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City council to consider lighted crosswalk, other items

BEMIDJI – The Bemidji City Council will discuss a proposal from area residents for a solar-powered lighted crossing sign and marked crosswalk at the intersection of 15th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

The intersection is a busy one for kids who go to the Boys and Girls Club of the Bemidji Area or youth football practice, according to a letter submitted to the city council.

At least 35 children cross the intersection each week between 3 and 3:30 p.m., according to Bemidji State University nursing students who observed the intersection for a few days. The students also witnessed two close calls in which children were almost struck by cars crossing the intersection, according to the letter.

“It is the considered opinion of the observers and the anecdotal opinion of community residents, that it is only a matter of time before tragedy strikes,” the letter states. A petition signed by an unknown number of residents was also submitted to the council.

The council will also consider approving city union contracts from 2013 to 2015. The contracts are scheduled to expire Dec. 31.

Contracts for unions representing firefighters, police patrol, police supervisors, liquor store employees, and the union representing public works, parks, streets, sanitation and engineering employees were negotiated and approved by the unions. They include cost of living increases of 3 percent in both 2013 and 2014 and 2 percent in 2015.

The 2013 city budget includes funding to accommodate the contracts, according to the city council packet. 

The council will also consider an annual budget adjustment, and consider a recommendation for the Sanford Center executive director position.

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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