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Bemidji City Council: First south shore land sale in works?

Bemidji may be on the verge of its first land sale in the south shore.

The Bemidji Economic Development Authority, comprised of city councilors, will meet in a closed session Monday to discuss the possible sale of land, presumably in the south shore redevelopment area.

The agenda for the BEDA meeting, which will immediately follow the City Council's regular 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, does not specify the land up for discussion.

But in the city's weekly newsletter on May 22, City Manager John Chattin said City Attorney Al Felix is working on a purchase agreement for the BEDA.

"This would be our first sale of south shore development land," Chattin wrote. "We have also had interest from another developer who will have a proposal to us in the next six to eight weeks for mixed-use development."

Also during the BEDA meeting, officials are expected to discuss resolutions in support of joint powers agreements with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the Nymore Beach and Paul Bunyan State Trail along the south shore.

If approved, the joint powers agreements would allow for the expansion of the Nymore Beach boat access and expanded parking areas, and also convey from the BEDA to the DNR the property along the south shore that has been designated to be used as the Paul Bunyan State Trail South Shore Trail Corridor.

During the regular City Council meeting, councilors also will consider a joint powers agreement with the DNR that would allow the DNR to be the lead agency in preparing the design and construction documents for the proposed Paul Bunyan State Trail bridge over state Highway 197.

The state, according to council documents, will provide technical and funding assistance for the design and construction documents. The state would reimburse the city up to $900,000.

The DNR would then take the plans and specification and assume responsibility for the construction of the trail bridge.

Also scheduled during the council meeting are the following:

- The annual required public meeting to take comment on the adequacy of the city's Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program.

- Consideration of a request to rename Irvingside Drive Southwest Aragon Lane Southwest. If the request is deemed favorable, the council would direct staff to prepare an ordinance for later consideration in support of the name change.

- Reconsideration of plans for the reconstruction of Parking Lot 3. Several business owners near the lot, located on Third Street Northwest between Harmony Natural Foods Co-op and Morell's Trading Post, have objected to the current design.