BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The city of Bloomington is adjusting to the growth in the area.

Three drones will be purchased for the police department to help with crime prevention. The total for the drones is $101,675.02 and they will be purchased over the course of five years.

“In the past the Chief of Police had talked about the ability to watch when there’s large events,” said Mayor Mboka Mwilambe. “We’ve had some concerts, for example, which were outdoors where you had a quite a few people. It makes a little bit difficult to be able to provide security. So having those kind of gives them the idea if there can be trouble spots.”

A site plan and special use were approved for a Starbucks with a drive-through in Ward Seven at 1609 W. Market St. This development will make it the only coffee shop in Alderman Mollie Ward’s ward.

“It’s about time because people in Ward 7 need some coffee. I look forward to this,” she said.

The council also approved a resolution to receive settlement money from National Opioid Class Action Lawsuits. There isn’t a definite number but the city predicts to receive approximately $380,000 over the course of 14 years. The money will have restricted use but is expected to help prevent the spread of opioid use. To learn about the city’s participation and the settlements click here.

The council approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2024 which will begin May 1. Councilmembers Grant Walch and Shelia Montney voted against the approval of the budget.

The budget is $290,089,570. It’s 7.8% increase from the 2023 adopted budget which was $269.1 million. The budget includes $69.7 million in capital projects. There was also a budget amendment of $45,000 for the city’s annual donation to the McLean County Museum of History. This is separate so Alderwoman Julie Emig can recuse herself from the vote since she is the executive director of the museum.

The city staff is growing with the approval to have a second deputy city manager. Mayor Mwilambe said it allows for more accountability and availability to deliver for the residents of Bloomington.

“I’m supporting it with the idea in mind that this is about adding efficiency operationally and effectively driving the cost down and driving efficiency up to achieve the right results on these projects. It isn’t just adding a head count,” said Ward 5 Alderman Nick Becker.

Mayor Mwilambe said companies like Rivian and Ferrero help increase the population which in turns increases the projects.

“So that’s really forcing us as a city to respond to all the needs of the community. Then we have all these other projects that really enhance the quality of life for our residents,” Mwilambe said.