The city may issue up to $10.3 million in bonds to pay for 1,400 street-side trees, more than 7 miles of trails and as many as six city entryways that welcome visitors to Bloomington.
Bloomington’s city council considered the bonds at Wednesday night’s meeting as a way of funding future infrastructure projects. The Bicentennial Trails and Trees Bond split the council between those who thought the money should be directed to social needs and those who saw the infrastructure projects as a way to increase everyone’s quality of life.
Mayor John Hamilton said the projects funded by the proposed bonds would be a way to respect those who have provided for Bloomington until now by paying it forward.
“Metaphorically speaking, they planted trees under whose shade they knew they would not sit,” Hamilton said. “It is appropriate for us, as a community, to make a lasting gift to the future. These are long-term investments that will pay dividends for decades.”
The city parks board is looking to issue a series of three bonds that total almost $10.3 million. If approved, the 20-year bonds will accrue interest at a rate of up to 6 percent.
And to repay the debt, residential property taxes will increase by 3 cents for every $100 of assessed value. The owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay an additional $30 per year over the 20 years, a total of $600.
City controller Jeff Underwood said residents may be able to buy bonds to help finance the proposed projects. Among them are: