Baker Tilly found that in Year 2, the impact on local income tax (LIT) revenue to Monroe County government would be negative $1.4 million. That’s a $866,000 bigger impact than Reedy Financial Group reported in Bloomington’s annexation fiscal plan. Reedy analyzed the impact as negative $534,694.
The CDC guidance, released on July 27, recommends that people wear a face covering indoors, if it’s in a public setting and if it’s in a county where there is “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus.
Monroe County is classified as having “substantial” transmission, because it has 52.55 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days. That’s just over the lower threshold for the “substantial” category, which starts at 50 new cases per 100,000 and goes up to 99.99 cases.
At just a smidgen over $15 million, Bloomington Transit’s preliminary budget for 2022 is about 3.7 percent more than last year’s approved total amount.
That’s the number that Bloomington Transit’s general manager Lew May presented to BT’s five-member board at its meeting last Tuesday.
Some of that increase is due to an increase in employee compensation. The preliminary budget is based on a 3-percent increase in wages. How much the increase actually turns out to be will depend on the outcome of negotiations with the drivers, who are represented by AFSCME Local 613.
Those negotiations will need to take place over the next few months, because BT’s labor agreement ends on Dec. 31, 2021.
The timing for the back-and-forth between BT and drivers will coincide broadly with BT’s transition from May’s leadership, who has served 22 years as general manager, to John Connell’s, who was the board’s pick last week to succeed May. Connell is now operations manager for the Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation.
BT’s board will likely vote on the final budget at its August meeting. The budget will then be presented to Bloomington’s city council for review and approval, in a separate vote from the city’s own budget.
A temporary location at 4th Street and College Avenue could be serving as Bloomington’s downtown fire station for another year and a half.
That’s based on a “right of access” agreement for the property, which was approved by the Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC), at its regular meeting on Monday. The fire department’s right of access to the RDC’s property runs through the end of 2022.
The heavy rains that night filled the fire station’s basement with eight feet of water, drowning the building’s telecommunications center. Station 1 also served as the department’s administrative headquarters.
The temporary site—in the former Bunger & Robertson building at College Square—is four blocks east of Station 1.
It has been housing the department’s administrative functions since the flood hit. On Monday, Bloomington fire chief Jason Moore told The B Square that the department also has operational crews stationed there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
When the firetrucks are not at the temporary site, they are distributed to other stations in a way to optimize fire protection coverage from those four sites.
Providing fire protection around the clock from the temporary downtown location will be made possible by the RDC’s approval at its Monday meeting. The right of access includes permission to establish a temporary fire truck bay in the parking lot, which will allow the trucks to be secured overnight.
At its regular Monday meeting, Bloomington’s redevelopment commission gave its approval of federal Community Development Block Grant awards totaling $660,602 to nine local nonprofits.
It was a special funding round to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The requirement of a COVID-19 connection led to the recommendation of a three-member committee against funding some of the projects of five other applicants, according to John Zody, director of Bloomington’s housing and neighborhood development (HAND) department.
The total amount awarded worked out to about half of the $1.3 million that was requested.
When Bloomington mayor John Hamilton announced at a news conference in early June that some of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding would be used for housing supports, no dollar amounts were attached.
The ARPA is a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, to help counter the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing supports, at $1.65 million, are about half of the total in the initial ordinance.
The breakdown for housing is: a $1.2 million grant to the United Way of Monroe County to address homelessness and housing insecurity; a $250,000 grant to the Bloomington Housing Authority to create affordable housing options; and $200,000 to encourage participation by landlords in the federal Section 8 voucher program.
At a news conference last week, Indiana’s state health commissioner Kris Box sounded the alarm about the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the state due to the Delta variant.
“The Delta variant is now the one that we are seeing most frequently,” Box said.
The Delta variant, one of several mutations that have been discovered, is more easily transmitted than the basic COVID-19 virus.
When Box delivered her remarks, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard still showed the cumulative numbers for variants, ever since the genetic sequencing of positive samples started. That meant the relative proportion of the Delta variant was portrayed by the dashboard as still small—just 3 percent of positive samples.
But in recent weeks, since mid-June, the percentage of positive samples with the Delta variant has vacillated between 50 and 80 percent.
The state’s dashboard data presentation has now been revised to show the percentage of variants in the current month, with an indication of the change over the previous month. As of Friday, the Delta variant was found in 67 percent of positive COVID-19 samples for the current month.
Jack Davis, wearing his Election Day shirt and a lei, addresses the group assembled to honor his retirement on Thursday.
From left: Jack Davis and Hal Turner. Davis is receiving the 3-D printed toilet paper remembrance that Turner fabricated for him.
3-D printed remembrance on the occasion of Jack Davis’s retirement.
Monroe County’s clerk, Nicole Browne, told The B Square on Thursday afternoon: “There is no replacing a Jack. He is one-of-a-kind. He is amazing. And I will miss him every single day. Every single day.”
Browne was talking about Jack Davis, a county employee whose retirement was marked Thursday at a reception held by his colleagues at Election Central, where he has worked for the election division.
Thursday was the six-year anniversary of Davis’s most recent span of service in local government—he started that half-dozen year stretch on the same day as county election supervisor Karen Wheeler.