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Bemidji City Council: Irvine Avenue project proposed

The Bemidji City Council is expected to consider approval of the Irvine Avenue Northwest reconstruction project Monday night.

The council will convene for a regular meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Irvine Avenue is proposed to undergo reconstruction from Third Street Northwest to Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest. The project will include the water main and sanitary sewer improvements.

The total cost is estimated at $3.2 million. The project received $1.6 million in federal stimulus funds. Other funding sources include municipal state aid funds, sanitary sewer funds, water utility funds and liquor store funds

The project is proposed to be done in stages and is intended to minimize the impact to drivers and businesses.

The project also is being reviewed in St. Paul for state and federal approval.

City Engineer Craig Gray is hoping for a bid letting in late May or early June with construction beginning in July.

Street light feet

The proposed street light fee, which would assess $30 a year to residents and $60 a year to businesses to help cover the operations and maintenance costs of the city's street lights, also is on the agenda.

However, council support for the fee has wavered.

It is anticipated that the council will choose to delay the third reading of the ordinance that would approve the fee.

During a work session last week, the council wished to wait until June 8 to further discuss the fee. By then, the council reasoned, budget discussions from the state Legislature should be complete.

Closed meeting

The council will convene, following the regular meeting, for a closed meeting as the Bemidji Economic Development Authority for discussions on offers or counter-offers for real-estate property.