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Hockey Day is coming to Bemidji; 13th annual event set for winter 2019

Bemidji City Council: Skatepark bids to be considered

Four bids have been received for the skatepark that will be constructed in Bemidji City Park.

The Bemidji City Council will consider those bids during its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The low bid was from Spohn Ranch of California for $314,473.21. The engineer's estimate was $320,000.

There is $316,000 in funds available for the project. Skatepark supporters raised $166,000 and the city has dedicated $150,000 to the project.

Two bid alternates were included in the bid documents, one of which would complete the entire skatepark, including another 4,900 square feet that would include the flow course. That aspect has usually been referred to as "phase two" of the skatepark project. Spohn Ranch's bid for that alternative, which also was the low one received, was $140,319.17.

The other bid alternate is to close off the bowl area, adding 750 square feet. It would cost, according to Spohn Ranch, $31,984.39.

The recommendation from Marcia Larson, parks and recreation director, is to approve the base bid from Spohn Ranch for $314,473.21.

Pine Haven homes

Pine Haven Townhomes is, again, on the council agenda as city staff is asking for the council to specify the amount of city help it would support.

Kuepers Inc. Architects & Builders, a firm based in Baxter, has proposed to develop Pine Haven Townhomes, a low- and moderate-income housing project. The development would be built along 15th Street Northwest near the site that will host the Headwaters Housing Development Corporation's transitional housing development.

The council in May approved a resolution in support of the project. The resolution, which is submitted to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency in an application for funding, states that the city will donate a portion of the building permit fees, donate a portion of the city's SAC/WAC (sewer and water connection) fees and fast-track the building permit process.

The total building fees for the project are expected to be $24,068 while SAC/WAC fees would be $59,825, according to council documents.

If the city were to waive 50 percent of the fees, for example, it would total $31,849.

The council has, repeatedly, adhered to a moratorium on donations, but has waived fees for some organizations, such as the Habitat for Humanity.

According to city staff, if the council is to support the reduction of fees for Kuepers, "any subsidy should relate to the council's finding that low to moderate housing is a city priority."


A pair of license requests is also on the council's "consent agenda," which typically involves items that are approved with little discussion.

Dunn Bros Coffee, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W., has applied for a wine license, and Bemidji Bowl has requested to transfer its liquor license from its old location to the new bowling alley at 3455 Laurel Drive N.W.