BLOOMINGTON— Unofficial election results show six returning members and one new member will serve on the city council starting in 2024. Bloomington residents also approved a local options sales tax to fund $155 million in community investments.
Voter turnout was high for the 2023 election, according to city and election officials. Numbers show that overall, 35.91% of voters cast ballots in this year’s election.
“This is the highest turnout for a regularly scheduled city election in 20 years,” City Clerk Christina Scipioni said.
For the first time in the city’s history, all of Bloomington’s City Council seats, including the mayor, were up for election. Bloomington voters returned Tim Busse as mayor. Jenna Carter and Chao Moua will return to their seats as at-large council members. Dwayne A. Lowman will again represent District 1. Shawn Nelson was reelected as District 2 council member. Lona Dallessandro will return to represent District 3. And Victor Rivas was elected to his first term representing District 4. The results become official after they are canvassed at the city council meeting on Monday, November 13.
During this year’s election, Bloomington voters also approved a new half-percent sales tax to provide $155 million for a new community health and wellness center, renovating the 50-year-old Bloomington Ice Garden, and enhancing and protecting the Nine Mile Creek Corridor, and Moir and Central Parks.
“Our residents understand that when we invest in public health and wellness, recreation and natural resources, we are investing in Bloomington’s quality of life and the local economy,” Mayor Tim Busse said. “By using a local sales tax, nonresidents will contribute approximately 65% toward the cost of these projects.”
Bloomington voters considered three ballot questions that would be supported by the local sales tax. Question one requested $100 million to replace the Creekside Community Center and Public Health buildings with a new community health and wellness center. According to unofficial election results, this question passed with 56.18% voting yes. Question two requested $35 million to modernize and update the Bloomington Ice Garden, which was approved by 53.05% of voters. Question three requested $20 million to restore more than 100 acres of prairie, creek and woodland habitat and other outdoor park amenities in the Nine Mile Creek Corridor. This question passed with 52.30% voting yes.
In total, the City will invest $159 million to complete the three projects outlined in its Bloomington Forward investment plan. City officials have stated that the sales tax “will generate $155 million to finance the projects over a 20-year period.” The remaining $4 million will be provided by the State of Minnesota.