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Council to again discuss access channel, townhome project

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Council to again discuss access channel, townhome project
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Two items that previously have been discussed by the Bemidji City Council have returned to the council's agenda.

The council has been asked, again, to consider a resolution of support for Pine Haven Townhomes. The council on May 17 approved a similar resolution, in which it agreed to waive a portion of building permit and SAC/WAC fees (sewer and water connection fees) for the low- and moderate-income housing project. But on June 7, when the council was asked to specify the amount that could be waived, the council opted to not take action.

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"The council should determine what potion (it is) willing to donate or consider rescinding the resolution," wrote City Manager John Chattin in the council packet.

Another previously discussed agenda item is the ongoing discussion regarding Upstream TV, which requested in October that the council allow it to provide a public access TV channel for the community.

Discussions have since been ongoing between city staff and Upstream TV representatives, who have applied for nonprofit status and proposed a detailed plan of operations.

During a meeting with an attorney from Kennedy and Graven, city staff was told the council basically has three options:

E Refuse the request.

E Establish and operate a public access channel, which would require an investment of Public Education Government, or PEG, fees, which are earmarked to purchase equipment to improve both government and public access programming.

E Contract with Upstream TV to operate and manage a public access channel.

"The city does not have the available staff to operate a public channel," Chattin wrote in council documents. "Contracting with Upstream TV would provide public access with a minimum commitment of staff and resources."

He noted that the contract with Upstream TV could always be terminated if the arrangement does not work to council expectation of if the city later chooses to bring public access in-house with city staff assistance.

The council's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Other business

The council's agenda also includes discussion on the following:

E Bids received for the "FF&E" (furniture, fixtures and equipment) work for kitchen and concession equipment for the Bemidji Regional Event Center. The low bid of two received was from Direct South Inc. of Georgia for $435,545.

E Whether three city committees - Heritage Preservation, Sustainability and Deer - could handle their own posting and minutes, thereby relieving staff of additional duties.

E An ordinance amendment that would repeal the limitation on the number of beer, wine and liquor licenses that may be issued for one person.

Two items that previously have been discussed by the Bemidji City Council have returned to the council's agenda.

The council has been asked, again, to consider a resolution of support for Pine Haven Townhomes. The council on May 17 approved a similar resolution, in which it agreed to waive a portion of building permit and SAC/WAC fees (sewer and water connection fees) for the low- and moderate-income housing project. But on June 7, when the council was asked to specify the amount that could be waived, the council opted to not take action.

"The council should determine what potion (it is) willing to donate or consider rescinding the resolution," wrote City Manager John Chattin in the council packet.

Another previously discussed agenda item is the ongoing discussion regarding Upstream TV, which requested in October that the council allow it to provide a public access TV channel for the community.

Discussions have since been ongoing between city staff and Upstream TV representatives, who have applied for nonprofit status and proposed a detailed plan of operations.

During a meeting with an attorney from Kennedy and Graven, city staff was told the council basically has three options:

- Refuse the request.

- Establish and operate a public access channel, which would require an investment of Public Education Government, or PEG, fees, which are earmarked to purchase equipment to improve both government and public access programming.

- Contract with Upstream TV to operate and manage a public access channel.

"The city does not have the available staff to operate a public channel," Chattin wrote in council documents. "Contracting with Upstream TV would provide public access with a minimum commitment of staff and resources."

He noted that the contract with Upstream TV could always be terminated if the arrangement does not work to council expectation of if the city later chooses to bring public access in-house with city staff assistance.

The council's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Other business

The council's agenda also includes discussion on the following:

- Bids received for the "FF&E" (furniture, fixtures and equipment) work for kitchen and concession equipment for the Bemidji Regional Event Center. The low bid of two received was from Direct South Inc. of Georgia for $435,545.

- Whether three city committees - Heritage Preservation, Sustainability and Deer - could handle their own posting and minutes, thereby relieving staff of additional duties.

- An ordinance amendment that would repeal the limitation on the number of beer, wine and liquor licenses that may be issued for one person.

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Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
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