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Council to discuss events center

The events center is largely out of local hands now as the Legislature begins to debate bonding requests.

But, supporters are continuing to move forward on plans for the events center and the development of the south shore of Lake Bemidji.

The Bemidji City Council Monday night is expected to consider the authorization of two new committees that will steer the events center proposal, according to the Jan. 25, weekly newsletter from City Manager John Chattin

The council will also be asked to provide further direction on facility design for the events center/hockey arena and convention center.

First, a group of local leaders would form an "Executive Committee" or taskforce that would work with project staff and make ongoing day-to-day decisions of the facility, the newsletter said.

Secondly, a group of people would form a design standards committee that would work with the design team and Leo A Daly to "consider the exterior design of the facility," the newsletter said.

Leo A. Daly has been told that the design is "not acceptable" and Chattin reported that he expects the firm to be "much more accommodating" as the project moves forward.

Also related the events center, the council will consider authorization through the consent agenda to allow Widseth Smith Nolting to perform limited site investigation at the potential site.

According to council documents, a petroleum leak site was discovered at the downtown site near Irvine Avenue and Second Street Northwest. The discovery was reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which requires further investigation to determine the extent of soil and ground water contamination.

The state of Minnesota is covering the cost through the Petro Fund System. WSN bid $8,004 for the work. Second bidder Great Plains Environmental bid $8,053.20.