The Monroe County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance Friday mandating the Courthouse grounds will only be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. After that, anyone caught in violation will be subject to a Class E felony.
The grounds of Courthouse Square are a popular spot for homeless people in Bloomington, though courthouse employees and local businesses have long complained about the mess the homeless leave behind.
For Monroe County Attorney David Schilling, whose office is located in the courthouse, the ordinance is in response to a public health and safety concern.
“When the maintenance staff has to clean up piles of this, pile of that, everyday. It’s a problem,” he says.
Schilling says the county will post signs explaining the hours and police will ask violators to leave before arresting them or issuing tickets.