The City of Bloomington and Town of Normal 2020-2024 Consolidated Plans are drawing praise after their respective adoptions this summer. The Plans will receive the Public Outreach Award from the Illinois chapter of the American Planning Association (IL-APA). This award honors a project or program that uses information and education about the value of planning to create greater awareness among citizens or specific segments of the public.
As Entitlement Communities receiving annual grants on a formula basis from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the City of Bloomington and Town of Normal are required to develop and adopt a five-year Consolidated Plan detailing the goals for and use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to benefit the community.
“The Town of Normal is proud to participate in these collaborative efforts which benefit all residents and our region,” says Associate Planner Taylor Long from the Town of Normal.
"The City couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this public outreach campaign. More residents than ever provided input on the 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, helping to establish new funding priority areas,” says Jennifer Toney, Grants Coordinator for the City of Bloomington.
The planning process was a joint effort between the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, City of Bloomington and Town of Normal.
In the past, each municipality planned the public outreach for and creation of these five-year plans independently and without a concerted, regional focus on housing issues that might straddle the single street dividing the two cities.
This community-wide approach allowed the municipalities and their partners to pool both staff time and financial resources in gathering valuable public and stakeholder input, while ensuring data collected illustrates the realities of Bloomington and Normal neighborhoods uniquely.
“This was a very rewarding process to be a part of and could not have been such a success without the participation of a great number of community partners,” says Community Planner Lauren Gibson from the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.
The award will be presented to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission, City of Bloomington and Town of Normal during the virtual America Planning Association Illinois Chapter Conference on Sept. 16, 2020.