When Bloomington lawmakers consider later this year how the city should grow, they will likely consider some form of annexation. The fate of three large sections of land owned by the county but within city limits may not change.
Bloomington’s first city council district is easily its most peculiar. There are three large holes in the middle of it – land the city does not own, surrounded by area it does. There are also several strips of road, most not more than a few hundred yards long, connecting the city to an outlying strip which is nominally in the city limits.
These abnormalities could be addressed when the city amends its Unified Development Ordinance later this year, but unless there is a financial motivation to do it, says Mayor Mark Kruzan, do not count on it.
“If there’s not something in that gap that’s on the map that’s going to produce revenue that will pay for itself to provide police, fire any other city service, a city, not just this city, any city, is unlikely to want to go out and annex it,” Kruzan says.
Councilman Chris Sturbaum represents the area in question and says even though providing services in the affected areas can be confusing, he is not hearing people clamoring about a need to “tidy up” the map.
“You start pulling a thread and you find out the things that are connected to it,” Sturbaum says. “So if we were to look over it, I wouldn’t want to jump out in front and say ‘Let’s fix this’ without really seeing what’s the situation and what are the impacts on both the city and the county.”
City officials are currently studying what areas might most need to be annexed and will produce a report for the council later in the year.