Bemidji City Council to discuss removing outdoor dining barricades

In addition to the Bemidji City Council’s planned discussion on Highway 197, the council will also discuss removing the barricades in downtown parking spaces.

The barricades, in a similar vein to last year, were installed to allow downtown restaurants additional outdoor seating capacity.

Now that Gov. Tim Walz has relaxed most of the indoor dining restrictions on restaurants and bars, the council will now consider removing the barricades.

City manager Nate Mathews is recommending downtown barricades be removed by May 28, as indoor capacity limits from the state will be lifted on that date.

The rented barricades, if allowed to remain until Sept. 30, will cost four downtown restaurants about $9,250.

If the council chooses to remove them by May 28, the city will receive a $3,000 credit.

Other items on this evening’s agenda include:

  • Consider a proposal for phase 2 of the Water Treatment Plant design. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for this Friday. The city’s water has now been treated for about one month at about 1,500 gallons per minute. The second phase would allow for up to 2,500 gallons of water to be treated per minute.
  • A report from Greater Bemidji’s Dave Hengel, as well as routine council reports from Council members Josh Peterson and Audrey Thayer.
  • A public hearing to consider an application to DEED’s Community Development Block Grant. This grant could be used to retrofit buildings into homeless shelters.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m., following a Public Works Committee meeting at 5 p.m., and can be streamed on Webex.

To view the full city packet with meeting access instructions, click here.


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.


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