Bloomington staffers flip 2 votes, council approves contract with Washington lobbying firm

Downtown Bloomington, Illinois.
Downtown Bloomington, Illinois.(25 News / Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 9:54 PM CST
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BLOOMINGTON (25 News Now) - The Bloomington City Council reversed course Monday night, choosing to hire a Washington lobbying firm to help secure more federal funding for the city.

The council voted 6-3 for a three-year contract with Thorn Run Partners that will cost taxpayers $270,000 over the life of the contract.

At the Jan. 23 council meeting, members rejected the proposal on a 5-4 vote, but De Urban from Ward 6 and Tom Crumpler from Ward 9 changed their votes.

Amendments were made this time around in which the city council can cancel the contract for any reason with a month’s notice.

Also voting for the contract were Donna Boelen from Ward 2, Julie Emig from Ward 4, Mollie Ward from Ward 7 and Jeff Crabill from Ward 8.

As they did last month, Council members Grant Walch from Ward 1, Sheila Montney from Ward 3 and Nick Becker from Ward 5 voted against the contract.

The agreement calls for the city to pay the firm $7,500 a month for its services.