Bemidji City Council to hear updates on water treatment plant, Sanford Center transition

The Bemidji City Council will discuss two items during their work session this evening. First, a discussion on the next phase of the water treatment plant.

The first phase has been in operation for just shy of a year.

Phase 2 will expand the city’s capacity to 2,500 gallons per minute. City Engineer Craig Gray has said that the city uses between 2,000 to 2,200 gallons per minute during the summer’s hottest days.

The first phase has a capacity of 1,600 to 1,800 gallons per minute.

The water treatment plant is designed to remove a forever chemical known as PFAs. PFAs contaminated the city’s well field underneath the airport during routine firefighting training exercises.

Construction on the second phase of the plant is expected to begin in early July and be completed by the end of 2023.

The city has about $10.2 million in state bond funds toward the project, with an estimated city cost share of the project to come from the city’s water utility fund.

The council, in the second part of their work session, will hear an update from the Sanford Center Transition Team.

VenuWorks’ contract ends on March 6, and the city has partnered with Convention, Sports and Leisure to assist them with finding a new management company.


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!


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