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Lakeland receives approval from JPB

BEMIDJI — The Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board approved several variances requested by Lakeland Public Television ahead of construction of its new facility on the south shore.

Bill Sanford, Lakeland general manager, confirmed the approval Thursday and said they are in the process of working out some technicalities with the state of Minnesota. He declined to say when construction might begin, citing the complex nature of the project.

"This is not a simple bonding project," Sanford said.

Because Lakeland is not a government entity, the $3 million bond payment from the state for the project will actually go to the city of Bemidji, which will own the building and lease it to Lakeland. Sanford said Lakeland has raised $1 million for the new facility.

Sanford said they hope to send out the bid requests to potential contractors in the next few weeks.

Lakeland officials say they have outgrown the space that they currently lease from Bemidji State University.

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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