Weather Forecast


Council to consider downtown study

The proposed downtown market study seems to be moving forward.

The Bemidji City Council is expected to consider on Tuesday a contract with a consultant that would work prepare a market study and offer master planning services that would include the historic downtown and south shore redevelopment area.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. (The City Council usually meets on Monday, but City Hall is closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day.)

The Headwaters Regional Development Commission has been working with the city, Downtown Development Authority and Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce on the proposed market study.

Seven consultants submitted qualifications and made presentations to a group composed of representatives from all organizations, according to a staff report from City Manager John Chattin that is included in Tuesday's agenda packet.

The unanimous choice for the project was RDG Planning and Design, the report says.

RDG proposed a cost not to exceed $57,000, but the group is planning funding sources for $60,000 to cover reimbursable expenses, the report says.

The DDA has agreed to contribute $25,000 from parking funds that were dedicated to a market study in 2006, and the remaining balance would be funded through grant dollars and city funds, the report says.

The council will consider a pre-application to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation requesting $20,000 in funding for the master plan, the report says.

The council will be asked to allocate $15,000 in city funds to the project, the report says. City dollars are proposed to come from the $106,000 surplus in the Permanent Improvement Fund.

Nymore water tower

Also on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting is the consideration of a contract for the reconditioning of the Nymore water tower.

The interior and exterior coating systems need to be replaced and some structural work and repairs are required on the 250,000-gallon water tower, which is located off of First Street Southeast, according to a staff report from City engineer Craig Gray.

The council on Dec. 3 approved the plans for the project.

Four bids were opened on Jan. 10. The bid included a base bid that would include the cost for two city of Bemidji logos and deductible amounts in case the council decides to go with one or no logos on the water tower.

The low bid was from LeadCon, Inc., with a base bid of $303,400, according to the report. The deductible for one logo is $1,000 and the deductible for no logos is $3, 000.

"Due to this minimal cost and the important location of this water tower, staff recommends that the base bid with the two logos be accepted," the report says.

The project was included in the 2008 Capital Improvement Plan and funding has been proposed to come from the water utility fund.