Monroe County Energy Challenge

The Monroe County Energy Challenge, an organization that helps our community reduce energy use in order to improve quality of life, minimize environmental impact and save money, will be hosting an event to distribute free LED light bulbs and weatherization kits (an $80 value) to residents at the Banneker Community Center on Sunday, February 19th from 2-5pm. This is a great opportunity to receive materials that will improve energy efficiency, comfort, and save money. 

The organization will also be providing information about the spring Attic Insulation Program, which offers free attic air sealing and insulation to low-income households. The 2016 program helped 22 residents attain insulation, with an estimated 10-year savings of over $84,000 and a greenhouse gas reduction of over 46,000 lbs./year. This spring they will be able to offer the program again and are accepting applicants. Click the flyers below about to read about these opportunities. More information about the program can be found on their website.

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Trades District Public Engagement Opportunities

The Redevelopment Commission and the City of Bloomington cordially invite residents to an Open House on January 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the atrium at City Hall, 401 North Morton Street.

The event will be an informal opportunity for interested residents to meet with Mayor John Hamilton, City staff and the Anderson + Bohlander design team to review Trades District design materials for the first phase of infrastructure improvements on the property.

Following the open house, the design proposals will remain available for viewing in the City Hall atrium through February 10.

“This presentation of current design proposals is a continuation of the community outreach efforts that resulted in the 2013 Certified Technology Park Master Plan and Redevelopment Strategy. The plans have become more detailed and specific, and we welcome continued public input as plans evolve,” said Mayor Hamilton.

In addition to the displays and also through February 10, a webpage for reviewing current plans and offering comment online will be active at

The Trades District, a 12-acre portion of the Bloomington Certified Technology Park, is envisioned as a place of innovation, attraction and job creation for the City of Bloomington. Located just north of City Hall on the land formerly occupied by the historic Showers Brothers Furniture Company, the Trades District is designed to serve as a thriving cultural and economic destination for the larger community.

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Minutes of the January 17, 2017 NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting January 17, 2017

Present:  Sandi Clothier (presiding); Peter Dorfman (acting as Secretary); Board Members Bill Baus; David Ferrand; Alan Balkeman

– Traffic – The City has responded to a year-old complaint about traffic volumes and speeds in the neighborhood, as well as line of sight obstructions at the intersections of Rogers Street and both 8th Street and 6th Street. The response was in an email from Andrew Cibor, Transportation and Traffic Engineer, to Carol Gulyas. Cibor said the city has done traffic studies, and while Kirkwood sees high volumes and a pattern of speeding, the rest of the neighborhood generally sees average speeds below the 25 mph speed limit. So the city finds no action is warranted.

As for the line of sight obstructions, the city evaluated four-way stop signs at both intersections and found they are not warranted because the traffic is mostly on Rogers, and volumes are much lower on both 6th and 8th Streets. However, Cibor suggested that the sight lines would be improved by the elimination of five on-street parking spaces on the west (southbound) side of Rogers at each corner — in each case, three on the north side and two on the south side of the cross street. Cibor asks the Neighborhood Association to get feedback on this suggestion from neighborhood residents. Attendees at the meeting unanimously supported this action.

In addition, Peter Dorfman suggested that the association begin the process of asking the city to install a crosswalk at the corner of 6th Street and Rogers Street crossing Rogers. This would make it easier for pedestrians to cross and might inhibit motorist speeds on Rogers. The attendees unanimously supported this suggestion.

– Sidewalks – There have been complaints of rough, uneven sidewalks at multiple locations on West 6th Street, resulting in falls. The problem generally results from sidewalk sections being lifted by tree roots. Alan Balkeman reported falling himself at 917 West 6th Street — one of seven sidewalk locations that the city has studied and ranked in terms of remediation urgency. According to engineer Joe VanDeventer, the city found none of these locations in its worst 100 sidewalk problems (although 930 West 6th was ranked 142). The fix generally consists of grinding the sidewalk smooth.

The Neighborhood Association has consulted with City Councilman Chris Sturbaum about this. Chris points out that city ordinance makes maintaining the condition of the sidewalk the responsibility of the homeowner at the site. But he has helped to make the city aware of the trip hazards and has inquired on our behalf about the possibility of grant funding. VanDeventer said if HAND has money to fix them and if there have been accidents at these locations, he would investigate getting funding with Robert Woolford.

Sandi Clothier pointed out that a significant part of the problem is lighting on cross streets like 6th. It is difficult to see uneven sidewalks at night because street lighting is obstructed by tree cover. She recommended the Association investigate what it would take to get additional lighting installed.

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Minutes of the November 15, 2016 NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting November 15, 2016

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, President; Sophia Hauserman, Treasurer;  Olivia Dorfman, Secretary; Board Members Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Bill Baus; David Gulyas, Peter Dorfman

– Treasurer’s Report – Our present balance is $377.43; a check in the amount of $13.79 will be issued to reimburse Carol Gulyas for paying CONA to reinstate our old domain name and redirect to our webpage.

– Neighborhood Report –  Two incidents have occurred recently: someone entered the back porch of a home and turned off the electricity at the circuit breaker, someone broke into a garage. Nothing was stolen. In addition, some homeless people have been camping in the woods between the B-Line trail and railroad.  These incidents were reported to the police, who responded.

– Holiday Party – Plans were discussed for a Holiday Party.  Carol will prepare a flyer inviting neighbors to the party and members of the association will distribute the flyers.  The party will be held on December 13 at the home of Carol and David Gulyas.  All are invited. If attending, bring an appetizer to share and beverages.



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Minutes of the October 18, 2016 Neighborhood-wide NWSNA Meeting

NWSNA Meeting  October 18, 2016  

 Present:  Carol Gulyas, President; Sophia Hauserman, Treasurer; Sandi Clothier, Vice President;  Olivia Dorfman, Secretary; Board Members  Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Bill Baus; Carl Pearson (representing Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer), Marsha McCarty, Jean Graham, Rocky Festa, Pam Gladish (Bloomington Police Dept.) Vickie Provine (HAND), Peter Dorfman, Tracey Hodges

– Representative of School Board candidate Fuentes-Rohwer,  MCCSC Referendum –

Carl Pearson represented Cathy Fuentes-Rowher, who is a school board candidate.  According to Mr. Pearson, no members of the current board have children in the Monroe County school system, however Ms. Fuentes-Rowher has two children in the system now as well as two who have graduated from Monroe County schools.  She is an active supporter of public education who has advocated at the state level for Indiana’s public schools.  She believes in transparency in school governance, with goals established for proposed programs and ample opportunities for public comment.  She also supports the referendum to continue funding the MCCSC (Monroe County Community School Corporation).     This will enable our schools to continue providing programs and services endangered by state-level budget cuts.   To learn more about candidate Fuentes-Rowher, visit her candidate Facebook page:  To learn more about the referendum, visit

– Representative from Bloomington Police Dept. –
Sgt. Pam Gladish of the Bloomington Police Department reported on the relatively low incidence of crime in the Near West Side neighborhood, with statistics for the past nine months showing 6 assaults, 9 burglaries, 4 drug complaints, and 6 alcohol complaints.   She stressed the importance of neighbors sharing information with one another regarding unusual people or activities.  She also emphasized the need to report even small criminal incidents to the police.  The city website enables online reporting of activities such as vandalism or theft (of property valued at less than $750.) as long as the incident does not involve a specific suspect. Follow the guidelines at the website to make your report:

Sgt. Gladish noted that Police Officer Kevin Frank is our neighborhood resource officer who works with HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development Department) to help resolve issues among neighbors in our community.  We discussed the possibility of having Officer Frank visit a NWSNA meeting in the future.

Rocky Festa would like to start a Neighborhood Watch Group. Neighborhood Watch Groups can be organized in several different ways. Often, according to Vicki Provine, they are not formal Watch Groups, but are simply groups of neighbors who choose to be in close communication. Sandi Clothier and others expressed concern about organizing a formal Neighborhood Watch Group, since that could make it seem as though the Near West Side has a high crime rate when in fact it doesn’t. There will be more discussion of this going forward.

– Sanitation Committee  –
Sandi Clothier informed us that she has joined the city committee that will be meeting over the next few months regarding the proposed changes in trash collection.  This proposal would replace the current “sticker system” with a flat-fee for trash collection.  Ms. Clothier will send summaries of these meetings which we will post to the neighborhood list and website.

Remember to follow opportunities for public review of this important plan.

Our next meeting will be November 15, 7-8pm. This is a Board Meeting, but open to anyone.

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Neighborhood-wide meeting

Join us, October 18th, at our quarterly neighborhood-wide meeting, 7PM at the Banneker Center.  Hear from candidate for County Commissioner, Amanda Barge, as well as a representative for school board candidate, Cathy Fuentes-Rowher, who will explain the Monroe County Schools referendum and Cathy’s support of it.

Also, Sergeant Pam Gladish from the Bloomington Police Department will discuss how to prevent neighborhood crime, and neighbor Rocky Festa will discuss the Neighborhood Watch program she has started.  Thanks to Rocky Festa for arranging Sgt. Gladish’s presentation, and for creating a Facebook page for us all: As Rocky writes, “The Near Westside of Bloomington, Indiana is a diverse community and great place to live. This page is to share information and build community.”  If you’re on Facebook, check out @nearwestsidebloomington.

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Minutes of the September 20, 2016 Board Meeting

NWSNA Meeting  September 20, 2016  

 Present:  Bill Baus, Olivia Dorfman, Carol Gulyas, Sophia Hauserman, Marsha McCarty, Susan Savastuk, Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney

 Reporting crime issues and other concerns –
In order to keep neighbors aware of any criminal activities in our neighborhood, we discussed the following procedure.   First: Be proactive to keep your property safe–lock your house and your car.  Second:  Contact the police if you are a witness to, or victim of a crime in our neighborhood;  Third:  Email the neighborhood association only if you were directly involved in the incident, so we don’t mistakenly pass on hearsay that might be inaccurate.

Our webpage  will be maintained primarily for timely community information.  Any incidents of crime will be reported to members of our neighborhood association via email.

