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A Record of Success

"From affordable housing, to parks and trails, to outstanding fiscal management, I'm proud of what the Bloomington City Council has accomplished in my eight years as a Councilmember. Bloomington enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the best run cities in the State of Minnesota and that status is the result of strong leadership, a top-notch city staff, engaged and passionate residents, and effective partnerships with community and business groups. The recipe for success is clear and it's one that I will continue to follow as Mayor."
Public Safety

Crime and public safety have always been and will continue to be a top priority of the City of Bloomington. Our Police Officers and Firefighters are second to none.

  • Part I Crimes -- the serious crimes of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, vehcile theft, and arson -- have dropped by 19 percent since 2014. Part II Crimes are down by 32 percent. Both have come down each of the last five years.

  • With an average response time to fire calls at less than four and a half minutes, the Bloomington Fire Department is top notch. But our fire facilities are past their useful life, and work is underway on a new Fire Station Three on East 86th Street. Plans are in place to replace all of our aging fire stations in the coming years.

Parks and Trails

With 97 parks covering more than 3,700 acres, 25 miles of street trails, and 13 miles of park trails, it's no wonder Bloomington residents love their parks and trails. 

  • Over the past several years, the Council has directed funding specifically to park improvement projects in neighborhood parks - including Westwood, Sunrise, and Valley View Parks just in the past year. About 25 of the more than 90 neighborhood parks have seen improvements, so more work remains.

  • In 2016, the City Council created a trail Pavement Management Program similar to the city's highly successful street pavement management program. Each year, trail segments are evaluated and areas most in need are reconstructed or repaired. Bloomington residents view trails both as recreational amenities and transportation options so keeping up on our trail maintenance is vital.

  • After being closed for 14 years, the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge is once again a destination for bikers, birders, and walkers. Look for a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration when the project is completed this summer. 

Affordable Housing

For many people who make up the backbone of Bloomington’s workforce – including teachers, nurses, and police officers – housing in Bloomington has become difficult to find and even harder to afford. We must work to change that.

  • In February, I and my colleagues on the City Council approved a comprehensive opportunity housing ordinance that requires new housing developments of 20 units or more to include at least nine percent affordable units.

  • This innovative approach to development was crafted in partnership with developers and provides flexibility and a better partnership model for developers. Developers have flexible options to comply with the new requirement and also have access to a variety of flexibility measures, incentives, and tools to apply to the project, such as reduced parking requirements and development fee waivers.

Outreach and Engagement

The Bloomington City Council is trying out new ways to connect with residents and is working to establish a new standard for how it will interact and engage with the community. 

  • ​With the goal of connecting more directly with residents and engaging everyone in city government, the City Council is now hosting regular Town Hall Forums. More than 200 residents attended a series of Forums in fall of 2018 and a Forum featuring the State of the City Address drew big crowds both in person and on-line.

  • The award-winning Bloomington Briefing is now a monthly publication. Residents said the Briefing was their most used and trusted form of communications about Bloomington, so the City Council approved funding to increase the publication schedule to 12 times a year.

Managing Your Money
  • Again this year, Bloomington is among a select group of cities in the country that earned AAA bond ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch. While AAA bond ratings don’t  get big headlines, the impact on the cost of borrowing, long-term financial security, development potential, and Bloomington’s reputation cannot be overstated. A 2012 Finance and Commerce article about the value of a Triple AAA rated community stated "AAA ratings are reserved for organizations that do just about everything right, just about all the time.” That about sums it up.

  • In 2019, the tax-supported cost of City services for owners of median-valued homes of $256,900 will be $80.99 per month. The total cost of services for a median valued home which includes property taxes, franchise fees, water and sewer, and solid waste, is $135.90. That's an outstanding value for snow plowing, police and fire service, a great park system, and the best drinking water in America.

Transit and Transportation

After years of lobbying, educating, cajoling, and encouragement, Bloomington is seeing major federal and state investments in transportation and transit infrastructure and projects.

  • Minnesota’s Corridors of Commerce program will provide $204 million toward long overdue I-35W and I-494 improvements in Bloomington. The improvements will include a first phase rebuild of the 494/35W interchange (the northbound to westbound ramp) and additional lanes on I-494 from the Airport to Highway 169.

  • Plans are well underway for the Orange Line bus rapid transit line along the I-35W corridor that will connect Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington and Burnsville. Bus rapid transit is a faster, more efficient bus line and the route will provide all-day, reliable, and frequent service. The Orange Line should be operational by 2021.

  • The new on-ramp from East Bush Lake Road to 494 westbound opened in November 2018 and has made traffic movement in the Normandale Lake District and in the congested Highway 100/494 interchange much more efficient.

  • The reconstruction of Mall of America Transit Station will provide much better service to the more than 5,000 people who use the transit center each weekday. 

The Environment

The City Council specifically identified environmental sustainability as a vital strategic priority and created the city's first Sustainability Commission in 2016.

  • In the past year, Bloomington was recognized as a Greenstep City highlighting the city's overall sustainability practices, and also received SolSmart Gold designation recognizing the ease of solar panel installation.

  • Bloomington also launched a new organics recycling program with two drop off locations and more than 750 residents signed up as participants

  • The Sustainability Commission and Xcel Energy have worked together on a Partners in Energy Committee that started an informative series of business energy tours.

A Strong Business Community

Eight in ten Bloomington business owners or managers said Bloomington was a excellent or good place to do business and about 85 percent gave positive marks to the city services provided to business . Bloomington's unemployment rate of 2.1 percent in 2018 was below both the national and state averages, and with more than 89,000 jobs, Bloomington is one of the rare communities where more employees come into the city each day than leave for work.

The Arts in Bloomington

The arts are booming in Bloomington! Artistry Theater performances receive rave reviews, Angelica Contanti performed at the Super Bowl, performance groups have strong participation and have never been better, and Civic Plaza boasts two exhibition galleries. Bloomington residents know the value of a vibrant arts scene, and the City of Bloomington does its part by providing cultural arts funding  to support general operating expenses for our local arts organizations.

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