The purchase of the western part of the Showers building, which also houses city hall, won’t be decided by Bloomington’s city council until next year.
But in a separate action on Wednesday night, the council did effectively decide that the site of a new Monroe County jail will not be the county government’s first choice, which was an 87-acre piece of land in the southwestern corner of Bloomington.
On a 7–2 vote on Wednesday night, the city council postponed consideration of the $8.75-million Showers building purchase, which would be made by the Bloomington redevelopment commission, if the council approves the deal. Dissenting on the postponement were Matt Flaherty and Jim Sims.
On Jan. 18, 2023, the council will again take up the question of buying the western part of the Showers building, to serve as the city’s main police station, and fire department’s administrative headquarters.
It was on a 0–9 vote, taken just a few minutes before midnight on Wednesday, that the council denied the county government’s rezone request for the 87-acre parcel in the southwestern corner of the city so that a new jail could be constructed there. Continue reading “Bloomington nixes zoning request for new jail, puts off purchase of Showers building as police HQ”
Bloomington city council. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington city council president Susan Sandberg. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Jim Sims. (Dec. 7, 2022)
From left: Bloomington city councilmember Dave Rollo and city council attorney Stephen Lucas. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Ron Smith. (Dec. 7, 2022)
From left: Bloomington city council attorney Stephen Lucas and assistant city attorney Larry Allen. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington fire chief Jason Moore. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington deputy chief of police Scott Oldham. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington police union president Paul Post. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. (Dec. 7, 2022)
Bloomington’s city council voted 8–1 on Wednesday night to approve the issuance of $29.5 million in general revenue bonds, to pay for public safety projects—including the purchase and renovation of the western part of the former Showers Brothers Furniture building that houses city hall.
But the purchase of the western part of the historic Showers building was not included in the city council’s Wednesday approval. That vote is expected on Dec. 21.
The western part of the Showers building is where Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s administration is proposing to construct a replacement for the 3rd Street police station, and a new fire department administrative headquarters.
Also included in the bond proposal is the reconstruction of Fire Station #1 and the remodel of Fire Station #3, among other projects, for around $10.5 million.
The appropriation for the expenditure of $8.75 million for the building purchase, plus about $15 million in renovations, will get a first reading at next Wednesday’s (Dec. 14) meeting of the council, with a final vote expected the following week, on Dec. 21.
Together with the appropriation ordinance, the council will be asked to approve the Bloomington redevelopment commission’s purchase agreement for the Showers building.
Dissenting on the bond issuance vote was city council president Susan Sandberg.
Based on remarks from councilmembers on Wednesday, the Showers building purchase might not get the same level of support as the bond issuance, but seems likely to have the five votes it would need to win approval from the nine-member council. Continue reading “$29.5 million in bonds OK’d by Bloomington city council, decision on building purchase to come later”
Bloomington city council president Susan Sandberg. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Steve Volan. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Kate Rosenbarger. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Jim Sims. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington city councilmember Dave Rollo. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Deputy mayor Don Griffin. In the foreground is Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Deputy mayor Don Griffin. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Bloomington mayor John Hamilton. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Police union president Paul Post. (Nov. 30, 2022)
Schematic for rebuild of Fire Station #1.
Last Wednesday, president of Bloomington’s police union, Paul Post, led off his public commentary at Bloomington’s city council meeting with a general statement of support for the administration’s plan to upgrade and modernize the city’s police station.
“We fully support mayor [John] Hamilton’s initiative to make the much needed improvements to working conditions at police and fire facilities,” Post said.
Post added, “I’ve worked at the 3rd Street police station now for over 20 years, and I can tell you that everyone would welcome a new and upgraded modern facility.”
However, about the administration’s exact proposal, Post had reached a different conclusion: “We can’t support this specific plan and its associated financial costs.” Continue reading “Police union speaks against specific plan for location of new police facilities in city hall building”