The Bloomington City Council heard proposals for four bicentennial bonds projects during a committee hearing Wednesday.
Together, the bonds would contribute to the city’s effort to improve mobility and pedestrian transportation through a bicentennial initiative. The bonds would total more than $10 million.
Mayor John Hamilton (D-Bloomington) says the projects will serve as a larger investment for the city.
"To create sustainable, beautiful livable places for all of our people, investing in our mobility connections and our natural resources makes eminent sense," Hamilton says.
The bonds would be used to finance greenway and pedestrian trail improvements, as well as enhance gateways to the city and to plant trees.
The first of the bonds would finance greenway trail improvements along Seventh Street from the B-Line trail east to Woodlawn, and from Union to the State Road 45/46 Bypass. The bond would also finance a 1.3 mile multi-use trail from Rogers Street, providing access to Switchyard Park, Clear Creek Trail and Twin Lakes.
A second bond would finance a pedestrian trail in Lower Cascades Park to the intersection of Old State Road 37 and College Avenue. Money would also be allotted for a 3.6 mile loop trail around the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.
The third bond would fund three major city-wide beatification efforts; enhancing gateways at major city entrances, cleanup of downtown alleyways and planting nearly 1,400 trees along city roadways.
Councilmembers debated how the projects should be prioritized.
Councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith says the projects are nonessentials, and the city should first address issues that are more pertinent.
While some agreed, councilmember Dave Rollo says he feels the projects would largely improve the quality of life of Bloomington residents.
The city is also requesting a $17 million revenue bond to demolish the Fourth Street parking garage and replace it with a larger garage.
Public Works Director Adam Wason says the garage is facing serious structural decay and would require a $1.1 million repair investment for an additional five years of use.
The city proposed displaced parkers can utilize approximately 150 permit spaces as of Jan. 1 in the Seventh Street and Morton and Walnut parking garages as well as a designated Convention Center lot just a few blocks away.
The city is also requesting a $10.8 million to build a new 400-space parking garage in the downtown Trades District just north of City Hall.
The council will revisit the bond proposals before a final vote.
This post has been updated.