College classes are back in session! You can have a social life this semester without going broke—if you know where to look for the many opportunities for free fun around town.
Tag Archives: money
Last night the Bloomington Utilities Services Board gave the go-ahead for a one-point-two-million-dollar painting project at the Redbud Water Tank and the Dillman Road Wastewater Treatment Plant; The problems with implementing Bloomington’s zoning rules for commercial businesses came up last night at a meeting of the Bloomington Plan Commission; The Indiana Department of Revenue will conduct what it calls Tax Amnesty 2015 for two months beginning on September 15th; Indiana‘s new laws for youth drivers took effect at the beginning of this month.
In Southwest Indiana, Jim Schroeder is preparing for his 8th trip to Haiti. Jim has formed a club with over 70 members across southern Indiana who raise funds for his unique missionary program. IU student reporter Olivia DeWeese brings us this story, which comes courtesy of American Student Radio and the IU Media School.
INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
If you’re lucky, you get a chance to get out of town a few days each summer. But just because you’re taking a break from work doesn’t mean you’re taking a vacation from being money smart.
Anchors: Chris Martin, Araceli Gomez
Today’s headlines were written by Jordan Guskey and Sierra Gardner
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Olivia DeWeese
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Harrison Wagner
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Opponents of Duke Energy’s Edwardsport coal gasification plant have lost another battle in the fight to keep Duke from passing on plant development costs to consumers.
Last week, the Indiana Court of Appeal unanimously upheld an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission ruling in 2012 to allow Duke to increase by 16 percent its monthly charges to its 790,000 Indiana customers to cover increases in costs of its Edwardsport plant.
The appeal to the courts to overturn the IURC deal with Duke was launched by several environmental and consumer groups.
The 618-megawatt plant near Edwardsport had an original 2007 cost estimate of $1.9 billion, but that eventually ballooned to about $3.5 billion. In a 2012 settlement between Duke and the IURC, the commission limited Duke to passing on $2.6 billion of construction costs to its customers. This settlement included the 16 percent rate increase that was the subject of the court appeal.
Duke had been applying this increase to it customers bills since then and, with the court ruling, will continue to do so.
Kerwin Olson of the Citizens Action Coalition say they appealed and are waiting on the ruling.
“We have every intention of taking this as far as we can,” Olson says.
Olson estimates that Duke’s Indiana customers are paying about 15 dollars monthly for the plant which went online last summer.
Since then, it has operated between 10 and 60 percent of capacity.
The City of Bloomington Arts Commission has announced that revised guidelines and applications are available for the April Cycle of its 2014 Arts Project Grant Program.Grant amounts have been increased to $1,500 for 2014.
The program supported 34 arts projects in 2013. The Commission will hold a drop-in workshop for applicants on Wednesday, March 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the McCloskey Conference room in City Hall.
Grant applications that have been submitted will be reviewed during the Bloomington Arts Commission meeting, scheduled to take place on April 9 at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The application deadline is April 1 at 5 p.m. Guidelines and applications are available on the City of Bloomington Website.
The Indiana State Senate voted 37 to 1 to pass Senate Bill 340 earlier this month, a bill that would ultimately change Indiana’s statewide energy saving program. Jodi Perras, Indiana Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, further explains what effect the bill will have.
“As it’s written now, big business can withdraw from the energy efficiency programs,” Perras says, “That means the rest of us will pay for the programs and the large facilities opting out is like us taking our two best players off the basketball floor.”
These utility programs seek to create less demand for energy, and Perras says they ultimately save everyone money. She says that passing Senate Bill 340 would benefit big industries, but hurt citizens along the way.
“We see big utilities that don’t like energy efficiency, and they have a lot of voice in the statehouse,” Perras says, “We need voters across the state to voice their opinion.”
According to Perras, utilities were forced to participate in these programs beginning in 2009, leading to energy efficiency. She says that efficiency is now under attack at the statehouse.
“People need to wake up and know that big utilities are trying to fight energy efficiency,” Perras says, “These are programs that keep our electricity rates down for schools, universities and we need to make sure these programs keep going.”
Perras says The Sierra Club stresses the importance of the public’s voice in dealing with Indiana’s environmental issues.
United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana and partners have launched the Free Community Tax Service for this year in Monroe and Owen counties. Community Initiative Director, Ashley Hall says the program started four years ago.
“A lot of our sites in the community had been offering volunteer tax assistance many years before that, but they hadn’t come together as a cohesive program,” Hall says, “United Way came on board to bring together these people working on it and to bring on board people we had hoped to get involved.”
As the service continues to grow it has been able to provide help to more people in the community.
“The program expands every year we offer it,” Hall says, “There are more sites and options. Not only are there full-service, one-on-one options, there are self-service sites and an online option you can do anytime. We have continued to utilize more volunteers from the community, and we already have about 200 IRS-certified volunteers.”
Individuals can file their own taxes for free at a self-service site at WorkOne or online at MyFreeTaxes.com/Bloomington. A few locations that the Mobile sites will visit include Bloomington Housing Authority, LifeDesigns, Positive Link and Stone Belt. Hall says the purpose of the program is to offer free tax preparation and to make sure residents know they are eligible for valuable credits.
“The credit is important because we know that about 25 percent of people eligible don’t claim their credit,” Hall says.
For more information on the Free Community Tax Service you can visit MonroeUnitedWay.org/FreeTaxes.
The City of Bloomington’s Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development is hosting the Home Buyers Club, starting this weekend.
The workshops will help first-time home buyers learn about the home buying process.
“The Home Buyers Club is offered three or four times a year,” Assistant director of the department Marilyn Patterson, said, “It’s taught by people from the city and from our banking partners, home inspectors, appraisers, and people part of our community that do this every day.”
Patterson says the goal is to help people who have never had the opportunity to buy a house to understand the process. She also says the certificate may help students to gain access to different kinds of loans that they may not have had access to without homebuyer’s education.
The first two workshops will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, and Feb 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 .pm, at City Hall in the Showers Building. The workshops are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. For more information on how to register contact HAND at 812-349-3401.
Following a bank robbery Monday afternoon, a suspect has been apprehended and detained by the Bloomington Police Department, charged with two counts of robbery and a charge of resisting law enforcement.
According to Captain Joe Qualters with the Bloomington Police Department, money was taken from the People’s State Bank located at 301 East Winslow Road, and all of that money has now been recovered.