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Bemidji City Council action

Among notable action taken at the Bemidji City Council meeting Monday:

Bemidji Avenue project

The City Council held a public hearing on the Bemidji Avenue/Highway 197 reconstruction project and considered ordering a resolution calling for the preparation of plans and authorizing the advertisement for bids.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve.

Art project

The City Council considered the proposal of an art project that would have giant chalk footprints leading from the Paul and Babe statues at the waterfront, to the former site of the Great River Gallery, to the Headwaters School for Music and the Arts, and back to the waterfront. The giant footprints would be placed on the asphalt of the roads and would last 10 to 20 days, depending on the weather.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to approve.

Habitat for Humanity request

The council considered waiving building fees for the Habitat for Humanity.

ACTION: The council voted 5-2 to waive $1,313.50 in fees, including a building permit fee of $875, plan review of $284.50 and a mechanical permit fee of $154.

Paid Time Off policy

The council considered an amendment to the city's PTO policy in which employees would not be required to utilize 100 hours of PTO time annually.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to table the matter to a later work session.

Park and Rec. Commission

The council considered a policy requiring members of the Park and Recreation Commission to be residents of the city.

ACTION: The council voted unanimously to direct staff to amend the ordinance relating to the Park and Recreation Commission to limit membership to city residents. The amended ordinance will be presented to the council for consideration at a later date.

Property ordinances

The council held the final reading of ordinances that authorized the sale of property. The first ordinance dealt with the sale of land to TruStar Federal Credit Union at a cost of $5 per square foot. The second dealt with the exchange of land between the city and Patrick and Barbara Demarchi.

ACTION: No action required.

Fee ordinance

The council held the first reading of an ordinance detailing an ordinance stating the proposed fees for 2008.

ACTION: No action required.

Events center

The council heard feedback representing both sides of the events center debate. Michael Beard from the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce said the business community supports the project. Resident Howard Baxter said he collected 32 signatures from people opposed to the project.

ACTION: No action required.

Present: Richard Lehmann, mayor; Onen Markeson, Ward 1; Roger Hellquist, Ward 2; Ron Johnson; Ward 3; Jerry Downs, Ward 4; Nancy Erickson, Ward 5; Barb Meuers; at-large.

For more information on City Council actions, call the city clerk's office at 759-3570.