Weather Forecast


Beltrami County Board refers bid package to joint committee; Opus Group expresses interest in continuing process

The Opus Group submitted the only bid package for purchase of the 40 acres of county-owned land on Middle School Road Northwest.

Beltrami County Board Chairman Joe Vene opened the sealed envelope during Tuesday's County Board meeting.

However, The Open Group paperwork made no mention of a bid, just an expression of interest in continuing the process by submitting the phrase "purchase price to be determined."

The Beltrami County Board on May 3 authorized advertising for sale the property, which includes the Bemidji Youth League Baseball and Bemidji Youth Soccer playing fields. According to state statute requiring three weeks of advertising for sale of public property, the ad ran May 15, May 22 and May 29 in the Pioneer.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Jack Frost made the motion and Commissioner Jim Lucachick seconded to refer The Opus Group paperwork to the Beltrami County/Bemidji Joint Task Force for review and recommendations. The committee includes Mayor Dave Larson, City Manager John Chattin and County Commissioners Lucachick and Vene. The task force will report back to the County Board and the formal bidding process will continue.

The buyers must fulfill leases held by the youth baseball and soccer associations to replace any property they lose with satisfactory replacement. Commissioner Jim Heltzer said part of the review should include pinpointing where the baseball and soccer replacements would be and that the associations are satisfied with the arrangements.

"It would have to be a good deal for everyone," said County Administrator Tony Murphy.

The County Board can reject any or all proposals. The County Board also can determine which proposal best meets the county's needs.

Murphy said the old Fairgrounds acreage on the east side of Middle School Road south of Target was for sale last year. The board rejected the one bid received for the property.

BYLB and the county signed a 30-year lease in 1987. The lease stipulates that for $1 per year, the baseball and soccer organizations can use their fields and facilities, which were developed by members' volunteer labor.