One more meeting stands between $10.3 million in taxpayer-paid debt and an array of projects pitched as having the ability to indirectly raise all members of the community.
City council members approved a series of three bonds to pay for more than 7 miles of new trails, up to six city entryway projects, the beautification of downtown alleyways and the replacement of 1,400 street trees. Discussion at Wednesday’s meeting continued to weigh the indirect economic benefits of such trees and trails against the social benefits that would come from prioritizing new debt to projects that directly serve community issues of housing and substance abuse.
“Our commitment, together, to raising the quality of life for all Bloomington residents is strong and steady. This Bicentennial Bond is not an alternative to that commitment,” Mayor John Hamilton said. “This bond will increase mobility options for all, lower automobile dependence, increase carbon sequestration. It will enhance quality of life for all as a more livable, sustainable community.”
The first $3.435 million of debt would extend the B-Line Trail east from Seventh Street to North Woodlawn Avenue, where it will go through Indiana University’s campus before continuing from Union Street to the Ind. 45/46 Bypass. It would also create a trail about 1.3 miles long connecting five parks on the west side including Switchyard Park, set to open next year.