Jim Inman (Photo: Indiana Public Media)
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce issued a press release this week, opposing an amendment that would “allow encampments in public parks for extended periods.”
The amendment – Ordinance 12-06 – was written to allow camping in public parks for homeless people.
Erin Predmore, president and CEO of the chamber, noted in the release “… we’ve heard increasing complaints and deep concerns voiced by members of the business community regarding encampments at Seminary Park and elsewhere.
“We must find an alternative way to support the needs of houseless residents that does not negatively impact local businesses, the jobs they provide and the broader community.”
The survey received more than 100 responses by chamber members, detailing concerns about security, drug use, confrontations, human waste and other issues.
The chamber’s press release noted that “many people who’ve contacted the Chamber are unwilling to speak publicly, for fear of reprisal from passional advocates for the homeless.”
The Chamber’s website has the full press release and comments from Chamber members.
The IU Bloomington campus is continuing to see low numbers of COVID-19 cases, according to the school’s most-recent dashboard.
Last week IU reported a 0.17% COVID-19 positivity rate for Bloomington. That’s the second-lowest rate since last fall… and the lowest rate was reported at 0.16% for the week of February 7.
Just over 20,000 students were tested last week, compared to over 25,000 the week prior. IU had planned to test all undergraduate students, as well as students living in Greek houses or residential halls, but last week’s winter weather impacted the ability for all students to participate.
This news comes as Monroe County moves from yellow to blue following the continued decrease of COVID-19 cases in the county.
The state’s website posted the change Wednesday. The change means that the state recommends social gathers are limited to 250 people, and events and social gatherings can happen at up to 100% capacity if the county has plans in place to minimalize COVID-19 exposure, including social distancing and face coverings.
According to the website, there were 88 cases per 100,000 residents in the last week. The county’s positivity rate is 0.71%.