Timeline: Monroe County Convention Center Expansion

This timeline aims to include links documenting each item. The timeline is surely not exhaustive. If you notice that it’s missing an event that you think could be important to preserve as a part of the history of the convention center expansion, please don’t hesitate to contact The Beacon.


  • 2019-09-04 County board of commissioners announces Sept. 16, 2019 meeting of the board, the county council, the city council, and the mayor, to be held on the topic of the convention center expansion. [link]
  • 2019-08-20 Food & Beverage tax report made to advisory commission [link]
    From January to July 2019, a total of $1,998,203.56 was collected. Of that amount, $1,778,237.86 went to the city and $219,965.70 went to the county.
  • 2019-07-24 Monroe County board of commissioners call for meeting to discuss convention expansion to be attended by board of commissioners, county council, city council and mayor. [link]
    Among the key proposals in the memo is the creation of an capital improvement board to handle the convention center expansion.
  • 2019-07-17 County board of commissioners approve purchase of NAPA parking lot land [link]
  • 2019-07-15 City of Bloomington closes on purchase of property north of current convention center [link]
  • 2019-05-19 Steering Committee votes for northward expansion. [link]
  • 2019-04-18 Final day of three-day series of design charrettes for convention center expansion [link]
  • 2019-02-06 City council appropriates $350,000 for design fees. [link]
    Costs adding up to the $350,000 include: Phase I Programming and Concept Design and Phase I Community engagement ($195,500); Reimbursables ($19,500); Additional services, including topographic and boundary survey, site appraisals, environmental surveys , drone Imaging of the site, interior and exterior mobile scanning of convention center building ($135,000)
  • 2019-01-22 Food & Beverage Advisory Commission approves $4.12 million from county and city Food & Beverage Tax funds. [link]
    The amount approved from the county’s portion is for appraisals, environmental review and surveys not to exceed $60,000 and to be expended only in area bounded by 3rd Street, Madison Avenue, Second Street and Walnut Street. The activities supported from the city’s portion include a matching $60,000 for the same appraisals, environmental review and surveys in the same geographic area. In addition, from the city’s portion the convention center’s architects fees were approved at an amount not to exceed $4 million, corresponding to 10 percent of construction costs, estimated at $30–$40 million.
  • 2019-01-17 Food & Beverage tax report included in city council packet [link]
    For 2018 2,558,850.56 was collected. Of that amount, $2,247,037.07 went to the city and 311,813.50 went to the county.
  • 2019-01-16 Monroe County board of commissioners approve request for $60,000 of funding from Food & Beverage tax. [link]
  • 2019-01-16 Bloomington City council approves request for unspecified dollar amount of funding from Food & Beverage tax. [link]
  • 2018-12-14 Recommendation by Steering Committee of Convergence/Schmidt Associates as project architect is approved by Mayor John Hamilton, Commissioner Amanda Barge, County Councilmember Cheryl Munson and City Councilmember Chris Sturbaum. [link]
  • 2018-10-12 MOU signed by Mayor John Hamilton [link]
  • 2018-10-10 MOU signed by Commissioner Amanda Barge [link]
  • 2018-07-25 MOU signed establishing Steering Committee [link]
    Members are: Commissioner (Amanda Barge), Mayor (John Hamilton), County Council member (Cheryl Munson), City Council member (Chris Sturbaum), Board of Commissioners resident appointment (John Whikehart), Board of Commissioners resident appointment (Susie Johnson), Mayor’s resident appointment (Valerie Pena), Mayor’s resident appointment (Adam Thies), Jointly appointed resident (Jim Murphy)
  • 2018-06-25 First meeting of Monroe County’s Food and Beverage Tax Advisory Commission [link]
  • 2018-04-30 Initial appointments confirmed to Monroe County’s Food Beverage Advisory Commission. [link]
    The appointments for the three members of retail establishments subject to the tax are: Michael Cassady, chef and owner of the Uptown Cafe, Helen (Lennie) Busch, co-owner and CFO of One World Enterprises, and Anthony (Tony) Suttile, general manager of the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina. The commission also includes president of the county board of commissioners (Amanda Barge), the city executive (Mayor John Hamilton), a member of the county council (Shelli Yoder) and a member of the city council (Steve Volan)
  • 2017-12-13 County council votes to enact Food & Beverage tax. [link]
    Cobine–yes; Yoder–yes; Munson–yes; McKim–yes; Jones–no; Spoonmore–no; Hawk–no
  • 2017-10-18 City council approves resolution in support of Food & Beverage tax [link]
    The vote on the city council was 7-0-1 (Piedmont-Smith) (Ruff absent)
  • 2017-10-04 Support for Food & Beverage tax requested from city council in press release by Mayor John Hamilton. [link]
  • 2012-01-13 Consultant report on feasibility of convention center delivered by HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting [link]
  • 2009-05-13 Governor signs P.L. 176 allowing Monroe County to enact a Food & Beverage tax. [link]
    The law sets the rate of 1 percent and constrains the use of revenue from the tax to “only to finance, refinance, construct, operate, or maintain a convention center, a conference center, or related tourism or economic development projects.”
  • 2002-00-00 Consideration of convention center expansion begins? [link]
    According to the HVS 2012 report, “Expansion of the BMCCC has been under consideration for at least ten years.”