Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: April 16, 2018
The meeting is called to order at 4:34 pm
Members Present: Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis, Dan Combs
Non-Members Present: Pat Combs, Novella Shuck, Seth Lahn
- Sewer Relocation Project Impact
Sewer Relocation Project Impact
Dan asked Jack to call this meeting because at the last meeting we had with the city, our office believed that both parties had reached an acceptable resolution regarding bus traffic to the office during the sewer construction project. Cars would be able to reach the office via the southbound lane of Walnut Street, and the sidewalk outside the office would be open up to the All-Options building next door. The bus stop that is currently in front of All-Options would be moved up to Allen Street, and Perry Township would build a bench area in the new grassy area in front of our parking lot for clients to rest their bags if needed as they walked to the new, further-away bus stop. However, the city’s new plan does not even have a bus stop in the plan. It has a stop up at Dixie Street (which is not a new stop) but did not add one at Allen Street. Dan states there appears to be no resolution to this issue with the city yet, unless Seth has reached one with them this afternoon.
Dan states that an acceptable alternative to having an additional bus stop would be for the city to give the office money to hand out BT Access tickets for the buses that upon request pull right into the lot. He also mentioned funding Uber or cab rides to and from the office as an alternative but states he would much prefer BT Access, which is a program of Bloomington Transit. It is a more financially doable option. He plans to file a motion today to ensure he gets to review all the options for transportation for our clients.
Once Seth arrived at the board meeting, he states that there will be a city meeting tomorrow regarding this construction project. He concurs that whatever options the township has to undertake transportation-wise, the city should be financially responsible for it all. Seth has drafted a lawyer’s letter to the city in bullet-point form summarizing what the Township understands the city to be committing to. He states this letter may be premature though, as he is not 100% sure how far apart our two offices are on the issue.
Seth states that there is an entire individualized application process for BT Access, clients must be disabled or otherwise eligible for the program, and they must get BT Access IDs to ride the bus. If the Township does use this avenue for getting clients to and from our office, it should look into getting a waiver of the usual program requirements. Jack suggests the Township look into getting a temporary waiver of program requirements and have the Township itself be listed as the applicant, so as not to have the clients individually applying. The board agrees that paying for Uber and cab rides should be taken off the table as impractical at this time.
Jack states he has faith in this project that once we have made our needs known, he does not believe there will be a problem. Dan believes that City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) has a fund they can use for funding our transportation alternatives. The length of the construction project is anticipated to be reduced from 40 days to 30-32, as they have said they will be working on this project 6 days a week, up to 10 hours a day.
Seth asks how set the city is about no longer providing the bus stop and rest benches that Dan and Phil had agreed upon, and Dan states that he is not sure and there could be a misunderstanding, but he is unsure whose side the misunderstanding is on. Bloomington Transit has stated that they are not willing to add an additional regular bus stop at Walnut and Allen Streets because of its proximity to the Dixie Street stop, and because of the inability for cars to get around a stop there (they would bottleneck at the crosswalk). He states that the benches between our office and any bus stop (whether at Allen or Dixie Street) are still important because people use them a lot to reorganize their bags after getting food from our food pantry.
Seth states that he can write up two memos, one to clarify and advocate for the Township’s position on relocating a bus stop nearer to our office, and another to provide our recommendations for a “plan b” and a “plan c” in lieu of a bus stop being established in order to handle transportation needs. He states that the city wants to appear responsive to our concerns, and the city was invited to this meeting tonight, but Kyla was unable to attend. She will be at tomorrow’s meeting. Dan states that for tomorrow night’s meeting, he wants a narrow, clear memorandum of understanding to be provided so that the township’s exact position and requests are plainly stated in writing. Seth states that he would have this memo ready by tomorrow morning and would send it to the city’s legal department before lunch so that it could be shown at the meeting as record of what our understanding is.
Susie says that it would be helpful for the office to have a printed summary to hand out to clients and other agencies for how to access the office. Dan states that we should have the city make some printed reference or educational material for us. Susie recommends that Seth and the office also emphasize the presence of other organizations in the construction area and their need for transportation too. She states that this is why we got a commitment to keep the turnoff into the Township lot open. It is our understanding that Matt Smith Hearst will be project manager for this construction project, so it is best to get any promises made from him specifically. Seth states that the construction project is not a city project, but a CBU project where the city just has certain responsibilities. CBU and Bloomington Transit are both quasi-corporate organizations.
Jack moves they accept that a memorandum of understanding be commissioned asking for a bus stop at Allen Street, with a follow-up action (if needed) of requesting the Township use BT Access waiving its rules and regulations, and to include in the memorandum other promises the city has made regarding unimpeded access to driveway, timing, etcetera, getting the city’s promises on record. Susie seconds the motion, and all vote “Aye.”
Jack adjourned the meeting at 5:27pm.