Well ordinance fails after Bemidji City Council deadlock

The first meeting of the newly seated Bemidji City Council included one measure failing to pass due to a deadlock.

One motion originally failed but eventually carried around the $30,000 payment to Greater Bemidji. The item was pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion.

Greater Bemidji Executive Director Dave Hengel insisted to the new council that the payment was a bill for services rendered, not a contribution, on economic development activities.

The final reading and adoption of a new ordinance prohibiting new wells where city water services are available failed with a 3-3 deadlock, with Emelie Rivera, Nancy Erickson and newcomer Audrey Thayer voting for it, and Josh Peterson, Ron Johnson, and new mayor Jorge Prince voting against it.

A special election for the vacant at-large seat will be held Feb. 9, with the victor of that race becoming the seventh member.

The council also approved a signage initiative reminding visitors and citizens that it is unlawful to leave keys in an unattended vehicle.


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 all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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