Annexation has been approved by the Bloomington City Council.
Jim Inman Photo: City of Bloomington
On Wednesday evening the council met to review and discuss the remaining seven areas scheduled for annexation in Monroe County. Last week area 1A was approved during the meeting.
The special session Wednesday was held on Zoom. Kate Rosenbarger, Sue Sgambelluri, Jim Sims, Matt Flaherty, Isabel Piedmont-Smith, and Steve Volan voted yes. Ron Smith, Susan Sandberg and Dave Rollo voted no.
If the annexation goes through, the city of Bloomington would add over 8,300 acres and more than 14,000 residents.
Mayor John Hamilton said in a statement “I believe Bloomington and our entire region will grow stronger as a result of these actions, as we move forward formally to include a wider circle into our City. We look forward to welcoming our new residents warmly and working together for our shared future.”
The news was not welcomed by many. Most all public commenters throughout the process have spoken against annexation and have pledged to remonstrate, or protest, the plan.
The remonstrance period is open for the next 90 days. If 65 percent of landowners protest the annexation, then it is overturned. If more than 51 percent of landowners remonstrate, then a court battle would be held.
There are related issued regarding remonstrance waivers on properties, which could be in effect even in the current landowner did not sign the document.
In 2019 the Indiana legislature put a 15-year cap on those waivers, meaning any waiver before 2006 would be invalid. The city believes this law is unconstitutional.
Masks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
On Wednesday the Monroe County Board of Health extended the county-wide mask mandate through the end of October.
An approval will be necessary by the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, who meet on September 29.
Monroe County remains in the orange advisory level on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. The board noted that if Monroe County returned to the blue advisory level – the lowest on the scale – that the mandate would expire.