Bemidji City Council tables rental code amendments, secondary second reading slated for Dec. 19

The Bemidji City Council decided to table the second reading of an ordinance amending the city’s rental code.

After hearing public comment from three area landlords, the council could not move forward, with the majority of the council favoring changing the occupancy limits, an issue which, according to Ward 4 council member Emelie Rivera who sat on a committee that reviewed the changes, was not part of the revision goals.

After a failed 3-4 vote to move the ordinance amendment as written, without occupancy limit changes, the council will again review this in a second reading on Dec. 19.

The earliest possible final reading would then take place in January, with a six-member council.

In other business, the council:

  • Tabled the appointment of Earl LaMaack to the Visit Bemidji Advisory Board. This item was removed from the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Heard a report from the city Recreation department.
  • Held the final reading of an ordinance amending the 2023 Fee Schedule and authorized publication of the said ordinance.
  • Authorized the feasibility study for the 2023 Norton Avenue Reconstruction Project.
  • Authorized appointments to the Rail Corridor Redevelopment committee, with Mayor Jorge Prince and councilmembers Lynn Eaton and Audrey Thayer. This measure passed 5-2.
  • Authorized the creation of an Ad Hoc JPB Transition Committee, with Mayor Jorge Prince and councilmembers Ron Johnson and Audrey Thayer appointed to the committee. This measure passed 6-1.

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