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4th St. Garage Debate Part Of City's Future Transportation Plan

4th-st-pic.jpg

The 4th st. Parking Garage in Bloomington is in need of repair. (Sean Hogan, WTIU/WFIU News)

A downtown Bloomington parking garage seemed slated to be torn down and replaced with a larger unit. That was until a couple of City Council members spoke out a Redevelopment Commission meeting earlier this week.

Council Members Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Steve Volan both said they’ve taken a closer look at the proposal. It would cost about $18 million to tear down the 4th Street parking garage and build a new one.

But consultants also came up with three plans for short-term repair of the garage.

Volan says the city should more carefully consider those options.

“Structural engineers don’t stick their necks out lightly," Volan says. "If they believe the garage can be repaired we should have taken that seriously.”

The cheapest repair plan would last about five years and cost $1.8 million. The most expensive would take 15 years and cost around $4.3 million.

City Council members will decide at Wednesday's meeting whether to approve a Tax Increment Revenue Bond to pay for building a new garage. If passed It would include around 200 additional parking spaces and ground level retail space.

Another new garage will go before Council at the same meeting. The Trades District Parking Garage, if approved, will provide 300 parking spots downtown.

The Bloomington City Council meets at 6:30pm at City Hall.

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