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Bemidji City Council looks at grant application for park

A public hearing will be held Monday as the city seeks a grant that would aid construction of a universally accessible playground in North Country Park.

The hearing is included in the agenda for the Bemidji City Council's regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Bemidji City Hall.

The cost estimated for the planned universally accessible playground is more than $630,000 and has been proposed to include a sensory area, toddler swings, an accessible sand table and dig area and more.

Marcia Larson, the city's parks and recreation director, has suggested applying for a $485,000 outdoor recreation grant through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The required local match is 50 percent.

That amount would fund the play area, sensor area and musical area.

The city, Bemidji Lion's Club, Shane's Inspiration (through which the city already has a grant for the project) and a community committee is committed to assisting with the fundraising needed for the entire playground project.

Irvine Avenue bridge

The City Council also is expected to consider awarding the bid for replacing the expansion joints on the Irvine Avenue bridge to PCi Roads of St. Michael, Minn., at a cost of $115,483.

The bid is higher than the engineer's estimate of $97,671 but Craig Gray, city engineer/public works director, said the bid has good numbers for the specialized work.