Bemidji City Council discusses city role in developing Rail Corridor in special work session

Featured photo: A conceptual drawing of a possible Wellness District in the current Rail Corridor. No formal action was taken during Tuesday’s special meeting.

The Bemidji City Council met for a special meeting Tuesday to discuss a report on developing the Rail Corridor.

According to a recap from City Manager Nate Mathews, the consulting report looked into the city’s role in developing a Sanford Health Wellness Center, which would not be owned by the city.

The city would have an anticipated $10 million in public infrastructure costs to develop the site, such as streets, waterlines, sewers and sidewalks.

Mathews said that a tax-increment financing district for the site would be feasible to pay for those costs.

The city has owned the rail corridor for around 20 years, and it is a brownfield site that would have significant clean-up costs to move contaminated soils either into berms or off-site.

Mathews said the city council indicated there would be opportunities for public involvement on this topic in the near future.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area