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Community Forum Sparks Funding, Regulation Debates

While some want less regulation on building in Bloomington, others are more worried about paying for criminal justice.

Monroe county jail

Photo: Ben Skirvin/WFIU News

Criminal justice is funded not only through taxes, but through probation costs and other fees which aren't bringing in more money for the county.

Bloomington and Monroe County leaders sparred Tuesday with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce over the right way to spur economic growth in the city.

During a community forum, Bloomington Chamber Government Relations Manager Larry Jacobs said he wished for less regulation, especially on how expansion can occur.

“You have a lot of restrictions on building and we’re running out of space to build in,” Jacobs says.

County leaders, such as Council President Geoff McKim, focused on a few budget line items which they say are eating up a greater chunk of the county’s funds, including paying for criminal justice. McKim says the county is facing challenges because it subsidizes criminal justice not through taxes, but through probation costs and other fees.

“Some of the funds are not necessarily sustainable,” McKim says. “Some of them have seen either revenues that have declined or else revenues that just haven’t grown with the costs of providing those services.”

McKim says the council will have to figure out how to fund certain positions within the criminal justice system outside of current fees.

Kyle Clayton

Kyle Clayton is a WFIU news producer. He is currently studying journalism at Indiana University and comes to WFIU following an internship in the fall of 2011. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned home to Indiana in 2008 to begin his education and pursue his interests in writing.

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