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City Council: Utility fee increase proposed

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BEMIDJI – A public hearing addressing changes to an increase in electric and gas utility franchise fees is set Monday during the Bemidji City Council meeting.

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The proposal, if approved, would raise residents’ utility franchise fees 1 percent, from 3.5 to 4.5 percent.

Manager John Chattin said raising franchise fees would generate an estimated $220,000 annual for the general fund. By contrast, raising property taxes 1 percent would generate less than a quarter that amount, in part due to the number of tax-exempt properties within the city.

In other business: 

-- Councilors will consider the 2013 Sanford Center budget and the Sanford Center business plan

-- Adjourn for a closed special work session to discuss pending litigation regarding reassessment of the Birchmont Drive utility project

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 317 4th St. NW.

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