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Bemidji City Council: Calendar parking to go into effect for more streets

BEMIDJI – The city council voted Tuesday to enforce calendar parking on more city streets.

Once the restrictions go into effect, they’ll be enforced from midnight to 6 a.m. on one side of the street depending on the day.

The added streets include large stretches of Nymore and a couple blocks of downtown. Delton Avenue Northwest from 15th Street Northwest to Paul Bunyan Drive will fall under the new restrictions, as will 15th Street Northwest from Irvine to Norton avenues.

The council approved the change unanimously.

Craig Gray, the city’s public works director, said the change will help save the city money, as more streets will become the city’s responsibility to plow for snow. Annexation and several streets that were given back by the Minnesota Department of Transportation as part of further council action Tuesday added onto that load. 

Many of the affected streets have had cars parked on both sides of the street during the winter, which means snowplows have had to make multiple trips, Gray said. He added that these streets should be able to handle parking on just one side at a time.

“Our goal in the public works department is to be able to plow these additional streets without adding staff or significantly increasing overtime,” Gray told the council. “Posting these streets for calendar parking would greatly impact our ability to do that.”

The resolution passed, however, without a provision to add seasonal parking on 15th Street Northeast between Bemidji Avenue North and Birchmont Drive Northeast. The council agreed to remove the language from the resolution after Ward 1 Councilor Kevin Waldhausen raised concerns about a lack of off-street parking in the area.

“It already houses so many vehicles with the residents that live in that area, which are mainly rentals,” he said. “Many of them don’t have access to garages.”

Other actions:

-- The council voted unanimously to approve a preliminary 2012 tax levy increase of 7.8 percent. Much of that increase, however, is due to adding properties through annexation and shouldn’t affect residents’ tax rates significantly.

The resolution also set the truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 3.

-- The council voted to apply for a grant from the Blandin Foundation to renovate the Carnegie Library.

-- The council also authorized Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson to apply for a state grant for the Lakefront Redevelopment project.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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