This year’s State of the City Address drew a line in the sand between state lawmakers’ interests and the city’s goals, including a new plan to power Bloomington.

Mayor John Hamilton delivered the final address of his first term Thursday evening. He recounted the city’s successes leading up to its third century before listing challenges Bloomington still has to face: homelessness, substance abuse, hunger, climate change and more. The mayor also detailed a slew of legislative roadblocks the city has faced in its efforts to raise the minimum wage and create affordable housing.

“This state legislature seems to be looking backward,” Hamilton said. “Even today, they refused to pass a real hate crime bill. They are close to passing a bill effectively banning abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. They may arm our teachers. They shut their eyes to climate change. We, in this progressive community, will keep fighting for our city’s future.”

Hamilton promised Thursday to convene a task force in the next 60 days to study the city’s energy systems, mobility, food and infrastructure.

“I’m directing this new task force to evaluate whether, and how, we might convert our wastewater plant to an anaerobic digestion process,” Hamilton said.

Vic Kelson, City of Bloomington Utilities director, said the Dillman Road wastewater treatment plant currently uses an aerobic system. He said the current system for treating the city’s wastewater produces a sludge of mostly dead micro-organisms. City employees feed that sludge oxygen and deprive them of food so that the remaining micro-organisms essentially digest themselves.

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