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Northern Township: Let’s talk

BEMIDJI — Northern Township board supervisors want to talk to their joint planning partners.

Board supervisors asked their legal counsel Jason Kuboushek about the ramifications of the city and Bemidji Township’s mediated settlement agreement, and their options going forward, during a work session Monday night.

The mediated agreement allows Bemidji Township to leave the annexation and joint powers agreements the three governmental bodies adopted in 2004.

While the settlement itself has been approved by the city and Bemidji Township, Northern Township still would have to approve amending the annexation and joint powers agreements for the mediation to be valid.

While board supervisors made no decision on if they’ll allow Bemidji Township to leave, they indicated they wanted to talk to the two other governments and potentially work through their disagreements.

Meanwhile, Bemidji Township’s attorney John Steffenhagen traveled from his Edina-based law firm to be in Beltrami County District Court Judge John Melbye’s courtroom Monday morning for a brief scheduling conference.

He was joined by phone by Jim Thomson, who represents the city of Bemidji.

The attorneys provided Melbye with an update on the case, in which Bemidji Township sued the city last year, alleging that it breached the annexation agreement. The city has denied those claims.  

Melbye set another scheduling conference for 30 days from Monday, but a specific date wasn’t mentioned.

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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