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ST. PAUL -- Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, has been appointed to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the Iron Range's economic development fund. The announcement came Tuesday, as Carlson was hosting a Bemidji delegation to the State Capitol for Bemidji Day at the Capitol. "There's a lot for me to learn," Carlson said in an interview. "I know that the IRRB has been around for 50 or 60 years. The mission is how do we diversity.
The second reading and public hearing of a Beltrami Counmty provision to prohibit alcohol sales after 1 a.m. will be held Tuesday. The public hearing is slated a part of the Beltrami County Board's 5 p.m. regular meeting at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. The County Board proposes to amend the county's ordinance for licensing and regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages to prohibit their sale after 1 a.m. The action became necessary, commissioners say, when the Bemidji City Council voted to allow bars within city limits to remain open until 2 a.m.
Plaid-clad Bemidjians head to St. Paul on Tuesday to lobby legislators on issues that affect Bemidji businesses and local government. About 50 Bemidji people representing business and government and wearing Paul Bunyan plaid sweaters or vests will travel by bus to the State Capitol on Tuesday for the sixth annual Bemidji Day at the Capitol. The day of lobbying for Bemidji issues includes a meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton at 3:30 p.m.
For the past eight years, state lawmakers looking to fill budget gaps have turned to state aid to cities, a big pot of money doled out twice a year. But not again, say supporters of Local Government Aid, who hope to educate new Republican lawmakers about the importance of the aid to keep local property taxes down. But that's a tough sell, as the Republican-led House already passed a $1 billion budget cut bill that includes cutting LGA $487 million over two years. It's a bill supported by Rep.
Property tax increases posed by a Republican budget plan this week are too big and come too soon, says Assistant House Minority Leader John Persell. "We all understand that we have a significant budget deficit, and I think we all know that some tough cuts are coming," Persell, DFL-Bemidji, said Thursday, in his first statement as assistant minority leader. "What I would hope, however, is that before legislation is introduced to increase property taxes by another $600 million we could consider every option available to us," he said.
David Turch & Associates was renewed as the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority's Washington, D.C., lobbyist Wednesday night in a near unanimous vote. The lone dissent came from Authority member Jim Lucachick, a Beltrami County commissioner, Harold Van Leeuwen, Airport Authority executive director said Thursday. "It was a quiet 'no,''" said Van Leeuwen. The authority renewed its professional services contract with David Turch & Associates with an option for another year at $2,000 a month, the same fee as the previous four years, or $24,000 a year. Beltrami County had also retained the firm
Beltrami commissioners unanimously ratified Tuesday a 2011 contract for county highway workers calling for no wage increase. It's the first settlement of the county's seven labor unions, said County Administrator Tony Murphy, with all of them operating on no contract after Dec.
All but one Beltrami County commissioner said Tuesday said their constituent calls oppose a 2 a.m. bar closing. Commissioner Jim Lucachick said his calls were split mostly along age, with "older, mature" constituents against the later bar closing and "younger callers asking what's the deal? -- What's wrong with 2 a.m.?" The city of Bemidji last month approved an ordinance calling for a 2 a.m. bar closing time.
Beltrami County commissioners will be asked to ratify today a union contract for highway workers calling for no salary increase. The one-year contract with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, also known as the 49'ers, is a one-year pact for 2011 and is the first of several union contracts yet to be settled. The county highway workers' union contract is part of the County Board's regular 5 p.m.
Fulfilling a campaign pledge, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-8th District, held high-level meetings with government agency officials Thursday to speed up the permit process for new Iron Range mining. PolyMet, a nonferrous mining operation slated for the Iron Range has been held up as the environmental permitting process runs its course. Thursday Cravaack met with officials from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Thursday's meeting "was a chance for me to discuss several priorities for the 8th District with influential officials at the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S.