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Bemidji School Board: Enbridge project, school calendar options on agenda

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji School Board will consider on Monday night a proposed memorandum of understanding with Enbridge Energy.

Enbridge plans to locate a temporary construction headquarters east of Bemidji High School as the company works on the construction of two pipelines.

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The board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the BHS Media Center. The meeting is scheduled earlier than usual because a choir concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at BHS.

The proposed memorandum of understanding is among several items on the agenda. The agenda also includes three school calendar options for the 2009-2010 school year.

Enbridge plans to operate its temporary construction headquarters on 38.17 acres on two parcels of land along U.S. Highway 2 for about 18 months.

After Enbridge completes work on the two pipelines - the Alberta Clipper Pipeline and the Southern Lights Pipeline - 31.36 acres of the land would be offered for sale to the Bemidji School District at a reduced price, according to Chris Leinen, director of business services at the district.

The proposed memorandum of understanding between the district and Enbridge states that the purchase price for the district would be $200,000, which represents roughly half of Enbridge's per acre cost in purchasing the property.

Enbridge would retain the remaining 6.81 acres for pipeline placement, Leinen said.

The proposed memorandum of understanding includes several terms of agreement, including the following:

-- Enbridge would not use the headquarters as a long-term pipe storage area.

-- Enbridge could use a part of district land as needed to place a temporary service road.

-- In developing and operating the headquarters, Enbridge could connect, install and operate utilities as it deems advisable.

-- Enbridge could close the existing driveway to the tennis courts on the BHS campus.

-- Enbridge would build a barrier to prevent, to the extent reasonably possible, sound and light from impacting residences south of the headquarters.

-- Enbridge would establish fencing and security patrols to secure the headquarters.

-- Enbridge would install temporary portable traffic signals to control traffic to and from the headquarters.

-- Enbridge would maintain use of the district's sprinkler system on and beneath district land and fully restore it after use of the affected portions of district land.

-- Enbridge and the district would cooperate in establishing signage for the headquarters.

The proposed memorandum of understanding also states that Enbridge would complete construction activities at the headquarters no later than Oct. 1, 2010, and thereafter close the headquarters and restore the property similar to the current condition of the property.

The restoration would include rebuilding and blacktopping the driveway near the tennis courts if deemed necessary by the district, replacing the existing parking lot north of the tennis courts with sod and removing broken asphalt from the site, and establishing a base for a replacement parking lot.

Calendar options

Also Monday, the board will hold the first reading related to setting a school calendar for the 2009-2010 school year.

"We are currently waiting on the outcome of a bill to repeal the Labor Day school start provisions," Superintendent Jim Hess said in a memorandum to the board.

Hess said the board is scheduled to hold a second reading and consider adopting a school calendar in March.

There are three school calendar options proposed.

Under the first calendar, students' first day would be Sept. 8 - after Labor Day - and last day would be June 4. Under the second calendar, students' first day would be Sept. 1 - before Labor Day - and last day would be June 3. Under the third calendar, students' first day would be Aug. 31 - also before Labor Day - and last day would be June 3.

The first calendar would have winter break from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3, the second calendar would have winter break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 and the third calendar would have winter break from Dec. 21 to Jan. 3.

Listening session

The board's monthly listening session will be held from 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday in the BHS Commons. Board member John Pugleasa will be available to visit with the public.

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