Parks, streets and trails discussed during Bemidji City Council meeting

Featured photo: Award of Excellence presented during the City Council meeting from the Minnesota Parks and Recreation Association. Michelle Snider represented the MPRA (far right).

The Bemidji City Council approved numerous items by unanimous vote during their meeting Monday.

One item that did not pass was an idea between Northwoods Habitat for Humanity and the City of Bemidji to use program income funds for the demolition of condemnable structures for new sites for Habitat homes.

Assistant City Attorney Katie Nolting advised that while Habitat is a worthy program, such a use would not be appropriate for taxpayer dollars.

City Finance Director Ron Eischens said that the city’s traditionally waived various fees for new Habitat sites, such as building permits and sewer and water connection fees.

Earlier in the meeting, the council was presented with an award from the Minnesota Parks and Recreation Association for the collaborative, community-wide effort of the North Country Park natural playground project.

The project, which is still ongoing, met numerous points of excellence for the award, according to MPRA’s Michelle Snider.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved both consent agendas, with a bill from ASM Global amended (was around $21,000, amended to around $16,000).
  • Approved outdoor dining permits for Table for 7, permitting a sidewalk cafe.
  • Awarded a bid for the 23rd St. NW trail project that will begin this summer.
  • Awarded a quote for a Park Ave. NW storm sewer project near the former T. Juan’s building.
  • Approved a revised memorandum of understanding with the Bemidji Rotary Club for the North Country Park Natural Playscapes Project, and an amendment with Learning Landscape Designs professional services agreement for the project.
  • Approved three capital improvement items for the Sanford Center, with a point-of-sale system purchase to come from funds contributed by ASM Global, and repairs to the ice plant and ice rink coming from a capital improvement fund established for the Sanford Center.
  • Held the first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s alcoholic beverages code to align with the latest changes on the state level, permitting six-pack off-sales at craft breweries.
  • Held the final reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of real property. This is among the last of the city’s South Shore parcels. A public hearing was held before the regular meeting under the Bemidji Economic Development Authority, or BEDA.

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