Food and beverage tax advisory commission meeting (Oct. 18, 2022).
Monthly food and beverage tax revenues.
From left: Monroe county commissioner Julie Thomas and Bloomington mayor John Hamilton (Oct. 18, 2022).
On Wednesday, Nov. 9, many elected and appointed officials across Monroe County will be reviewing election results from the day before.
But some of those officials have a meeting set for Nov. 9 to talk about the possible future expansion of the Monroe County convention center.
The idea of a joint effort by Bloomington and Monroe County to expand the existing convention center has been pursued for several years, but had stalled just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, amid wrangling over governance issues.
According to county commissioners administrator Angie Purdie, the 1 p.m. meeting in the Nat U. Hill room of the Monroe County courthouse is supposed to include the mayor’s office in the form of Bloomington’s director of public engagement (Mary Catherine Carmichael), two city councilmembers (Susan Sandberg and Sue Sgambelluri), two county councilors (Geoff McKim and Cheryl Munson), and all three county commissioners.
BT ridership is starting to recover, but has still not reached pre-pandemic levels.
Bloomington Transit’s five-member board wants general manager John Connell to get legal advice on a specific question about the steps, if any, that need to be taken so that public bus service can be offered outside Bloomington’s city limits.
That was the outcome of a half hour’s worth of discussion at the BT board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
The board’s discussion came after Bloomington’s city council approved an early-September resolution expressing its support for extending BT’s service to Daniels Way, which is west of the city limits. Service to Daniels Way could serve Ivy Tech and Cook Medical, among other destinations.
At its September meeting, the BT board had already discussed the legal significance of the city council’s resolution. Their immediate concern was to determine if the resolution was an adequate legal basis for extending service outside the city limits. It wasn’t.
Deputy clerk Tressia Martin on Zooom at the March 16, 2022 board of commissioners meeting.
Monroe County commissioners, from left: Lee Jones, Julie Thomas, and Penny Githens.
County attorney Lee Baker.
Fleet and facilities manager Greg Crohn.
Poll workers for Monroe County’s May 3 primary elections won’t be trained at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Instead they’ll learn the ins and outs of working the polls at the county government center in the Showers building on Morton Street, or the new election operations center at 3rd and Walnut streets. That’s the former NAPA building.
When county commissioners came to the $4,880 item on their Wednesday agenda, an early indication that they would not be approving it came from Penny Githens. “I don’t understand why we’re asking county taxpayers to pay close to $5,000 when we have space, I thought, in the Showers building for the training,” Githens said.
Deliberations on the item were continued to a work session following the regular meeting. A $1,000 down payment that was paid to Hilton last fall was eventually determined to be refundable, which cleared the way to a 0–3 vote by commissioners on the item.
Option A: Clear Creek Township in the south goes from District 3 to District 1. Washington Township in the north goes from District 1 to District 3.
Commissioner districts are recommended to stay the same
Here’s the proposed adjustment made by Monroe County, rejected by the the state’s election division. It would establish a “new” precinct with fewer than 600 active voters.
Two Monroe County council districts will trade a couple of townships. But county commissioner districts will keep the same boundaries.
Those are the unanimous recommendations made on Monday morning by a four-person committee, which was assigned the redistricting task by Monroe County’s board of commissioners.
The commissioners are expected to have the recommended boundaries on their work session agenda for this Wednesday (Nov. 17). A final vote is not expected until the week following Thanksgiving.
The district boundary recommendations won’t be affected by an objection that the state’s election division has made to one of the proposed tweaks to Monroe County’s precinct boundaries. The precinct boundary changes were already approved by county commissioners.
That means the four-person committee has essentially wrapped up its assigned task in its fourth week of work. A meeting set for Thursday this week, as well as Monday next week, will be left on the calendar, in case the need arises to meet again.
Seven revisions to current precinct lines in Monroe County are being recommended by a four-person committee appointed to give advice to county commissioners on precinct and district boundaries.
It was at their Monday meeting, after two weeks of work, when committee members settled on the recommendations, some of which could be considered technical.
The committee’s seven recommendations on precinct boundaries have been added to the regular meeting agenda for the county commissioners on Wednesday (Nov. 3)—just as a discussion item.
The Wednesday work session, when commissioners were originally expected to review the changes, has been cancelled.
That will set up the commissioners to vote on the precinct boundaries at their meeting the following week, on Nov. 10. That means Monroe County should be able to hit the Nov. 12 deadline set by the state elections division for changes to precincts.
On Wednesday afternoon, at a joint session of Monroe County’s board of commissioners and the county plan commission, both bodies voted separately to agree to a settlement of a lawsuit against William and Nicole Huff and the Huffs’ counterclaim against the county.
The county’s lawsuit was filed in May of 2019.
The Huffs will get a payment of $50,000 to settle their defamation and due process claims against the county. That cost will be split evenly by the county and the county’s insurance provider, OneBeacon Insurance Group.
The county will get quick access to the site on Lake Monroe, where the Huffs have been excavating and removing trees for a couple of years, to check the current status of erosion control on the property related to their development activity. The assessment will be done by an engineer of the Huffs’ choosing and the county’s municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) coordinator.
If problems are found related to erosion, a remedy will be implemented by the Huffs. If no problems are found, that’s the end of the story, at least as it relates to events of the past. For future permitting related to development at the site, the Huffs are supposed to be treated like any other petitioner, according to county attorney David Schilling.
According to the settlement agreement, once any erosion problems are identified, and remedied if they’re found, the county is required to issue a press release that states: “The County has reached an agreement with the Huffs to resolve the lawsuit. The County has determined that the site is in compliance with all County erosion control requirements and does not pose a threat to the Monroe County water supply.”