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Downtown bus shelters should be preserved

The shelters downtown erected years ago for the old bus system need to stay put in my humble opinion. These are the two places "Bemidjians" have seen me sitting since I was 16. It may have been a hot day and I was finding a little shade; it may have been raining and I was trying to stay dry. When I need shelter downtown, where would I turn to if these were to be re-located or demolished?

I have lived in Bemidji for 33 years and have yet to see the homeless using either of the shelters to live in. That's not to say that the shelters have not been used for one reason or another by the homeless, but instead have been a source of protection for those who seek it. In fact, I wouldn't complain if some of the city taxes I pay would go toward erecting a sheltered bench at the end of more downtown blocks.

If the City Council won't approve spending for such a small project, perhaps the citizens would get together and fund it instead out-of-pocket. Let's say they cost $6,000 each and we erect 10 more sheltered benches downtown, we would only need around 600 concerned citizens to pony up $10 each and there's the funding needed.

Maybe we could even start a small day-labor program for the homeless in Bemidji to assist putting these up so they can make a little money. It's just an idea I'm tossing out there. What does the rest of Bemidji think?

Craig Myran