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Waldhausen, Negard to join Bemidji City Council Tuesday night

The new-look Bemidji City Council will convene for the first time Tuesday.

Freshmen Councilors Kevin Waldhausen and Greg Negard will take their seats at the decision-making table at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Waldhausen, for Ward 1, and Negard, Ward 5, were elected to the council in November along with re-elected Mayor Richard Lehmann and re-elected Ward 3 Councilor Ron Johnson.

All four will take the Oath of Office at the start of Tuesday's meeting.

The council agenda includes the consideration of the 2009 Street Renewal Project. If the council opts to move forward, it would need to approve a feasibility report and set a public hearing.

The 2009 street plan includes improvements for portions of Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets southeast (all between Central Avenue Southeast and Pershing Avenue Southeast) and Scott Avenue Southeast between Roosevelt Road Southeast and Fourth Street Southeast).

The project would give the streets a new life span of about 40 years, according to a report from City Engineer Craig Gray.

The cost is projected to be just over $1.3 million, which would be paid through assessments, utility funds and city bond dollars. The public hearing has been suggested for Feb. 2.

Additionally, plans will be submitted as the council will consider the reconstruction of parking lot No. 3 in downtown Bemidji. The lot is on the north side of Third Street Northwest west of Morell's Trading Post.

The city is working with the Downtown Development Authority on the project.

Pavement and drainage issues have prompted the reconstruction, which is planned while keeping the downtown plan of RDG Planning & Design in mind.

The lot now has 66 parking spaces and three 11-foot drive lanes that do not meet design standards.

A plan for 45 parking spaces and larger drive lanes has been preferred by the DDA. The layout also limits access to the alley on the north side.

If approved by the council, the lot would gain a cosmetic upgrade.

The cost would be about $120,000, which could increase if the DDA opts for additional landscaping or lighting. The project would be funded through the Parking Development Fund.