BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Planning will begin Monday, on a project aimed at transforming downtown Bloomington.

The $750,000 contract will begin phase one planning for a downtown Bloomington streetscape, and it’s coming from the city’s ARPA funds.

It’s a project many are aiming to improve walkability, create a sense of space and improve infrastructure.

Those involved in the planning process for the project presented to city council and the public the five goals of the project:

1 SHARED SPACES

2 ACTIVATED OPEN SPACE

3 UNIFORM SENSE OF PLACE

4 CONNECTIVITY

5 INFRASTRUCTURE

Council voted by a slim margin of 5 to 4, after almost an hour of discussion. Some council members wanted the price tag for planning to come down.

Ward 5’s Nick Becker even made a motion to send it back to staff to come up with a plan that would only spend 20% of the $750 thousand. That was voted down 6 to 3. Those in support, including Bloomington Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe, said they need plans in place to secure additional funding.

“The sooner we’ll have projects that are conceived and then go out for funding. We can’t sit back and wait another four weeks, another eight weeks, we have to get going now because we never know when the funding is going to be available,” Mwilambwe said.

BeerNuts President Andy Shirk gave public comment Monday night and said the project is an investment in the city’s future.

Nothing biddable will come from this round of planning. It’s expected this process will take about a year to complete.