The Bemidji City Council will discuss an incentive program during their work session this evening.
City staffers have discussed possibly using dollars obtained from negotiations with 3M to encourage property owners in the Bardwell Park neighborhood, south of Anne Street, to connect to city water.
Potential incentives to connect the Bardwell Park area to city water would be either waiving water access charges, with a cost ranging from $840 to $1,270; or the city could pay for part of the water connection cost, between $1,000 to $2,000.
That neighborhood is immediately southeast of the city’s well fields and if the PFAs plume detected in the wells were to leave the airport property, that is the direction they would most likely go.
These private wells were tested by MDH and PFAs were not detected.
The PFAs in the wellfield are believed to have been sourced to 3M-manufactured firefighting foam, used at the airport decades ago.
The city has since constructed the first phase of a water treatment plant to filter out these chemical compounds, which studies have pointed to being carcinogenic.