomington’s drinking water. But results from an outside lab received Monday indicated the algal bloom has diminished dramatically since last week, Kelson said.
Water treatment plant staff had increased the feed rate of powdered activated carbon (PAC), which helps with the odor, Kelson said. The amount of additional PAC will be eased off as the quality of the water coming into the plant continues to improve, Kelson said. PAC started getting added routinely to the drinking water mix in 2017.
A planned water rate increase for Bloomington utilities (CBU) customers will likely be put in place as planned on Jan. 1, 2022.
That was the big news out of Monday’s regular meeting of Bloomington’s utilities service board (USB).
At Monday’s meeting, CBU director Vic Kelson told the board that a settlement in principle had been reached last week with all the interveners in the case, which include Indiana University and Washington Township Water Authority.
Kelson told the USB he could not discuss any details, but the filing of the settlement with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is supposed to be done by Oct. 6, with a hearing set for Oct. 22.