BLOOMINGTON – The City of Bloomington, following the lead of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Visit Bloomington, and Downtown Bloomington, Inc., has submitted a proposal to the Monroe County Board of Commissioners and County Council for activating the Convention Center expansion.
Deputy Mayor Don Griffin will join Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Eric Spoonmore at the Monroe County Council meeting on Tuesday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m. to formally present the City’s proposal and answer councilmember questions.
As part of its proposal, the City would take full responsibility for the expansion in exchange for the County transferring ownership and management of the Convention Center and supporting properties.
Under this proposal, the City of Bloomington would:
- Pay off the County’s existing debt on the Convention Center, estimated at ~$2.M.
- Contribute to the Monroe County Health Department the opioid settlement funds received by the City, estimated to be ~$1.9M over the next 18 years, to support them in a more consolidated effort to address opioid addiction and recovery in Monroe County.
- Initiate a multi-year pilot program to expand Bloomington Transit beyond City limits along the east-west corridor to provide improved access to Ivy Tech and nearby employers. The City would charge only the incremental cost of the additional services.
- Assume responsibility for all operation and management of the existing and new/expanded Convention Center.
Under this proposal, the County would:
- Transfer to the City all real and personal property owned by the County or Building Corporation comprising the current Convention Center and property designated for potential future Convention Center use.
- Support the annual transfer to the City or its designated property management entity the share of annual innkeepers’ tax received by the County currently used in maintaining and operating the Convention Center.
- Retain its share of Food & Beverage Tax generated outside city limits for the County’s own appropriate purposes.
“The Convention Center project is extremely important to the vitality of our downtown and to our local and regional economy. I am deeply appreciative of the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Bloomington, and Downtown Bloomington for their leadership in moving this project forward,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “City staff look forward to discussing this proposal and working with the Bloomington City Council, Monroe County Commissioners, County Council, and our many partners to realize this much-needed expansion.”