Council approves 2021 budget and levy

The Bemidji City Council approved the final budget and levy for next year during their last meeting of this year. According to City Finance Director Ron Eischens, the levy will increase 6.5% compared to last year, but due to the value of new construction and the increase in property values, the tax rate will remain the same.

The council also approved the 2021 budget for the Sanford Center.

According to city documents, the event center is anticipating less income and expenses to flow through, as there won’t be a lot of income-generating hockey activity until at least March, and no concerts until at least June.

The Sanford Center is anticipating an operating loss of around $591,000 before the city’s investment of $450,000, which leaves a net loss at around $141,000.

Last year, the net loss was around $3,600.

Following the regular meeting, the council held a brief recognition ceremony for outgoing council member Michael Meehlhause and Mayor Rita Albrecht.

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 events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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