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Bemidji City Council action

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Among notable action taken at the Bemidji City Council meeting Monday:

Payment of bills

The City Council considered paying the bills totaling more than $1.1 million.

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ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve, but pulled a bill for $60,292.08 to Lawntech Inc. for its work on Highway 197. Councilor Nancy Erickson requested that the bill not be paid at this time.

Youth Advisory Commission

The council considered the bylaws presented by the Bemidji Youth Advisory Commission. The commission submitted the bylaws for council approval, but asked that they be approved without requiring ninth- to 12th-grade students to be enrolled in school.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve.

Public hearing for CI bonds

The council held a public hearing on the five-year capital improvement plan which includes issuing general obligation bonds to finance a portion of the new Public Works Facility. No one from the public spoke.

ACTION: No action required.

Personnel Policy

The council considered a change to the Personnel Policy in which it would state, "However, any offer made to a prospective employee that is outside the approved salary range and/or benefit packet must first be approved by the council." This would clarify whether the city manager has the authority to hire a prospective employee outside of the salary range approved by the council.

The council also considered changing the non-union administrative guidelines to state, "Pay adjustments that are made for reasons other than promotion (e.g. economic or competitive conditions) may be made only after careful consideration and will require approval by the city manager and City Council." The guidelines currently state that "... will require approval by the city manager."

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve the change to the Personnel Policy. The council voted 3-4 to not change the non-union administrative guidelines.

Policy Manual

The council considered a policy statement from the Labor Management Committee that states that performance evaluations should be held annually. The statement also details the process in which evaluations will be conducted, and, if requested, in which they may be appealed.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve.

Diamond Point Park system

The council was scheduled to consider authorization of an irrigation system at Diamond Point Park.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to postpone the matter.

Jerry Downs' appointment

The council considered a request from Councilor Jerry Downs to be to a voting member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

ACTION: A motion to approve the request failed for a lack of a second.

HRDC proposal

The council considered a proposal from Headwaters Regional Development Commission in which HRDC would be the project coordinator of the events center. The cost would be capped at $48,500.

ACTION: The council voted 6-1 to approve. Councilor Roger Hellquist cast the dissenting vote.

Present: Richard Lehmann, mayor; Onen Markeson, Ward 1; Roger Hellquist, Ward 2; Ron Johnson; Ward 3; Jerry Downs, Ward 4; Nancy Erickson, Ward 5; Barb Meuers; at-large.

For more information on City Council actions, call the city clerk's office at 759-3570.

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