New Funding Moves B-Line Forward As Ceremony Marks Groundbreaking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2008

For more information, please contact:
Daniel Lopez, Communications Director, City of Bloomington, 349-CITY, lopezd@bloomington.in.gov

Parks & Recreation Director Mick Renneisen and Mayor Mark Kruzan City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation Director Mick Renneisen and Mayor Mark Kruzan

Bloomington, IN - Construction for Phase I of the B-Line Trail is set to begin this week, and a late infusion of new state and local funding took center stage at Tuesday morning's groundbreaking ceremony. The economic development project, referred to by Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan as the most significant on the city's agenda, will transform the community and generate the kind of responsible economic growth so vital to its continued surge as a "destination city."

Tuesday's ceremony, preceded by a parade down a portion of the Trail, brought together local business, school children, City staff and civic leaders who celebrated the many ways the project will impact the community. But while the event focused primarily on outlining the economic and social benefits the project will bring, the announcement of new funding from the State of Indiana as well as the Bloomington Board of Realtors demonstrated just how collaborative an effort the B-Line Trail really is.

"We are ecstatic that the Board of Realtors and the Governor's Office, through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, understand the importance of this project, not only for the City of Bloomington, but for the entire region and our state," Kruzan said. "Collaboration with both the state and with private groups within our community is essential to the continued forward movement of the B-Line. These groups have grasped the enormity of it all, and through their generosity we can begin exploring the details of Phase II."

Much of the original funding for Phase I of the project came to the City through a Transportation B-Line Logo Enhancement Grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), with Bloomington matching 20 percent of those funds for design, construction and the purchasing of the CSX rail line. The Bloomington Board of Realtors, a local group committed to the continued economic strength of the city, also raised $50,000 of private funding for the Trail. These resources have helped move Phase I along and have helped tie together the community vision for the project.

But the biggest news of the day came of day came from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which presented Kruzan with a check for $900,000 for Phase II. This financial injection will allow the City to develop plans for the next piece of the Trail while construction on the downtown portion moves forward.

"This community is so excited for this project to get underway, and the fact that we are here celebrating today shows what can happen when the state, the city and the community come together for a common vision," Kruzan said.

Click here for more photos of the ceremony



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