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Bemidji School District: MnDOT offers to pay Horace May property changes

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

In September, the Bemidji School District approved the Minnesota Department of Transportation's redesign of a new access road to be built at Horace May Elementary School.

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At a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, the Bemidji School District's Board of Education will vote to approve an offer by MnDOT for damages related to the property.

MnDOT's two-year, $13.5 million reconstruction of U.S. Highway 71 South is expected to be completed by next year. Next on MnDOT's list of tasks for the second phase of highway reconstruction is to build a new access road to Horace May next summer.

The proposed access involves two entry points and one exit-only point along a new frontage road that will be built. The existing car entrance at Horace May will be removed.

While this new plan saves the trees in the school's forest, half of one parking lot (roughly 50 parking spots) will be removed to make way for the new frontage road. These parking spots will have to be replaced elsewhere on the school grounds.

In order to build the new frontage road, MnDOT will need to acquire school district property. It has offered to pay the school district $161,050 for the property and for damages of building the new frontage road.

According to a memorandum n written by Bemidji School District's Director of Business Services Chris Leinen, the main factors in determining the amount of damages include:

E Rebuilding an existing parking lot.

E Fee acquisition of 2.28 acres of land.

E Access control and temporary easement to build a frontage road.

E Sign replacement and damages to an existing soccer field.

The settlement will also require Superintendent Jim Hess to execute a "Warranty Deed" and an "Offer to Sell and Memorandum of Conditions" document on behalf of the Bemidji School Board.

"Sometimes when MnDOT has to widen a road, they need to purchase additional right-of-way land, or in this case a warranty deed, which gives them the additional land they need to put in a frontage road," Leinen said. "It will likely only be a couple of acres."

When asked if the school district was supportive of MnDOT's monetary offer, Leinen said he was "OK with that." He added the district will still be responsible for snow removal and maintenance.

"We are happy we were able to save the school forest and find a safe solution for everybody," Leinen said.

In September, the Bemidji School District approved the Minnesota Department of Transportation's redesign of a new access road to be built at Horace May Elementary School.

At a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, the Bemidji School District's Board of Education will vote to approve an offer by MnDOT for damages related to the property.

MnDOT's two-year, $13.5 million reconstruction of U.S. Highway 71 South is expected to be completed by next year. Next on MnDOT's list of tasks for the second phase of highway reconstruction is to build a new access road to Horace May next summer.

The proposed access involves two entry points and one exit-only point along a new frontage road that will be built. The existing car entrance at Horace May will be removed.

While this new plan saves the trees in the school's forest, half of one parking lot (roughly 50 parking spots) will be removed to make way for the new frontage road. These parking spots will have to be replaced elsewhere on the school grounds.

In order to build the new frontage road, MnDOT will need to acquire school district property. It has offered to pay the school district $161,050 for the property and for damages of building the new frontage road.

According to a memorandum n written by Bemidji School District's Director of Business Services Chris Leinen, the main factors in determining the amount of damages include:

- Rebuilding an existing parking lot.

- Fee acquisition of 2.28 acres of land.

- Access control and temporary easement to build a frontage road.

- Sign replacement and damages to an existing soccer field.

The settlement will also require Superintendent Jim Hess to execute a "Warranty Deed" and an "Offer to Sell and Memorandum of Conditions" document on behalf of the Bemidji School Board.

"Sometimes when MnDOT has to widen a road, they need to purchase additional right-of-way land, or in this case a warranty deed, which gives them the additional land they need to put in a frontage road," Leinen said. "It will likely only be a couple of acres."

When asked if the school district was supportive of MnDOT's monetary offer, Leinen said he was "OK with that." He added the district will still be responsible for snow removal and maintenance.

"We are happy we were able to save the school forest and find a safe solution for everybody," Leinen said.

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