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Mayor’s memo: Past, present and future: Bloomington’s amenities and infrastructure

Bloomington’s high quality of life is a result of many things. Amenities and services provided by the City are among them. It’s not always the fun, visible stuff that makes the biggest impact, although things like parks and public events are important. It’s the behind-the-scenes operations of a good city—like public safety, well-maintained streets, and safe, award-winning water—that make a daily difference in residents’ lives. That stuff doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and investment in infrastructure. 

The City is always investing in the maintenance of strong infrastructure. Another area that needs upkeep is our park facilities. Great parks improve quality of life and stabilize neighborhood desirability and property values.

It is not possible to do everything all the time, so projects are scheduled out and phased in. During my 25 years as an elected official, I’ve been dedicated to moving forward projects that promote residential stability and are best for Bloomington, but there is still work to do. 

Throughout this year, we’ve been talking about the need to reinvest in or reimagine aging City facilities. Several Parks and Recreation buildings fall into this category, the community center being one of the larger projects on the table, but there are others—everything from trails to concession stands to ballfield buildings to playgrounds. 

We’re already moving forward with these types of projects under the City Council’s strategic priorities. Bloomington Ice Garden needed upgrades to be ADA compliant and up-to-date with coed dressing room standards. The City’s fire stations are also in need of improvements. We’re building a new Fire Station 3 that will be more energy efficient and have adequate space for equipment and training. 

Hyland Greens Golf and Learning Center is another sizeable project that’s being discussed with community input. An open house was held in August to give residents a chance to learn more about proposed plans and join the discussion.

We want to make Hyland Greens a more operational facility and we figured out there’s no easy fix. By partnering with the Professional Golf Association, we can add a new, better amenity more aligned to future community needs.