Bemidji Council to discuss uses of $1.6m in ARP funding

The Bemidji City Council will discuss ways to use $1.63 million in American Rescue Plan funding during their work session Monday.

The funding, which should be spent by the end of 2024, can be used to either respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.

The city could use the funding to help households, small businesses and nonprofits, as well as aid impacted industries such as tourism and hospitality.

Other eligible funding uses include bonuses to essential workers or investments in infrastructure such as water, sewer and broadband.

City staff is recommending using the funds for a wastewater treatment plant clarifier, which would reduce debt financing needs and keep sewer rates lower.

The total cost for this project is expected to be $6 million.

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