McLean County Chamber hosts State of Bloomington-Normal conversation

Local News

BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Bloomington-Normal’s two mayors say there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year.

Tuesday, Mayors Mboka Mwilambwe and Chris Koos spoke to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and highlighted achievements, challenges of 2021 and outlined their goals for 2022.

Both mayors said their respective municipalities had strong growth in 2021 despite coming out of the pandemic. Mwilmabwe highlighted Ferrero’s expansion of its Bloomington plant to include a chocolate processing factory, and Koos pointed to Rivian and the expectations they’ve exceeded in employment.

Mayor Mwilambwe and Mayor Koos both said their biggest priorities going into the next year is continuing to improve infrastructure, including roads, sewers and water.

“We got to focus on sewers, but we also got to focus on streets resurfacing because those are things people see, and they’ve been clambering for,” Mwilmabwe said.

“You got to have good bones and if you fall behind on that, it’s just incredibly hard to catch up,” Koos said.

Koos said nearly 70% of COVID relief money in Normal has gone towards infrastructure, mainly roads.

In Bloomington, Mwilmabwe said $2 million alone in COVID relief money went toward speeding up the Locust-Colton Combined Sewer Overflow project in the city’s older neighborhoods.

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