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Bemidji City Council: 2 a.m. bar vote expected: Councilors face full agenda for Monday night meeting

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News Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Whether Bemidji will allow bars the option of staying open until 2 a.m. should be known Monday night.

The Bemidji City Council is set to hold the final reading and take the final vote on a proposed ordinance that would allow for a 2 a.m. bar closing time.

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The council is scheduled to convene at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The public hearing on the extended bar time proposal was held Dec. 6.

While it will likely garner the most attention during the meeting, the bar time ordinance is included in a pretty full end-of-the-year council agenda.

Also on the agenda is a public hearing on the 2011-2015 Capital Improvement Plan, adoption of the final budget and level, consideration of the 2011 The Sanford Center budget, consideration of plans for a new Wastewater Treatment Facility digester, and consideration of contracts for union employees.

The five-year CIP is a long-term guide that schedules plans for major capital improvements and equipment purchases.

The current CIP estimates the cost at $27.2 million for construction and $4.2 million for equipment purchases.

The full listing CIP list can be found online at ci.bemidji.mn.us.

2011 budget/levy

The council adopted a preliminary tax levy of $3,798,766, or an increase of 3 percent ($111,382). The city tax rate decreased from 42.36 to 42.3.

The complete budget can be found online at ci.bemidji.mn.us.

Sanford budget

The proposed 2011 budget for The Sanford Center is projecting a $338,718 operating deficit.

It also includes the following projections:

E 217 events with 155,825 attendance.

E Total operating revenue of $2.05 million, including the first installation of naming rights funds Sanford Health.

E Operating expenses of $2.39 million.

E Catering is expected to bring in $321,000 and concessions $789,000.

WWTF digester

The current CIP includes $2.93 million for a new digester building for the WWTF.

The city's consultant, Bolton & Menk, have designed the project. Engineering and specifications are ready to be submitted and advertised for bids, if the council approves.

The estimate for construction of the project is now at $3.581 million, higher than the original CIP amount.

Craig Gray, the city's public works director/city engineer, said the higher costs are due to two main reasons.

"First, as design progressed it became apparent that other plant items and processes should be upgraded with this project that will result in lower long-term costs," he wrote in his memorandum to the council. "Secondly, Bolton & Menk have stated that they have been seeing an escalation in bid prices in the past 4-6 months."

Despite the higher estimated costs, Gray said he still recommends the project because the digester would allow the system to handle a future service population of 23,400.

"This is estimated as a service year 2045 or 2050 depending on our rate of growth," he wrote.

The five-year CIP is a long-term guide that schedules plans for major capital improvements and equipment purchases.

The current CIP estimates the cost at $27.2 million for construction and $4.2 million for equipment purchases.

The full listing CIP list can be found online at ci.bemidji.mn.us.

2011 budget/levy

The council adopted a preliminary tax levy of $3,798,766, or an increase of 3 percent ($111,382). The city tax rate decreased from 42.36 to 42.3.

The complete budget can be found online at ci.bemidji.mn.us.

Sanford budget

The proposed 2011 budget for The Sanford Center is projecting a $338,718 operating deficit.

It also includes the following projections:

- 217 events with 155,825 attendance.

- Total operating revenue of $2.05 million, including the first installation of naming rights funds Sanford Health.

- Operating expenses of $2.39 million.

- Catering is expected to bring in $321,000 and concessions $789,000.

WWTF digester

The current CIP includes $2.93 million for a new digester building for the WWTF.

The city's consultant, Bolton & Menk, have designed the project. Engineering and specifications are ready to be submitted and advertised for bids, if the council approves.

The estimate for construction of the project is now at $3.581 million, higher than the original CIP amount.

Craig Gray, the city's public works director/city engineer, said the higher costs are due to two main reasons.

"First, as design progressed it became apparent that other plant items and processes should be upgraded with this project that will result in lower long-term costs," he wrote in his memorandum to the council. "Secondly, Bolton & Menk have stated that they have been seeing an escalation in bid prices in the past 4-6 months."

Despite the higher estimated costs, Gray said he still recommends the project because the digester would allow the system to handle a future service population of 23,400.

"This is estimated as a service year 2045 or 2050 depending on our rate of growth," he wrote.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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