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Bemidji City Council to consider franchise fee hike

BEMIDJI – The Bemidji City Council will likely approve a 1 percent increase in the gas and electric franchise fees during its regular meeting Monday night.

The increase to 4.5 percent of monthly gross revenues is projected to raise $220,000 annually, according to city officials. Meanwhile, a 1 percent increase in the property tax levy would raise just $40,000.

No one spoke for or against the increase during a public hearing Sept. 17.

Council members also will consider other agenda items, including:

---Appointing Chris Lee Vinderslev to the Charter Commission. Charlene Fisher elected to not be reappointed to the commission in June.

-- Consider a request from the Bemidji Community Food Shelf to reduce or eliminate permitting fees associated with their move to the ODC property in the industrial park in the fall.

“We estimate the total fees will approach $1,500 for all the necessary work, which is for us a significant added expense,” Jack Judkins, coordinator for the food shelf, wrote in a letter to Mayor Dave Larson.

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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