The Bemidji City Council approved a two-year moratorium on sewer and water access connection charges, commonly referred to as SAC and WAC, during their meeting yesterday evening.
According to City Manager Nate Mathews, the moratorium, as well as a SAC and WAC loan deferral program, is designed to promote development on the city’s in-fill lots, lots that already have access to water and sewer but the previous house was torn down or is dilapidated.
Community Development Director Steve Jones said the program would not be available to commercial development, as some council members asked, because the city would have make up the cost difference, whereas the cost implication for single-family housing isn’t as prohibitive.
The Council also heard a revolving loan fund request from Bemidji Steel.
Bemidji Steel is looking at purchasing a state-of-the-art laser cutter from Europe, and already was approved from the Headwaters Regional Development Commission for a loan for over half of it.
The council did approve the request of just under $75,000. The revolving loan fund currently has a balance of over $900,000.