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Bemidji City Council: Paul Bunyan Transit asks city to waive fees

Greg Negard, who serves as both a Bemidji city councilor and executive director of Paul Bunyan Transit, will fulfill his own prediction Monday night.

Negard, representing Paul Bunyan Transit, will ask the council to waive more than $15,000 in building fees for the new bus garage.

The cost for the sewer connection fees are expected to be $4,780 and the water connection fees are expected to be $10,350.

Negard's request follows the council's vote in June to waive 10 percent of SAC/WAC and building permit fees for Pine Haven Townhomes, a proposed low- and moderate-income development. The total amount waived was $8,389, which included portions of both SAC/WAC and building permit fees.

During one of the discussions on the matter, Negard said townhome project is a for-profit venture and there is no guarantee it could be sold for a profit in the future.

He said he could "guarantee" that if the fees are waived for Pine Haven, Paul Bunyan Transit's board of directors would ask for a fee waiver also.

And that appears to have happened.

In a letter to the council dated Jul 15, Negard, acting as the executive director of Paul Bunyan Transit, noted that the organization is a nonprofit.

"We are a nonprofit, but unlike the low-cost housing project (for which) the council granted a reduction in fees, Paul Bunyan Transit will never be sold, nor will anyone profit from any reduction or waiving of these fees," he wrote.

The Bemidji City Council will convene for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

BREC signage

The council will also consider a recommendation to reject all bids for the marquee sign for the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

The sign, planned to be located at First Street and Paul Bunyan Drive, went out for bids earlier this year, but Kraus-Anderson, the construction manager for the project, has proposed that the two bids received be rejected and the bids be advertised again.

The bids should be rejected "on the basis that the information provided in the bidding documents was incomplete," wrote Gerry Domino, the senior project manager for Kraus-Anderson, in a letter to the council.