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Bemidji City Council: Taproom, growler ordinances set to be finalized

BEMIDJI – Taprooms and growler sales in Bemidji will take another step toward becoming reality Monday night.

The final readings of ordinances allowing licensed brewers to apply for taproom and growler licenses are scheduled during the council’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.

Visitors would be able to try the beer made at a brewery in a taproom, which is attached to the facility. There, customers can also buy growlers, or 64-ounce jugs of beer to bring home.

The ordinance was made possible by recent changes in state law. 

Annual taproom license fees will be set at $400 and $240 for growler licenses.

Revolving loan fund

The council will be presented with a request for $250,000 from its revolving loan fund for residential development on the city’s south shore, said Headwaters Regional Development Commission Business Loan Consultant Tiffany Fettig.

The city currently has about $900,000 in that fund, not counting the $400,000 pending request for the connection between a proposed hotel and the Sanford Center, according to city finance director Ron Eischens.

The Bemidji Economic Development Authority agreed to the terms of a purchase agreement on Wednesday night for the land. A 6.5 acre site northeast of the Sanford Center is set to be sold to B&B Enterprises LLC for $300,000 for residential development.

The developer also has the option to buy the southern half of the lot in the future.

Because of that potential purchase, the Headwaters Housing Development Corporation is also requesting the city extend a loan associated with five lots north of Third Street Southeast.

Those lots are just south of the proposed site for the proposed townhome development.

City manager John Chattin said B&B Enterprises is working on a separate agreement with the HHDC on a purchase option for those five lots. He added that the loan extension request is matter of timing together the HHDC’s purchase option and the loan deadline.

“This request is the result of a potential development project that involves the land noted above as well as some land that the city currently owns,” wrote Mary Thompson of the HHDC in a memo to Chattin. “Extending this deadline will allow this project to further develop and allow it to move forward.”

Seven lots remain unsold in that area, with a balance of $103,700, according to the memo. 

The HHDC’s agreement with the city is set to expire on April 25, 2016, but they are requesting that deadline be extended two years.

Wastewater facility

The council will also consider awarded a bid to Magney Construction Inc. to refurbish two secondary clarifiers at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Magney submitted the lowest of six bids at $461,350. 

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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