Ms. Hauserman passed along a comment from David Ferrand that he was “tired of people sleeping in the shelters, and the city should enforce an 11 pm curfew when the park is closed.”  Ms. Savastuk commented that she has seen people sleeping in the shelters in Butler Park during the mid-morning hours.  Ms. McCarty commented that there are no homeless shelters in Bloomington that are open during the summer months.  Ms. Dorfman commented that perhaps shelter sleepers should be tolerated during the overnight hours, but discouraged during the day time.  Perhaps policing on the B-Line trail could include checking Butler Park in the mornings.   Ms. McCarty mentioned that the Mayor has been having an ongoing discussion regarding panhandling and other actions that might interfere with people’s daily activities, and suggested our concerns could be part of that conversation. We will also bring this issue up when Officer Gladish joins us for our Oct. 18th neighborhood meeting, 7pm at Banneker Center.

 Helpful APP for reporting concerns –
On a positive note, Ms. Savastuk reported that Duke Energy responded to her request to repair a broken streetlight on West 7th St., and that repairs were completed.  She also mentioned using uReport to simplify reporting general maintenance requests as well as incidents such as graffiti. Report online at this link: Or, use the Mobile App, found here:

 Comprehensive  plan
Ms. Gulyas reminded us that Bloomington is currently generating a comprehensive plan that will guide the future development of our city.  Click this link for more about the process:

Remember to follow opportunities for public review of this important plan.

Our next meeting will be October 18th at 7PM at the Banneker Center.  This is our quarterly meeting for the general membership.  Sergeant Pam Gladish from the Bloomington Police Department will give a presentation on the Neighborhood Watch program. Note:  per mutual agreement of members of the Board, the association did not meet in August 2016.

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Minutes of the July 19, 2016 Meeting

NWSNA Meeting  July 19, 2016  

 Present:  Bill Baus, Olivia Dorfman, Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Sandi Clothier, Carol Gulyas

Meeting schedule set
The quarterly meetings for the general membership will be held in January, April, July, and October at 7:00 PM in the Banneker Center.  The Board will meet monthly, with the exception of December, when a party open to the neighborhood is held.  We also plan to have a community picnic in the warmer months, possibly again in May.  We discussed creating some sort of informational handout (such as a flyer, questionnaire or fact sheet) and making it available at the December party.

Maintenance of uninhabited property  –
Olivia stopped by the Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development office with questions about the derelict house at 825 West 8th St., and was informed that the owner of the property has been notified that they have until the end of the month to clean up the yard, secure the home, and stabilize the chimney, or the town will step in and perform these tasks and bill the owner for the work.  Some cutting of the weeds has recently been done.

Duke Energy update –
Sandy reported that Duke Energy asked the City Council for a postponement of their substation project, and now have asked for the substation plan to be put back on the agenda for the end of August because of their need to get back to their corporate headquarters on the issue.

CONA meeting report –
Sandy attended the CONA meeting, where she heard a presentation from Bloomington Police Sgt. Pam Gladish suggesting neighborhood members should sign up for, a social networking site that functions as a virtual block watch and allows the police to interact with neighborhoods online.

Sandy also heard  Patty Mulvihill, Bloomington Assistant City Attorney, speaking about a proposal to regulate properties used for Airbnb rentals, and mentioned fines of $2,500 for first violation of the new regulations.

In response to questions about poor and food insecure members of our community, Sandy volunteered to share information about where we can refer people in need of food.


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Minutes of the June 21, 2016 Meeting

NWSNA Meeting June 21, 2016

Present:  Bill Baus, Sophia Hauserman, Olivia Dorfman, Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Sandi Clothier, Carol Gulyas

– Meeting Frequency –
The group agreed to follow the meeting structure called for in the Bylaws, in which the Board meets as necessary, usually once a month, while the whole membership meets quarterly The website will be updated to reflect this. How do we inform people of the change and let them know when meetings are imminent? Sandi will investigate the cost of printing “Neighborhood Meeting Tonight” signs that we can place around the neighborhood in private lawns. Flyering is also a possibility. The quarterly meetings include the Holiday Party and the Summer Picnic. We will have short meetings at these two events and hand out materials that provide points of contact and survey the neighborhood on what issues matter to them.

– Duke Substation –
Pre-meeting 6/22 at 7pm at Upland. Read Chris Sturbaum’s letter to the editor regarding this issue. Fort Wayne fought this issue successfully and the power company ended up adopting their recommendations.

The following motion was passed: The Near West Side Neighborhood Association opposes the 11th and Rogers substation in its current design, and propose it either be enclosed to look like an aesthetically pleasing building, buried, or moved to another location.

Sandi Clothier moved.

Cheryl Sweeney seconded.

Motion passed by acclamation.

– Officer elections –
The following officers were elected for a term of one year:

Carol Gulyas, President

Sophia Hauserman, Treasurer

Sandi Clothier, Vice President

Olivia Dorfman, Secretary

Board Member:  Cheryl Sweeney, Vernon Sweeney, Bill Baus

– Community Garden –
Let’s figure out a way to communicate more frequently about watering needs, etc. Next time the Garden Committee meets we will discuss this.

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