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Bemidji City Council: Humane Society request denied

The Bemidji City Council on Monday again upheld its moratorium on donations to nonprofit organizations.

The council voted 6-0 to deny a request from the Beltrami Humane Society to waive its monthly sanitary sewer bill. Councilor Barb Meuers was absent.

Ron Oskowski, who described himself as the newest board member for the Humane Society, requested the bill forgiveness.

"We would like to see if we can get any relief on that," he told the council.

The Humane Society took in 89 cats and 600 dogs in 2009, he said. About 50 dogs were from the city limits.

The city now pays the Humane Society $100 a month for handling dogs deemed adoptable by the Community Service Officer, according to city documents.

Councilor Roger Hellquist said he would prefer the Humane Society consider approaching the topic as more of a fee-for-service discussion.

"I have no problem with how they do it or what they do," Hellquist said.

He, along with his fellow councilors, did not wish to go against the moratorium on community donations, which has been in place since March 2004.