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Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan

Mayor Kruzan talks about crime, the deer task force, an expansion of the Bloomington Convention Center and the 2014 budget.

Here are some highlights from today’s interview:

  • The city requested that informal presentations of the 2014 city budget have been moved from July to August.

“The reason for the request is that our County Option Income Tax – our COIT distribution – isn’t made until the middle of August. So we’d be basing a budget based on numbers that are incomplete and are estimated but the estimate can be off by as much as a half million to a million dollars . . . so we asked if there could be a reworking of the budget schedule that we hope will work so that we can give the council a much better idea of what dollars are available to it as it makes its decisions on the budget.”

“If this works, as we think it will – this will be a permanent change. This isn’t just a blip – this is a new plan to approach the budget.”

  • A caller questioned why Mayor Kruzan has not acted on any of the recommendations from the city’s deer task force.

“Just as there are proponents of specific action there are many proponents of other actions and opponents of some of the – certainly of a deer hunt. I understand the frustration some who are pushing for a hunt will be upset about inaction. It’s important to note that there are just as many, if not more citizens who are opposed to a hunt and that kind of action.”

“The council will ultimately have to decide what proposals it wants to bring to forward. There are also areas that are different from one another with different kinds of problems. Griffy is one issue and then neighborhoods are the other. As I’ve said many times I’m concerned that the solution not create worse problems.

“If you allow hunting your neighborhoods – obviously I think there are safety concerns. Then you have an issue that if  it is hunting, what kind of hunting is allowed. Is it the home owner is doing the shooting? Is it done with a gun? Is it done with a bow and arrow? I really am concerned about any proposed solution creating worse problems than we have now.”

  • The Monroe County Council is considering a food and beverage tax to fund an expansion of the Bloomington Convention Center.

“Other communities are attracting business that we aren’t. I think it’s legitimate to ask questions about how will this expansion benefit us and, you know, what are the numbers, and I think the facts will bear out that we even find community groups within the city – The Chamber of Commerce is every year, annually, is selling out their annual meeting. There’s not enough room at our convention center.”

“Much of what we’re doing right now is operating as a conference center as opposed to a convention center. Getting that development done of hotels, making this a destination attraction brings in dollars. It’s a clean industry. Yes, it can result in congestion and yes, it can result in many things that I understand that many people don’t like about a tourist community but it also brings with it the benefits. There are reasons that many communities focus on tourism.”

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